Photo: Paul B. Good


CRDance Company, LLC takes choreography beyond stage-based performance to map new ideas onto the history of dance. known for its visceral use of movement, this Italian and American dance company was founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Caterina Rago and is currently being re-launched in New York under the collaboration of Caterina Rago and Executive Director Cheryl Kaplan. Based on an “El Sistema” approach to  dance, CRDANCE Company is creating major works, from Labir Into (2016) to Morso D’Amore (2020).

With its ambitious schedule of teaching and performing, CR Dance Company looks at choreography like musicians or an orchestra might look at a set of scores that require training and active interpretation. CR DANCE Company approaches choreography as an action-based method of problem-solving and collaboration. This physical thinking is meant to go out into the world not only as entertainment, but as a way of working.


CATERINA RAGO, Artistic Director, Choreographer and Founder of CRDance Company and TDM, its educational dance program, Rago, a native of Italy, founded the company in 2007. She joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2009 after completing the company’s Professional Training Program, and received commissions from Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation, Accademia Nazionale di Danza and Peridance Capezio Dance Center where she’s on the faculty. Rago teaches at Dance Theater of Harlem and Martha Graham School and was named Emerging Choreographer for MET Dance Company (Houston). She restaged Martha Graham’s 1935 work, Panorama for Accademia Nazionale Di Danza at Rome’s Soirees Dans and Karole Armitage’s American Dream for the Ravello Festival.

CHERYL KAPLAN, Executive Director A filmmaker, artist and critic, Cheryl Kaplan is the Executive Director of CRDance Company. She has produced films for Eve Sussman, Rosanne Cash and Laurie Anderson included in major international museums and film festivals. Kaplan appears in Alan Berliner’s Oscar nominated HBO film on Edwin Honig. Her writing appears in Art in America, Flash Art and BOMB among others. Kaplan is the founder of the Mobile Studio Lab, teaching movement in relation to understanding the body’s structure. Kaplan has received fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the MacDowell Foundation and the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

RAPHAËLLE KESSEDJIAN, Rehearsal Director Born in France, Kessedjian joined CRDance Company in 2015. Trained at Centre Choregraphique Veronique Thery and Martha Graham School, Kessedjian is a member of Graham 2, Nu Dance Theater, Caliince Dance and a guest artist with Martha Graham Dance Company for Cercando Picasso. Kessedjian joined Adele Myers and Dancers in 2012, touring and teaching with the company.

SARITA APEL, Dancer Born in Germany, Apel received her BA from Codarts, Rotterdam Dance Academy and studied at the Ailey School (NY). She joined CRDance Company in 2015, has danced with Graham 2, Dansgroep Amsterdam and Creative Time/Nick Cave.

AMANDA EGAN, Dancer Hails from Pompton Lakes, NJ. A proud graduate of Fordham/Alvin Ailey BFA class of 2019, with Summa Cum Laude honors. She has performed with Wolf and Swan, Lydia Johnson Dance Company, Hope Boykin Dance, Caitlin Javech, and the Merce Cunningham Trust. Ms. Egan loves to share her passion for modern dance on stage and in front of a classroom. She has been a member of CRDC since 2019.

CARLEY MARHOLIN, Dancer trained in Hartford, CT before receiving a BFA from LIU Brooklyn. Upon graduating, she joined Bradley Shelver Contemporary Dance Theater and Steps Repertory Ensemble in NYC, performing works by Jae Man Too, Lar Lubovich, and Elisa Monte, among others. She then performed with Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham II. Additionally, she performed choreography by Akram Khan in a featured musical at The Shed. She is currently a member of Abarukas, and joined CRDance Company in 2018. 

MAYA BALAM MEYONG, Dancer is native from Belgium and graduated with a BFA in Paris under the direction of Rick Odums. Upon graduating, she danced for different choreographers and started developing her own artistic research. She thus co-founded The Dancing Society, a home for dance artist to create, perform and share their art, L’Ensemble, a movement-based collective at the intersection of different art forms as well as the Perpetuum Mobile, an international dance festival. Maya currently lives in New York where she dances with the CRDANCE COMPANY while pursuing her independent dancing and creative work.


JASMINE GOBOURNE, Dancer is a New York native. She attended Marymount Manhattan College as a BFA Dance Major and later, studied and graduated from The Ailey School. She performed in Memoria at NY City Center with Ailey students and AAADT in 2015. Professionally, Jasmine has danced with nathantrice/RITUALS dance theater, Forces of Nature Dance Theater, Vissi Dance Theater, and ARIM Dance. She made her Theatre debut at the John W. Engeman Theater in their production of Aida in 2019 and joined CRDance Company in 2020.

CARA MCMANUS, Dancer Joined CRDance Company in Fall 2020. She trained in her native Falmouth, MA, then earned a BFA in dance and a BA in Comparative Literature from Fordham University and the Ailey School. Since graduating, she has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham II in NYC seasons ad on tours. She also performed with the Rai-Ni Chen Dance Company, and was recently featured in The White Wolf, a film by visual artist Sue de Beer displayed at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in NYC.

LISSA SMITH, Dancer Born in Florida, Smith attended The Boston Conservatory and studied at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Juilliard, Martha Graham and Joffrey Ballet Schools. Winner of Arts For Life,  presented by former First Lady of Florida, Columba Bush. Performed with Hubbard Street 2, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Art Institute of Chicago. Smith was a dancer for Walt Disney Imagineering (LA) and joined CRDance Company in 2015.

HANNAH WAGNER, Dancer received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Missouri Kansas City, having trained at the Classical Ballet Academy of Ballet, Minnesota. Ms. Wagner has danced professionally with Ballet Minnesota, Williams Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Nimbus 2, and Mollét Contemporary Ballet. She participated in the 2018 Tecniche di Danza, Rome with Caterina Rago and is now performing with CRDance Company.

PIER PAOLO BISLERI (Set Designer) The acclaimed Italian Set and Costume designer collaborated with Andy Warhol, Placido Domingo and Daniel Barenboim, with work seen at Teatro alla Scala, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro La Fenice and New Israeli Opera.

DAVIDE DI DONATO (Sculpture Designer) Born in Italy, Di Donato creates spectacular sculptures and life-size reconstructions for theater and cinematic scenography for McFarlane USA, Illy Caffè, Fanatico Figurines AG and Gaspez Arts.