The Summer Dance Residency choreographers present their final performances in this two-day event. Each choreographer will share their dance and movement performance that they began conceptualizing in July.

Atlanta Contemporary and Dance Canvas have partnered on the new Dance Canvas Summer Artist Residency, which provides time and space to dance artists in metro Atlanta. Through this new residency program, Atlanta Contemporary and Dance Canvas offer resources and a platform for the creation and presentation of works in a response to both COVID-19 shutdowns and the continued need to address racism and inequality in our communities. The residency serves as a creative outlet for dance artists while supporting and amplifying diverse voices.

Performances begin at 6:30pm. Each performance will last between 15 and 20 minutes. A Q&A will end the performances with a dancer and choreorgrapher talk back. 

On Saturday, portrait artist Magda Dumitrescu will be offering one-line portraits before the performances begin. 

Friday, September 25th

Nadya Zeitlin
Perlizbeth De Leon
Xavier Demar
Thulani Vereen

Saturday, September 26th

Xavier Lewis
Tamara Irving
Danielle Swatzie
Jessica Bertram


Single day ticket - $40 | Covers all 4 performances on a single day
Two day ticket - $70 | Covers all performances on Friday and Saturday

Safety Guidelines

All Visitors are required to wear a mask. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of 2.
Visitors are expected to follow health guidelines on social distancing, maintaining at least 6 feet apart at all times. Atlanta Contemporary has designated maximum capacity for the galleries and project spaces as well as indicated traffic flow. View the safety guidelines here

Performances will be outside on the open-air Pavilion. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and consider bringing a water bottle.

In the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved to a new date. Check this event page for updates ahead of each performance. 


Dance Canvas

Dance Canvas, Inc. is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization, incorporated in the City of Atlanta in 2008 with a mission to provide opportunities and venues to increase the awareness of professional dance in Atlanta. We achieve our mission through three program areas of service:

Choreographer Career Development, Youth Leadership Development, & Audience Engagement. Visit to learn more.

Jessica Bertram

Jessica Bertram is a movement artist driven by storytelling, research, and ultimately, play. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, she began dancing at the age of 3 at the North Alabama Dance Center. She continued her training at Emory University and graduated in 2017 with a BA in Dance & Movement Studies and a BS in Anthropology & Human Biology. Her choreographic and solo work has been performed and awarded at the American College Dance Association, Emory University, Inman Park Festival, 7Stages Theatre, Dance Canvas 2019 Choreographers Initiative, Atlanta Dance Collective’s FEMMEfest, and the staibdance Summer Intensive in Sorrento, Italy. A driven member of Atlanta dance’s community, Jessica has had the opportunity to perform with staibdance, Emily Cargill + Dancers, the Mediums Collective, Catellier Dance Projects, Lindsay Renea Benton and ImmerseATL. Dedicated to her passion for the arts, Jessica currently serves as a teaching artist with dance and creative youth development organization, Moving In The Spirit. She is also the Assistant Director of Youth Programming for the National Black Arts (NBAF).

Tamara Irving

Tamara Irving, an Atlanta native, is a choreographer and Dance Educator. Mrs. Irving trained with Cubie Burke, Teri Axam, Gary Harrison, Roscoe Sales, Shen Wei and others. After graduating from Howard University with a Marketing degree, she was a dancer with the Atlanta Hawks Dance Team and resident choreographer for the Atlanta Hawks Jr. Dance Team. Ms. Irving went on to join the premiere casts of both the Hamburg Germany Company and the Cheetah US National Tour of Disney’s The Lion King. She has also been a featured dancer with The Atlanta Opera. Mrs. Irving currently is the Dance Director at North Atlanta High School (NAHS) and coach for the Varsity Dance Team, NA Dance Company. Dancing in the halls of her school or even the grocery store aisles is where you may find her. In addition to being a NAHS Center for the Arts alum, professional dancer and choreographer, Ms. Irving is also a proud wife and mom of 2 beautiful daughters and a son! Mrs. Irving was proud to be North Atlanta High School’s 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year. She received her Master of Arts in Dance Education from University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May 2017. Tamara believes that her gift is to inspire others through dance and that movement can come from anything!

Xavier Lewis

Xavier’s very first professional art job came at the age of nineteen…Hip Hop dance teacher at Georgia Dance Conservatory. From the age of 19-24, he instructed and taught master classes at many studios/schools, including Kennesaw State University, Brenau University, Atlanta Ballet, Gwinnett Ballet Theatre, Dancers studio Backstage, and many more. In 2015, he was hired at Grayson High School as Dance Director. In 2019, he began touring with KAR National Dance Competition. During this time, he began sharpening my skills in music and music theory. By 2020, earlier this year, he began composing musical scores for multiple dance companies, including Emory University, ImmerseATL, Georgia Staib, Zoetic Dance Ensemble, and many more! Also year, he was hired as a professional dancer for T. Lang and had a 2-month residency with Dance Canvas under the direction of Angela Harris. He also choreographed a live performance for Grammy-nominated artist Jack Harlow. He is currently on tour with KAR National Dance Competition and has just started his own Arts Company, VIA UNI.

