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Just a Shadow

Megan Lowe Dances - Just a Shadow - Dancers AJ Gardner and Megan Lowe - Photo by RJ Muna.j

AJ Gardner

AJ “Dopey Fresh” Gardner (he/him) is a Turf dancer/teacher, born and raised in San Francisco. He’s won many all styles jams and dance tournaments. In the entertainment industry, he’s worked with Mikey Disco from Knuckle Neck Tribe, Sony, Men’s Wearhouse, Trademark Inc, Souls of Mischief, E-40, Kanye West, Schoolboy Q, YG, and H.E.R. Dopey was the first Black Turf dancer to be featured on an SF billboard. Over the years, Dopey Fresh has shared his talents by teaching adult classes at City Dance Studio (first Black Turf dance instructor) and by teaching 1st graders at an all-Black, Oakland after-school program for 4 years under the Ujimaa Foundation. You can find him today throwing dance battles as CEO of UNKNOWN CHAMBERS and with his dance group UNKNOWN. AJ and Megan first worked together in 2023 with Mud Water Turf Theatre. This is his first project with MLD.

Photo by: RJ Muna

Sonsherée Giles

Sonsherée Giles

Sonsherée Giles (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and costume designer. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she moved to the SF Bay Area to attend Mills College and received an MFA in performance/choreography. She enjoys making dances based on observations of animals, landscapes, art history, and daily life. From 2005-2021, she worked for AXIS Dance Company as a performing/ teaching artist, rehearsal director and associate director. She has shared her choreography, taught dance and performed for audiences in the United States, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Russia, Scotland, Canada, China, and Japan. Sonsherée received an Izzie Award for ensemble performance, and a Homer Avila Award for Excellence in the field of integrated dance. Sonsherée and Megan have been co-creating dances together since 2016.

Photo by: RJ Muna

Joshua Icban

Josh Icban (he/him) is a proud son of Vallejo, CA, and has had the privilege to work with a wide array of prestigious talents and organizations such as Grammy winner Fantastic Negrito, the San Francisco Symphony orchestra with Micheal Tilson Thomas, KULARTS under the direction of SFAC Legacy Artist Alleluia Panis, and Oakland Hip Hop Collective Grand Nationxl. Josh's original works have been showcased in spaces such as CounterPulse, the Asian Art Museum, Bindlestiff Studios, Dance Mission, and Fringe Manila Arts Festival in the Philippines. Josh was a recent artist in the 2023 United States of Asian America festival and is currently a California Arts Council and Youth Speaks Emerging Artist Fellow. Josh and Megan first worked together in 2022 for HOME(in)STEAD. This is his first project with Megan Lowe Dances.

Photo by: RJ Muna

Megan Lowe Dances - Just a Shadow - Dancers Frances Teves Sedayao and Megan Lowe - Photo b

Frances Teves Sedayao

Frances Teves Sedayao (sya/she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist and performer. She has performed with many Bay Area notables in the US and abroad over the past 25 years. Frances was an SF APAture Featured Artist, an Art resident of NY OMI International, a Serpent Source Grantee, and a recipient of the distinguished Jefferson Awards. She has presented original works for SF Queer Arts Festival, Shawl Anderson’s Frolic, Bindlestiff Studios with Kreatibo, and Vancouver Asian American Theater Festival. She is currently in collaboration with San San Kwan, Sarah Bush Dance Project, Moon Rope, and Crescent Moon Theater Productions. Frances first worked with Megan Lowe Dances in 2022, and is grateful to be working again with MLD.

