Juilliard Dance Announces 2018-19 Season

Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
Press Release

New Dances: Edition 2018 in December Features World Premiere Dances by Stefanie Batten Bland, Peter Chu, Nelly van Bommel, and Marcus Jarrell Willis

Juilliard Spring Dances in March 2019 Features Bill T. Jones’ D-Man in the Waters, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little Mortal Jumpand Martha Graham’s The Rite of Spring

Inaugural Season With Juilliard Dance Director Alicia Graf Mack

NEW YORK –– Juilliard Dance announces its 2018-19 season of performances of world premieres, masterworks in repertory, and new works developed by Juilliard students.  

The cornerstone of the season is New Dances: Edition 2018, featuring four world-premiere dances by innovative choreographers Stefanie Batten Bland (fourth-year class), alumnus Peter Chu (third-year class), Nelly van Bommel (second-year class), and Marcus Jarrell Willis (first-year class). Performances take place December 7, 8, 10, and 11, at 7:30pm and December 9 at 3pm in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

In the spring semester, Juilliard Spring Dances features repertory works by acclaimed choreographers: Bill T. Jones’ D-Man in the Waters (Part 1); Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little Mortal Jump; and Martha Graham’s The Rite of Spring. Performances take place on March 27-29 at 7:30pm and March 30 at 2pm and 7:30pm in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

Additional events in the Juilliard Dance season include Choreographers and Composers 2018 featuring Juilliard dancers performing new works set to original music by Juilliard composers; Senior Dance Production, a production conceived and executed by the graduating class; Choreographic Honors, a sampling of works by Juilliard dancers curated from workshops and performances; and the Senior Dance Showcase, a celebration of the graduating class of 2019.

This season marks the 67th year of the Juilliard Dance Division and the first year for new director Alicia Graf Mack. Ms. Graf Mack will announce special projects later this season, and she will lead planning for the division’s 2019-20 season and beyond. Current acting artistic director Taryn Kaschock Russell will resume her role as associate director and faculty member.

 

2018-19 Juilliard Dance Mainstage Season

New Dances: Edition 2018

December 7, 8, 10, 11, at 7:30pm

December 9, at 3pm

Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 155 West 65th Street, NYC

Four world premiere commissions choreographed by:

Stefanie Batten Bland (fourth-year class)

Peter Chu (third-year class)

Nelly van Bommel (second-year class)

Marcus Jarrell Willis (first-year class)

 

Juilliard Spring Dances

March 27, 28, 29, at 7:30pm

March 30, at 2pm and 7:30pm

Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater

D-Man in the Waters (Part 1) by Bill T. Jones

Little Mortal Jump by Alejandro Cerrudo

The Rite of Spring by Martha Graham

Tickets for New Dances and Juilliard Spring Dances are $30 ($15 for full-time students with a valid ID) and will be available September 20, 2018, at juilliard.edu/calendar.

 

2018-19 Juilliard Dance Additional Events

 

Choreographers and Composers

Friday, November 16, at 6 and 9pm

Saturday, November 17, at 3 and 7:30pm

Juilliard’s Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater, 155 West 65th Street, 3rd Floor, NYC

The performances are the culmination of the long-running Juilliard classroom/studio course of the same name, which provides Juilliard dance and music composition students with techniques to explore collaborative art. Ticketing information to follow.

 

Senior Dance Production

Friday, April 26, at 8pm

Saturday, April 27, at 2:30 and 8pm

Sunday, April 28, at 2:30 and 8pm

Juilliard’s Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater

Senior Dance Production is the culmination of a yearlong creative and educational process focused on launching seniors into the professional world. Juilliard dancers work in close collaboration with lighting design teams, costume designers, and composers as they create original works. Ticketing information to follow.

 

Choreographic Honors

Friday, May 17, at 7:30pm

Saturday, May 18, at 7:30pm

Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater

A sampling of works curated from workshops and performances by Juilliard Dance Division students throughout the year. Free; tickets required and available starting September 20, 2018 at Juilliard.edu/calendar.  

 

Senior Dance Showcase

Monday, May 20, at 7:30pm

Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Juilliard Dance’s class of 2019 presents a diverse program of solos and duets from the repertory and created by alumni and commissioned choreographers.

 

New Dances 2018 Choreographers

Stefanie Batten Bland is a choreographic artist and artistic director of Company SBB. She founded her company in 2008, while she was head choreographer of the Opéra Comique in Paris. She was a 2016 Bessie Schonberg Choreography Fellow at the Yard and a 2016 Jerome Robbins Awardee for outstanding artistic integrity. In addition to dances commissioned by the Second Avenue Dance Company (NYC), Modlin Center for the Arts (Richmond, Va.), Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis), Transitions Dance Company (London), Ailey II (NYC), and Frontier Danceland (Singapore). Ms. Batten Bland’s work for her own troupe, Company SBB, has been seen in the U.K., throughout the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia. Currently she is completing her MFA in interdisciplinary arts with a concentration in performance creation at Goddard College, and she teaches improvisation and contemporary partnering at the Ailey/Fordham BFA program.

