Choreography

For the first time, Ballet Arizona is presenting the work of its own dancers. Between May 22 and June 1, the company will perform an evening of premieres choreographed by current BA dancers. The evening is the brain-child of Ballet Arizona director Ib Anderson who is letting his dancers loose in the studio.

For many students today, the last step before going pro is a traineeship—a one or two–year program where dancers can polish up their technique and gain professional performing experience. While more and more companies are launching trainee programs, the opportunities they offer (and tuition they require) vary dramatically. Some trainees get to take company class and dance with the corps in larger ballets. Others get private coaching from the ballet masters. In certain programs, trainees participate in some of the company's most innovative projects.

 

How do choreographers create a ballet? Youth America Grand Prix invites audiences to take a peek inside the process this Monday, February 4, with a special benefit program called "Creating the Dance with Marcelo Gomes." Although the American Ballet Theatre principal has only recently begun choreographing, a number of his works have been seen at YAGP galas.

 

If you dream of exploring your voice as a choreographer, you might want to check out Boston Ballet’s Choreographic Intensive. The program, which runs July 30-August 4, gives advanced dancers ages 18-24 a chance to translate their ideas into movement with Helen Pickett and Jorma Elo as their guides. (Check out former student Leah Hirsch’s guest blog about the intensive during its inaugural year).

Collaborating with a composer is one of the great joys of choreographing. But it's a luxury that's usually reserved only for the most successful (or well-funded).

 

Think you've got what it takes to be the next Christopher Wheeldon? Ballet Austin hopes so! The Texas company's biennial choreographic competition, New American Talent/Dance, is currently seeking entrants for the 2012 edition.

 

The contest brings the top three finalists to Austin to create a new 20-minute contemporary work on the Ballet Austin dancers. All three pieces of choreography will premiere in front of a renowned jury and a live voting audience in February 2012. Up to $20,000 is at stake.

 

Got the choreography bug? The Young Choreographer's Festival in New York City is now accepting applications for their June 2011 performance. For the second year in a row, this program presents work by up-and-coming young artists of all dance genres. Any budding choreographer ages 18 to 25 is invited to submit their work to be performed at Symphony Space alongside prestigious guest artists. The advisory board includes esteemed teachers and choreographers such as Kat Wildish, Sheila Barker, Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo, and others.

The first time I saw William Forsythe’s choreography I hated it. Passionately.

I’d just started at NYU and our choreography class was required to see Ballett Frankfurt out in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, my parents happened to be in town that weekend. But I brought them along, assuming anything called “ballet” would be safe.

When you dance, do you do the movement, explore it or listen to how your body wants to perform it?

This weekend I took a workshop with Nathan Trice, a former Complexions, MOMIX and Donald Byrd dancer who now runs his own troupe. His movement style is kind of a modern dance-based version of contemporary ballet; it's slinky and line-driven, but much of the choreography is actively turned in. My body loved the it's amazing flow and kookiness. Yet the process by how Trice wanted us to move was incredibly challenging for me.

Published December 9, 2009
These days, ballet dancers must be open to dancing a range of styles. more »