MOTUS O DANCE THEATRE

ARTISTIC DIRECTORS

Cynthia Croker

Cynthia grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota studying all forms of dance ranging from ballet and jazz to tap dancing on dinner plates.  She trained professionally in voice, flute and gymnastics as well performed in many musical theatre productions.  After studying vocal education at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota she came to Canada and joined the staff of the Academy of Performing Arts School (Cambridge, Ontario) where she taught master classes in jazz dance, voice and flute and directed numerous productions internationally.  Cynthia is a Co-Founder of MOTUS O as well as holds the positions of Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer, Performer, Teacher and Costume Designer.  She has created over 60 original works for the company and has toured with them throughout England, the U.S.A. and Canada.  Cynthia is an artist in residence with the Banff Centre in their Leadership Development Program. She also teaches movement with various social service organizations including individuals with Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, Hospice, Autism and Aphasia. As well, Cynthia is an artist with the Artist in Residence program for School Boards in Ontario; partnering with teachers to include innovative dance programs in their schools.

Jack Langenhuizen

A former national figure skater, Jack began, at the age of 18, his training in dance at Toronto's Roland and Romaine Dance School, including jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre and ballroom.  After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree he joined the Academy of Performing Arts School (Cambridge, Ontario) where he taught and continued his studies in dance now including modern and contact improvisation.  He also toured with the Academy’s dance school in Europe, Central America and throughout North America.  In 1990 Jack co-founded MOTUS O as well as took the roles of General Manager, Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer, Performer and Teacher.  Jack has created over 60 original works for MOTUS O and has toured and taught with them throughout England, Australia, U.S.A. and Canada.  Jack also works as a faculty member at the Banff Centre in Alberta in their Leadership Development Program as well as with various social service organizations including individuals with Aphasia, Autism and those involved in Hospice.

James Croker

Originally a sheep shearer from Australia, James came to Canada to study dance, theatre and mime at Guelph University, Guelph Ontario, and the former Academy of Performing Arts School in Cambridge, Ontario.  James worked for the Academy for over a decade, creating and performing productions in China, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.  Eventually James became the arts school director, teaching and training international young people in dance, theatre and mime.  In 1990 James began his own company MOTUS O and has since been working the roles of Co-Artistic Director as well as Choreographer, Performer, Set and Prop Designer.  James also is a teacher in dance and theatre with repeated teaching assignments in various Ontario High Schools in their drama programs as well as leads workshops for individuals with Aphasia, Autism and those in Hospice.  He has created over 60 original works for the company and has toured them throughout England, Australia, the U.S.A. and Canada.

LAURA DAY

Born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, Laura started dancing at the age of 3.  She trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and lyrical at the Academy of Dance in Waterloo Ontario until the age of 18.  In 2007, Laura graduated from York University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in Dance with honours.  While at York, Laura had the opportunity to work with and perform choreographic works by David Earle, Carol Anderson, Holly Small and Susan Cash.  She has also had the pleasure of being taught by world-renowned artists such as Frank Augustyn, Veronica Tennant, and Robert Desrosiers and has studied classical ballet at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.  Laura has danced with MOTUS O dance theatre for 9 seasons performing in their productions Carmina Burana, Perspectives, What the Heck, Petrouchka, Variations in Love, A Christmas Carol, Circus Terrifico, A Little Match Girl, The Shunning, A Fair Tale, Animal Tales, The Best of MOTUS O ~ 25th Anniversary Tour and One Hit Wonders.

STAVROS SOULIOUS

Stavros Soulios holds a Specialized Honours in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto.  Upon completion he furthered his studies at ICT Kikkawa College in Toronto graduating in 2002 with Honours in Massage Therapy and Acupressure with a specialization in Suikodo and Myofacial Release.  He is also a Certified Reflexologist from the Ontario College of Reflexology and has completed his training in Advance Orthotic and Compression Stocking Therapy.  He later served for the Hellenic Military Infantry division as a Private and Military Police Officer.

