Katherine Kiefer Stark (Artistic Director / Managing Coordinator / Dancer) is a Philadelphia-based dance artist, educator, and the artistic director and founder of The Naked Stark. With The Naked Stark she builds complex dance works that take apart, redefine, and consider everyday experiences of people, ideas and social phenomenon. Katherine’s movement philosophy is founded on release-based movement techniques, which appreciate and make space for the uniqueness of each mover’s body, emphasize understanding initiations and pathways and are practiced through discovering how one’s own body moves within the movement.
Her work has been presented in Philadelphia and along the East Coast. Recently, DC’s Capital Fringe presented her full-length work The Importance of Normal which premiered in Philadelphia in the 2013 First Person Arts Festival RAW. In 2012, she received a Rocky Award, a peer-to-peer award for outstanding achievement in the greater Philadelphia dance community, for her work Looking for Judy. The Naked Stark has been supported by grants from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the University City District.
As a free-lance dancer, Stark has worked with a variety of choreographers including Luis Lara Malvacias, Eleanor Goudie-Averill/Stone Depot Dance Lab, Colleen Hooper, Jodi Obeid and Guillermo Ortega Tanus as well as collaborating with Loren Groenendaal and Marion Ramirez. Currently she dances with The Embodiment Project and Vervet Dance.
Katherine received her MFA in choreography from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and her BA in dance from Connecticut College. She has been a guest teacher at Muhlenberg College, University of Texas, El Paso, and Enloe High School. She is currently adjunct faculty at Stockton University, in the adjunct rotation at Bryn Mawr College, and teaching a professional drop-in-class at Mascher Space Cooperative where she is an Artist-in-Residence.
Marisa Illingworth (Dancer/Financial Coordinator), a recent graduate from The University of the Arts with a BFA in Dance, is a dance artist in Philadelphia, PA. Since graduating, she has taken great pleasure in performing for local artists such as Shannon Murphy, Meredith Stapleton, Haylee Warner, Sean Thomas Boyt and Katherine Kiefer Stark. She values a heightened sense of emotional, social, and political awareness in physical practice and in every day life, and is very excited to continue learning, questioning, and collaborating with fellow artists in Philadelphia.
Chloe Marie Newton (Dancer), is a visual artist from California. She currently resides in Philadelphia where she received her BFA in dance from the University of the Arts in May 2017. Chloe is currently interested in creating collaborative work in hopes to translate the powerful personal histories each individual carries and how important it is to use art to navigate life.
Harlee Trautman (Dancer), is a movement artist and sculptor currently residing in Philadelphia, PA, though most of her artistic career has been spent in Southern Louisiana, where she received her BFA in Sculpture. Since arriving in Philadelphia, Harlee has had the opportunity to work professionally with Opera Philadelphia, Asya Zlatina & Dancers, The Naked Stark, and with several local artists including Meredith Stapleton, Mary-Carmen Webb, Raphael Xavier, Annielille Kollman, and Melissa Rector. Harlee's most recent work has been showcased at the Iron Factory(Philadelphia), Tattooed Mom's(Philadelphia), Grounds for Sculpture(Hamilton, NJ), as well as on display at the Philadelphia International Airport's D terminal.
Ajibola Rivers (Musician) is a cellist, composer songwriter, and arranger from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. He is an accomplished and eclectic artist, performing regularly with an assortment of musicians from many different genres. Now graduated from the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple experimentation. Most recently these investigations have led to a series of questions about the role of art and the artist in our society. These questions have been answered in a number of ways, including artist fellowships working in underserved communities, and intercultural events throughout the tristate area.
Miryam Coppersmith (Marketing Coordinator) is a writer, performer, and educator. She received a BA in Dance and Creative Writing from Oberlin College. In Philadelphia, Miryam writes for thinkingdance.net and teaches blues dance with Powerhouse Blues. Some of Miryam's favorite projects include her dance-theater piece Render, Nicole Bindler's improvisational Blood, Sea and her young adult novel, The Necrarian, co-written with Clare Kent. miryamcoppersmith.com