Press Info

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And Now, the Rest of the 2015 Presenters

Music, poetry, and dance, all with Radical Collaboration

We’ve introduced you to 21 of our presenters, and we have three more to tell you about this week — Mark Heinlein, Tandy Beal, and Ryan Amador, all part of the amazing lineup for our all-day event on Friday, April 24.

TandyBeal_credit_shmuel thalerTandy Beal, of course, is legendary in Santa Cruz. Internationally recognized dancer, choreographer, teacher, producer, performer, creative visionary, she will grace the TEDxSantaCruz stage with “Heisenberg Principle – A Dance Performance,” with music by Jon Scoville, her lifelong partner and composer.

Beal served as artistic director for the Moscow Circus in Japan, the Pickle Family Circus, and since 1971, Tandy Beal & Company. She’s a theater arts dance lecturer at UC Santa Cruz, who has brought world-renowned artists to area schools, 48 states, and the world.

Described as our “own personal Cirque du Soleil … a feast of soaring imagination,” she considers collaboration to be a hallmark of her work, with such artists as Frank Zappa, Korean National Treasure AeJu Lee, washi artist Ibe Kyoko, Carl Sagan, Esperanza del Valle, Corazon en Flor, SoVoSó, and composers Lou Harrison, John Adams, Hi Kyung Kim, and Bobby McFerrin. She also choreographed all the major characters in Tim Burton’s movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Photo, above, by Shmuel Thaler.

RyanAmadorRyan Amador
 will also bring music to the Rio stage, with his “Define Me: A Musical Performance.” Amador is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who describes himself as a “self-defining” man. In 2013, he made a statement-making video with singer Jo Lambert called “Define Me,” which challenged listeners to label them and has gotten more than 313,000 views on YouTube.

As Amador described it, “Neither of us is walking around trying to be a gay activist. We’re just living our lives openly.”

Last year, he headlined Brisbane, Australia’s Pride Festival, which was named “Define Me” after his song. He also recently released a music video celebrating the “Spectrum” of sexuality, as he challenges the traditional notions of identity.


MarkHeinleinMark Heinlein brings words and ideas to the music of bass player Myles Forman — and to this year’s TEDxSantaCruz theme of Radical Collaboration.

“Some ideas are not new, like the soul,” he says, “but the emergence of radical ways to experience them is necessary if we are to evolve our collaborative human experience.”

Heinlein is described as a “modern-day everyman” by Ellen Bass, the current poet laureate of Santa Cruz County. “Through him, we see the challenges and joys, the frustrations, despair, and small victories of our lives. He captures the rhythms of thought, the common, odd and tender details, and delivers moments that are arresting, poignant, memorable. He shows us ‘the full catastrophe.’”

A fishmonger from San Jose who works at a grocery store, he says her comments resonate with him.

“Not only do I witness the day-to-day events of a working man’s life, but I witness the banalities, the wonderments, and the tragedies of our ordinary lives. … In the end, being human is shared by all humans, and as a poet, I feel distinctively able to revel in and reveal in a unique way the commonalities and foibles that make up our lives.“

Heinlein graduated with a master’s of fine arts from San Jose State University. An American Academy of Poets/Virginia de Arujo Award recipient, his poems have been published in magazines and online in the Prose Poem Project, Tar River Poetry, and DMQ Review. His book, Everything We Call Ordinary, was published on the Amazon platform CreateSpace in 2014. He was a speaker at TEDxSanJoseUniversity in 2013.

His poem “Gravity” was featured in Poetry on the Move, an initiative launched by Poet Laureate Sally Ashton, the county of Santa Clara, and the city of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The program displayed selected works of five poets on public transit throughout the South Bay.


      The full moon – golden as December

      maple leaves, purity of white

      orchids in spring –

      possesses enough pull to move oceans,

      to maneuver titanic levers of tides.

      Down here, we need some heavenly

      invention to draw us closer,

      body to body, as we move

      through the days like the moon.