Amsterdam-born Elke Schepers studied at the – since closed – Scapino Dance Academy in Rotterdam, where her teachers included Anne Marie Tannenbaum, Ivan Kramar and Benjamin Harkarvy.
Her career started in 1985, when she joined Nederlands Dans Theater 2. In that same year, she won the Dansersfonds Encouragement Award from the Dancers Foundation established by Alexandra Radius and Han Ebbelaar.
In 1987, she was appointed to NDT 1, the principal ensemble, where she soon became Jiří Kylián’s muse. She spent 16 years at the NDT, and then went on to collaborate with many of the world’s most famous choreographers, including Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin and Mats Ek.
In 1997, she won the Silver Theatre Dance Award for her performance in Mats Ek’s work A Sort Of.
She is currently engaged in staging the works of Jiří Kylián all over the world. She also teaches yoga and participates in small-scale dance projects.
Ana Maria Lucaciu is a freelance choreographer and performing artist based in New York City.
Born in Bucharest, Romania, Ana Maria graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada and joined Canada’s National Ballet immediately after. She went on to dance with the Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark), Augsburg Ballet (Germany), The Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company (Lisbon) and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York), where she danced for seven years. Ana Maria has performed and created works with contemporary dance’s foremost choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Jiří Kylián, Jo Stromgren, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and many others. As a freelance performer she has collaborated with New Dialect, Zoe/Juniper, Bryan Arias and Aszure Barton & Artists. She assisted Crystal Pite on her Polaris project at New York City Center, and regularly assists Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman with new creations and stages his work around the world.
Ana Maria is a choreographer in her own right and her work has been presented by the Norwegian National Ballet, New Dialect, Purchase Dance Company, Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, Battery Dance New York, Ballet Finland, Dance Aspen. In 2020 she was commissioned a short solo work by Swedish TV. She also created a full-evening duet with Nathan Griswold that has toured the US and Europe. Her work will be presented by Philadelphia Ballet in the spring of 2022.
Ana Maria joined London’s Rambert 2 company as a rehearsal director for the spring of 2021. She will be joining Alan Lucien Øyen’s Winter Guests as rehearsal director and company manager for their 2022 world tour. In July 2022 she will also become part time rehearsal director for Ballet Flanders in Antwerp, Belgium.
Holder of a BFA in dance from Empire State College in New York, Ana Maria teaches ballet, contemporary, and improvisation workshops at professional programs and dance companies across the US, Europe and Asia. She is a 2018 TedX Bucharest speaker.