top of page


The Higher Ground Festival brings Northern Manhattan artists together to network and create interdisciplinary, stage-based collaborations produced by the festival and presented locally during the annual HG Premiere Performance.   

Since our inaugural year in 2015, Higher Ground has brought over 150 artists together through our Meet & Greet Series and HG Premiere Performances and has produced 43 Premiere Collaborations presented free to the Uptown Community. Additionally we have presented over 10 new works and works-in-progress outside the HGF season.




Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba


Temple Kemezis


Miss Kemezis has performed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Dances Patrelle, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Neo, Craig Salstein’s Intermezzo Dance Company and Henning Rubsam’s Sensedance.  She has performed roles in Coppelia, La Sylphide, The Nutcracker, and Francis Patrelle’s Romeo & Juliet. Other credits include NYC Fashion Week performances with Richie Rich and Berenik, Isaac Mizrahi's Peter and The Wolf presented at the Guggenheim Museum, and several new works by NYC based choreographers. Influential workshops have been the Northwest Professional Dance Project and Alonzo King’s LINES. From 2007-2009, Miss Kemezis worked as a Pointe Magazine contributor under Virginia Johnson and from 2009 - 2018 as Senior Event Manager and Assistant to Chef Julian Medina of restaurants Toloache, Tacuba, and Coppelia. Presently, she is a teacher at the renowned Steps On Broadway studios. She also is Production Coordinator for Steps On Broadway and the Steps Beyond Foundation, as well as Administrative Assistant to Joe Lanteri. 

A native of San Diego, CA., Mr. Ruvalcaba holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and an MFA in Performance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He joined the Limón Dance Company in 1996 and saw an extensive 20-year career. He has performed the works of Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Jiri Kylian, Benjamin Harkarvy and Agnes De Mille. Mr. Ruvalcaba also served as Artistic Advisor to La Compañía Estatal de Danza Contemporánea de Oaxaca, México as well as several New York based dance companies. He is a graduate of the BAM/DeVos Performers in Transitions into Arts Management and a DMUSA/BAM/ECA Alumnus. He currently lectures on and teaches the technique and repertory of José Limón, both nationally and internationally.

Deirdre M. Cipolla


Ms. Cipolla was a professional dancer specializing in Contemporary dance and Musical Theater before entering the Arts Marketing world in NYC, as Associate Director of Marketing for the New York Philharmonic, along with New York City Opera, the Public Theatre, and the Theater Development Fund (TDF).

We thank our partner ​Aaron Selissen, and Board Artists for their support & continuing efforts: Laura Miller, Liza Barskaya, and Navarra Novy-Williams


bottom of page