Kara Robertson, Artistic Director
Kara Robertson is the Artistic Director of Richmond, Virginia’s KARAR DANCE COMPANY. Since the launch of their inaugural concert in April 2017, KARAR DANCE COMPANY has grown into a multi-faceted, collaborative conduit for artistic expression, reaching audiences both locally and beyond.
The company has worked with New York City’s Harper Continuum Dance Theatre for The First Annual Artists’ Showcase at The Barns of Kanak in Prince George, Virginia as well as on Sessions: Affected with Gallery Edit and musician Ryan Davis in Richmond. KARAR produced their second production Across Disciplines as part of artoberVA in October 2018, where Kara premiered three new works in collaboration with local artists; Affected with original music by Ryan Davis, The In-between featuring visual art by Katy Pumphrey, and dance film Where to from here? in conjunction with Callie Moore. The company has since performed at the American Dance Guild Festival in New York City at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, the Newburgh Illuminated Festival in Newburgh, NY, Small Plates Lorton, and the Richmond Dance Festival.
KARAR DANCE COMPANY was named an “upcoming company” by RVA Magazine following their performance in the 6th Annual Richmond Dance Festival. Kara and her work has received attention by CultureWorks Richmond, Virginia this Morning on Channel 6, VCU Alumni in spotlight feature including article “Refined movement”, and Broadway World.
In April 2018, Kara initiated Homegrown Choreographers, an online community where choreographers share what their creations and the impetus behind their work. This collective aids in the growth of dance across the country by supporting the dance makers themselves. You can find Homegrown Choreographers on Instagram and at homegrownchoreographers.work.
As a resident at the 2019 Mudhouse Residency in Agios Ioannis, Crete, Kara connected with fellow artists from multiple disciplines and countries around the world while continuing to explore and develop her choreographic voice. She has also attended the Chunky Move and Countertechnique Workshop with then Chunky Move Artistic Director, Anouk Van Dijk in New York City. Kara was selected for Doug Varone and Dancers’ DEVICES Choreographic Mentorship and Intensive which culminated in the premiere of her work StandStill at Gibney Dance in August 2016.
Kara graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography and minor in General Business. She was the recipient of the VCU Dance Bobby Chandler Award in Honor of Chris Burnside and Outstanding Choreographer award. Her work Amid was selected by adjudicators from the Mid-Atlantic American College Dance Association to be presented for the National Conference held at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 2016. Kara studied at ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival with support from the VCUarts Dean’s International Study Grant. In Summer 2013, she studied abroad in Sicily under the direction of Melanie Richards on a VCU Summer Study Abroad Scholarship.
Kara is a Richmond native and alumna of Henrico High School Center for the Arts.
Corin Illsley, Associate Artistic Director & Dancer
Corin Illsley began her dance training with The Crossroads School of the Arts at the age of eight. She continued to concentrate in ballet at Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet. From there she attended Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy in 2006 where she discovered her love for modern and contemporary dance. Two years later she was approached by Shenandoah University‘s dance department and was asked to attend during high school. Illsley has performed works by Doug Varone, Netta Yerushalmy, Jessica Taylor (DAMAGEDANCE), Christian von Howard, Judith Steel, and Maurice Fraga. She was apart of the Richmond Dance Festival in 2014 and 2016. Corin Illsley graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a BFA in Dance and Choreography, May 2014. Corin joined KARAR DANCE COMPANY in October 2016 and has performed with the company for both the Inaugural Concert and Across Disciplines as well as the First Annual Artist’s Showcase and Sessions: Affected.
