To create performances that are witty, soulful, intelligent , powerful and intriguing.
To create performances that are witty, soulful, intelligent , powerful and intriguing.
To present new, exciting, challenging and inspiring contemporary dance performances to the widest possible audience.
To encourage the integration and inclusion of people with disabilities in dance and in society.
Zazel Chavah O'Garra
Zazel is an accomplished dancer, actor, model, and a brain tumor survivor!
Early in her career, thanks to a combination of determination, hard work, positive attitude, and charm, Zazel established a thriving career in the performing arts, with a body of work extending from the concert stage to magazine publications. A graduate of the High School of Performing Arts (New York), Zazel also attended the SUNY Empire State College and the University of Michigan where she received a Bachelor of Arts in dance performance. A Presidential Arts Scholar, she performed with Mark Dendy Dance Company and Alvin Ailey wksp II, choreographed fashion shows, and conducted master classes in Modern, Jazz, and African Dance in the United States and Europe. Zazel also performed in numerous stage productions Off Broadway and Europe and after her surgery she was honored to tell her “story of survival” to a packed house in “Nothing like a Dame” at New York’s Schubert Theater on Broadway, a benefit and fundraiser for the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Actor’s Fund featuring celebrities from stage and screen. As a signed client with Wilhemena modelling agency and Cunningham, Escott,Slevin, and Dipene talent agency, Zazel appeared on two issues of Essence Magazine, as well as several catalogue and runway jobs in United States and Europe. She also appeared in national and regional commercials, numerous industrials and supplied voice-overs for a number of ads. Zazel also served as a movement coach for the soap opera “As the World Turns.”
Zazel received the John F. Kennedy Center (VSA) Very Special arts - National Teaching Artist Fellowship.
Wanting to share her story she performs Inside/Out…Voices of The Disability Community nationwide directed by Ping Chong. She also shares her disability story in Ping Chong’s “Secret Histories” in the New York City Public Schools and most recently at Lincoln Center. In 2014 she appeared as a guest speaker and a performing artist at the first Black History Month program on disability at the White House. She was also hired to share her story of survival on Dr. OZ. She worked on “Sing the body” a documentary filmed by director Madeline Hunt-Ehrlich. The film identifies a person which has a disability and who has performed dance/ movement that deals with the body. Zazel recently appeared on theatre row at the Beckett Theatre performing with ThisAbility the fully inclusive Performing Arts Professional Theatre Company under the direction of Jamie Petrone. Zazel is on the DANCE/NYC task force which was formed to bring groups and/or artists producing dance work focused on themes and issues of disability. DANCE/NYC task force members meet quarterly at the Mayors office of Disability to discuss starting programs for disabled children to learn dance in the New York City public schools. Zazel has been appointed to the Arts and Education Committee by Chancellor Farina of the Board of Education.
Zazel has just released a DVD “Dancing Beyond Disability” for individuals with and without disabilities.
Zazel is represented by Cunningham, Escott, Slevin and Dipene talent agents and is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA and the IAMPWD (Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People with Disabilities.) Zazel praises God for her re-birth and gives back by offering creative movement to the physically and mentally disabled. She has also been named the Ambassador for the Voices Against Brain Cancer.
Zazel received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University and is also a counselor.
Zazel is partnered with the following organizations:
SASHA ROSS BECKER
Sabrina Bennett is 33 years old and is a peer mentor individual living with spinal cord injury as well volunteering in the Recreational Department at Mount Sinai Hospital. After her injury, Sabrina was able to adapt and further express her emotions through dance. She has performed with RollCall and Mount Sinai Dance. Sabrina Believes we as individuals were not meant to blend in but only stand out.
Ugo Harris is a Freestyle Physiques Personal Trainer.