Danielle Swatzie

Danielle Swatzie is a choreographer and freelance movement artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta native was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia receiving her dance education at the Dekalb School of the Arts and DanceMakers of Atlanta. Swatzie began to expand her education at The University of the Arts, receiving her BFA in Dance in 2019 under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. She has performed in works with the Komansé Dance Theater and has been an active 2020-2021 collaborator with WaheedWorks founded by Tommie-Waheed Evans. Swatzie has performed for Television and Films such as Step Up: Highwater, BET’s Boomerang, and feature film AVIVA choreographed by Bobbi Jene Smith. As a choreographer, she will be making her choreographic debut with a new work in progress at Dance Canvas and the Atlanta Contemporary in their Summer Choreographic Residency, and currently in process to premiere her work growing roots through concrete in the Modern Atlanta Dance Festival. (performance announcement pending due to COVID-19) Eager to launch her career forward, Danielle Swatzie aims to revolutionize and liberate movement art to connect to her truth, raise awareness to the present times, and imagine the future. She purposely organizes herself in spaces that ignite this mission, taking space in all mediums to make her life’s work resonate beyond.

Thulani Vereen

Thulani Anathi Vereen is a full-stack software engineer. Thulani is a 2020 graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. In her time at Spelman, she merged her passions for Computer Science and Dance through award-winning research implementation projects. She is interested in how dance and computer science can inform one another. It is through this interest that Thulani applies algorithmic thought processes from her computer science studies to her choreographic process and in return, her dance pedagogy to her technology projects. At the moment, Thulani is using her career as an engineer to strengthen her technical practice and aptitude while also accepting and making any creative opportunity to continue to develop as a choreographer. As a budding engineer and artist, Thulani aims to eventually become an artist-inventor, revolutionizing the performing arts by inventing performing arts technologies for all facets of the industry.

Nadya Zeitlin

Nadya Zeitlin is a curious dance designer, whose main inspiration is dance theatre and favorite question is “what if?” In May 2020, following a successful premiere of the Bautanzt performance earlier in the year, she founded Bautanzt Here - multimedia art-organism with main focus on dance theatre and site-specific projects. Moving arts education includes intensives with teachers from Portugal, Israel, Ireland, France, Slovakia etc as well as workshops and classes in the United States: CORE Dance DIG Summer Intensive 2019; gloLAB 2013, 2014; DASS 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal; Open Look International Dance Festival 2012, 2013, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2018 she was honored to be a part of C4 Atlanta’s HATCH Training Intensive. Nadya has presented her works in various venues in Atlanta since her relocation in 2013: the Eyedrum Gallery, 368 PONCE, Skwhirlhaus, Midtown Players Club. She participated in MAD Festival as the winner of the 24 Hours Dance competition in 2015 (tie with Sharel Johnson). She curated and produced 2 multi-disciplinary shows: Evening of Site-Specific Dance in Midtown Players Club and Doors Can Dance. Her work for the Solo Theatre’s Little Prince won Best Choreography at the International Festival of Russian-Speaking Children’s and Youth Theaters in Washington, DC in May 2019. She performed in works by gloATL, Beacon Dance, Lori Teague, Jennifer Scully-Thurston (movie). In 2019 she created a dance film “…and then the dishwasher got broken”, that was screened at the FEMMEfest & EnCORE in Atlanta, Houston and Bodrum (Turkey).

Xavier DeMar

A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Xavier DeMar is a New York based dancer, performing artist, choreographer and dance educator. Xavier began dancing at an early age as a member of his family’s West African drum and danced company, Xangue. After beginning to train in classical ballet at the age of 12, he was afforded a scholarship to attend Jordan Collage Academy of Dance, an affiliate of Butler University. Shortly after graduating from Broad Ripple High School, he began his professional career with The Georgia Ballet, where he performed lead roles in Sleepy Hollow and the company’s Nutcracker Suite. Xavier has danced and choreographed for various dance companies and organizations, including Dance Canvas, The Atlanta Dance Connection, and Proia Dance Project. He has performed the works of noted choreographers Alexander Proia, Becca Shade, Allyne Gartrell, Lonny Davis, Tracey Vogt, and Richard A. Freeman, Jr. As a choreographer, Xavier loves pushing artistic boundaries and sharing his gifts with his students. He has created works for Atlanta Dance Connection, Gibson Repertory Ensemble, Gotta Dance Contemporary, and AREA | Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment and Arts. He currently serves as the Co-Director of TranscenDANCE Summer Intensive, where he oversees the ballet/jazz training program and serves as a resident choreographer. Xavier has been teaching dance for nearly 10 years in many dance studios, colleges, community centers and after school programs. Xavier recently moved to New York City to fulfill his dream of becoming a full-time performing artist and choreographer.

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Upcoming Events

April 18 / 7:00pm

Chit Chat Club

Presented by The Bakery

Chit Chat Club is a monthly networking series featuring talks from cool creative people, activities, and a rotating food pop-up! This event is hosted at different spaces throughout the city each month. Join The Bakery Atlanta in meeting a cool person and learning something new.

April 27 / 12:30pm

Donna Mintz

Studio Artist Wall Artist Talk


Join Donna Mintz, Studio Artist, and Robin Sandler, gallerist, for a discussion of the exhibition and Mintz’s artistic practice.

April 27 / 2:00pm
Special Event

MuSEA Slow Reads


Folks get to activate MuSEA’s mobile library by relaxing at the Atlanta Contemporary and reading selected texts out loud to each other.

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