Photo by: RJ Muna

Roel Seeber

Roel Seeber (he/they/any) is an Oakland based artist who graduated cum Laude from Purchase College, State University of New York, and holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Washington. From 2008-2020, Roel was a company member of vertical dance organization BANDALOOP, dancing, performing, stage directing, and teaching with them. Roel currently works with BANDALOOP in performance projects and as Lead Teacher. As a solo artist, Roel collaborates with other vertical dance artists, including a creative partnership with Magalie Lanriot in Lisbon Portugal. He has taught workshops for Il Posto, Vuela, Danza Area, Dimegaz, Sparrow Dance, and Gravity & Levity. From 2001 to 2008, Roel danced with The Límon Dance Company. Roel first fell in love with dancing through contact improvisation. Roel and Megan started exploring vertical dance partnering together in 2023, and this is his first collaboration with Megan Lowe Dances.

Photo by: RJ Muna

Shira Yaziv
Megan Lowe Dances - Just a Shadow - Dancers Shira Yaziv and Megan Lowe - Photo by RJ Muna.

ShirA Yaziv

Shira Yaziv (she/her) is a dancer, teacher, bodyworker, facilitator, and mother. She enjoys encouraging people to connect with their bodies, learn new skills, be creative, and listen/adapt to the changing present moment. Shira co-founded Athletic Playground ( in 2008, a dynamic indoor space that inspires physical play through a variety of movement classes. She offers private lessons, group classes, workshops, bodywork sessions, and retreats. Her dance journey began in 2010 with Scott Wells and Dancers (SW&D), where Megan and Shira started dancing together. Shira has been dancing with MLD since 2018.

Photo by: RJ Muna



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jose e. abad (they/them) is a multidisciplinary performance artist, DJ, and curator based in unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory. Born in Olongapo City, Philippines to a Filipina Mother and an Afro-Carribean U.S. Naval Soldier, their work explores the complexities of cultural identity at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, class, and race in the United States. Through dance theater, sonic and visual experimentation, they unearth lost histories that reside in the body, that the mind has forgotten and dominant culture has erased.

Photo by: Maurice Ramirez

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Brenton Cheng

Brenton Cheng (he/him) is a movement explorer who has performed with many internationally-acclaimed and local heroes such as Contraband, Zaccho Dance Theater, Angus Balbernie, Epiphany Productions, Flyaway Productions, and many others, at such places as Jacob's Pillow, Bates Dance Festival, and the Avignon Festival in France. He teaches Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis, contact improvisation, and somatically-based performance skills to professional and non-professional movers in classes and workshops around the world. When not focused on movement, he supports efforts at the Internet Archive to provide universal access to the world’s knowledge.

Photo by: RJ Muna

03 - Gathering Pieces of Peace - Megan Lowe Dances - Clarissa Dyas, Megan Lowe, Malia Hati

ClarisSA Dyas

Clarissa Rivera Dyas (she/they) is a movement artist with roots in the Bay Area, Ohlone Land. She centers her artistic practice through the truthfulness of improvisation and the belief that movement is a spiritual practice as conduit of change. Clarissa graduated from SFSU in 2017 with a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Health Education. They have been a company member of Zaccho Dance Theatre and Robert Moses’ Kin, and have performed in works by OYSTERKNIFE, Talli Jackon, Lenora Lee Dance, and many others. Clarissa is most recently in collaboration with RUPTURE, Sara Shelton Mann, Jess Curtis/Gravity, and Flyaway Productions. They have also presented work in QDF’s FROLIC Festival, Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency, and the Black Choreographers Festival.

Photo by: RJ Muna of Clarissa Dyas with Megan Lowe and Malia Hatico-Byrne

05 - Gathering Pieces of Peace - Megan Lowe Dances - Malia Hatico-Byrne, Melissa Lewis Won

Malia Hatico-Byrne

Malia Hatico-Byrne (she/they) has a creative practice centered around ancestral lineage, body reclamation, collaboration, and storytelling. From 2017-2022, she worked with Skywatchers, a community-based art program and performance ensemble based in San Francisco's Tenderloin, collaborating with Tenderloin residents to create performance art situated within civic dialogue. They are a founding member of the collective ABG and are currently pursuing a graduate degree in sexuality studies. ask her about pop culture, puppies, or what she’s currently reading.