Proud father of 6, is a wanna be chef, Super Fitness Enthusiast, Aspiring Actor, and takes on any challenge given. A Chippendales Burlesque dancer, Harlem Theater of Dance, Boxing Instructor and Movement Choreographer. and explorer of anything new. Ugo enjoys Cardiovascular Training, Dance Aerobics, Aerobic Boxing. Ugo believes, "Everything is an exercise as the world is my gym!!"
NANETTE DE CILLIS
Nanette De Cillis began her professional dance career in 1978 after studies with Professor Dorothy Vislocky at Hunter College. With Contact Improvisation, Nanette discovered a movement vocabulary that resonated. She danced with notables Pooh Kaye, Robin Feld, Elise Bernhardt, Remy Charlip, and Johanna Boyce among others. Her work with mixed ability dance began in 1984, when fellow dancer Carey Erickson sustained a devastating spinal cord injury. From that tragedy, came an unexpected medical milestone when Carey walked again, and for Nanette, a life’s passion to create inclusive dance. Most recently, with her own company, No Limit Dance, Nanette has choreographed, danced and raised money for spinal cord injury research in venues from the Brooklyn Historical Society to the Winter Garden. She is thrilled to be joining Zazel and ZCO to continue the work.
Jazalee Sircus is 36 years old was born in New York City. and has cerebral palsy. Raised by wonderful parents, both professional dancers for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Her father was a drummer and mother performed modern dance and ballet. Dance and music are my passion because it's in my blood that’s why I am a member of ZCO Dance Project. Jazalee keeps with daily activities , such as knitting classes, website and business card design . She also attends dance class twice a week.
THE AMAZING AMY (HARLIB)
The Amazing Amy (Harlib) is 60+ years young, and has spent a life time studying various forms of movement and physical theater.
She became attracted to Chinese martial arts, acrobatics and Yoga in the early 1980s, and parlayed that into a solo performance career that took her to Taiwan, and back to her native NYC environs to perform in a wide variety of venues. In 1994, injuries forced her to retire with a disintegrated disc in her spine, torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders, and arthritis that necessitated a total left hip replacement in 1998. All that time Amy never stopped her Yoga, and so hated not performing that she used her extreme flexibility and zany imagination to re-launch her career in March 2009. A right hip replacement in Jan. 2015, dislocated in April 2015 and again in Jan. 2018, has not stopped her!
Already The Amazing Amy has appeared at the Downtown Clown Revue, The Bindlestiff Family Circus Open Variety Show at the Galapagos Arts Space and Dixon Place, The Lava Dance Co. Night of Renegades Variety Show, Cirque Off! at Triskelion Arts Space, Dixon Place, The House of Yes, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and The Gong Show Live! at B. B. King's, NYC and at The Cutting Room, NYC.
Millie Gonzalez is a proud member of ZCO Dance Project, a New York-based modern dance company producing powerful and intriguing dance works of artistic distinction performed by dancers with disabilities. She is also a founding member of Shimmy Sisters, a modern belly dance troupe out of New Jersey, and has performed with Heidi Latsky Dance Company in the human art installation, "On Display." Millie has participated in AXIS Dance Company’s Physically Integrated Dance Intensive & Teacher Training with Artistic Director Marc Brew, and completed a Summer Intensive with Full Radius Dance, learning technique, improvisation, site-specific, choreography and teacher training. In addition, Millie is on the board of directors for the Spina Bifida Resource Network and Alliance Center for Independence, and is the co-emcee for the NJ Disability Pride Parade. She also organizes the ReelAbilities: NJ Disabilities Film Festival at Kean University, which features disabled artists, performers and speakers alongside award-winning international films that promote awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. She is a frequent public speaker and works full-time as a writer, editor and event planner.
Colleen Roche was introduced to dance as exercise and a form of non-verbal expression several years ago. She joined ZCO Dance Project in 2014, and is thankful to be part of a company committed to making dance accessible to all. She also enjoys practicing Parcon, an inclusive, cooperative, site specific movement practice, and is a member of the Shimmy Sisters, a modern belly dance troupe.