Ann Carlson | The Symphonic Body/Food | Biographies

Ann Carlson (choreographer, director, “conductor”) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work borrows from dance, performance, and theater, along with visual, conceptual, and social art practices. Carlson’s work takes the form of solo performance; large-scale, socially engaged projects; ensemble dances; and performance/video. Carlson often works within a series format, creating performance structures over a period of years that adapt and tour to multiple sites. Carlson is adept at working with a wide variety of people. Whether with lawyers, security guards, fly fishermen, farmers, professors, or gardeners, her work addresses the biases and boundaries, the stereotypes and striations of contemporary culture. The Symphonic Body/Food is a logical outgrowth of this 33-year practice of building dances with anyone. One of the Wexner Center’s first Artist Residency Award recipients, Carlson premiered her work WHITE at the Wex in 1992 and has completed this latest project in residence at the center as well.

Hazel Black (assistant choreographer, performer) is a fourth-year dance and sociology student at Ohio State. Fueled by her passion for social change, challenging the status quo, and eating the best pie in Columbus, Black has explored an array of opportunities as a Buckeye. In addition to student and faculty concerts, she has studied and performed in New York, Flint, Salt Lake City, and Denmark. Committed to community-based practice, she has also participated in several service programs. Her work with NNEMAP Food Pantry formed the basis of her senior thesis research, which explored social service within the food system. Black is looking forward to graduating in May with a BFA with distinction in dance, honors in the arts, and a minor in inequality and society.

Gina Hoch-Stall (assistant choreographer, performer) is a third-year MFA candidate in dance at Ohio State who, if pressed to choose one food to eat for the remainder of her life, would select Pink Lady apples. Described by thINKingDANCE as “exuberant and gifted,” Hoch-Stall is the artistic director of RealLivePeople, a Philadelphia-based dance company that creates dances based on real-life stories and experiences. Her choreographic projects have been performed across the United States and in Europe with support from local, state, and national organizations. When not busy in the studio, she enjoys cooking slightly-too-complicated Mediterranean recipes for her friends.

Meg Shevenock (assistant choreographer, performer) has been vegan since a live guinea hen was fed to a caged boa constrictor in her 12th-grade biology class—when she realized that, like the guinea hen, most animals in our food system have little chance to avoid being eaten. Shevenock is a private teacher specializing in giftedness and alternative education, a writer, and an artist interested in chance encounters and miraculous discoveries. She maintains an ongoing telepathic art practice with her collaborator, Jamie Boyle. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including the Times Literary Supplement and the 2006 Best New Poets anthology.

David Covey (lighting designer) is a professor of dance at Ohio State, where he conducts production, lighting, and compositional workshops. He served as the lighting director for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1997 to 1999, receiving a 1998 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for his lighting for BAM Events presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He traveled to Africa with the Jazz Tap Ensemble under the auspices of DanceMotion USA, presenting work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. This is his first collaboration with Ann Carlson, an artist he greatly admires.



Sean Becker is the assistant director of NNEMAP Food Pantry. He was destined for a life in social services. With a checkered past and a master's degree in public policy and management, he makes a living providing a top-notch client experience for pantry shoppers. His beautiful wife, Elizabeth Jewell Becker, and amazing kiddos Thomas and Katie make his life complete.

Michelle Moskowitz Brown is the executive director of Local Matters, where she focuses on food as a vehicle for personal change and community development. Her passion is fueled by her childhood experience of food insecurity and the loss of her brother to colon cancer when he was in his 20s.

Stacie Caruso is an elementary special education teacher in Upper Arlington who focuses on dyslexia and dyscalculia. Joined onstage by her eight-week-old son, Colton, she is also a volunteer babywearing educator and breastfeeding peer advocate.

Shelly Casto is fiercely committed to preparing family meals from scratch in her home life. In her professional life, she helped to bring two public fruit parks into existence in Weinland Park and South Columbus through a collaboration with contemporary art collective Fallen Fruit. She is also director of education at the Wexner Center!

Bill Dawson is the coordinator for the Growing to Green program at Franklin Park Conservatory, through which he has helped expand community gardens in Columbus from only a dozen to over 250 in just 18 years. Dawson has devoted his life to teaching others about his love of gardening and inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to grow food.

Larry Hammonds III is in the eighth grade at Arts IMPACT Middle School. He is a dancer who likes to do different kinds of dance and eat different foods. Hammonds trained with BalletMet for five years. He is excited to be a part of this project—and is especially looking forward to eating some food after the performance.

Carissa Hipsher is a mother to eight-month-old Clara and a PhD student at Ohio State specializing in environmental science.

Kate Hodges is a first-generation female farmer. As co-owner of certified organic farm Foraged & Sown, Hodges cultivates berries and herbs, discovers wild flavors, and processes and blends the farm’s herbs into teas, jams, and culinary salts. Baking Nisu (a Finnish coffee bread) for family and friends is her favorite way to connect to her food roots.

Kristen Holtvoigt is a unit chef at Ohio State and a volunteer urban farm volunteer for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Ever since she took her first cooking class at 13 years old, she knew her life would be driven by the desire to feed. Holtvoigt attended the Culinary Institute of America in 2009, specializing in baking and pastry arts. Currently, she is preparing to attend law school to pursue a career in environmental law and hopefully food policy in the future.