Photo by: RJ Muna of Malia Hatico-Byrne with Melissa Lewis Wong and Megan Lowe

Danny Nguyen

Danny Nguyen (he/him) became interested in movement while performing color guard in Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International. While studying at UC Berkeley, he refined his dance abilities studying under Bliss Kohlmyer, Kathleen Hermamestadorff, Katie Faulkner, and Joe Goode. Shortly after graduating Danny toured with the Broadway musical Blast!, performing in the United States, South Korea, and Japan. He has been dancing professionally for over 10 years having performed with Joe Goode, Kim Epifano, Scott Wells, Katie Faulkner, and Bandaloop. Danny’s dancing career has led to a passion for helping others understand and navigate movement and the body; he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Photo by Gary Sexton of Danny Nguyen with Melissa Lewis Wong

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Johnny Huy Nguyen

Johnny Huy Nguyễn (he/him) is a 2nd generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary somatic artist based in Yelamu (a.k.a San Francisco) and son of courageous refugees. Fluent in a myriad street dance styles, contemporary, modern, and martial arts, Nguyen weaves together dance, theater, spoken word, ritual, installation, and performance art to create immersive, time-based works that recognize the body's power as a place of knowing, site of resistance, gateway to healing, and crucible of imagination. In addition to his work as an individual artist, he has appeared in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, KULARTS, Embodiment Project, the Global Street Dance Masquerade, and James Graham Dance Theater. His individual work has been presented at the Asian Art Museum, the Chinese Historical Society of America, APATure, SOMArts, and as part of the 24th USAAF.

Photo by: Henrik Kam


Asha Passalacqua

Asha (he/they) is a movement artist, integrative bodyworker, aquatic therapist, crisis counsellor, and filmmaker. His movement practice has been shaped by many influences, but is predominantly informed by functional movement, Axis Syllabus, Contact Improvisation, Contemporary dance, and aquatic dance. Through his practice, he strives to support the development of functional fluidity, a reliable connection to the ground, subtle listening, and presence in moments of disorientation. He has performed movement work in the Bay Area, India, Barcelona, Berlin, Italy and Greece. He is a certified DanceAbility teacher, Aguahara practitioner, Freediver, and is completing his Somatic Experiencing Practitioner certification. Outside dancing and his private practice, he also offers trauma-informed bodywork through the psychedelic-assisted-therapy clinic Sage Integrative Health. 

Photo by: Gary Sexton

06 - Gathering Pieces of Peace - Megan Lowe Dances - Melissa Lewis Wong, Malia Hatico-Byrn

Melissa Lewis Wong

Melissa Lewis (she/they/他 - AKA Deuce Lee) is a queer, biracial Chinese American artist working with mixed identities and mediums. She thinks often of mother tongues, tube tops, Bruce Lee and drag. Her physicality comes from a background of traditional Chinese folk arts, Western modern dance, and martial arts—with contemporary performance as a place for her intersections to breathe. Melissa is also a photographer, a drag cabaret regular, and an arts administrator.

Photo by: RJ Muna of Melissa Lewis Wong with Malia Hatico-Byrne and Clarissa Dyas



Peekaboo/transcriptions01 (they/them) is an experimental cellist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and youth educator situated on Ramaytush Ohlone land (SF). Their compositions are rooted in honoring the essence and spirit of past, present, and future Queer ancestors, prioritizing sonic exploration practices towards the decolonizination of Euro-centric structures embedded in youth and adult music education and performance. Through multiple collaborations with QTBIPOC2S Bay Area-based performers, they continue to work in togetherness, sonically activating bodily vibrations, readying the move towards non-binary Queer liberation, strengthening connections between Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Filipinx ancestry—celebrating freedom of expression, rest, and breath.

