Director & Choreographer
Jeanne Sopanha Mam-Luft is an interdisciplinarian—a choreographer, designer, and photographer who also dabbles in other trades. She founded MamLuft&Co. Dance in 2007 to help facilitate the creation and development of professional Modern Dance in Cincinnati. Jeanne has created over two dozen evening-length works, produced countless events, worked with 30+ Company Members, and collaborated with many other artists and organizations in a breadth of capacities, from choreographer/director to lighting designer. In 2014-2015, Mam-Luft was the first and only dance artist to be awarded a Arts Ambassador Fellowship from the City of Cincinnati.
Mam-Luft served on the OhioDance Board of Trustees from 2009-2015, and currently serves in the Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Arts Education. She is a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Dance Alliance and was the Assistant Director of Contemporary Dance Theater from 2010-2014.
Mam-Luft holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was also a student of scenic design and dance at their renowned School of Drama. Mam-Luft also studied photography and video at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. As a student, she received full scholarships to both American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. She has taught at Wright State University (Dayton, OH), Texas Woman’s University (Denton, TX), and Brookhaven College (Dallas, TX). Much of her dance work draws from her experiences as an immigrant and refugee of the Khmer Rouge genocide.
All photography and design on this site are Ms. Mam-Luft’s work, except where noted otherwise. Photo above by Rachel Bruce Johnson.
Assistant Company Director
Susan Honer hails from southwest Virginia, currently residing in Dayton, Ohio where she teaches Pilates and SmartSpine© Therapeutic Bodywork. Ms. Honer is dancing in her seventh year with MamLuft&Co. Dance, with whom she is also a Choreographer and the company’s Pilates Trainer.
Susan received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival (where she has also recently taught) and her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and English from Hollins University. Susan’s work has been seen in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New York, and Austria. In 2009, Susan was commissioned to create an original work for Merge Record’s 20th Anniversary Dance Concert, Merge with Motion.
She is also the co-founder of Distance Dances, a blog and video-based dance collaboration with fellow dance artist Gina T’ai. Most recently Susan returned to her alma mater Southwest Virginia Ballet to reprise her role in their original production of Ties. Ms. Honer has been a collaborator and rehearsal director with ML&Co. since 2011.
In 2015-2016, Susan debuted her first full length show for ML&Co., The Double, based on the novella by Dostoyevsky.
Repertory Rehearsal Director and Company Member
Elena is in her seventh season with MamLuft&Co. Dance and is the company’s Repertory Rehearsal Director.
Elena has assisted in choreographing several shows for the company including Double|Sided, a full-length work created in collaboration with Steven Evans, which premiered at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center during the 2015-2016 season.
Born in Queens, New York, Elena received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Cum Laude with a concentration in choreography from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. While at Goucher, Elena performed and studied under such artists as Gabriel Masson, Alan Hineline, Roger Jeffrey, Heather McArdle, Anne Hutchinson Guest, Mino Nicholas, and Janice Garret. After graduating, she moved to Dayton, Ohio and danced for SMAG Dance Collective under the direction of Michael Groomes and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 under the direction of Shonna Hickman-Matlock. Elena has since received her Physical Therapist Assistant degree and works full-time at a skilled nursing facility.
McKenzie Barkdull is a second-year MamLuft&Co. Dance Company Member. In 2014, she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. While completing her studies at “the U,” McKenzie was a member of Performing Dance Company, the department’s professional company. She was able to work with numerous artists from across the globe, including Yannis Adoniu, John Beasant, Carl Flink, Miguel Gutierrez, Scotty Hardwig, Kendra Portier, and Netta Yerushalmy. She attended and performed at ACDA each year as a student and had the opportunity to perform choreography by Lynn Bobzin at the D49 Festival in Chicago in 2013. Upon graduating, McKenzie was selected to study abroad at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, England. While living in Cincinnati, she has had the opportunity to choreograph and perform in the Contemporary Arts Center’s commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Robert Maplethorpe exhibit, Performance and Time Arts, and Area Choreographers Festival. McKenzie attended McKenzie teaches children’s classes through MamLuft&Co. Dance’s Education Program.
Christina Cairns is a second-year company member of MamLuft&Co. Dance. Christina hails from Michigan, where she trained in classical ballet for 13 years with Karen Milligan. She also trained in modern dance with the Harrison Dance Company for three years before going on to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Sport, Arts, and Entertainment Management. Ms. Cairns has had the opportunity to perform works by choreographers Ray Mercer, Christopher Huggins, Roger Jeffrey, David Morse, and Joysanne Sidimus, among others. She graduated in 2015 and moved to Cincinnati to begin her professional dance career. Christina is excited to continue her dance career with MamLuft&Co. Dance!
Education and Outreach Director & Company Member
Abby Carlozzo is MamLuft&Co. Dance’s Education and Outreach Director, as well as a Company Member. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from The Ohio State University before going on to pursue her Master of Arts in Dance from Temple University with funding from a 2014 Beinecke Scholarship.
In 2014, she conducted research in cross–cultural collaboration and studied various traditional and contemporary West African dance forms in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. While there, she interned for the Nomad Express International Multi-Arts Festival, working for choreographer Olivier Tarpaga. She was able to finance her research with support from an Arts Undergraduate Research Scholarship and various small grants within the OSU Department of Dance.
Over the course of her dance training, Abby has had the pleasure of teaching a variety of populations including children, teenagers, and adults, in settings ranging from studios and performing arts schools, to museums and retirement homes. She is an advocate for dance that is accessible to all, regardless of one’s background, experience, or financial ability, and desires to remove the stigmas and fears surrounding dance in order to stimulate a better understanding and awareness of this art form.
Neile Martin is a third-year Company Member and instructor with MamLuft&Co. Dance. A transplant from Chicago, Illinois, Neile recently performed with Renegade Dance Architects and Tarpley Dance Ensemble. She has also performed in repertory by David Dorfman, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Alexandra Beller, and Martha Clarke. Ms. Martin received her Dance Education degree from University of Memphis in Tennessee and also studied at American Dance Festival in numerous sessions. She studied at Instiuto Marangoni School of Fashion in London, England, as well as at Interlochen School of the Arts (Michigan), and Ballet Memphis (Tennesse). With MamLuft&Co. Dance, Ms. Martin performed leading roles in multiple works and has collaborated on a special project, the company’s dance film entitled Unyielding.