Photos and quotes from BIMA participants.
The BIMA arts faculty is comprised of professional artists who have demonstrated excellence in their fields and have a strong interest in and connection to Judaism. Each arts major is led by an accomplished professional artist who is assisted by an intern. The arts faculty is experienced at helping participants hone their skills and explore who they are as artists.
Mica was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, started her dance training at the age of 7 under Christina Bichara School. She then received full scholarship from the Cultural Center of the Philippines Dance School (CCPDS) in 1992 to study ballet, modern and other techniques under the tutelage of Noordin Jumalon, Victor Ursabia, and Camille Ordinario. She was promoted to company apprentice and steadily rose to become a soloist performing major roles in Ballet Philippines (BP) productions of Nutcracker, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Darna to name a few. She has worked with acclaimed Filipino choreographers like Agnes Locsin, Denisa Reyes, Tony Fabella, Alden Lugnasin, Novy Bereber and toured with BP to Hong Kong, Japan, China and Cambodia. Mica was also chosen to participate in the ASEAN production of REALIZING RAMA in 2003 and 2006. As a regular faculty member of the CCP Dance School, she taught beginner to advanced levels of ballet, modern and creative movement and was often invited to choreograph for the summer dance showcase. Her piece BELO ME OVER was featured in BP's Young Choreographers Showcase in 2005. Since moving to New York in 2006, Mica has worked with Max Luna III, Connecticut Ballet, Zig Zag Ballet, H.T. Chen & Dancers, White Wave Dance, Leonides Arpon and Gallim Dance. She has taught modern technique classes for Dance Theater of Tennessee, Life Dance Company, and Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company. She has also been working with Marta Renzi, choreographer and filmmaker for COTTONWOOD, MY FERAL VALENTINE and THOSE DAYS. Mica's dancing has been screened at dance film festivals from Italy, Brazil, Spain, Argentina to the Netherlands. In the fall of 2009, she made her New York debut as a choreographer presenting her works PINA and YOU START, I FINISH in a YangTze Repertory Production entitled TRACES. She has been a member of the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company since 2007 and holds a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Communications. Mica joined the BIMA faculty in 2011. http://cddc.info/company/company-bios/mica-bernas
Caroll Goldberg: Choral
A noted choral conductor and musical arranger, Caroll has directed Jewish choirs of children, teens, and adults both here in the U.S. and abroad. Her choirs have appeared at such venues as New York City's Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, and Madison Square Garden, in addition to performing at the International Arts Expo and the North Americanand New England Jewish Choral Festivals. She has also conducted at the White House under President George W. Bush, in Italy, and in Israel, and with such diverse artists as Marvin Hamlisch, Dudu Fisher, Shlomo Gronich and Shlomo Carlebach. She has been invited to give workshops throughout the country on choral techniques and on Jewish music and was instrumental in the creation of Hazamir, the National Jewish High School Choir. Her choral arrangements have been performed by choirs around the country and she is the author ofL'Yisrael Mizmor, A guide to Israeli Folksong, in it's second printing.As a member of the Zamir Chorale of New York and guest performer with Boston Zamir, Caroll toured Eastern Europe, Italy and Israel performing a broad spectrum of choral works in Italian, Polish, Czech, Hebrew and Yiddish.
Caroll is currently involved primarily in Musical Theater at the Ramaz Upper School in Manhattan, where she is Director of Performing Arts Emeritus, having served there for over thirty years, and earning the coveted 'Educator of the Year' award in 2008. Over the years she has produced 5 CDs with her choirs at Ramaz and has expanded and enhanced the music program there to lead as example for other Jewish Day Schools around the country. Caroll also spends one month a year as choral and musical theater advisor at the Tehila School in Jerusalem. Caroll joined the BIMA faculty in 2008.