Photo by: Gary Sexton


Zachary Abelson

Zachary Abelson (he/him) is a half Chinese, half white musician originally from Cerritos, an asian immigrant town on the outskirts of LA county. He grew up playing jazz saxophone and enjoys jamming with other artists from all types of backgrounds. He spends his time with his loved ones and pondering life—always grateful for the opportunity to create and share.

Photo by: Lana Vasiljevic

Marica Petrey

Girl Swallows Nightingale was hatched when Marica Petrey (she/her) wrote too much music for one of her fantasy film projects and made it the perfect excuse to start a band in Oakland. With songwriting inspired by Japanese folklore, anime, science fiction, and epic saga, GSN conjures a cinematic experience, painting a vivid musical canvas that shifts its colors between modern rock, jazz, theater, funk, and pop, to underwater soundscapes and dreams of outer space. In addition to leading GSN, Marica is an award winning filmmaker, a journalist for CALIFORNIA Magazine, and founder of RADIX Troupe Productions.

Photo by: Maurice Ramirez

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Emma Tome

Emma Tome (they/them) has an eclectic background in classical piano and choral singing, Okinawan folk music, and self-taught guitar, percussion, and production, and takes an observational, intuitive approach to composition for dance. They aim to underscore the environmental and emotional textures of movement, often working with sampled speech and unconventional source materials connected to a work’s themes. They delight in collaborating with movement artists to collectively realize a supportive sonic world for performance. Previous work includes composing for “death pod” (Nol Simonse and Jim Cave) and “before the clay dries” (Melissa Lewis Wong and Malia Hatico-Byrne).

Photo by: Lydia Daniller


Andrea Wang

Andrea Wang (she/her) is a Chinese American musician, songwriter, and nonprofit brand strategist—a storyteller by trade. She currently works as a marketer for the de Young and Legion of Honor museums. A vocalist and pianist, Andrea has been a multi-genre performer for most of her life. She plays with the band Girl Swallows Nightingale and can be heard on their debut album, Shapeshifter. 

Photo by: Jennifer Siu



Wilfred Galila
Film Editor

Wilfred Galila is a multimedia artist and writer who lives and runs trails in the San Francisco Bay Area. His films were screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and his art installations were exhibited at several venues in San Francisco. He is a 2018 nominee for the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design for the KULARTS production, Incarcerated 6×9.

Photo Provided by: Wilfred Galila


Peggy Peralta

Born and raised in the Philippines, Peggy at age 23, migrated to San Francisco in pursuit of living a creative life. There she earned an MFA in Motion Pictures from the Academy of Art University. She is now a certified Steadicam Operator, one of the very few women practitioners in the industry world-wide. She was awarded Best Emerging Filmmaker by SF International Women's Film Festival in 2005. Since then, she has shoot projects funded by organizations like SF Film Society, Danish Arts Council, and French National Center of Fine Arts. Her works have screened in film festivals around the globe including the Rotterdam International Film Festival & Busan International Film Festival, among others. In 2013, she received a Cinematography Special Jury Award from the LA Asian Pacific Film Fest for lensing the documentary Harana. A New Color, her 2nd feature documentary, premiered at the 2015 Mill Valley Film Festival. Both feature documentaries won Audience Awards in various film festivals and have aired on PBS. In 2019 she embarked on an indie feature called This Is Your Song, a cinematic feat that challenged her to light and shoot a 97 minute handheld oner.

Photo Provided by: Peggy Peralta

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Kristina Willemse
Cinematographer & Jib Operator

Kristina is a director of photography with a passion for well timed, dynamic, story-rich images. A California College of the Arts graduate, Kristina honed her skills in the art and film communities of San Francisco, CA. She meets every project with a collaborative spirit and an excitement for creative storytelling. Kristina cares deeply about her community and volunteers her time to organizations supporting housing stability and the environment such as North Beach Citizens, a non-profit serving homeless and low income citizens of San Francisco, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Photo Provided by: Kristina Willemse






Travis Kindred





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