Dance Lab New York And Joyce Theater Foundation Create Choreographic Lab For Female Ballet Choreographers Of Color

About Dance Lab New York

(New York) – In the fall of 2019, Dance Lab New York (DLNY) will partner with the Joyce Theater Foundation to provide a one-of-a-kind choreographic lab for four female choreographers of color to explore the classical, neoclassical, and contemporary ballet idioms. DLNY will provide a platform to this group of dance makers whose voices are still underrepresented in this genre. DLNY and The Joyce Theater are honored to feature these artists so that their narratives may be included in the future of ballet.

For this groundbreaking collaboration, each choreographer will receive thirty hours of incubation in rehearsal space provided by the Joyce Artist Residency Center. The Lab is scheduled to take place October 14 through November 8, 2019.

The Lab will culminate with a Guggenheim Works & Process showing on the evening of Sunday, November 10, 2019.

DLNY will provide each choreographer with:

A weekly stipend
8 paid professional dancers, 30 hours of exploration, 1 studio supervisor
Insurances and administrative support

The choreographers selected to participate this fall are:

Margarita Armas – Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Margarita Armas studied ballet at Artistic Dance Center and Miami City Ballet School. In 2014, Margarita took a brief break from her ballet training to explore Modern and Contemporary with Marie-Louise Gaschler. She attended summer programs in Miami City Ballet School, Artistic Ballet Theater, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School.

At age 15, Margarita was selected by Miami City Ballet to perform with the company’s 2015-2016 Season programs & MCB Tour to New York City and Chicago. Margarita was featured in the second season of the Teen Vogue’s Strictly Ballet Series. She was also the recipient of the Silver Award in the 2018 YoungArts Ballet Category. Margarita is currently training in Seattle, Washington at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School Professional Division program.

Courtney Cochran – Courtney Cochran is a New York City based freelance dancer and choreographer. Born in Sacramento, CA, she trained with Sacramento Ballet and Crockett Deane Ballet (CDB). With CDB, Courtney was selected as an emerging choreographer at the 2008 Regional Dance America Festival. She continued her training with Alonzo King LINES BFA Program under the direction of Martina Hotchkiss, and then Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Professional Training Program under the direction of Robert Garland.

Since moving to New York in 2013, she has choreographed on DTH’s Training Program, and has debuted work for both Brooklyn Ballet’s First Look program and Norte Maar’s CounterPointe. Courtney spent four seasons with Brooklyn Ballet with various roles in The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, The Four Temperaments and has been a guest artist with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Sierra Nevada Ballet, and The Black Iris Project.

Amy Hall Garner – Amy Hall Garner is an internationally known choreographer based in New York City creating works in the ballet, modern, and theatrical genres. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, and a graduate of The Juilliard School her work has been commissioned by numerous schools and companies including Ailey II, Collage Dance Collective, The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, Barnard College, The University of the Arts, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She has also created works for Columbia Ballet Collaborative, and personally coached Grammy Award winner Beyoncé, providing additional choreography for The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

Garner’s theatrical choreography credits include The Color Purple for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and served as the associate choreographer for the Off-Broadway musical Invisible Thread, directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulas. In 2018, she was selected to participate in Alvin Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab supported by the Ford Foundation.

Garner was one of the first recipients of the Joffrey Ballet’s Choreography of Color Award (now titled Winning Works). As a leading educator, she has taught at both American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet School summer intensives, along with numerous residencies and master classes across the country. Currently, Garner is an adjunct professor at New York University’s New Studio on Broadway at Tisch School of the Arts.

Preeti Vasudevan – Award-winning Indian choreographer, performer, and educator, Preeti Vasudevan is an exponent of classical Indian dance (Bharatanatyam) creating new provocative contemporary works from the Indian tradition. Preeti is the first artist of Indian descent to receive recognitions from top institutions in the US for her outstanding contribution in the field of dance-theater.

Some highlights include: 2019 Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship for Women Leaders in Dance; 2018 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists; 2018 Selected Artist, DanceMotion USA Follow-On Program with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); 2018 Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s Dance Research Fellowship, NY; 2018-19 LabWorks Residency, New Victory Theater, NY; 2018-19 SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers) Foundation’s 2018-2019 Observership Class; Spring 2016 Resident Fellow, Center for Ballet and the Arts, NY; Live Feed – Artist in Residence, New York Live Arts (2015-17) NY; 2015 DPA Atelier award, LIMS, NY; Presenter, TEDxBarnard, Barnard College, Columbia University, NY (2013); International Choreographer’s Residency, American Dance Festival (ADF, 2003); Emerging choreographer series Joyce Foundation, NY (2003).

Preeti’s ground-breaking educational website, Dancing for the Gods [www.dancingforthegods.org] serves as a cultural bridge for creative learning in NYC Public Schools. Preeti holds a Master’s in Dance Studies from Laban Centre London and is a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York.

Highlights include: Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship; Lincoln Center Award; Selected Artist, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellowship. Residencies: Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York Live Arts, American Dance Festival; Emerging choreographer series Joyce Foundation.

To select the choreographers, DLNY and The Joyce assembled an esteemed panel of five women:

Theresa Ruth Howard, Founder/Curator of the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet
Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director, Dance Theater of Harlem
Lourdes Lopez, Artistic Director, Miami City Ballet
Renae Williams Niles, Associate Dean of Administration, USC Kaufman School of Dance
Janet Wong, Associate Artistic Director, New York Live Arts

Joyce Theater Executive Director Linda Shelton said:

“As the conversation is shifting within the field of ballet to the lack of female choreographers, and more specifically the lack of opportunities for female dance makers of color, The Joyce has entered into a unique collaboration with DLNY to help address gender and racial inequity through shared resources.”

“This collaboration prioritizes research and development with no expectation of a final ‘product’ as an essential step forward. True to The Joyce’s and DLNY’s shared values, this pilot partnership embraces the concepts of risk, experimentation, and trial and error.”

Each panelist nominated outstanding candidates who were reviewed at a meeting in May 2019 and recipients were announced in July 2019.

Press Release Via: Dance Lab New York (DLNY)

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