In our inaugural year, Women Choreographers of the Pacific Northwest took great care in hand-selecting four exceptional choreographers to showcase their talent: Amy Leona Havin, Eva Stone, Makino Hayashi, and Sweta Ravisankar each bring a unique perspective and style to the stage. WCPNW is proud to present these accomplished artists as trailblazers in our inaugural showcase as well as four dance films with women choreographers!
Join us May 16th - 19th at New Expressive Works in Portland, Oregon.
The Choreographers
Sweta Ravisankar
Sweta Ravisankar began her journey in this art form nearly three decades ago. A Bharatanatyam  and Nattuvangam (cymbals) performing artist, teacher, and choreographer, Sweta holds a Masters degree in Bharatanatyam. She excels as a solo artist, and she performs as a freelance with various dance companies. As the Artistic Director of Sarada Kala Nilayam (SKN), a performing arts organization dedicated to inspiring creativity in all students and audiences since its inception in 2012, Sweta provides training for beginner youth as well as adult artists who are now growing into serious cultural arts practitioners. 
Sweta strives to present dance as a mode of communication, and create a sense of community both within the organization and in the larger community through extensive outreach efforts and performances in the US and India. 
Apart from the traditional dances of Bharatanatyam, Sweta has performed socially engaging, emotive, and rhythmic contemporary pieces at community engagement festivals throughout the West Coast of the US. Some of the themes taken up by Sweta, either as a solo or an SKN production are depression, community building during the pandemic, the joy of dancing, rhythmic expression, and the principles of learning. Sweta and SKN have affiliations in the PNW with the Walters Cultural Arts Center, The City of Hillsboro, Beaverton Ten Tiny Dances, New Expressive Works, Push/Fold, Vancouver Arts and Music Festival, Classical Chamber Recitals, Portland’s Inaugural South Asian American Arts Festival, and My People’s Market Festival. 
She continues to train under her Gurus, Smt. Padmini Radhakrishnan and Smt. Roja Kannan. Check out #thalamthursdays on Instagram to see her unique rhythmic interpretations!
Photo by Roop Chandwani 

Eva Stone
Eva Stone received a BFA in Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University. After completing a Master of Arts degree in Choreography and Choreological Studies from the Laban Centre in London, England, she formed The Stone Dance Collective. Eva relocated to Seattle in 1995, re-established her company, and began an extensive teaching and lecturing career throughout the Pacific Northwest and the US. She is currently on faculty at Pacific Northwest Ballet School where she initiated New Voices: Choreography and Process for Young Women in Dance, a nationally recognized program specifically designed to educate and mentor the next generation of female choreographers. Eva was awarded a choreographic residency for the National Choreographers Initiative at UC Irvine and the UNCSA Choreographic Institute. Since 2009, Eva has been annually invited as guest faculty and commissioned choreographer for The Ballet Alliance Dance Festival.
In 2019 Eva created F O I L, a mainstage work commissioned by Pacific Northwest Ballet with excerpts presented as part of PNB’s 20/21 Digital Season and the Ballet Sun Valley Dance Festival.  Eva’s work has been commissioned by Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle International Dance Festival, Eugene Ballet, and by dance companies across the US. Her other projects include assisting Donald Byrd for the Seattle Opera production of Aida and choreographing over 25 award-winning musical theatre productions. Most recently, Eva was commissioned by Olympic Ballet Theatre for their 23/24 season.
Eva is also the founder, producer, and curator of CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work, an annual contemporary dance festival that features local, national, and international dance artists as well as classes, lectures, and community-based programs. 
Photo by Lindsay Thomas
Makino Hayashi
Makino Hayashi is a choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker based in Portland, OR. She was born in Kumamoto, Japan where she began ballet at Kumamoto Ballet Studio at the age of nine. She moved to the U.S. when she was nineteen years old and danced professionally with Colorado Ballet from 2002-2008. She has guested with several companies in the U.S. and Japan, and danced with Oregon Ballet Theatre from 2010-2023. Makino has performed in primarily soloist and principal roles in her dance career. She has been choreographing professionally and teaching ballet and contemporary dance for all levels since 2013.
Her choreographic work Black Earth was created for Hunter Noack’s 'In a landscape’ Classical Music in the Wild throughout the state of Oregon. Also, Black Earth was performed at choreographer competition 'SzólóDuó’ in Budapest, Hungary in 2020. She choreographed KIZUNA for ‘Ten Tiny Community Healing Dances' for the city arts program in Portland OR in 2021. What do you see... was originally choreographed for ‘OBT Closer’ in 2018 and performed again for ‘Union PDX' in 2022 in Portland OR. Inside Voice was choreographed for Boulder Ballet ‘New Moves’ and world premiered in Boulder, CO in February 2023. She choreographed Seven Wonder for ‘Oregon Origins Project II’ in Portland OR in May 2023. The Rose was choreographed for Oregon Ballet Theatre ‘Made in Portland’ and made its world premiere in Portland, OR in June 2023. Footprints was created for Inspire Dance Center’s  group competition entry in 2024. She is currently choreographing a new piece for Oregon Ballet Theatre’s  ‘Made in Portland’ which will make its world premiere in June 2024.
Her film Beauty in the Nature was a part of the 2018 ‘VIDEOSKIN’ film festival in Yukon Canada, ‘2019 Lady Filmmakers Festival’ in Beverly Hills, CA and ‘Moving Images videodance festival’ in 2021. Beauty in you was a part of the ‘BB Dance Film Fest’ in Boulder, CO in 2022. And The Massage 2022 was a part of the ‘Artists Climate Collective’ Art 2 Action in 2022.
Amy Leona Havin
Amy Leona Havin is a choreographer, writer, and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. She began her dance training with Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company’s Gaga Movement Language and studied with Southern California’s Royal Dance Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Seattle conservatory Cornish College of the Arts and founded Portland dance company The Holding Project in 2015, with whom she has premiered various full-length performances and dance films showcased internationally. Havin is also a writer and arts journalist with The Oregonian/OregonLive and Oregon ArtsWatch.
Photo by Adam Cedar Nafziger
Carlyn Hudson
Carlyn Hudson is a choreographer based in Portland, OR. originally hailing from Nyack, New York. Her early dance education focused in Classical Ballet and Jazz, before studying at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2008.
Carlyn performed as a member of the Connecticut Ballet for two years prior to relocating to Portland, Oregon. Once in Oregon she co-founded SubRosa Dance Collective and then, in 2017, began producing work independently.
Carlyn’s work is based in ballet technique. It’s intricate but clear, and has been described as having a “dash of humor noir in a creamy base of impeccable musicality”. She has set work at Northwest colleges and universities, in addition to theater productions in Chicago, IL, and has been presented at Connecticut Ballet’s Under The Stars, Unveiled Dance Festival, Pacific Dance Makers, Chop Shop Contemporary Dance Festival, Union PDX Festival of Contemporary Dance, and the Ballet Alliance Festival among others.

