BalletX Names Nicole Caruana 2020 Choreographic Fellow And John McFall As Choreographic Mentor

2017 Choreographic Fellow Tommie-Waheed Evans’ In between the passing

(Philadelphia, PA) – Christine Cox, Artistic & Executive Director of BalletX, proudly announces that Nicole Caruana is the recipient of the company’s 2020 Choreographic Fellowship. With the program entering its 5th year, Caruana joins a growing list of BalletX Choreographic Fellows that includes Yin Yue (2016), Tommie-Waheed Evans (2017), Andrew McNicol (2018), and Katarzyna Skarpetowska (2019). John McFall, established choreographer and former Artistic Director of the Atlanta Ballet for twenty-one seasons, will serve as the 2020 Choreographic Mentor, providing direct support and guidance.

Both fellow and mentor will present world premiere ballets on BalletX at Spring Series 2020 at The Wilma Theater, March 18-29, 2020. Subscriptions are currently available to BalletX’s 2019-20 Season online at, by phone at 215-546-7824, and in-person at 215-546-7824. Single tickets go on sale in the fall of 2019.

“Nicole’s talent is fresh, immediate, and undeniable. She has remained creative and prolific, collaborating with various ensembles and winning awards for her choreography, while working toward her MFA in Dance. She is a talent that we believe will be a major voice in the contemporary dance world,” says Cox.

About BalletX Choreographic Fellowship

BalletX’s Choreographic Fellowship is generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation at the direction of David Haas. Fellows are chosen from a wide range of national and international applicants. The fellowship offers one emerging choreographer each year the unique opportunity to create a world premiere on BalletX, under the guidance of an established, well-respected mentor, and with the institutional support of the company.

One of the only programs of its kind in the country, this singular experience allows for a collaborative and stimulating process between the fellow, mentor, and BalletX dancers, which the public is invited to observe and participate in through open rehearsals, artist panels, social media, performances, and more.

About Nicole Caruana

Nicole Caruana, the 2020 Choreographic Fellow, is a 2022 MFA in Dance candidate at the University at Buffalo, and holds her BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. She has attended San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, London Contemporary Dance School, The American Dance Festival, Arts Umbrella Summer Dance Intensive, and B12 Workshops, as well as studied gaga intensively in Tel Aviv. While still an undergraduate, she presented work at Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts in 2015 and at London Contemporary Dance School in 2016, as well as a collaboration with the Decoda Ensemble that premiered at the Purchase Performing Arts Center in 2017.

In the Studio with Andrew McNicol, 2018 Choreographic Fellow

Following graduation from Purchase, Nicole founded UANA DANS, a creative home and outlet in her native Buffalo, New York. Since the company’s inception, UANA DANS has been invited to perform in Germany, Denmark, Spain, Greece, and New York, which led to Caruana’s work arba being awarded first prize at The International Competition for Choreographers in Hanover, Germany. In 2019, she received commissions to create new works for Scapino Ballet in Rotterdam and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theater in Toronto.

About John McFall

John McFall, the 2020 Choreographic Mentor, learned to dance from Ms. Tatiana Dokoudovska, who instilled within him an insatiable curiosity and passion to commit to what you love. At age 16, he became a contracted equity dancer with Kansas City’s Starlight Theater, one of the showcase Summer Stock venues in the country. He was a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet for two decades, and there was encouraged to develop his choreographic voice. Commissions followed, including such companies as National Ballet of Canada, Dance Theater of Harlem, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Opera, Hubbard Street Dance, Oakland Ballet, and others.

With a vision and keen interest to engage communities and bring the arts into people’s lives, John accepted the position of Artistic Director with BalletMet in 1986. This was followed by the opportunity to lead Atlanta Ballet as Artistic Director / CEO for twenty-one seasons in 1994. Presenting repertoire that was innovative, original, and relevant to current times became a McFall trademark. Throughout his career, he has remained committed to education and community, exemplified by his founding of Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education.

About BalletX

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, unites distinguished choreographers with an outstanding company of world-class dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace. Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, and now under the direction of Cox as Artistic & Executive Director, BalletX challenges the boundaries of classical ballet by encouraging formal experimentation while preserving rigorous technique.

The company is committed to producing new works of the highest quality and integrity that bring the combined visions of choreographers and dancers to life. Since the company’s founding, BalletX has expanded its repertoire to include 72 world premieres by over 30 internationally renowned artists, including Matthew Neenan, Jodie Gates, Trey McIntyre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. BalletX presents three annual performance series as the resident dance company of The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, and has performed at such prestigious venues and festivals as Vail Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, and the Belgrade Dance Festival.

In 2018, BalletX opened the Center for World Premiere Choreography, the company’s 5,000 square foot studio and administrative headquarters in Philadelphia. Conceived as a place of innovation, creation, inclusion, and education, BalletX’s Center for World Premiere Choreography sets the stage for the company’s next decade of dance making. For more information, visit


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