Founder & Creative Director

Joanna McNamara is the founder and curator of Screen Dance International, is a contemporary choreographer, dance film maker and scholar with an interest in capturing the convergence of relationships and activities reflective of Detroit and other urban landscapes. She is creative director of JMc/Productions, a non-profit organization for the purpose of making and presenting dance films. Her dance films have been presented in conjunction with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble at Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall (2014 and 2016), at the International Video Dance Festival in South Korea (2015 and 2016, 2017), at Detroit Dance City Festival, on CTN-TV Ann Arbor, and in a variety of other regional and national venues.

 Joanna’s dance film “LANDcakeLOCK,” which was made with filmmaker Steven Karageanes for Moving24FPS, was awarded Audience Choice and presented as part of Detroit’s Cinetopia Film Festival (2017). Her chapter, “Filming Jitdance; Detroit Redux,” will soon be published in Back to the Dance Itself: Phenomenologies of the Body in Performance, (University Illinois Press, Sondra Fraleigh ed). It is about the process of making her dance film, “Jitland: Detroit Redux” (2016), at the Heidelberg Project in Detroit, along with Detroit Jit dancer and choreographer Haleem “Stringz” Rasul. Joanna is a professor in the School of Music and Dance at Eastern Michigan University.  

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Director of DDCF

Director of Detroit Dance City Festival, founder of ARTLAB J and Artistic director and choreographer of ARTLAB J DANCE. Originally from Seoul, Korea, she received her B.A (2006) and M.A in dance from Kyung Hee University in 2008.  She toured internationally with the Seoul Dance Theatre from 2004-2007 and she was Final List Performance at the 2007 Seoul International Dance Competition and 3rd prize performance at the 2007 Korea National Dance Competition. She danced with various dance companies in Korea before moving to New York in 2009. She then joined Time Lapse Dance and Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre and began her own choreographic work in New York. In 2012, she moved to Detroit to achieve her goal to expand contemporary dance as well as the arts community in Detroit and decided to establish ARTLAB J, 2012.

Jung has taught workshops at Wayne State, the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan, as well as at the Oakland County Dance Fest. ARTLAB J DANCE has performed in venues such as the the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Circus Park, Ann Arbor Art Fair, Oakland Dance Festival, The Current Sessions (NYC), The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mix at the Max, the Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts, and the Detroit Opera house for TedX. This year, ARTLAB J DANCE will perform in South Korea as a part of a new exchange program. ARTLAB J was also the recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge matching grant in the Summer of 2014. This grant will help support the 2015 and 2016 DDCF.




Breeann Birr de Oliveira is a freelance creator based in Detroit. She began her academic career by attending College for Creative Studies for both product and graphic design. She has since received her associates from Oakland Community College in Business Administration and a Bachelors of Science in Dance from Wayne State University. Currently, she is on a path to obtaining a Masters of Arts degree in Teaching Artistry with a focus in dance from Wayne State University.

Combining her various interests and skills, Breeann has been able to work for some of the most creative and exciting organizations in Detroit. Breeann’s professional endeavors have included being the director of social and digital media for Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, administrative director for Complexions Detroit Summer Intensive and BAIRA Detroit Intensives, company member, marketing and media manager for ARTLAB J Detroit, and graphic designer and brand developer for Screen Dance International. She is also pursuing freelance photography, videography, and graphic designs within the realm of performing arts in effort to make quality work readily available and affordable for other artists.

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