Pacific University Dance Artistic Team
The Dance program includes some of the finest artists in their field pursuing and living their passion in choreography, lighting, and costume. Through their dedication to the art form our artistic team collaborates to complete the dance works in hope that they will inspire, express, and move our audiences— lighting design/set design captures the dancers and story of the work, costume design and construction further deepens the theme of the work and the dancers' lines, and the choreographer creates a living moving landscape that can tell a story or abstract the essence of an idea.
Artistic Director, Jennifer Camp, our Technical Director, Tal Sanders, our Costume Designer, Maia Denzler, and James Healey (see faculty biographies) for each show.
2023-2024 Featured Visiting Alum Guest Choreographers
Brenna Calmer returns to Pacific University as a featured dance alum choreographer this fall. She was a four-year member of the Pacific Dance Ensemble and graduated summa cum laude earning degrees in Dance and Mathematics. Brenna returns as an alum choreographer for the second time, bringing a wealth of knowledge to share with our students. She grew up in Beaverton, Oregon, where she began her dance training at Billings Dance Center in many genres, including ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, and acrobatics, and then attended high school at the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, where she furthered her training while performing with the school’s pre-professional company Dance West, under the direction of Julane Stites. She has presented choreography nationally at the American College Dance Association regional conference. Additionally, she has participated in many professional training programs across the nation, including the University of the Arts, Portland Festival Ballet, Polaris Dance Theatre, Northwest Dance Project, David Dorfman Dance, PDX Contemporary Ballet, Bates Dance Festival, and Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project. Recently, Brenna completed her M.S. in Mathematics and currently teaches college math classes in addition to youth dance classes in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary. This past year, she became a certified judge in the Oregon Dance and Drill Judges' Affiliation.
Leiana Petlewski (they/them) is an actor, dancer, choreographer, musician, and
theatre maker who strives to make work that explores universal experiences within particular
circumstances. They hold BAs in Dance and Applied Theatre from Pacific University and a
certification from the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble's Institute for Contemporary
Performance, which is where their passion for experimental dance theatre truly took root and
grew. Recent credits include Junie in Great Wide Open (Portland Playhouse) and Lavinia in
Titus Andronicus (Salt and Sage). Leiana’s process of creation is centered around collaboration
and exploring what it means to be human. They find joy in making multimedia art that involves
working with various art forms and artists. They are very excited and thankful to be making work
at Pacific again.
Michael Wall is an internationally recognized composer, performer, and an educator who collaborates with dancers, choreographers, and filmmakers worldwide. He composes original music, accompanies dance classes, and teaches sound design for dance and performance with Ableton Live. Michael has worked at Rutgers University, Princeton University, NYU, The Ohio State University, The Bates Dance Festival, The American Dance Festival, and is currently on faculty at The University of Utah, School of Dance. He’s supported independent artists in digital music distribution for the last ten years and offers a comprehensive online library of music for dance students, teachers, and choreographers. You can find all of his music at www.soundFORMovement.com
Maia Denzler is a textile and theater artist based in the Portland metro area. Her costume designs and commissions have most recently been seen in A Dream Play (Portland State University), Great Wide Open (Portland Playhouse), The Magic Flute, and Good Country (Portland State University). Other recent costuming credits include What I Learned in Paris, A Christmas Carol, and Chicken and Biscuits (Portland Playhouse), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and King of the Yees (Profile Theatre), along with NW Dance Project and the Young People’s Theatre Project. Her textile artwork in The Born Project was also recently displayed in the Friends of Dorothy exhibit
at the Gallery at the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts in Beaverton and the Lincoln Hall Gallery at Portland State University. Examples of her work can be found at www.maiadenzler.com.