 

Stavros has worked in many multi-disciplinary clinics in Ontario and Greece.  The most memorable was being head therapist and trainer for a 2nd Division Soccer team Olympiakos Ioanninon in Epiros, Greece.  He returned to Canada and set up practice with the Acu-Pain Clinic.  He is currently one of a handful of RMT’s in Ontario that is a member of HCAI (Health Claims for Auto Insurance) and WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board); thereby being able to directly take care of any Motor Vehicle or Workplace Injuries.  His love for sport and athletics has allowed him to have under his primary care many professional athletes from the OHL, OSA, NHRA, Olympic hopefuls and the MOTUSO Dance Theatre www.motuso.com. In a few words Stavros has what it takes to take care of your musculo-skeletal injuries.

DAN SOBOLEV

Dan offers 9+ years of professional experience transforming complex problems into elegant design solutions. He excels in conceptualizing and executing the visual design of websites, interfaces, brand identities and print collateral with a systematic approach to creativity.  For the past 3 years Dan has worked with MOTUS O assisting in the company’s graphic designs.

MARIANA MANGEVIL ALVAREZ

Originally from Mexico City, Mariana studied at the Academia de la Danza Mexicana INBA (NATIONAL INSTITUTION OF FINE ARTS IN MEXICO) between the years of 1995 and 2002.  During this period of time she won numerous awards including a Bronze Medal at the IV National Ballet competition in Mexico City (1999), a Silver Medal at the VVI National Ballet Competition in Mexico (2001 and 2002) and a Gold Medal at the XXI International Ballet Competition in Merida Yucatan, Mexico (2002).  In 2001 she also participated in The Grand Prix de Lausanne, Lausanne Switzerland. From 2002 to 2008 Mariana danced with The National Ballet Company of Mexico. Now living in Canada, Mariana currently dances with MOTUS O dance theatre in their productions of Perspectives, A Christmas Carol and The Little Match Girl- Revisited.

JUSTIN CROKER

Justin Croker has in some ways always been working with MOTUS O.  Son of the company’s co-founders, James and Cynthia Croker, Justin was surrounded by the performance world since he was born. Growing into a talented visual artist he inadvertently began supporting the company with his versatile skills ranging from costume and prop/set construction, poster designs, video editing and now stage management.  Justin has been a professional DJ and Event Producer for the past 8 years. Working over 100 events annually his DJ work extends into clubs, weddings and corporate events. Notable gigs include the Bill Clinton Foundation (Toronto), Roberto Alomar’s Wedding (Toronto) and numerous other NHL events including the Toronto Maple Leafs Official Playoff launch in 2013 (Toronto).  When Justin isn't Disc Jockeying or working with MOTUS O, you will find him skateboarding in your local neighbourhood or tucked away in a studio working on new visual art projects.

BEN EMBIRICOS

Ben joined Motus O as the Educational Coordinator in January 2017. He works with educators to help bring Motus O’s work into their schools.

He grew up in Wales before attending Oxford University and then going on to practice law in England for ten years. He developed particular legal expertise in copyright law and branding issues whilst working at two business law firms in London and then at a music royalty collecting organization.

He moved to Canada in 2005 since which time he has been a part time freelance writer whilst looking after his three children and volunteering with a wide variety of children’s organisations (school, school council, sports clubs, church and assisting ESL students with school board liaison).

Ben is excited to be working with Motus O having seen first hand how their work in schools can enrich the education of children and youth in so many ways.

