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​Tim Rubel (Artistic Director) is a San Francisco and Texas-based dance artist. He received his M.F.A. in Dance/Experimental Choreography from the University of California, Riverside. He has been on the dance faculties of several institutions including San Francisco State University, Mt. San Jacinto College, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Dance Center and the Beijing Dance Festival in China. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. His professional dance performance credits have included work with Fusionworks Dance Company in Providence, Rhode Island, Windhover Dance Company in Rockport, Massachusetts, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and in San Francisco with the David Herrera Performance Company, Leonora Lee Dance and Epiphany Dance Theatre to name a few. Additionally, his choreography has received support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Texas A&M International University, The Goethe Institut, the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation and has been presented on both U.S. coasts and abroad. In 2013 he became the first ever Artist-in-Residence at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts, where Tim Rubel Human Shakes developed their evening-length work, Here and Then. His 2018 work ALIEN, in collaboration with Elisabeth Kindler-Abali of Germany, premiered in San Francisco and had subsequent performances at the Pfefferberg Theater in Berlin. His latest work with TRHS, The Culture of Love had it's first iteration at Texas A&M International University in February of 2022.


Photo: Luisa Duarte Milani


Dalton Alexander (Dancer-on leave) Movement artist. Activist. Being. Dalton approaches contemporary dance performance work from an experiential practice, collaborating through improvisation to find subtlety and nuance and then embodying that with artistic concepts and direction. His training began at the University of New Mexico, continued at Tanzfabrik-Berlin, and landed in London at Trinity Laban where he performed works by Theo Clinkard, Ederson Rodrigues Xavier, and Dog Kennel Hill Project. Dalton has performed with punkkiCo, FACT/SF, and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company in San Francisco, CA amongst smaller projects and his own work. He is also a proud member of Dance Artists’ National Collective. 

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KJ Dahlaw (Dancer) is a bay area dance artist. They hold an MFA in Dance from Saint Mary's College of CA and a BFA in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University. KJ’s work examines unruliness; queer theology; the body; and practices of counter-hegemony in the dancing body. KJ is a freelance dancer in the Bay area and excited to dance with Human Shakes this season. 

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Jess DeFranco (Dancer) is a Bay Area native and began her dance training at a young age with ballet classes in her hometown of Santa Clara, CA under former San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer Kimberly Davey. Jess received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from San Francisco State University, performing with the University Dance Theater company for three consecutive years. Her choreography was also selected to represent the School of Theater and Dance at the 2018 American College Dance Association conference. While attending SFSU, she also received her minor in Asian American Studies from the College of Ethnic Studies. Upon graduating she began working as a freelance artist in San Francisco. She’s performed in works by Garrett + Moulton Productions, Robert Moses Kin, Kristin Damrow, Alyssa Mitchel, Tanya Chianese, Katie Faulkner, Flight Dance Collective, and eMotion Arts Dance Co. When she’s not performing, Jess is a dance educator, teaching ballet to students ranging from beginner level through pre-professional. She is thrilled to be dancing her first season with Human Shakes.

Photo: Rob Kunkle

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Derek DiMartini (Dancer-on leave) A Bay Area native, Derek DiMartini has recently returned west after a decade on the east coast.  He likes to view dance as an extension of his passion as a creator and a performer.  In New York, he performed with LEIMAY as an ensemble member, and was also a LUDUS teacher and practitioner. His work has been performed with Mare Nostrum Elements, as well as at LEIMAY SOAK festival, WAXworks and Marie-Christine Giordano Salon. Derek graduated from Yale University with a BA in Theater Studies, where he had the opportunity to perform the works of Merce Cunningham, Akram Khan, Reggie Wilson, and Trisha Brown. 

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 Colin Epstein (Dancer) has been creating and performing in the Bay Area for more than 10 years, most frequently seen on stage and screen with 13th Floor Dance Theater. He holds a B.A. degree in Dance from Colorado College and is a two time graduate of New England Center for Circus Arts' professional program and has performed and taught worldwide during his career. Colin is thrilled to be joining Tim Rubel Human Shakes for his first season.

Photo: Weidong Yang

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Hannah Westbrook (Dancer) is a dancer and choreographer based in the Bay Area (CA). She has performed nationally and internationally with Tim Rubel Human Shakes and animi motus, and has appeared on stages across California in works by Tim Rubel, Elisabeth Kindler-Abali, Stephan Koplowitz/AXIS Dance Company, Tara Pilbrow, and more. Hannah is a graduate of UC Berkeley where she was honored with the Departmental Citation for outstanding undergraduate accomplishment in Theater, Dance & Performance Studies, and performed in the ensemble of Anna Halprin’s Parades and Changes. Hannah’s dance film work has been screened in festivals across the country including the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Dare to Dance In Public, Tiny Dance Film Festival, Greensboro Dance Film Festival, DanceBARN ScreenDANCE Festival, and I’m Bored, What’s Next?

Photo: Sara Lavalley

Photo: Sara Lavalley


Previous Media and Production Designers:

Maxx Kurzunski - Lighting and Scenic Design

Vanessa Freeman - Costume Design

Victor Talledos - Photography

Brittany Mellerson - Lighting Design

Lance Huntley - Photography

Ilana Pearlman - Costume Design

sondra J kazama - Media & Production Design

Mark Macbeth-Videography.

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