Darion Smith (Artistic Director)
Darion Smith, artistic director, resident choreographer, and co-founder of Janusphere Dance Company (JDC).
Smith has created numerous choreographies for JDC, including evening-length works and recent exploration with dance on film. His contemporary dance work has been presented in New York City, California, Colorado, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington State, Mexico, and Spain. In several of JDC's productions, Smith has collaborated with award-winning musicians in both concert and in creation including: Reinhold Heil, Dick Hyman, David LaMarche, Yuval Waldman, Felix Ventouras, Jonathon Haffner, and Jonathan Melville Pratt.
As a dance educator, Smith has been a guest teacher at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College and taught ballet and jazz technique on tour and in New York City for Dance Theatre of Harlem's educational outreach and community programs. Darion taught ballet and "Voice Amplified Dancing", a dance class integrating movement with the voice, at the 2017 American College Dance Association Northwest Regional Conference. He currently teaches dance at the University of Oregon. Most recently Smith lead students through ballet and contemporary technique masterclasses at Pacific Lutheran University as the 2018 guest artist in residence.
As a professional dancer, Smith lived and worked in New York City for twelve years, where he performed with several companies including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Buglisi Dance Theatre, New York Theater Ballet and Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. As a company member of Janusphere, Smith performed in many of the programs presented including his own work.
Darion began his dance education with Kay Fulton at Santa Barbara City College and went on to study dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. Currently, he is a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Oregon's Department of Dance and will graduate with an MFA in dance in June 2018.
As director and co-founder of Janusphere Dance Company, Smith is dedicated to fulfilling the artistic vision behind his work and the importance of the company in the dance world of today and beyond.
Danielle Genest Konicheva (Co-Founder)
Danielle Genest Konicheva is co-founder and and former Associate Artistic Director of Janusphere Dance Company. She began dancing professionally at the age of 17 when she joined Hartford Ballet under the direction of Kirk Peterson. She then went on to become Principal Dancer with New York Theatre Ballet and most recently Island Moving Company. Danielle has appeared as a guest artist with various companies both nationally and internationally including Ballett St. Polten, Cadence Dance Project, Providence Ballet Theatre, Spindle City Ballet, and Connecticut Concert Ballet among others. She is also Co-Artistic Director and resident choreographer for Part of the Oath Dance Theatre in Rhode Island. Danielle’s choreography has been commissioned by New York Theatre Ballet, Tallahassee Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, Island Moving Company, Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, Salve Regina University, and Texas A&M University. Her work has been showcased at Hartford Ballet Arts Exclusive, the Elan Awards in New York City, and the 10th International Ballettmeeting in Austria.
Danielle was recently awarded the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship Merit Award in Choreography. In addition to her choreographic and performing career, she has been teaching ballet at Ballet School New York, Newport Academy of Ballet, and Providence Ballet. Danielle currently resides in Newport, RI with her husband, Petar, and their sons, Niko and Rafael.
Misei Daimaru started her classical ballet training under the direction with Tomotake Nakamura in Tokyo, Japan. She graduated from TOHO GAKUEN College of Drama and Music. After moving to New York City in 2005 she continued her studies at the Alvin Ailey School. As a professional dancer Miss Daimaru hasperformed in New York City and on tour with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Sunhwa Chang / Ko-Ryo Dance, Janusphere Dance Company, Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company and Callince Dance. In addition, Misei teaches ballet and contemporary dance at the Silva Dance Academy and Yumiko Ballet in New York City and Long Island, NY.
Steven Jasso was born and raised in the central coast of California. For the past 10 years he has been performing across the country working for State Street Ballet, Opera Santa Barbara, PCPA, Western Slope Concert Series, Santa Barbara Dance Theater, and is now delighted to perform with Janusphere's. YAY! When he's not performing you'll find Steven skydiving, fire breathing, practicing jiu-jitsu, or reading.
Nikki Pfeiffer is originaly from Santa Barbara, CA, and has received awards from the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance and the city of Santa Barbara for her accomplishments in dance. In 2013, she graduated fromCalifornia Institute of the Arts with additionally training abroad on scholorship in Barcelona, Spain. Some of Nikki’s various performance experiences include dancing in works by Ohad Naharin, Twyla Tharp, Daniel Charon, Glen Eddy, and Colin Connor. Nikki Joined Santa Barbara Dance Theater in 2015 and during her two seasons with the company, she performed in works by Christopher Pilafian, Edgar Zendejas, Emily Schoen, and Joshua Beamish.
Darion Smith, (Artistic Director and co-founder), is placing the innovative and compelling Janusphere Dance Company(JDC) firmly onto the American map of dance. Originally from California, Smith is now based in New York City. Since graduating from the Folkwang Hochshule in Essen, Germany, Darion has been a performing member with professional dance companies in New York City, throughout the states and abroad such as The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet and Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. As a teacher of dance, Smith has been a guest lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College and taught ballet and jazz dance on tour and in New York City for Dance Theatre of Harlem's educational outreach and community programs. As resident choreographer, Darion has created over ten choreographies for JDC including the company's first evening length work Sidewalk Slice!. Smith draws on his collective dance background in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, improvisation, flamenco and dance theater to find new and innovative ways to approach choreography and engage audience members. He has collaborated on many of his pieces with award winning composers and musicians such as Reinhold Heil, Jonathan Melville Pratt and Felix Ventouras. Smith's choreography has been presented at the Riverside Theatre, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, and The Meeting House in Newport, Rhode Island. Most recently the company premiered Smith's newest work in New York City at La MaMa's, Ellen Stewart Theatre. As director and co-founder, Smith is dedicated to fulfilling the artistic vision behind his work and the importance of this company in the dance world of today and beyond.