“Mature, intricate, and exacting choreography…” The Stranger

Company Members & Staff

  • Ellen Cooper
    Ellen Cooper

    Ellen Cooper was born in Olympia, WA where she began her dance training in ballet, jazz and theatre dance. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Magna Cum Laude, from Cornish College of the Arts in 2012. Here, she worked with choreographers such as Patricia Hon, Alia Swersky, Cyrus Khambatta, Rhonda Cinotto, and Wade Madsen. Ellen has also studied with The Mark Morris Dance Group and on scholarship with The Joffrey Ballet School. She joined Khambatta Dance Company (KDC) in 2012, where she has the opportunity to perform and tour internationally. In addition to performing with KDC, Ellen is always taking on new live performance and dance for film projects in the Seattle area. Ellen has always been passionate about working with youth and teaches creative dance, contemporary, ballet, pointe, jazz and lyrical in the Seattle area. She has been a teaching artist in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Community Education program since 2012 and is both the Ballet Program Director and the Creative/Conemporary Program Director at Rainier Dance Center.

    • Meredith Sallee
      Meredith Sallee

      Meredith Sallee was born and raised in Southwest Georgia. She attended Bates College (Lewiston, ME) and received her BA in Arts History with a Secondary concentration in Dance. In college, Meredith worked with notable choreographers Jodi Melnick, Louis Gervais, and Carol Dilley. She was a company member of Fuzion Dance Artists (now Sarasota Contemporary Dance) in Sarasota, FL and after moving to Seattle in 2009 joined Khambatta Dance Company. Meredith has worked with many PNW artists such as KT Niehoff, Kristin Hapke, Shannon Stewart, and Marissa Niederhauser and performed on many Seattle stages, from On the Boards and ACT Theater to Velocity Dance Center. Meredith is KDC’s company manager, a dance instructor at Spotlight Dance & Performing Arts Center in Renton, an Administrative Manager at CAREGIFTED, and avid daresay rabid pet owner.


      • Ethan Rome
        Ethan Rome

        Ethan Rome graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Dance, Psychology, and Entrepreneurial Management. There he had the pleasure of working with multiple faculty and guest choreographers including: Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Nicholas Liechter, Mario Zambrano and many more. He danced two seasons with the University’s touring repertory company: Dancers In Company. After graduating he spent a summer learning at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts. He has created dance works for the University of Iowa, Dancers In Company, Kayle+Company, the All Out Kids, Ballet Chelsea and the Khambatta Dance Company.  Ethan now teaches at The Studios Center for Performing Arts and Crescendo Dance Academy. He has danced for the Seattle Opera Theater and various projects and is thrilled to be finishing his second season with the Khambatta Dance Company and looks forward to continuing in the fall as well as creating more original work.


        • Sean Tomerlin
          Sean Tomerlin

          Sean Tomerlin began dancing in Fresno CA at the severance Fresno ballet school. He later graduated from Cornish where he studied under and danced for Wade Madson, Gerard Theoret, KT Niehoff, Oliver Wevers, and Deb Wolf among others. Sean has danced for the Fresno Ballet, Arc Dance, Thodos Dance Chicago, Ballet Met, Dance Kaleidoscope, DASS Dance, The New Animals, and Lingo.

          • CarliAnn Forthun
            CarliAnn Forthun

            CarliAnn Forthun grew up in Yakima Washington. In 2012, she graduated from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia with a B.F.A in Dance and a minor Kinesiology. In 2012, Forthun received a scholarship from EDAM where she trained with Peter Bingham in contact improvisation. Forthun has been fortunate to work with Rob Kitsos, Noam Gagnon, Judith Garay, KT Niehoff, and Cyrus Khambatta. She made the move to Seattle in 2013 and is enjoying her second season with Khambatta Dance Company! She is also a company member and outreach coordinator for Intrepidus Dance Company

            • Cyrus Khambatta
              Cyrus KhambattaArtistic Director

              Cyrus Khambatta was born in Syracuse, NY to parents of East Indian and European decent. As an artist he seeks to reach out to and communicate with his audience through his work. He founded The Phffft! Company (now Khambatta Dance Company) while attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied dance and theater.