Lavinia Huang was born and raised in Chicago and is currently a first-year honors student at Ohio State studying psychology on a pre-med track with a minor in dance. She is part of Stylez Dance group, with whom she enjoys performing hip-hop at various events on campus.

Milan Karcic is a certified organic urban farmer. He feels it’s an honor to grow food for his community. He helps feed his neighbors, and they in turn help clothe and shelter him.

Kelsey Kempner is originally from Atlanta. She is an undergraduate senior at Ohio State pursuing a dual degree in dance and neuroscience. Kempner uses her background to research the connections between dance and the developing mind at the Nisonger Center. She is thrilled to share her passion for eating with the community.

Maya King was born and raised in Columbus. The great-granddaughter and granddaughter of farmers, she is also a mom of two. King recently moved into a house that will allow her to start a garden of her own for the first time.

Angela Latham is a lifelong Ohio resident who is passionate about the welfare of animals raised for food. She supports livestock farmers in her community who practice humane and sustainable production methods, and she also harvests wild game. As an avid turkey hunter, she is representing sportswomen in this performance.

Anna Legue is a sophomore at Ohio State studying human development and family sciences while minoring in dance and general psychology. Dancing for 15 years now, Legue is excited and grateful for the chance to perform in The Symphonic Body alongside fellow community food lovers.

Rick Livingston serves as the associate director of Ohio State’s Humanities Institute and teaches classes on American food cultures in the Department of Comparative Studies. He also sits on the executive committee of InFACT, which eats up time he could spend cooking.

Monique McCoy was born and raised in Columbus, working on her grandparents’ farm as a child. She is a food educator with Local Matters, working to introduce a healthy food curriculum to students and community members.

Ellen Moss is a Columbus native who has been the Godman Guild’s president and chief executive officer since 2011. Moss has also directed successful youth and adult education and employment programs at the Guild since 1997.

Paula Penn-Nabrit manages, along with her sons, the Charles Madison Nabrit Memorial Garden at the Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith—home to a congregation founded by formerly enslaved Africans in America. We fight “urban food apartheid” and sell what we grow at our onsite farmer’s market at only one dollar per pound.

Laura Neese is a dance artist and educator from Staten Island, NY, currently pursuing an MFA in dance at Ohio State. Her performing credits range from Jacob’s Pillow to the Today show to a pile of road salt. She’s still trying to find a favorite bagel place—any recommendations?

Judy Nolette volunteers at NNEMAP food pantry. Having grown up impoverished, she strives to help those in similar circumstances. Nolette spent most of her career in nonprofit healthcare to provide care for patients regardless of their ability to pay. Now in her retirement, she yearns to serve the hungry.

Ashanasti Sellers is a 10th-grade student at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center. She is interested in many forms of art, including dance and culinary arts, and leads an active lifestyle. She has been inspired by the Godman Guild’s T.E.E.N. afterschool program to take a closer look at whether her diet is healthy or not.

Amira Silver-Swartz is an amateur pie baker and all-around food enthusiast. She has also studied sign language and gesture at the University of California San Diego, focusing on performative gestures’ connections to lived experience and cultural identity. In The Symphonic Body, Silver-Swartz explores gestures and food practices relating to the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Rachel Tayse is first and foremost a dedicated seasonal eater. She has farmed organic produce as a co-owner of Foraged & Sown since 2015. Tayse educates, organizes, and advocates for small, sustainable farms with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, National Young Farmers Coalition, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

Ali Thompson is a second-time breastfeeding mom who has been nursing her current baby, Julian, for almost 13 months. She is passionate about empowering women and is excited to continue to end the stigma around nursing babies for longer than a year.

Archna Tobergte was born and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and moved to the US to study biology in college. She has three wonderful children—two of whom were born at home and included a breech birth! She breastfed her elder children well into their toddlerhood and is still nursing the youngest. In addition to advocating for breastfeeding, she believes that real, wholesome food during childhood sets the foundation for a healthy life.

Marcie Todd co-owns Freshtown Farm, an urban farm located on several lots in Columbus. Freshtown Farm’s produce can be found through their vegetable subscription service, at the farmer’s market, and in a local food pantry. She is stoked to show her farming moves on stage!

Mark Van Fleet runs Harriet Gardens, an urban farm located in Columbus. He grows beautiful chemical free vegetables, fruits, and herbs for farmer’s markets and local restaurants. Van Fleet worked in the exhibitions department at the Wexner Center for 10 years before leaving to start Harriet Gardens.

Noreen Warnock cofounded Local Matters in 2008 to create healthy communities through food education, access, and advocacy. Her mission has been to help people find solutions to both individual and community-wide food problems. Warnock also loves to dance, listen to music, and find treasures on walks with her granddaughters.

Laura Wallace is originally from Rochester, NY, and came to Columbus to attend college at Ohio State. An advocate for breastfeeding, she is mom to Russell, who is making his stage debut at 11 months old.

Toy Winbush

Pierre Wolfe has worked in the food industry his entire career. His varied professional experience covers all facets of the industry, from fast food to fine dining, as an employee and business owner. In this performance, he represents the marketing side of the profession as a broker-chef.