about our team


david allen


david allen is a Hispanic-American digital culture worker whose art weaves threads of movement into experiential patterns using kinesthetic interfaces. As the creative lead at CISL, allen collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to both envision interactions with new interfaces, and to facilitate their development into plausible real-world applications.

In culture work, allen performs under the pseudonym “david aloka” in collaboration with dance companies, musicians, and theatrical groups to develop expressive movement–driven systems for live performance.

With fine arts degrees from Pratt Institute and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, allen’s work has been presented at AAAI, the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces at Brown, Dance Studies Association Conference at Northwestern, MIT Hacking Arts, Drexel University, Rutgers, and GameFest; and has been instantiated at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Illuminus Boston, Illuminus on Lawn D, and Kaatsbaan Culture Park.

isabel burlingham


Isabel Burlingham has studied classical dance techniques since the age of six. Isabel performed with the Princeton Ballet School including productions of Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland. For the last ten years, Isabel has focused on social dancing techniques including both LA and NYC Salsa styles and Argentine Tango. For Isabel, dance is the most effective way to stay physically, socially, and mentally healthy — dance is her way of life.


Jamel Mosely is an entrepreneur, DJ, brand specialist, and award-winning visual storyteller in the mediums of film and photography. He is a co-founder and VP of marketing and sales of Collectiveffort, a creative agency and coworking space for creatives in Troy, NY; a co-founder of Root3d, a BIPOC-centered wellness and healing center in Albany, NY; and the owner of Mel eMedia, a full-service multimedia outfit. He is dedicated to building creative ecosystems that will create jobs and provide equity to underserved and marginalized communities.

Dr. Ilya D. Vidrin is a research-practitioner situated at the nexus of performing arts, ethics, and interactive media. Born into a refugee family, Ilya grew up navigating the nuances of cultural expectations, language barriers, and diverging political ideologies. This experience of code-switching fuels his research and artistic practice to interrogate ethical dimensions of human interaction, including the embodiment of empathy, trust, and agency. A graduate of Harvard University, Ilya is the director of the Partnering Lab, an interdisciplinary research platform dedicated to investigation of ethics in social interaction. Based in Boston, Ilya is a Postdoctoral Associate in Theatre and Creative Practice Leadership at Northeastern University.

Christopher Williams, dubbed “one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there” (The New York Times) and “the downtown prodigy” (The New Yorker) is a choreographer, dancer, and puppet artist working in New York City and abroad since 1999. His work has toured in France, Italy, Spain, England, Holland, Colombia, Malawi, and Russia, and has been presented in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Los Angeles, as well as in local venues including Lincoln Center, City Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, P.S. 122, the 92nd Street Y, and La Mama.

His commissioners include The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Opéra National de Bordeaux/Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles, English National Opera, Perm Opera & Ballet Theater, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Princeton University, Philadelphia Dance Projects, and HERE Arts Center’s Dream Music Puppetry Program. His awards include a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship as well as fellowships from The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Center for Ballet and the Arts, and a 2005 New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” Award.

He has also been awarded residencies via the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Watermill Center, the Bogliasco Foundation, Kaatsbaan Culture Park, Mt. Tremper Arts, Bethany Arts Community, Movement Research, Djerassi, Yaddo, and The Yard. He holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, and has performed for Tere O’Connor, Douglas Dunn, Rebecca Lazier, Yoshiko Chuma, John Kelly, and Basil Twist, among others.


Mercedes Searer

Mercedes Searer is a NYC based movement artist. Identity and our notions of fixedness around it are central to her artistic practice. She invests in the idea that bodies are perpetually engaged in processes of biological, social, and cultural performance. Her work explores the gradation of performativity, playing with the dynamic range between pedestrian to hyperbolic performance states. Manifesting these states and supplely shifting between them is the basis of her artistic investigation. Employing various physiological and psychological states, she works with the various rates that performance range can occur in.


Born in the Czech Republic, based out of USA and Czech Republic — BIBIANA is a cross-disciplinary artist who uses installation and technology to interrogate ideas of democracy and colonization in deep space. Current work mashes queerness and emerging archives of interplanetary surveillance in virtual environments. Research interests include political spectacle, censorship, artificial intelligence, and military interests in space. Their work has been shown at Benaki Museum, Athens Greece (2015) and the Satellite Art Show, Miami FL (2016 & 2017); their work has been included in projects that have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY (2017), MoMA PS1, Queens NY (2015) and Petzel Gallery, New York NY (2017) and has been reviewed in the Hyperallergic, ArtFCity and Feature Shoot. Bibiana is a PhD researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founder of Pickled Press and co-editor of Fotofobia.

Béla Baptiste Blezinger

Born in Berlin, Béla developed his love for filmmaking while growing up steeped in the wonderful chaos of Paris and his family of artists. Being the good teenager that he was, he quit high school, moved to Austria, and earned his undergraduate and master's degrees at the Film Academy of Vienna with Michael Haneke as teacher. He currently lives and works in New York City.


SPLENSOFT is a Pittsburgh-based video game and website development company, delivering everything from B2B apps to fully-interactive software phenomena.

Nick Nealon “Nicky Lightz”

Nicky Lightz is a lighting designer and "godsend" to the Capital Region theater community — provides lights, expertise, attendance, support, and personpower to any production.

Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (ESDC)

ESDC presents the provocative and richly imagined choreography of Artistic Director Ellen Sinopoli—founded in 1991 after settling in the Capital Region from Boston and New York City.


IN DIVINE COMPANY fuses temple dance with contemporary urban and abstract dance theater to create an invigorating blend of physically intense and politically astute performance work.

Emily Xie

Emily Xie is a developer + writer living in NYC who loves data, art, and product-minded engineering.

Shankho Chaudhuri

Shankho Chaudhuri is a designer of stages and spaces whose approach to visual storytelling is multidisciplinary, using a blend scenic, video, digital and graphic design.

Madeline Blount

Madeline Blount is a Brooklyn-based artist, scientist, and writer. She undertook a year-long investigation of the poetics and politics of war spaces and border zones in Cyprus, making work in photography, film, ethnography, and dance-theatre.


» Ensemble Congeros | Afro-Cuban, African and New World Percussion » Berkshire Batteria | Samba Troupe » Sydney Skybetter » Natalie Pitcher » Esther Vargas » Nika Ogievetsky » Il-Young Son » Maria Zemantauski | Nylon-String Guitarist & Composer » Brian Melick | Drummer, Multi Hand Percussionist, and Educator » Cathy Zhou | Mechanical Engineer » Kelly Wang | Software Engineer » Shriya Srinivas » Sindhu Majeti » Natalia Andrea Alarcón Díaz | B.F.A, Software Engineering, Universidad de Chile

» Laura Teeter | Model » Paul Cronin | Model » Nicholas Platt | Developer » Tae Kim | Data Scientist » Chien-Whe Hong » Nicholas Platt » Pampi » Loreto Paz Ansaldo » Rose Maison » Eduardo Restrepo » Terina Alladin » Akili Jamal Haynes » Andrea Williams » Jeremy Stewart » Kathleen Ruiz » Tomie Hahn » Shawn Lawson » Richard J Radke » Dane Bush » Ronald Sardarian » Diana Alvarez » Natalie Pitcher » Rose Maison » Kevin Cunningham » Vladislav Voroninski » Emperor CJ





“Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow.”