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Javan Mngrezzo

Dancer and Guest Choreographer

Javan (he/him) relocated to Minnesota in 2021 by way of Portland, OR. He graduated from Western Oregon University in three years, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Dance and Sociology. At present, he dances with Amez Dance, James Sewell Ballet, and Rhythmically Speaking. He has previously been a company dancer with Black Label Movement, Collide Theatrical, Threads Dance Project, Dar Vejon Jones Dance Ensemble, and BodyVox. He has also had the privilege of performing as a guest artist for numerous companies such as Hatch Dance, Arena Dances, Analog Dance Works, Ballet Co.Laboratory, Heidi Duckler Dance, Cynthia Gutierrez’s Company Movimiento, and Dar Vejon Jones Dance Ensemble. In 2023 he created the work Ne’er to bout ‘gainst Generous Woes which was presented as part of CandyBox’s 7th series, and now he looks forward to continuing to operate and grow within the realm of choreographic creation.

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Sean Scantlebury

Dancer

Sean Scantlebury is a performer and teacher equally adept in modern, ballet, and contemporary. He moved to New York City at age eight and was invited to study at the New York City Public School for Dance. He became a member of Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech and performed in the company’s Joyce Theater seasons for ten years. During his first season with Battery Dance in 2003, he took part in a residency in Kraków, Poland, performing for the European Conference on Tolerance. Since then he has performed, taught, and led Dancing to Connect workshops in more than 45 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe. He was also a guest artist for Quorum Ballet (Portugal), Sutra Dance Theatre (Malaysia), Chevalier Ballet (NYC) plus many more in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.  In 2017, Sean was named by Dance.com as one of 15 black dancers who are changing the world, second only to ABT’s Misty Copeland.

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Javan Mngrezzo

Dancer and Guest Choreographer

Javan (he/him) relocated to Minnesota in 2021 by way of Portland, OR. He graduated from Western Oregon University in three years, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Dance and Sociology. At present, he dances with Amez Dance, James Sewell Ballet, and Rhythmically Speaking. He has previously been a company dancer with Black Label Movement, Collide Theatrical, Threads Dance Project, Dar Vejon Jones Dance Ensemble, and BodyVox. He has also had the privilege of performing as a guest artist for numerous companies such as Hatch Dance, Arena Dances, Analog Dance Works, Ballet Co.Laboratory, Heidi Duckler Dance, Cynthia Gutierrez’s Company Movimiento, and Dar Vejon Jones Dance Ensemble. In 2023 he created the work Ne’er to bout ‘gainst Generous Woes which was presented as part of CandyBox’s 7th series, and now he looks forward to continuing to operate and grow within the realm of choreographic creation.

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Gabrielle

"Gabby TheBaddie" Abram

Dancer

Gabrielle Abram, better known As “Gabby TheBaddie” is a Gary, Indiana native. Abram is a self-taught, multi-lingual Hip Hop artist and has received training in Ballet, Modern, West African, and Jazz at The Perpich Center for Arts and Education, and TU Dance Center; more recently Gabby has worked with TU Dance as a Trainee in their Cultivate Program. In 2020 Abram was chosen as a Momentum New Dance Works Fellow and was awarded the Creative Support for Individuals grant from The Minnesota State Artist Board in 2022. Gabrielle is a core company member of STRONGmovement, directed by Darrius Strong, and  Co-owner of BGC Productions; a Multimedia Production company dedicated to creating, collaborating, and producing art that elevates and inspires black and POC artists, along with business partner Rayna Howard. In 2018 Abram co-produced Listen., at The Lab Theater--a collective of 9 choreographers sharing Pan-African perspectives and personal stories of black identity. Gabrielle made her choreographic debut with “Release” set on The Threads Dance Project as a Tapestries 5.0 (2021) Choreographer. Abram continues to produce, dance, and create work in the Twin Cities.

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Odessa Rain

Dancer 

 Odessa Rain is a freelance artist new to Minneapolis. She began dancing at age three and fell in love with competitions before seeking more rigorous ballet training at the Yocum Institute for The Arts. She continued her training at The Lehigh Valley Charter High School For The Arts in Bethlehem, PA as a dance major and spent her summers at the Joffrey Ballet School summer intensive in NYC. Odessa then attended the Boston Conservatory on merit scholarship and was cast in works choreographed by Gregory Dawson, Otis Salid, Jon Ole Olstad, Yury Yanowsky, Zoe Schoefield and Stephanie Martinez. While in Boston Odessa danced with Tilted,  Dance Lab and Dance Currents LLC. Since moving to MN she has performed as Freya in “VANAHEIMR” with Fox and Beggar Theatre, performed in Black Label’s “Movers Make,” and  joined Minnesota Ballet Collective as a company dancer.

Upcoming Work

Set to premiere June 14 & 15 at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis, MN, Amez Dance presents De Mi Corazón. 

De Mi Corazón is a love letter to the black family, specifically black fatherhood, created to explore the complexities and nuanced dynamics in the African American community. Because only through reflection and empathy can we begin to truly appreciate the intricacies of our familial connections and heal from the traumas of the past. 

In addition to the performance of De Mi Corazón, Amez Dance will feature a new work from guest choreographer, Javan Mngrezzo.

Join the Amez Dance Family!

Your support allows Amez Dance to accomplish its goal of becoming a hub of artistic experimentation that pushes the boundaries of art and how it can develop our community. 

Every dollar of your gift will go toward the production costs of this exciting debut performance for Amez Dance, including dancer’s salaries, costume costs and other technical needs. We're committed to ensuring our collaborative creators make a livable wage from their artistic practice, and your contributions make that possible. 

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Ways to Give

You can make a contribution by:

• a tax deductible donation via Fractured Atlas
 

• a non-tax deductible donation via venmo @AmezDance (please include subject: donation)

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Sponsors:

Grant Support:

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Nieya Amezquita is a fiscal year 2024 recipient of a Creative Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Amez Dance is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Amez Dance must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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