Artistic & Executive Director
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 facilitate the creation and development of Modern Dance in Cincinnati. Jeanne has created over a dozen evening-length works and produced countless events. She has collaborated with a great number of 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.
Education and Outreach Director
Instructor at Clifton Cultural Arts Center and Turkey Foot Middle School
Abby Carlozzo graduated with a BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University before going on to pursue her MA in Dance from Temple University with funding from a 2014 Beinecke Scholarship. During her time at OSU, she had the opportunity to dance with such distinguished artists as Bebe Miller, Jimmy Ortiz, Tine Salling, Ann Sofie Clemmensen, and Abby Zbikowski.
In 2014, she conducted research in crosscultural 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.
Instructor at Clifton Cultural Arts Center
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, in which 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 Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibit, Performance and Time Arts, and Area Choreographers Festival. McKenzie teaches the children’s classes through MamLuft&Co. Dance’s Education and Outreach Program.
Instructor at Clifton Cultural Arts Center and North Avondale Montessori School
Kim has dedicated her career to empowering people through arts education. She is a thoughtful teacher who meets students where they are to help them develop artistic mastery as well as individual confidence. Each student is coached to respect the discipline of their craft throughout the journey toward creative expression. She has studied, choreographed, and directed dance, vocal ensembles, and musical theatre throughout her career. She is a certified music educator with over 30 years of teaching experience.
Instructor at North Avondale Montessori School
Jeri is a modern dance teacher, choreographer and performer. She earned her BS in Kinesiology from Indiana University, and MFA in performance/choreography from Temple University where she taught for two years. Jeri moved to Cincinnati 17 years ago and quickly found a home in the community dancing and with choreography through the Contemporary Dance Theater (CDT), Growth in Motion, and in schools throughout the city. Jeri was commissioned by Miami University (OH), Berea College (KY), and college of Lake County (IL) to guest teach and set new works for their companies. Jeri has been a dancer and a choreographer in the CDTs Area Choreographers Festival since 1997. She worked as a Teaching Artist in Residence through programs funded by Artlinks, ArtsWave, CPS Arts Integration Project, and VSA of Ohio. Jeri is currently an Adjunct Faculty at UC-CCM. She is an active participant in the life of dance in our region as a Founding and Board Member of OhioDance. She is also an overall arts advocate as Co-President of Mariemont School Districts Arts Association.
Instructor at North Avondale Montessori School and Parker Woods Montessori School
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). In her first year with MamLuft&Co. Dance, Ms. Martin performed leading roles in multiple works and collaborated on a special project, the company’s dance film entitled Unyielding.