USC Kaufman dancers flash fine footwork from L.A. to Mexico

Bachelor of fine arts students perform in Gala de Danza, ‘The Nutcracker’ and more

February 06, 2018 Sara Silberman

Students at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are on the move, working on productions and videos in Los Angeles, New Mexico and beyond the border.

For starters, Alvaro Montelongo, Jake Tribus and Mariana Carrillo will travel to Los Cabos, Mexico for the 2018 Gala de Danza in March. This will be Carrillo’s fifth year as a dancer in the production.

“I get to play a small role inspiring young dancers to pursue the arts,” Carrillo said. “Gala de Danza provides an inspiring canvas for us to express and share our love for the art form.”

This year, Carrillo feels blessed to return to the gala as a member of the USC Kaufman family.

“My goal is to one day be able to make a path from Mexico’s Gala de Danza directly to USC and push young students to attend a university and learn more about how the arts are such a powerful tool that can help create social movements,” she said. “I believe there is still a long way to go to bring dance and arts to Mexico, but Gala de Danza is opening its door for wonderful things to happen.”

Get cracking

Zach Manske
Zach Manske played the Jack in the Box in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo/Courtesy of Zach Manske)

Zach Manske also takes pride in having brought the Kaufman name to a new stage. This winter, with the help of the school’s Vice Dean Jodie Gates, he secured a part in Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” in New Mexico.

His favorite part of the experience was taking on the role of the Jack in the Box, which called for energy and acting skills.

Manske felt that being part of a professional company gave him a glimpse into his future.

Flying solo

Aiden Carberry
Aidan Carberry on set (Photo/Courtesy of Aidan Carberry)

Back in Los Angeles, Aidan Carberry took on the dual role of choreographer and dancer in Benjamin Millepied’s new video series, a project featuring dancers Lil Buck, Jon Boogz and Lia Kim.

Carberry’s solo — which focuses on a lonely man during the Renaissance — was developed through a collaboration with Millipied, Gates and William Forsythe, artistic adviser for the USC Choreographic Institute.

On working with Millepied, Carberry said, “Benjamin really let me express myself fully. He wanted as much of me in the dance as possible. He created the environment for me to experiment and produce a product that felt very organic and raw.”