Meet The Artists Behind Our Upcoming Residency “Dancing with Aurora Borealis”

Brian Schneider

Brian was born and raised in New York City. He began his lighting career with his high school plays. Afterward, Brian worked in Off- Broadway theaters while attending Bard College, where he graduated with a BFA in Film.

Brian’s career is compiled of varied experience. He provided lighting for numerous theaters and museums, including the HERE Arts Center, Sotheby’s, Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, American Museum of Natural History, the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, TN and the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC.

Upon moving to Lafayette, Louisiana in 2011, Brian accepted the position of Technical Director for the Acadiana Center for the Arts. In 2015 Brian started his own lighting design firm, Footcandle Lighting and Electric. As a licensed and bonded electrician, he can offer turn key solutions covering both design and installation. Now Brian is involved in several residential and landscape lighting projects. He loves working with the people of South Louisiana, and integrating Louisiana’s culture and point of view, with his personal style.

Kelly Clayton

Kelly Clayton moved home to Louisiana after 20 years living in New York City. Cypress trees, and swamps called to her in dreams; the kind of dreams one can smell and feel.

While in New York City, Kelly studied Sanford Meisner Technique with Ron Stetson, of The Neighborhood Playhouse. Served as Assistant Director for A Dead Man’s Apartment, by Edward Allen Baker, a one act play, Ensemble Studio Theater Marathon.

Kelly’s poetry has been published by, among others: Future Cycle Press, Delacorte Press, and China Grove Press. She is a VONA/ Voices, Hedgebrook Alumnae, and was awarded the 2014 Hedgebrook Women Authoring Change Award.

Kelly teaches poetry and creative writing workshops in Louisiana public and private schools, as well as to homeschoolers. She creates and facilitates writing classes for The Lafayette Juvenile Detention Center, and to groups of recently incarcerated adults.

Learn More About Their Upcoming Residency: Dancing with Aurora Borealis

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With Precision.

Acadiana Center for the Arts is home to a 9ft Yamaha CFX. A grand concert piano, valued at $180,000, it is a character that requires delicate attention on a consistent basis. Sam Whitmire, a local piano guru and technician, partnered with Ace Ugai, a top technician from Yamaha Artist Services in Tokyo, recently spent time with our piano to tune it. Accompanied by Raymond Goodman of Lafayette Music Company, Ugai shared tips and his experience working as a piano technician. Acadiana Center for the Arts was delighted to have Ace Ugai in our space to pay mindful attention to such a prized possession.We are consistently humbled by artist’s capabilities and were none the less inspired by the passion in understanding how these incredible instruments work.

David Egan

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David was many things: a fabulous songwriter and lyricist, an incredible pianist and, with his rumbling, low, baritone voice, an inspiring singer. He was a dedicated father and husband and a passionate anti-smoking advocate. He was a powerful, life-long presence in the South Louisiana music community.

To those of us who knew him and worked with him – he was first and foremost a real and true friend. He was someone you could count and rely on; someone you knew would always pull through, deliver a great show, and make the performance memorable. He was a person who would find a way to tell you the truth, even if you weren’t quite ready for it, and he would do so in his hulking, genteel, charming and diplomatic way…making hard truths much more palatable.

David was a musical force. He helped create and revitalize entire chapters of South Louisiana music. He wrote for and worked with a long list of musical All-Stars. His songwriting was as honest and powerful as he was. Through his passing we have lost not only a great musical force, but also a spirit that held us all to a higher standard, and a colleague who raised the bar and made us better performers, presenters and collaborators.

I find some solace in the fact that, while we have lost a giant, the other side has gained some of the finest, brawniest and most soulful singing for all time to come.
Gerd Wuestemann
Executive Director

Thank You BODYTRAFFIC

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It’s been our mission to find work that is undeniably beautiful and that allows people to find passion, belief, and escape through artistic forms. Through the BODYTRAFFIC Residency at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, expectations were far exceeded. 

Serving as a breakthrough for dance in the Acadiana area, BODYTRAFFIC served the community through a beautiful performance and by interacting with residents through various outreach projects. From teaching three master classes to visiting Prairie Elementary School and the Miles Perret Cancer Centerthe company was immersed in culture and felt what it is to be a part of Acadiana. 

After building relationships through outreach projects, Tina Finkelman Berkett, Artistic Director of BODYTRAFFIC, expressed how powerful and personal it was to perform and recognize many of the faces in the crowdShe mentioned that the energy was different; more personal; and that the dancers could feel that on stage.

BODYTRAFFIC’s tour stop in Lafayette proved to be not only a performance, but also an immersion of culture and a precursor for change in the local dance community. The company was impacted by southern hospitality, community connection, and passion for art in all forms. The Acadiana Center for the Arts could not be more grateful for BODYTRAFFIC’s professionalism and level of engagement as stewards in our city, and we look forward to hosting the company again in the future.

Barak Marshall, Choreographer

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Barak is the son of acclaimed dancer, choreographer and musician Margalit Oved. He has recently been appointed artistic director of the Inbal Company and World Arts Centre.

Barak is one of Israel’s most celebrated choreographers. Three years after accidentally starting to dance at the age of 26, his company appeared at the prestigious 1998 Paris Bagnolet Competition where it swept the awards before going to tour Europe—including performances at the Lyon Bienale de la Danse and Theatre de la Bastille in Paris. In 1999, Ohad Naharin invited Barak to become the Batsheva Dance Company’s first-ever house choreographer. A severe leg injury forced him to stop dancing in 2001. Seven years later, the Suzanne Dellal Centre asked him to return to Israel, marking the beginning of an artistic partnership. His works Monger, Rooster and Wonderland, have been performed over 200 times including appearances at Montepellier Danse, London’s Dance Umbrella, Jacob’s Pillow, Holland Dance Festival, Lyon Maison de la Danse, and Royce Hall. Barak is also a singer and has performed as a soloist with Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road. He is currently completing a Creative Capital music production with Margalit Oved and Balkan Beat Box as well as new works for Ballet Jazz de Montreal and companies in London, Germany and South Africa. Barak studied philosophy at Harvard.

Marshall’s work, And at midnight, the green bride floated through the village square…, is being performed by BODYTRAFFIC at AcA March 5th!