Aaron (Brando) Brandes
Brando has a B.A. in Theater and Communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He earned his Masters Degree in Education from Smith College and has completed the professional actor intensive at Shakespeare & Co. He has directed at Barrington Stage Co., Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School, and served as the Drama Coordinator at Gateway Regional. He has taught theater in schools, retreat centers, and community centers throughout Massachusetts.
Brando spent four months as a resident teacher/artist for La Cambalacha, a non-profit organization based in Guatemala. La Cambalacha’s mission is based on the belief that everyone has the right to experience and benefit from artistic expression as a universal tool for individual and collective development on social, psychological, and spiritual levels.
Brando teaches and performs Contact Improvisation dance throughout the United States and internationally. He has taught and performed in Israel, Czech, Sweden, Finland, and most recently Spain. Brando is a member of the Zany Angels dance/theater company based in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Brando works as the community liaison and curates some of the events held at Earthdance, a non-profit a dance retreat center in Plainfield, Massachusetts. In 2008, upon the success of an Earthdance event, Brando created VIDAM (Valley Improvisational Dance And Movement). VIDAM holds events that are focused on artistic collaboration between community dancers and veteran improvisational musicians. Brando has also initiated a happening called Pollinate, which gathers community educators, organizers, and voices together in a monthly celebration.
Brando is a nationally certified yoga instructor and initiated a 6-month residency teaching yoga to incarcerated men in the Berkshire Correctional Facility.
Brando has been a Teaching Artist with Enchanted Circle Theater since fall 2007 and is active in our artist-in-residence, Summer Shakespeare Academy, Family Literacy, after-school, and professional development programs.
Who We Are
“I’ve never worked so hard in my life. I felt like quitting lots of times, and I’ve never been so proud of myself as I was today after our performance.”
~ 7th grade student, Springfield