Nicola Curry in Paul Taylor's Company B. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

Nicola Curry: The ABT Corps Member Loves Branching Out Into Choreography

This story originally appeared in the August/September 2014 issue of Pointe.

A boxing ring inside a large warehouse during New York's Fashion Week last spring was the set for Nicola Curry's latest choreographic adventure. Donning the ornate necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings of the design team DANNIJO, Curry and her American Ballet Theatre/Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School cast performed a ballet surrounded by models, buyers and fashion photographers. The jewelry designers, who had recently begun taking boxing classes and had just been to a ballet performance, were launching a new line called Boxerina, inspired by both disciplines. Curry was hired a few weeks before their show to choreograph the launch.


It wasn't Curry's first round of dancemaking. Now 28, the ABT corps member got her choreographic break in 2010, when she participated in an initiative to foster ABT members' choreographic talent. With fellow corps member Eric Tamm, she had stayed late after rehearsals to experiment with new partnering ideas. “Her movement is very full, always musical and very strong to the eye," he says. The panel that judged the results included Kevin McKenzie, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon. “It was incredibly nerve-racking to be in front of them," Curry remembers. But her efforts paid off, and the panel selected her to create a new ballet for a special gala show. One opportunity led to another: McKenzie invited her to choreograph a pas de deux for Christine Shevchenko and Joseph Gorak to perform for the Erik Bruhn Competition; and choreographer Emery LeCrone selected her for the Young Choreographers Showcase in New York.

“Being on the other side is so eye-opening," says Curry. “You realize that adaptability, positive attitude and punctuality count for at least as much as, if not more than, technical proficiency." She admits that it can be “hard to put yourself out there," but takes solace in the advice that Ratmansky gave her before the curtain went up on her first creation: It never gets easier.

Fun Facts

Dream role: “Anything dramatic and passionate—I love Kenneth MacMillan's ballets and his heroines."
If you weren't a dancer…:
“I could see myself doing something in event planning."
Secret talent: “My sister and I have a fun challenge going where we do headstands around the world in interesting places—see us at #headstandsaroundtheworld."
What's next:
Getting married, moving to Australia and joining The Australian Ballet

Latest Posts


Gavin Smart, Courtesy ROH

Calling All Ballet Lovers! World Ballet Day 2020 Is on October 29

While very little about this year has felt normal, we're excited to share that one of the dance community's landmark events is returning despite the pandemic. October 29 marks World Ballet Day 2020.

This year's iteration of the annual social media extravaganza features three of the world's leading companies: The Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet. Additional participating companies, which include American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and Boston Ballet, have just been announced. Last year's World Ballet Day was the biggest yet, reaching over 315 million social media users around the world.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Dani Hernandez, REDO U Media Design

Creating Your First Website: Pro Tips for Making a Striking Online Impression

Before COVID, having an active social media presence may have been enough to supplement your in-person efforts of auditioning, taking class and planting yourself in your local dance community. Now that most auditions are virtual and online submissions have been on the rise, it takes more to stand out. "Art is going to continue, but it will look different," says Rebecca Herrin, ballet instructor at the University of Oklahoma School of Dance, who advises her students on how to be competitive in the industry. "So many dancers are doing the same thing, and it's important to get your work to rise to the top."

To be competitive as the industry adapts and evolves, a professional website is the online presence you'll need to help you stand apart from all the chatter. Here are the basics to get you started.
Keep reading SHOW LESS
Serghei Gherciu, Courtesy Bayerisches Staatsballett

Osiel Gouneo on His Cuban Roots, His Favorite Roles and His Grandfather's Powerful Life Lesson

In Pointe's Fall 2020 issue, Bayerisches Staatsballett principal Osiel Guneo talked to us about his career, life as a new dad and what he misses most about his home country of Cuba.


Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks