JAMovement brings together a team of dancers, comedians, musicians, and chefs to indulge the audience in conversations between love and food. Drawing analogies between all these elements, this show will have you laughing about awkward first dates, crying about heartbreak, and you will leave with full bellies and happy hearts! This show is for the madly in love, the jolted hearts, and the desperate hunters. Whether you are single and want to treat yourself for Valentine’s Day, or you want to bring someone you love to a performance that will activate all of their senses, this show has something for the foodie, the comedy buff, the music lover, and the aunt who is always first to dance at a wedding.

This performance was created with support from [nueBOX] and the AZ Distilling Co.

Date: February 17, 2019

Location: AZ Distilling Co. 
601 W. University Dr. 
Tempe, AZ 85281

Show Times: 6pm & 8pm

Afterparty: 10-12am

Tickets includes live music, performance, 4 course meal & 2 drinks for $75

Must be purchased in advance

Show contains adult content
21+ to attend


Julie Akerly


Julie Akerly is a movement-based performance artist from Tempe, Arizona. Her work uses non-linear storytelling and is often physical, entertaining, interdisciplinary, and site-specific.  Since moving here in 2011 for a graduate degree in Dance and Interdisciplinary Media & Performance at ASU, she has been a leader in the Metro-Phoenix dance community and received the 2017 Mayor's Arts Award in Dance. In 2014 she co-founded the non-profit organization [nueBOX], where she is currently a Permanent Artist-in-Residence and is also the Research & Development Director. Her work has been shown at festivals across the country and pops up in spaces around the valley. 

Mary Upchurch


Recently ranked Arizona’s 99th Best Comedian, Mary has been making Arizona laugh for the past 5 years. She began as a main stage performer and instructor with Jester’z Improv in Mesa, then dove into standup in 2015. She was a finalist in Arizona’s Funniest Person with a Day Job and although she kept her day job, Mary still loves performing all over the valley. Mary’s style of comedy is delightfully self-deprecating and full of energy.

House of Stairs


House of Stairs is a jazz-based collective that draw from funk, soul and pop influences to create a distinct progressivesoundscape. Inspired by the visual innovations of M.C. Escher, House of Stairs exploring multi-faceted interactions between harmony, meter and lyrics that are both compelling and imaginative. 

Jeff Kraus


Chef Kraus is the owner of Crêpe Bar, a restaurant located in Tempe where they just finished remodeling the space to make it bigger.  Their crêpes incorporate seasonal ingredients, thoughtfully sourced from some of the top farms in Arizona and the region. You can find them open for breakfast and lunch and they also offer an exceptional selection of espresso, coffee, and teas sourced from a carefully curated list of purveyors. Chef Kraus has received the Local Hero Award from Edible Phoenix for chef/restaurant in 2015 and named Phoenix Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in 2013, the former ‘Truckin’ Good Food’ chef has continued to advance his neighborhood brunch and coffee spot into an award winning destination.

Rebecca Witt


Rebecca Witt is a recent MFA graduate in Dance from Arizona State University. While earning her MFA, she also attained Arizona’s Dance Teaching Artist Praxis Graduate Certificate with a personal emphasis on Somatic Studies. She now teaches movement courses at ASU as well as Estrella Mountain Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Her love of dance lives through teaching as well as performing and choreographing in various projects.  

Jordan Daniels


Jordan Daniels, is a performance dance artist and Phoenix native, currently residing uptown. He works as a contemporary modern faculty member for the School of Ballet Arizona and Arizona School for the Arts. As well he has been a full company member and collaborator with Tempe based company Conder/DANCE for 5 years. Jordan’s desire at this juncture is to find increased freedom to create at a professional level and gain influence in the contemporary dance and performance art communities of the Phoenix area as well as nationally. His goal is developing a multi-layered approach to performance content employing artistic mediums above and beyond movement; to influence and evoke response from the viewers. Recently Jordan was invited to be a resident artist for NUEBOX, a fast growing artist residency program based in Phoenix. JordanDanielsDance was recently the winner of Scottsdale Community College inaugural C3 choreography competition. The company is also excited to be commissioned by the international dance festival Breaking Ground. 

Dienae Hunter


Dienae Hunter is a movement artist based in Tempe, AZ that has been creating in the valley since 2013 when they began their undergraduate dance major at Arizona State University. While forming a unique movement style in dance technique classes, Dienae was also developing critical thinking and writing skills in the theory classes the program offered. Under the mentorship of Naomi Jackson, Dienae completed an independent study on dance and philosophy and attended conferences for the National Dance Education Organization and the Dance Studies Association. In fulfillment of the dance program’s capstone requirements, Dienae produced a series of three vignettes in motion with titles far too long to include in a bio. As of May 2017, Dienae holds a BFA in Dance and a BA in Earth and Environmental Studies from ASU with top honors of Summa Cum Laude. Since graduating, Dienae has remained an active member of the valley dance community, working with Cruz Control Collective, a radical queer performance group, and choreographer Sara Malan-McDonald in her evening length shows “Birth!” (2016) and “Goddess Rising” (2018). Although primarily a dance artist, Dienae has began experimenting with theatre practices as a performer in Grey Box Collective’s valley tour of “It’s Not That Simple” (2018) directed by Molly Schenck. Dienae’s explorations beyond traditional dance performance also include a recently completed [nueBOX] Studio/LAB residency that they took part in along with three other movement and music collaborators which culminated in a live performance art event titled “This is sponsored by Juicy Fruit” (2018). In addition to performing, Dienae is the editor for the Phoenix Dance Observer, which they also write for using a critical lens to review local dance events and how they relate to systems of oppression and/or acts of revolution.

Felix Cruz


Felix Cruz received their BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010.  After completing their undergraduate studies, Cruz began to tour nationally and internationally with choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones for the revival of Houston-Jones’s piece THEM. In addition, Cruz worked with mentor, friend, and collaborator Charli Brissey on the inception and growth of Maeko Productions. In the three years Cruz worked with Houston-Jones and Brissey, Cruz's artistic voice began to manifest into dance pieces Cruz presented in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Baltimore.  During this time, Cruz began to realize their passions for teaching dance and creating dance works; which ultimately lead them to their MFA in Dance at Arizona State University, which was received in 2017. Cruz has presented work throughout the Phoenix area, as well as Vienna, Austria when they attended Impulstanz in 2015.  The manifestation of Cruz’s experiences can be found in their dance collective, CRUZ CONTROL COLLECTIVE. Since its inception in 2015, CCC has been awarded a space grant at San Diego Dance Theatre, a SEED Residency through nue[box], an Artist in Residence position at Florida Dance Festival, a Residency for Beta Dance Festival, and presented work at Blaktina 2018. In addition, CCC has been asked to participate at many Phoenix community events for their daring and boisterous aesthetic. As the artistic director, Cruz intends to create work that is a social commentary on the affect popular culture has on the world; through a queer lens.  Through embodying practices such as teaching, creating, and dialoguing, CRUZ CONTROL COLLECTIVE seeks to create dance for social change.

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Photos by Jenny Gerena

© 2014 by JAMovement