A native of Kansas City, Tristian Griffin graduated from Texas Christian University with a BFA in Ballet and a minor in English. Following graduation, danced for Garth Fagan Dance Company for three years. More recently, he performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Springboard Danse Montreal, and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Dancing works by William Forsythe, Ronald K. Brown, Ohad Naharin, Gary Abbott, Gregory Dawson, Christian Von Howard, Frank Chaves, and Christian Denice. He was selected for the Charlotte Street Foundation’s studio residency program and Friends of Alvin Ailey.
As a choreographer, Tristian has been commissioned by the University of Kansas, Island Moving Company, Peabody Institute of The John Hopkins University, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Regina Klenjoski Dance Company, and Malashock Dance Company. Tristian started his own dance company, Tristian Griffin Dance Company. TGDC has appeared at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Charlotte Street Foundation, KC Fringe Festival, International Dance Festival, Newport Dance Festival, and Dance St. Louis.
Over the past year, he taught full-time at the University of Kansas as a Visiting Professor of Practice. Tristian is in his second year as an artist-in-residence at Lawrence Arts Center. Tristian is very excited to return to San Diego to create a world-premiere work on the incredible Malashock Dance Company!
JOHN MALASHOCK brings 48 years of experience in dance, theater, opera, television and film to his role as Artistic Director of Malashock Dance. As a choreographer and director, he has created more than 100 choreographic works for stage and screen. John founded Malashock Dance in 1988, after a distinguished performing career with Twyla Tharp’s company in New York, where he performed worldwide; appeared in the Academy Award-winning film AMADEUS; was featured in numerous television specials; and performed in concerts with Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Under John’s leadership, Malashock Dance has become one of California’s premier dance companies, and his work has been presented throughout the United States, Central America, Japan, and Europe. Malashock has many notable collaborative credits to his name: he has choreographed productions at La Jolla Playhouse, the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Music Society, San Diego Museum of Art, UCTV, KPBS, and San Diego Opera (whose production of THE PEARL FISHERS has been stage in fifteen cities throughout North America). John has garnered six Emmy Awards for his dance films, which have aired on over 30 PBS affiliate stations nationwide.
As a leader within the local and national arts communities, John has served on the Board of Trustees for Dance/USA for six years; participated as a mentor/coach to emerging nonprofit leaders for 20 years through the Fieldstone Leadership Network; served on numerous grants panels for the California Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts; served on the Arts Advisory Committee of The Campanile Foundation of San Diego State University ; and served on Vanguard Culture’s Advisory Board
Christopher K. Morgan
CHRISTOPHER KAUI MORGAN (he/him) is honored to return to Malashock Dance & Company, where he began his dance career as a company member from 1995-1998. As a choreographer, Christopher creates multi-disciplinary performances that synthesize dance, storytelling, original music, and multimedia design to explore identity as well as social and cultural issues. He founded dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, in 2011; the same year Dance Magazine profiled him as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. His choreography has received support from Creative Capital, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Performance Network, Dance USA, Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and Western Arts Alliance. His work has been performed in 22 countries on 5 continents.
Christopher is also an arts administrator, curator, and educator. He is currently Vice President of Programming at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center where he curates music, dance, and theater performances, oversees the Schaefer International Gallery, and an arts education program that serves thousands of Hawai’i youth, adults, and educators. From 2017-2021 Christopher was Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place (Washington, DC), stewarding the organization through the triple pandemics of 2020-2021 maintaining the entire staff with no layoffs or furloughs and continuing to pay artists and teachers. Since 2006 Christopher has directed Art Omi: Dance, an annual collaborative residency for international choreographers in New York.
In June 2021, Christopher was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden for the National Council on the Arts and was confirmed by the US Senate for a six year term in March 2022. He serves on the board of the National Performance Network, and was co-chair of the 2023 Association of Performing Arts Professionals Annual Conference. Known as a thoughtful advocate for cultural integrity, inclusivity, and diverse representation in the studio and on stage, his Native Hawaiian ancestry and wide-ranging international performance career influence all aspects of his work. He lives in Makawao, Hawai’i with his husband, opera director Kyle Lang.