Artistic Director / Executive Director
Ariel Rebecca (Rivka) Grossman founded Ariel Rivka Dance in 2008. Born and raised in New York City, she trained at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts and at the Joffrey Ballet School under the direction of Gerald Arpino for ten years. She earned a B.S. in Dance, with honors, and a Minor in Women’s Studies from Skidmore College. Upon graduation, Ariel was commissioned to set a work on Skidmore dancers.
Ariel is drawn to dancers with strong technique who are willing to take creative risks and collaborate. Ariel draws inspiration from the struggles and joys of the human experience, particularly finding emotional depth through being a woman and a mother. She and the dancers work together to transform these emotions into shapes and stories. Ariel encourages dancers to bring themselves to the work—molding pieces that are striking, evocative, and layered. Ariel Rivka Dance reflects this evolution from classical training to boundary-pushing work.
David Homan is a composer and collaborative artist. David Homan's music has been performed in the US, Europe, Israel, and in New York at Carnegie Hall/Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, CAMI Hall, the Thalia at Symphony Space as well as major dance venues such as NYLA, Joyce Soho, the Di Capo Opera Theatre, MMAC, and the Joyce. He has also toured Europe (Florence and Budapest) as a playwright/composer/actor, composed the music for the award winning 2001 Fringe Festival Production Einstein's Dreams, and written theatrical scores for As You Like It, Hamlet, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Orwell's 1984, and Great Expectations, among others. Major groups such as the Di Capo Chamber Players, the Colorado String Quartet, and the American Symphony Orchestra have performed his works, as well as dance commissions with former ABT and Joffrey Ballet dancers, Randy James, Catherine Miller, Ariel Rivka Dance, and choreographers around the US. His recent album releases include EVA, WaterRocks, and the Book of Esther. He is the Founding Director of the Live Arts Collaborations.
Stefania De Kenessey
is active in a wide variety of genres. Her opera adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s best-selling novel “Bonfire of the Vanities” premiered in New York City in 2015 to considerable acclaim: “melodically ingratiating…skillfully wrought…caustically witty” (Financial Times); “Stefania de Kenessey’s musical setting was, unlike a lot of contemporary opera, tuneful and grateful to the voice” (The Observer). Her instrumental and vocal music has been performed extensively in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to Joe’s Pub, LaMama, and New York Live Arts. Premieres in 2018-2019 featured her (mostly) humorous cabaret songbook, The Well-Tempered Woman, for which she wrote both music and lyrics, as well as SHE, her first purely electronic score for Ariel Rivka Dance. The latter marked the beginning of an ongoing and happy collaboration with choreographer Ariel Grossman, which in 2019 led to Rhapsody in K (co-composed with David Homan) as well as Mossy – with more to come. Trained at Yale and Princeton, de Kenessey is steadfastly committed to honoring women composers and is the founding president of the International Alliance for Women in Music. For further information, please visit her website at www.stefaniadekenessey.com
Marika designs new and classic plays, musical theater, opera, dance, experimental theater, puppetry and site-specific performance. Also with ARD: No Words; Variations on a Box; Ori. Upcoming: Memphis (Cape Fear Regional Theater), Albert Herring (Manhattan School of Music), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (ACT of CT). www.marikakent.com
Mrs. Tsartolia holds a BFA in dance from the State School on Dance in Athens, Greece, a Certificate from the Merce Cunningham Studio, and a Certificate in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design. With a long career as a dancer with RIOULT Dance NY, amongst others, she has been teaching, choreographing, and re-staging works for the past 24 years. Always intrigued and inspired by fashion and dance, she has collaborated as a costume designer with Blakely White McGuire, Robert Robinson, Lorena Egan Dance, Nicole Phillipidis, 277 dance Project, the Civic Ballet of Bermuda, the Hellenic Dance Company in Athens, Michael Spencer Phillips, and has created costumes for her own works.
For the opening of Marimekko’s flagship store in NY in 2011, she served as the stylist for the RIOULT Dance NY dancers. She was introduced to Ariel Grossman in 2017 by Mr. Phillips when she created costumes for his piece “GOZE”, an original work for the ARD company. Since then, Mrs. Tsartolia is thrilled to have designed costumes for “SHE” (2018), “For Her” (2018), “Mossy” (2019), and “Rhapsody in K” (2019). Mrs. Tsartolia loves collaborating with all the vibrant and dedicated artists of ARD!