Asia Meirovich: Instrumental
Asia Meirovich is a pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger and producer. A versatile musician, she has garnered experience in many different spectrums of the music world. Her studio production credits include Bruce Springsteen, Moby, John Wesley Harding. She has written string arrangements for Annie Gallup, Pioneers for a Cure (produced by fellow BIMA faculty, Greg Wall), John Wesley Harding, and various indie artists from the New York area. Over the years, Asia has developed an impressive reel of compositions ranging from orchestral to electronic, with her choral and string pieces performed in the New York area and tracks commissioned by music libraries. While in NY, Asia sang with the New York Choral Society in Carnegie Hall and with Andres Buccelli and directed the bands of the Ramaz school.
Jessie Reagen Mann: Instrumental
A Chicagoland native, cellist Jessie Reagen Mann is based in New York City and involved with a variety of musical projects. In May 2010, Jessie received the Outstanding Musical Achievement Award from the Max Reger Foundation of America. Later that month, she joined Beyonce at the White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon and First Lady Margarita Zavala. Jessie can often be heard in various Broadway musicals, and has recently performed with Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Nas, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Adele, William Joseph, tap dancer Savion Glover, Natalie Merchant, Anat Cohen, Mike Errico and Artemis Chamber Players among other rising stars and singer/songwriters.
Performing weekly on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Jessie is a Musician-in-Residence at Congregation B’nai Jeshuran. She is also cellist of the internationally touring genre-bending ensemble DBR & The Mission. 2VC, a cello duo project started with Gene Carr is dedicated to expanding the repertoire for 2 cellos. 2VC prides itself on highlighting some of the most talented composers living today.
In addition to performing, Jessie created and curates a salon style world and classical music series in the East Village known as “6th Street Sundays.” This series was started in 2009 and prides itself on affordable concert tickets that include a workshop or master class before each performance.
This past season Jessie composed her first original piece for "Hourglass" choreographed by the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company. Her collaboration with fellow BIMA faculty Mica Bernas will be performed at BIMA this summer.
Jessie has recorded for Naxos American Classics, RCA Black Seal, Red Ink, Roc-A-Fella, Bridge, Domino and Manifest Spirit Records as well as the Pioneers for a Cure project. Commonly seen on TV, Jessie has made appearances on Gossip Girls, SNL, TRL, The View, Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today Show, Soundstage, Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting and the Martha Stewart Show.
Jessie is currently on faculty at the United Nations International School in Manhattan. She joined the BIMA faculty in 2007. www.cellochic.com
Greg Wall: Jazz
Saxophonist and clarinetist Rabbi Greg Wall grew up in the Boston area, and attended the New England Conservatory of Music in the late seventies, before settling in the New york area. Greg has performed and recorded with Hasidic New Wave, Klezmerfest, Later Prophets, Kenny Barron, Shlomo Carlebach, Eli Kranzler, Neshama Carlebach, Bill Frisell, Billy Hart, Dave’s True Story, The Wall/London Band, the Hi-Tops, the Piamenta Band, Greg Wall's Unity Orchestra, and has made many session appearances for record dates and film scores. He was the musical voice of James Earl Jones in the recent feature film "On the QT". Greg is the producer for the innovative Pioneers For a Cure project (pioneerproducer.blogspot.com)
Writing in Jazz Forum magazine Robert Buczek said, "Wall plays incredibly; his improvisations are well constructed and convincing." The Cleveland Plain Dealer adds, "He plays with a consistent power and imagination." His compositions for dance, jazz orchestra, and electronica have been widely performed and recorded.
His critically acclaimed release, "From the Belly of Abraham", with Hasidic New Wave (with whom he has released 5 recordings) and Senegalese master drummers Yakar Rhythms was named one of the ten best CD's of 2002 by Jazz Times magazine. Greg performs frequently at top venues throughout North America and Europe and has been featured at many major festivals. Greg is equally fluent in the jazz and world music idioms and recently premiered his Unity Orchestra, a pan cultural ensemble featuring 8 musicians from 5 continents.
Greg has collaborated with the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company since 1999 resulting in the commissioned scores for "Mayne Mentshen" (2001), "Echad" (2002), "Love Lines" (2003), and "Oddisea" (2004). He is currently working on an original score for her newest work, 'Tikkun', to be premeired in May, 2009.