Carlyn continues to educate students in classical ballet and pointe technique in both Washington and Oregon states while producing original works of contemporary dance.
Photo by Kailee McMurran
Dance Films
I Will Remember What I Forgot by Heidi Duckler
What happens internally when we suffer in silence? The most difficult step in mental health recovery is asking for help. This film follows a person's journey from walking in the door to his recognition of who he is.
Heidi Duckler is the founder and artistic director of Heidi Duckler Dance in Los Angeles, California and Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Titled the “reigning queen of site-specific performance” by the LA Times, Duckler is a pioneer of place-based contemporary practice. Her methodology emphasizes how dance, born from individual experience, can be a tool for awareness.
Signal by Heather Hindes
To make a fire you need 3 things:
Isolated in the desert, something is created out of nothing. SIGNAL was made in research between the creative habit and the elemental symbol of fire and its many images. We burn away our bonds from old forms and ideals and stagnancy. This film is a spell cast to help us all break our self limiting bonds and remember to lean on each other, and continue to inspire each other to keep walking forward. To keep burning.
Heather Hindes is a professional dancer and choreographer originally from St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Lindenwood University with a BA in Dance--training in Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Jazz, and Tap. Heather’s artistic studies spread to set design, lighting, theater, fashion, violin performance, and film. She started working with several independent choreographers and a site specific company called Leverage Dance Theater. After moving to Portland in 2016, Heather began dancing with The Holding Project and collaborating on dance films with various artists. In 2022 she toured to Mexico City with push/FOLD dance company performing at the International Contemporary Dance festival of Mexico City. Hindes is STOTT Pilates certified and currently teaches private and group classes at Pacific Northwest Pilates and Rebel Fit Club. Her current research involves the integration of dance, live music, and film.
Confluence by Suzanne Haag
Confluence began as a tribute to Eugene, Oregon and the beautiful outdoor spaces in and around the city. The title is a reference to Eugene being situated on the confluence of the Willamette and Mackenzie rivers. Like two rivers flowing together, the dance and editing was designed to blend the bodies of the dancers together. While the dancers often are alone, they are constantly pulled back to one another as though drawn by an external compass pointing them home.
Suzanne Haag (she/her) is the Resident Choreographer of Eugene Ballet, co-founder of #instaballet, and frequent collaborator with videographer Katherine Frizzell of Gravy Media. She has also created/presented work for the National Choreographer’s Initiative, The McCallum Theatre, The New York Choreographic Institute, Dance Lab NY, Dance in the Parks (Chicago), the Eugene Opera, UNCSA, TCU and the University of Utah. Haag was a 2019 recipient of the New York Choreographic Institute’s Commission Initiative award, the 2019 Oregon Arts Commission’s Joan Shipley Fellowship, and a 2022 Lane Arts Council Artist Grant for her screendance, Confluence.

i am woman by Kailee McMurran
Kailee McMurran is a Portland-based multi-disciplinary artist with one foot in dance & dance film and the other in graphic design & stationery. Her current exploits include Portland Dance Film Fest, Women Choreographers of the Pacific Northwest, and Selkie Stationery.
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