collapss (COLLective for hAPpy SoundS) is a multidisciplinary art ensemble founded in 2013 by laurent estoppey and composer nick rich. focusing on collaboration, improvisation, and performance in nontraditional locations, collapss specializes in new multimedia art, combining music with dance, video, poetry, and theater. the collective performs in businesses, schools and universities, museums, out-of-doors, and in vacant spaces.
Laurent Estoppey is a Swiss saxophonist and composer residing in Greensboro since July 2010. His activities as a saxophonist include concerts with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and solo performances. As a composer, Estoppey writes instrumental pieces, but also music for theater, dance, video, documentary. Throughout his career he’s consistently been interested in artistic collaborations with various media, performing numerous projects worldwide—folk dance tour in Argentina, theater-performance with Russian group in Mexico, performances with Xhosa musicians in South Africa. Estoppey has previously recorded fifteen albums and shares his activities between the US and Europe. [laurentestoppey.com]
Brianna Taylor is a multidisciplinary movement artist, choreographer, performer, teacher, and investigator. Her work explores intersections between movement, language, sound and objects. She holds an MFA in Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.A. in Dance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the founder and artistic director of Confluence Performance Projects, a multi-disciplinary performance group based in Greensboro, NC. Her work has been showcased in the San Francisco Bay area, Greensboro, NC, Boulder, CO, Portland, OR, and Washington, DC. In 2008 Brianna co-founded SoShe’s Performance Collective in San Francisco, CA, where she continues to create work and perform. In Boulder she was a company member of The Skeleton Dance Project with Onye Ozuzu, as well as Logo Ligi West African Dance Ensemble with the Mensah Brothers, and she co-directed the performance collective Separation Anxiety. She has collaborated and performed with a variety of artists around the United States, and in Ghana, West Africa. Brianna teaches as an adjunct professor at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Elon University and Salem College. She is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches classes at various studios in Greensboro.
Steve Stusek, saxophone, is Associate Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where he is a member of the Eastwind Quintette d'Anches and the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet. Originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, he received his Bachelor's degree in saxophone performance from Indiana University. Before beginning a Master's degree in saxophone and chamber music at Arizona State University, Steve spent a year in Paris studying at the Paris Conservatory (Conservatoire Nationale Superior de Musique de Paris) and the Conservatoire de le Région de Paris, where he was awarded the Prix d'Or à l'Unanimité in Saxophone Performance. After living in the Netherlands for almost eight years he returned to Indiana University and was awarded a DMA in Saxophone in 2001. He has served on the faculties of Ball State University, Middlebury College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He has been on the UNCG faculty since 1999. As a soloist, Steve has appeared with the Eastern Music Festival and more recently with the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble as part of the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial conference. He has been the principle saxophonist for the Eastern Music Festival and the Greensboro Symphony for the past ten years. In 2000, he won the prestigious Dutch Chamber Music Competition as part of the saxophone-accordion duo 2Track with accordion virtuoso Otine van Erp. Together they have performed throughout the Netherlands, the US and on Dutch radio. Steve teamed up with pianist Inara Zandmane and saxophonist Susan Fancher to produce the critically acclaimed recording Louder than Words - music for two saxophones and piano. Steve's teachers have included Eugene Rousseau, Joseph Wytko, David Baker, Larry Teal, Daniel Deffayet, Jean-Yves Formeau, and Leroy Wolter. Steve is the Past-President of the North American Saxophone Alliance. [stevestusek.com]
Emily Aiken is an up and coming artist in the field of Choreography and movement practices. In May 2015, Emily graduated as an MFA student in Dance with a Concentration in Choreography at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she also received her BFA in Dance. Intrigued by the intricate relationship between body and mind, Emily also studies Kinetic Awareness and psychophysical concepts in dance and choreography. Emily teaches movement in Greensboro, Durham, and the Winston-Salem areas, exploring collaborative teaching methods and challenging formulaic structures of dance technique disciplines. Complementary to her training at UNCG, Emily has trained at Broadway Dance Center, Luigi's Jazz Center NYC, and the American College Dance Festival. Emily has also received training from various experiences with companies and conventions such as Hoctor's Caravan Kid, The Professional Dance Teacher's Association, by being a Dance Theatre USA Company Dancer, Starsteps Dance Center Company Dancer, a member of the BalaSole Dance Company in NY, and a current member of Company in Durham, NC and Collapss in Greensboro, NC. [http://www.emilyaiken.com/]
Steve Landis earned an MM in composition (2013) from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and earned an MM in double bass performance (2002) and a BM in composition (1999) both from The University of Florida. Steven studied composition with Mark Engebretson, Alejandro Rutty, James Paul Sain, and Paul Richards and studied bass with Kevin Casseday. As a composer Steven works with many mediums including solo instrumental, mixed chamber groups, large ensembles, digital and mixed media, as well as film and theater. Recordings of his work can be found on Postcards, a double-disc release by the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, and CURRENT recorded by trumpeter Adam Hayes and pianist Kris Carlisle. Works are available through Veritas Musica Publishing. Steven holds the position of Principal Double Bass with the Albany Symphony Orchestra (Ga.) and teaches Composition at Salem College in Winston-Salem. [slandismusic.com]