Greg's latest release, "Ha'Orot-The Lights of Rav Kook", was just released on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Other recent releases include "Later Prophets", "Mystic Autumn" with the New American Jazz Quartet, Aaron Alexander's "Midrash Mishmosh", "Ani Shelach", with Neshama Carlebach, "Unauthorized’, with Dave’s True Story, KlezmerFest's "Party Music", Aaron Alexander's "Blues for Sparky", and the score to "Mayne Mentshen".
Greg was a founding member of the BIMA arts faculty and has been at BIMA since 2004. www.gregwall.com
Jason Slavick is a the Artistic Director of Liars and Believers, an experimental theatre company based in Boston that creates original multi-disciplinary performances. He recently wrote and directed Le Cabaret Grimm a punk cabaret fairy tale. Jason has worked as a director, writer and teacher in and around Boston for the past ten years. Previously he wrote Heaven & Hell: The Fantastical Temptation of the 7 Deadly Sins, based the album by Joe Jackson, which was presented in 2007. Jason was a company member of Boston Theatre Works and directed at The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, The New Theatre, The Stanley B. Theatre, The Left Bank Theatre in Tel Aviv and The Second Hand Independent Theatre in Philadelphia, The Boston Conservatory and Harvard. He has directed numerous classical and new plays, as well as his own original works, including Shakespeare's Othello, Macbeth, Antony & Cleopatra, The Tempest and Hamlet, Emily Mann's Meshugah, as well as works by Brecht, Chekhov, Beckett, Joyce Carol Oates, and many others.
Jason’s original works include Le Cabaret Grimm, Heaven & Hell: The Fantastical Temptation of the 7 Deadly Sins, J: A One-Act Improvised Tragi-Comedy, The Dancing Bear, The Golem, Icaphish, and Alice: A Grotesque Turn in Twelve Scenes. Jason is currently at work on a new play based on The Song of Songs which he first developed at BIMA in the summer of 2009.
The visual world is on constant broadcast. Images from everywhere are exceedingly available. The whole planet can exist on a page. Not only exist but also carry on a conversation. Ellen's work is about these conversations. Microscopic, historical, satellite, and computer imagery overlay texture, objects, drawings, and prints. The result reflects our times: clarity and harmony mixed with layers of information, unanswered questions and mystery. Ellen Alt was born in Buffalo, New York in 1954. She received an M.A. in studio art from New York University and a B.F.A. in art education from the College of Art in Boston. Ellen's main artistic expressions are mixed media, collage and assemblage. She has exhibited in the United States, Israel, Germany, England, Russia, and China. She currently lives in New York City. Ellen joined the BIMA faculty in 2007. www.ellenalt.com
Tirtzah is an Israeli artist currently living and working in New York. She works in oil, intaglio and digital sketch apps. Tirtzah studied drawing and painting at the Jerusalem Studio School in Israel and is a graduate of the Boston University MFA Program. Her work has been exhibited in Israel, Europe and the United States. Tirtzah teaches visual art at the 92nd Street Y in New York, she is LABA Fellow at the 14th Street Y in New York, and a resident artist at the Chashama Visual Arts Program in Brooklyn, New York. Tirtzah joined the BIMA faculty in 2009. www.tirtzahbassel.com
Jon was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. His first collection of short stories The Ascent of Eli Israel was published by Arcade Publishing in 2002. The New York Times wrote: "There is a muscular certainty to the best of Papernick's stories that is altogether harrowing. Papernick's penetrating clear-sighted stories ring true."
Jon has taught writing at the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University, Pratt Institute, Boston University and Grub Street Writers, Boston's Independent Creative Writing Center. He has been the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University, and the Visiting Writer-in Residence at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. He currently teaches fiction writing at Emerson College, and lives outside Boston with his wife and two sons. Jon joined the BIMA faculty in 2007. www.jonpapernick.com