H.Lab Performance

About Harper

Harper Piver is a dance and multi-media artist who creates things of all sorts: choreography, films, written musings, music, and little balls crafted from empty straw wrappers. Raised as an only child by a band of characters that escaped from an epic Southern novel, Harper discovered that her imagination was more interesting than yet another game of solitaire.

Harper’s curiosity propels her journey as an artist. In addition to her initial training as a dancer, her work has included significant encounters with music, text, and video. Her creative impulse stems from a desire to investigate and understand people and the places they inhabit. Her art practice exists where life, art, and media merge, creating an ever-changing landscape of convergences.

Until 2005, Harper was based in North Carolina, where her choreography was presented in numerous venues including the American Dance Festival's Acts to Follow Series and an extended tour with the North Carolina Dance Festival. In addition to dance performance with choreographers in the US and abroad, Harper performed with the John Gamble Dance Theater Company as a dancer and musician. Her choreography has been commissioned and presented by companies and academic institutions around the US.

As a video artist, her dance for camera work has been presented in numerous dance film festivals both nationally and internationally. Musically, Harper trained as a classical violinist. She studied Celtic music while living in Edinburgh, Scotland and has since stopped calling her instrument a violin and proudly started calling it a fiddle. She has been fortunate to play on several recordings for Portland-based band Solyoni. Her most recent musical project was The Dark Side of Hall and Oates with Koot Hoomi, a.k.a. husband and collaborator Robert Lurie.

Harper’s artistic practice is also influenced by her experiences as an art educator. She currently teaches studio, composition, and lecture classes in dance and film at Arizona State University and in the Maricopa Community Colleges. She also facilitates explorations in dance, video, and the creative process through residency projects in K-12, higher education, and community settings. Her research on dance, technology, and pedagogy has been published and presented worldwide.

As an advocate for the arts, Harper co-founded The Dance Cooperative, based in her hometown of Wilmington, NC. Now celebrating almost fourteen years of service, the Cooperative is a community-based 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization offering classes, rehearsal space, and performing opportunities to area professionals, teens, and community members. She also served the dance community as a board member for the North Carolina Dance Alliance, a statewide advocacy organization for dance.

Harper has a BFA in Dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MFA in Dance from Arizona State University. Upon graduating from ASU, she was named the Outstanding Graduate of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. She is certified to teach both Yoga and Pilates and is a licensed K-12 Dance Educator.

Harper currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she stays inspired by reading voraciously, traveling often, and singing while commuting. She is slowly working on writing her family back into the novel they abandoned.

Learn more about Harper through her website, harperpiver.com

Company Member Bios

Alexandra Nelson, Assistant Director

Alexandra has been a member of H.Lab Performance since 2010. She studied dance at Arizona State University, has performed with various local dance companies and choreographers, and worked as a teaching artist, museum educator and stage manager. Currently, Alex serves as Director of Arts Learning at the Arizona Commission on the Arts where she manages the agency’s arts education grants, programs and services.

Brittany Hood

Brittany is an Arizona Native. She was raised in Tempe, graduated from McClintock High School, and continued her education at ASU, where she earned a BA in dance. Brittany has enjoyed dancing with H.Lab Performance since 2010 and has been greatly enriched by the exceptional artistry and insanity of its members. Brittany’s day jobs (because every dancer has at least one of those) consist of unsuccessfully keeping her son and twin daughters out of mischief and helping her husband manage their engraving company.

Nichole Milam Muncey

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Nichole is an alumna of Arizona State University where she graduated with a BS in Accounting. During her time at Arizona State, Nichole was a member of the University Repertory Company, DART, and won the Young Artisans Competition. Prior to this Nichole was a member Physical Graffiti, the modern dance company for Glendale Community College. Nichole joined H.Lab in 2010.

Jessica Wenz

Jessica grew up in Arizona and attended California State University, Long Beach, graduating with honors in 2007 with a BA in Dance and BS in Business Management. She received the Outstanding Business Graduate Award out of her graduating class. Since graduation, Jessica helped to create Domino Affect Dance Company, managed lululemon athletica in Newport Beach, and earned a yoga teaching certification from Yoga Works. Jessica has been dancing with H.Lab since 2010. She is currently in school to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy and is an instructor at the Karve Studio in Scottsdale.