Performed by: Cassidy Giordano and Nicole Corea
Choreographer: Rebecca Davis
Music by: Timofey Buzina

MindLeaps (formerly Rebecca Davis Dance Company) created the original ballet “Antigone”, which premiered in Philadelphia in 2006. “The classic-meets-modern aesthetic — think ballet set to original music and spoken text — energizes Sophocles’ timeless tale and makes this the most intriguing dance premiere this season.” (– Philadelphia Magazine)

The ballet is based on the famous Greek tragedy by Sophocles, but is set outside of any specific time period or geographic location. The relationship between two sisters, Antigone and Ismene, becomes strained after their brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, die battling against each other in war. The new king declares one brother a hero and the other a traitor. As a traitor, his body is ordered to be left unburied on the battlefield. Ismeme accepts the decree, but Antigone feels it is her duty to bury her brother’s body.

Rebecca Davis, entrepreneur and choreographer, founded MindLeaps (formerly known as RDDC) at the age of 23. MindLeaps is a not-for-profit organization that creates dance and educational programs for street children and underserved youth in post-conflict and developing countries. Rebecca has led MindLeaps to standardize a dance curriculum that teaches street children cognitive skills to a level at which they are able to enter the formal education system and succeed in school.

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Rebecca has choreographed and taught in Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guinea and the United States. She was classically trained in the Russian Vaganova method of ballet while studying in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Krasnoyarsk, Russia. She received a degree in choreography from The Saint Petersburg Conservatory under the tutelage of Nikolai Boyarchikov (former Artistic Director, The Mussorgsky Ballet). She is a two-time Fulbright scholar and summa cum laude graduate of Temple University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship. She holds a Masters of International Relations with a concentration in Peacekeeping from American Military University. In 2010, she was awarded the Carl Wilkens Fellowship from the Genocide Intervention Network.

In 2013, CCTV made a documentary about Rebecca’s work in Rwanda. Rebecca has appeared on The Melissa-Harris Perry Show, given two TEDx talks, and been a guest speaker at several universities, including Brandeis, Brown, Princeton, and University of Michigan.

In 2014, she gave presentations at the Pan-African Film Festival (Los Angeles) United Nations Film Festival (San Francisco), K-Lab (Rwanda), and Fulbright’s International Institute of Education Seminary (Philadelphia).

Over the last two years, Rebecca’s work has been featured in several publications, including: Project M, Dance Studio Life, American Military University’s Spotlight, The New Times (Rwanda), Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, and The Good Service Magazine.

In 2015, Rebecca has been selected to serve as the Greater New York City’s Fulbright Alumnus-in-Residence for her work involving arts, technology and education in conflict zones.

Nicole Corea (Antigone) is originally from Palmyra, NY. She graduated with a BFA from The Juilliard School in 2000. Dance company credits include: Ballet Hispanico of NY; Elisa Monte Dance; Ballet Memphis; Lar Lubovitch Dance Company; and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Nicole performed in the original American cast of “Antigone” with MindLeaps/Rebecca Davis Dance in 2005. She is also an RYT certified Vinyasa yoga instructor through Laughing Lotus Yoga.

Cassidy Giordano (Ismene) is a junior at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she is studying for her BFA in dance with an art therapy concentration. Cassidy has studied under teachers such as Wayne St. David, Rebecca Davis, and Denis Gronostayskiy, and in her college career has performed in pieces from Robert Burden, Anthony Ferro, Anne White and Jesse Zarrit. A Philadelphia native, Giordano is pleased to be in Rwanda working with MindLeaps for the first time this summer.

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