Drama – Ena Dallas
Dance – Sonja Travick
Ms. Travick transforms lives through performing and teaching dance of the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on dances from Senegal Guinea and Mali. Her dynamic and powerful performances captivate her audiences and challenge their preconceived perceptions of traditional African Dance forms. Her commitment to maintaining the authenticity of traditional African dance forms combined with her high energy and execution, have gained her the respect and support of her colleagues as both a performer and educator. Sonja was born in Pennsylvania where she began dancing at the age of six. She graduated from John Harris / Riverside Arts Magnet School and became the youngest apprentice (140 with the Joseph P. Cooksey Chameleon dance Company. Sonja continued her studies at Lincoln University, Lincoln University Pa, where she became a member of the University Dance ensemble. She graduated with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Russian language in 1988. In 1992 Sonja relocated to the Bay Area. Under the tutelage of bay area dance masters such as Carolyn Himes, Allasane Kane, Molonga Casquerlourd Jacque Barnes and Alseny Soumah Sonja soared in her mastery of dances of the African diaspora. In 1993 Sonja traveled to Brazil for a month long study of the dances of the Orixas, in 1995 she then traveled to Paris for a month long study of modern techniques fused with dances of Senegal and the Conga and most recently. In 1997 Sonja then traveled to Jamaica to study traditional Caribbean folklore and dance. In 2005, Sonja’s intensive study of West African Dance and culture sent her to Guinea, West Africa for an intensive study with the countries national dance company. Sonja’s goal is to restructure, review, and revive the communities’ connection to traditional African music and dance.
Music – Ted Allen
California native Ted Allen spent his youth enthusiastically participating in choirs, marching bands and rock bands at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach and at Pomona College. After completing a masters degree in composition at the Yale School of Music, he worked in the music business in New York City as a composer, arranger and copyist for a diverse clientele that included both the New York City Ballet and Metallica, for whom he orchestrated “Devil Dance” and “Human” for their platinum selling project with the San Francisco Symphony. After 18 years in the music business he enrolled in the OUSD/Cal State Hayward Partnership program for teacher credentialing and is now celebrating his 21st year in the classroom. He has continued to compose throughout his teaching career, writing music for his students and Big O, the big band of Oakland public school music teachers. His music has been performed by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Mitch Leigh Big Band, the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine Wind Band, San Francisco Choral Artists, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the San Jose Choral Project, the San Francisco Bach Choir, and the New Jersey All State Chorus. “Fire in the Forge,” his heavy metal piece for school string orchestras, was a best seller in the school music market. Dozens of school orchestras from all over the country have posted their performances on YouTube. His music is published by Walton Music and Grand Mesa Music.
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