The Owners

Nana-Singing-Sitar-StraightNana Simopoulos Composer/instrumentalist/vocalist and co-Founder of Topia Arts Center. Her most recent release, Daughters Of The Sun, hit #1 on the New World Music radio charts. She leads an international all-star musical ensemble. World Music of Nana has performed widely in major venues around the world including Montreux and appears on their compilation CD Live at the B&W Montreux Music Festival, Vol. II. She has composed many commisions for theater, dance and films over the past 20 years. She has several acclaimed albums of original music with the participation of world renowned artists; After The Moon, Pandora’s Blues, Wings and Air, Still Waters and Gaia’s Dream. Guest appearances include concerts with Oscar winner Tan Dun as a soloist on sitar in Marco Polo with the New York City Opera and the RAI Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy. She has written numerous commissions for films and dance companies, for festivals, and for choreographers such as Peter Pucci for Pucci Plus Dancers and the Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, North Carolina Dance Theater, American Dance Festival, Ballet Hispanico, and LiquidBody Media and Dance. She has conducted and performed her original music with ensembles at the Joyce Theatre, on Broadway, at the American Dance Festival and at Jacob’s Pillow. She recently wrote music for opera diva Lauren Flanigan and performed with her at the Met and Symphony Space. Ms. Simopoulos wrote the music for the TONY award winning Acting Company’s adaptation of American Dreams, Lost and Found. She is also a faculty member at the New York City School of Visual Arts where she teaches Music and Sound for Film and an Adjunct Professor at New York University where she teaches the Business of Music. Her mother was one of the founders of the theater, Center Stage in Baltimore, MD in the 1960s.

Caryn Heilman is the Artistic Director of LiquidBody media, movement and dance, a nonprofit performing arts and educational organization she founded after performing with the internationally recognized Paul Taylor Dance Company for ten years. Caryn founded LiquidBody to explore dance from a fluid perspective, experimenting with new forms of audience interactive performance formats and movement-based community-building. She has performed as a soloist in more than 50 countries at such venues as Paris Opera Garnier, New York City Center, Kennedy Center and London’s Sadler’s Wells. With Taylor, she represented the United States as a cultural ambassador in Japan, China, India, Egypt, Greece, Russia, Turkey and Hungary and is featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary film Dancemaker. Her choreographic and educational commissions include choreography for Contemporary Dance/ Fort Worth, the Mad Woman of the Woods theater production of Scrambled Eggs, for animation by DorosMotion and by the Puffin Foundation to commemorate the opening of the environmental art park, Teaneck Creek. Most recently she was the choreographic consultant for Julianne Moore in Revolution Studio’s film The Forgotten. Caryn has been a guest artist-in-residence choreographing and teaching master classes and workshops around the world at schools and universities including Beijing Dance Academy, Smith College, Princeton University, Hollins University, Texas Christian University. Her LiquidBody movement classes are popular at community centers and spas. She was awarded a Fellowship and received an MFA in Dance and Technology from the University of California, Irvine, a BFA in Modern Dance and was also awarded a Graduate Assistantship in Choreography for Television and Film, as well as scholarships to the American Dance Festival and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, among others. Founder and Co-Director of Topia Arts Center.