 

DANIELLA ZAPPALA

Daniella's love of dance and musical theatre began, at the age of six, in her hometown of Richmond Hill, Ontario. Here she trained in RAD ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre and Spanish dancing.  Upon graduating from the Arts York Drama-Intensive Program at Unionville High School, she furthered her studies in the Theatre-Dance program at Ryerson University where she had the pleasure of being taught by Nadia Potts and Stelio Calagias. Daniella continued her professional training in a Summer Intensive Program at Millennium Dance Complex in LA, California where she had the privilege of taking master classes by Shane Sparks and Brian Friedman.  In the summer of 2012, Daniella had the opportunity to study dance and performance with Disney Theatrical Productions, in NYC. Here she took master classes from the Disney team and Intensive classes from Judine Somerville, which led to a performance on the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway! In addition to being an experienced performer, choreographer, teacher and director, Daniella has worked for the York Region District School Board, teaching drama, dance and voice to students in Grades 3-12.  In 2002-2004, Daniella co-owned and directed a Performing Arts School, Centre-Line Productions.

 

Currently, Daniella is teaching and dancing professionally with Motus O Dance Theatre and has performed in productions such as 'One Hit Wonders', 'A Christmas Carol', 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'What the Heck?'.   She is also singing and performing professionally with vocal trio, Skylark.

TRAVIS STOCKING

Travis Stocking is the founder of Draught Horse Productions. He is a Graduate of Capilano University in North Vancouver. He was Head Carpenter and Technical Director for the eight shows the theatre program put on. During the summers of his school years he was Site Carpenter for ‘Bard on the Beach’ A Shakespeare festival in Vancouver. Since moving Back to Ontario in 2009 he has co-produced, co- desinged and done tech design and production on three shows with Diana Lopez-Soto. “Textiles, Textures , and Fairy Tales”, “Pueblo” and “DreamCatcher”. When Travis isn’t producing shows he is working on his families’ organic farm Willo’ Wind.

PETRA BLENKHORNE

Petra is delighted to be rejoining Motus O in its 25th year! Challenge accepted!

When she's not on the road with the troupe, Petra can be found relishing the variety in her life ... strength training clients, dressing ladies at Zahara's Boutique, sewing something, or tending someone's garden...  Otherwise, she's trying to connect with (and feed) her teenage boys. Heartfelt thanks to Ted, for releasing me to fly again (I promise to come back!) and my mom, siblings and friends for your incredibly kind home support.

 

TREVOR COPP

TREVOR COPP (Lecturer, Physical Theatre) is the founder and artistic director of Tottering Biped Theatre (TBT) of Burlington, Ontario, Canada. He completed his Theatre Studies Honours at U of Waterloo, his Masters at U of Guelph, and Mime at the Marcel Marceau School in Paris.

Trevor co-created TBT’s First Dance, The Second Life, Air; and MT Space’s The Last 15 Seconds, and Body 13. These shows performed at the Theatre Passe Muraille, Grand Theatre and Theatre Aquarius seasons, the IMPACT ’09/11/13/15, Magnetic North, and Canoe Festivals; national tours, and a tour of the Middle East and Albania. As an actor, is/was a resident artist with Theatre & Company, Motus O Dance Theatre, MT Space, and Theatre Beyond Words.

 

Trevor is also a regional American Style Latin Champion, Mime, and contact improvisation practitioner. He has taught/coached physical theatre for the Shaw Festival, CanStage/Studio 180, Theatre Beyond Words, Showboat Festival Theatre, Pat the Dog Playwright Centre, The Iberoamerican Festival in Bogota, and the University Theatre Departments of Guelph, Waterloo, and McMaster University.

 

 

JEFF YOUNG

Jeff is a veteran high school teacher responsible for designing and implementing the Arts York Intensive Arts Program for the York Region Board of Education.  In 2007, Jeff combined his love for photography and his commitment to teaching by creating the African not-for-profit project “Village Galleries” which took a team of 8 educators/photographers to Tanzania to teach digital storytelling to 500 Maasai villagers.  Following this experience Jeff became the Project Manager for “In My Own Eyes” which taught digital storytelling to 7 First Nations communities in Ontario, resulting in 55 young people telling their photo-stories on the Internet and in a traveling photography display.  Current projects now include designing and creating video promos and digital storytelling reels for The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, York Region Autism, Meals on Wheels and working alongside MOTUS O with the March of Dimes for groups with Aphasia and Acquired Brain Injuries.

THE COMPANY