Jessica Robinson Love
Executive & Artistic Director
Jessica Robinson Love has served CounterPULSE for twelve years. During that time, she has ushered CounterPULSE through a merger and relocation, expanding the organization’s budget ten-fold during her tenure as director. She designed and implemented CounterPULSE’s successful Artist in Residence program, and has curated dozens of performances and workshops. She has also served as guest curator for organizations such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco International Arts Festival.
Jessica is a writer, performer and political activist and her dance writing has been published in In Dance and on CriticalDance.com. She has worked in administration, production, and publicity for artists and arts organizations including Jess Curtis, Keith Hennessy / Circo Zero, Dance Through Time, and the Erika Shuch Performance (ESP) Project.
Jessica served as adjunct faculty member at the New College of California where she has designed and implemented courses including “Activist Arts Synthesis”, “Arts Administration and Cultural Organizing” and “20th Century US History through the Arts.” During her tenure on the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee she was responsible for curating and co-producing the annual Bay Area Dance Awards. She has served on the steering committee for San Francisco Arts Forum, the Theatre Bay Area Theatre Services Committee, the Dance/USA Emerging Leader Task Force, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Alternate ROOTS, a service and granting organization for community-based artists in the Southeastern United States. She has been the recipient of awards and scholarships from Dance/USA and the Bill T. Shannon Leadership Institute, and was the inaugural recipient of the Bay Area Dancers’ Choice Award for her service to the dance community, and she recently served as part of the US delegation to the International Tanzmesse in Germany.
Kat is a choreographer, filmmaker, producer and fundraiser for the arts. She is the Co-Artistic Director of detour dance and the Tiny Dance Film Festival, and has performed for several local dance companies, including 13th Floor Dance Theater, Amie Dowling, EmSpace Dance, Katie Faulkner, and kelly kemp & company/number 9 dance. She also moonlights as a Production Manager for several local artists including Jesse Hewit, Laura Arrington, and THEOFFCENTER and has been a guest speaker at the University of San Francisco and for Eventbrite. Upcoming projects include performing with EmSpace Dance, choreographing for Colin Epstein’s Constants and Variables, and Assistant Directing for 13th Floor Dance Theater.
Margarita relocated to the Bay Area from Southern California in 2003 where she worked as a dance school administrator, program director, and instructor of dance technique. Since that time she has performed locally in movement and text based works for theater and film, engaged in cultural exchange with K-5 students and their teachers in Tacna, Perú facilitating the use of movement to reinforce academic curriculum, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts & Social Justice and Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Prior to joining the CounterPULSE crew Margarita was employed as General Manager for Epiphany Productions Sonic Dance Theater and Front of House Production Assistant for Stern Grove Festival Association. She is thrilled to join the CounterPULSE family and looks forward to helping advance the mission goals of this most unique organization.
Zoë Klein is an international performer, teacher, acrobat, event planner, and lighting designer from Brooklyn, NY. In NYC she has been Tech Director of Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Danspace Project Inc. and has toured as lighting designer or company manager for Eva Dean Dance, Wally Cardona, and Bebe Miller. Zoë is now the space manager for Theatre of Yugen at NOHspace, a master electrician at ODC Theater, and CounterPulse Technical Director. She has worked for SF Local 16 Stagehand Union, and was a production stage manager for Amy Seiwert & Robert Moses at Oakland Ballet. Zoë has toured 28 countries over 6 continents co-directing Paradizo Dance. Paradizo won multiple 1st place awards in Cabaret competitions, was seen on So You Think You Can Dance, and was a top Finalist on America’s Got Talent. Zoë dances for Epiphany Dance Productions and Ramon Alayos Company while booking circus acts for private events.
Julie E. Phelps
Program Director (Interim Artistic & Executive Director OCT 2012 – FEB 2013)
Julie joined the CounterPULSE staff in July of 2008. Originally from Minnesota and received my hold a BA in psychology from Macalester College (St. Paul). She has the tendency to be distinctly in-between, refusing singular personal functions/roles by preserving an intentional imprecision and multi-missioned agenda, maintaining a hybrid life as a producer/curator/programmer and artist/gardener more generally. Julie has toured extensively nationally and internationally as the dramaturg and a performer with Keith Hennessy’s latest work Turbulence (a dance about the economy). She also works as an independent curator and producer, most notably as the director of Too Much! a queer performance marathon and co-founder/member of THEOFFCENTER. She also had the honor of performing with legendary Meg Stewart in her work Auf Den Tisch.
As part of her work at CounterPULSE Julie has led the design and implementation of numerous innovative programs and initiatives including moving to all curated programming, Summer Special, and international and national exchange projects and presentations.
Communications and Engagement Director
Shamsher Virk comes to CounterPULSE with a dedication to performance as a language and tool for collaborative community-based arts. As Graphic Designer, he connects CounterPULSE to our neighbors, our city, our media, and our wider community in cyberspace. Prior to CounterPULSE, Shamsher worked with Joanna Haigood’s site-specific performance company, Zaccho Dance Theatre. Shamsher graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2007 with a B.A. in Human Ecology, a course of study that immersed him in interdisciplinary communication arts and social research methodology. Shamsher’s experience in the non-profit world includes documentary video production work with Interlock Media in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and administrative work with the Centre for Performance Research in Aberystwyth, Wales.