              His choreographic works have been presented in twelve US states, throughout Europe, in Russia, Latin America and Canada, commissioned by companies such as Ririe Woodbury Dance (Salt Lake City), Pisorrojo (Caracas, Venezuela), Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theatre (Seattle, WA), Evergreen City Ballet as well as Khambatta Dance Company (KDC) and others. He received California’s Damen New Choreography award and was selected for the 2004 National Dance Project/New England Foundation for the Arts Regional Dance Development Initiative as well as a 2006 Artistic Leadership program through Dance USA funded by Paul G. Allen Foundation.. His work with KDC has been supported by numerous funding and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad, including the National Endowment for the Arts and The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. He is also the Artistic Director of the Seattle International Dance Festival, Beyond the Threshold which partners with Cornish College of the Arts and other organizations to present over 100 national, international and local artists each year.

              In addition to the many national and international venues he has toured with KDC, as an independent dance artist and director, his work has been presented at The Smithsonian Institution, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Young Choreographers Festival (Caracas), The Dartington Improvisation Festival (England), The Bialystok Dance Festival (Poland), The New York Improvisation Festival and the Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation and others. He has conducted numerous residencies internationally, including sponsorship by the French and Venezuelan governments and produces the Wild Meadows summer dance program in Schellsburg, Pennsylvania.

              He has lectured internationally including such institutions as the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation in NY, the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), Canal Danse and Contemporary Dance Theater (both in Paris), George Washington University, the University of South Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth University, New York University, University of Washington, University of Western Washington and others. In Seattle he has taught at Freehold Studio Theatre, Velocity Dance Center and The Moore Theatre’s Dance This! program, Seattle University and Cornish College of the Arts, where he also directed Swan Lake Remix, a contemporary physical theater version of Swan Lake.

              He has initiated numerous community-oriented workshops addressing the needs of the under-served population. In the Washington, D.C. area, he has conducted workshops for the deaf at Galludet University, for inner city youth as well as for the visually impaired and mentally and physically challenged through Penn Visions, a mixed-abilities dance company. In New York City, he initiated a language-through-movement training program funded by Manhattan Community Arts Fund and The Harkness Foundation provided to elementary students in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. In Seattle, he initiated The Youth Dance Empowerment Project conducted in partnership with Delridge Neighborhood Development Project and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

              • Constanze Villines
                Constanze VillinesManaging Director

                Constanze trained at SVN and Tanzprojekt in Munich, Germany, as well as The Bosl Stiftung, part of the Munich Opera until age eleven. She then expanded her dance training to tap, jazz, and contemporary/modern, and also spent several years on gymnastics and rhythmical gymnastics teams. Constanze attended Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany for theater arts, and also studied at Santa Monica College  and Dance Experiment in Los Angeles, CA.

                Constanze has danced for Brigitta Toma, Tanztheater Salome, Marlo Ariz (badmarmar), Erin Nichole Boyt (Version Excursion), Sara Sader / Amy Weaver (Sapience Dance Collective,) Kimberly Holloway, Cyrus Khambatta, Maya Soto, Alicia Mullikin, and Xaviera Vandermay (3rd Shift Dance,) amongst others. She had the pleasure of performing at The Munich State Opera, Tanztheater Salome, Tollwood Festival, Dance Experiment Los Angeles, SIDF, VE’s Standing in the Storm, Body Politics Tacoma, Converge Dance Festival, and more.

                Constanze’s work has been shown throughout Seattle at Velocity Dance Center, the Seattle International Dance Festival, The Pocket Theater, The Neptune Theater, and more.

                Constanze is the managing director for Khambatta Dance Company and produces, in cooperation with Cyrus Khambatta, the annual Seattle International Dance Festival (SIDF.) She is also a film & television professional with over 15 years of experience in film and video production, as well as live event producing. Constanze owns her own production company in Seattle, WA and is presently working on finishing her first independently financed short film. She is also busy creating new works for her own dance company re:flexion Dance.




              Board of Directors

              • Cyrus Khambatta, President/Executive & Finance Committee
              • Fisher Qua, Board President
              • John Jensen, Officer
              • Walter Weston, Treasurer / Finance Committee
              • Krina Turner, Officer
              • Erin Boyt, Officer

              SIDF Advisory Board

              • Donald Byrd
              • Deborah Cochelin
              • Dan Mayer
              • Glenn Kawaski
              • Tim Lynch