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.



Administrative Director

Apryl Renee Pipe is a dance artist and instructor.  She received her M.F.A in dance from Arizona State University (2004).  Over the past year, Apryl became apart of the EMU Dance Faculty. As an associate artist, she has performed and choreographed work for People Dancing.  In 2016, she created a dance theater piece for EMU dance students. .

In the U.K., Apryl has co-led participatory arts projects for underserved and hard-to-reach populations.  She co-founded FLUX Dance Project and Spinning Yarns Dance Collective in San Francisco. Apryl has taught dance at Mesa Community College (Mesa, Arizona), College of San Mateo (San Mateo California). She has been a guest artist/teacher at Glendale Community College, (Glendale, Arizona), The Goose Route Dance Festival (Shepherdstown, West Virginia) and Eastern Michigan University.

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