Meet the Dancers
David Alexander Deegan
David Alexander Deegan was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in King George, Virginia. In May 2015 he received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Dance and Choreography. During his time as an undergraduate student, he performed Democracy by Doug Varone in New York City alongside classmates from VCU DANCE. He acquired scholarships from the American Dance Festival in North Carolina. While attending the summer intensive David had the pleasure to perform Cark Flink’s work A Kindness to Ravens and Gregory Maqoma’s Dry Well. David was also given the opportunity to audition for Pilobolus and was considered in the top three for their Apprenticeship program. In 2016 he joined Clancy Works in Maryland and had the opportunity to perform at Dance Place with their Kitchen Sink Fest in Washington, D.C. and also performed in Brooklyn, NY with Left Side Labs’ Shared Ecologies. David most recently began working with Next Reflex Dance Company and Agora Dance Company performing Under the Lemon Tree and being apart of the 3 Minutes Max performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
David joined KARAR DANCE COMPANY in June 2018 and his since performed for Across Disciplines in Kara Robertson’s The In-between.
Besides dancing David can play different musical instruments and has training in MMA and Weapons Art as well as being certified in Thai Yoga Body Work.
Caroline Echevarria is a native of Richmond, VA, and has been dancing for over 20 years. She graduated from Elon University in 2016, having completed a B.F.A. in Dance
Performance & Choreography and a B.S. in Exercise Science. While a member of the Elon Dance Company, she had the privilege of working with choreographers such as Larry Kiegwin, Summations Dance Company, and Trent Williams. Her choreography has been featured in the short dance films Havoc (2014) and Busk (2014). Since graduating, Caroline has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant on the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit at VCU Medical Center, as well as a dance teacher at Ann Catherine Cross School of Dance in Mechanicsville, VA. She began working on her M.S. in Kinesiology at Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall of 2018.
Caroline joined KARAR DANCE COMPANY in October 2016 performing in Kaizen and Amid for the company’s Inaugural Concert. She has since performed with the company at the 2018 Richmond Dance Festival and for Across Disciplines in The In-between.
Amy Mulder is a recent BFA graduate from VCU’s Department of Dance and Choreography where she formally presented two works and performed in faculty works by Eric Rivera, and MK Abadoo, as well as various student works. Amy spent a semester in Paris, France where she attended choreographic workshops with artists Nathalie Pubellier in Paris, Maurice Causey in Amsterdam, Nadine Beaulieu in Rouen, and Heidi Weiss in Berlin while also participating in the SHARE intensive. Amy has performed excerpts of repertory by Sidra Bell, Itzik Galili, and Yin Yue. Since graduation Amy has traveled to Newburgh, NY to perform Amid by Kara Robertson with KARAR DANCE COMPANY.
Amy Perkinson received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/International Business from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also spent time at the University of Virginia- Institute of Shipboard Education Study Abroad, as well as the Consorzio Universitario Mediterraneo Orientale A R.L in Siracusa, Italy. She had the privilege of continuing her education by attending the American Dance Festival Winter Intensive, Doug Varone and Dancers Winter Intensive, Joe Goode: Movement for Humans Workshop, and was a member of the Inaugural ODC Next Moves Summer Intensive in San Francisco, California. She performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center in Mark Dendy’s world premiere of “Ritual Cyclical.” Amy is currently a member of Harper Continuum Dance Theatre, where she recently performed with the company and the University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV) at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City. For the last year, she has lived in Williamsburg, VA and is the proud Co-Owner of Pure Barre Williamsburg!
Amy joined the company in October 2016 and has since performed Kaizen and Amid for performances at The Grace Street Theater and the 2018 Richmond Dance Festival.
Haley Wall, who currently resides in Richmond VA, received her BFA in Dance and Choreography in May 2019 from VCU. There, Haley performed in faculty works by Scott Putman, Melanie Richards, Judith Steel, and Eric Rivera, as well as various student works. While abroad, Haley attended numerous choreographic workshops including Maurice Causey in Amsterdam, Heidi Weiss in Berlin, Nadine Beaulieu in Rouen, and performed repertory by Hofesh Schechter, Jirí Kylián and Crystal Pite. She is thrilled to be dancing for KARAR DANCE COMPANY where she has performed Amid in Newburgh, NY for the Newburgh Illuminated Festival and is excited to be an original cast member for Circadian.
Board of Directors
Thomas Breeden Vicky Echevarria
Lorie Illsley Melanie Richards