Peter Chu, originally from Cocoa Beach, Fla., is a distinguished artist who strives to push physical boundaries. He holds a BFA from Juilliard and upon graduation, he was awarded the Héctor Zaraspe Prize for choreography. As a performer, he has danced with BJM and ezdanza, in Celine Dion’s Vegas spectacular, “A New Day,” and with Crystal Pite’s company, Kidd Pivot. In 2008, he formed a Las Vegas project-based company, chuthis. He has created pieces for Nederlands Dans Theater, Orlando Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street 2, Giordano Dance Chicago, Houston Met Dance Company, and New Dialect. Other highlights include a new work at Harvard University and choreographing a Rite of Spring on the Charlotte Ballet (N.C.) and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools in collaboration with the Charlotte Symphony.

Nelly van Bommel, a French native of Dutch descent, is an award-winning choreographer whose work has been featured in France, Taiwan, Canada, and the U.S. in major festivals and venues. Her most recent work, JOE (2016), was presented at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. She is currently interim director of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY, where she earned her MFA in dance and serves as associate professor of dance. She also has an MA in comparative literature from the Université Paris 8.

Marcus Jarrell Willis performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2008 to 2016, traveling around the world performing, teaching numerous master classes, and participating in outreach in various communities throughout the world, most recently in South Africa. His commissions include works created for Ailey II, Company Danzante, University of Minnesota, and Satellite Collective.


Juilliard Spring Dances

Bill T. Jones, a Kennedy Center Honoree, MacArthur grant awardee, and Tony Award winner, set his work D-Man in the Waters (Part 1) to Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major for Strings, Op. 20, which will be performed live by Juilliard musicians on these performances. The work was commissioned in 1989 by St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra. “D-Man” refers to Bill T. Jones’ nickname for dancer Demian Acquavella, who trained with Marjorie Mussman, Cindi Green, and Phil Black, and also danced with the Elisa Monte Dance Company and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, among others, before he joined the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane dance company in 1985. In the fall of 1987, he found out he was HIV-positive. The work is a celebration of Mr. Acquavella’s determination to fight his illness.

Alejandro Cerrudo, resident choreographer for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, set his work Little Mortal Jump to music by the band Beirut, Andrew Bird, Alexandre Desplat, alumnus Philip Glass, Hans Otte, Max Richter, and Tom Waits. The work had its premiere at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2012.

Martha Graham (faculty 1951-77) was in her 90th year when she choreographed a new production of The Rite of Spring, set to Igor Stravinsky’s music, which will be performed live by Juilliard musicians on these performances. The work had its premiere in 1984 at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center. Juilliard faculty member Terese Capucilli danced the central role of “The Chosen One” in the premiere and will be staging the work for this production.

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About Alicia Graf Mack

Director of the Juilliard Dance Division

Alicia Graf Mack enjoyed a distinguished career as a leading dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also been a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Ms. Graf Mack has danced as a guest performer with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Beyoncé, John Legend, Andre 3000, and Alicia Keys. In addition, she has performed as a featured dancer in many galas and festivals, including the Chicago Dancing Festival, Vail Dance Festival, Youth America Grand Prix Gala, and the International Stars of the 21st Century at the David H. Koch Theater. She has made numerous national television appearances, including at the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors celebrating Carmen de Lavallade and as a featured guest on The Tavis Smiley Show.

Ms. Graf Mack graduated magna cum laude with honors in history from Columbia University and holds an MA in nonprofit management from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2007, Smithsonian magazine named her an American Innovator of the Arts and Sciences. She is a recipient of the Columbia University Medal of Excellence, an award given each year to one alumnus who has demonstrated excellence in their field of work. In 2008, she delivered the keynote address to the graduates of Columbia University’s School of General Studies.

Ms. Graf Mack is a published writer, having contributed to Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Spirit magazine. She wrote the cover story, “Beyond Role Models,” for Pointe’s June/July 2014 diversity issue featuring Ashley Murphy, Ebony Williams, and Misty Copeland. She also authored the foreword of American Dance: The Complete Illustrated History by Margaret Fuhrer.

As a dance educator, Ms. Graf Mack most recently taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Houston and was a visiting professor at Webster University. She is a co-founder of D(n)A Arts Collective, an initiative created to enrich the lives of young dancers through master classes and intensives. 

About the Juilliard Dance Division

Juilliard Dance aims to create true contemporary dancers—trained equally in classical ballet and modern dance. Established in 1951 by William Schuman during his tenure as president of Juilliard, with the guidance of founding division director Martha Hill, Juilliard became the first major teaching institution to combine equal instruction in both contemporary and ballet techniques.

Each year 24 new dancers are accepted into the four-year BFA program. In addition to the daily ballet and modern technique classes, every dancer participates in classical and contemporary partnering, dance composition, anatomy, acting, dance history, stagecraft, production, music theory, repertory, and elements of performing. Dancers are encouraged to present their own choreographed works in informal concerts and workshop presentations. Each fall every class has the opportunity to work with established choreographers in premiere dances as part of the New Dances performances. Recent commissions include works by Bryan Arias, Roy Assaf, Gentian Doda, alumnus John Heginbotham, Matthew Neenan, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, alumna Katarzyna Skarpetowska, and Pam Tanowitz. Spring performances give dancers the opportunity to perform in established works from repertory. Recent repertory performances included works by alumna Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Jiří Kylián, José Limón, Mark Morris,
Crystal Pite, Jerome Robbins, alumnus Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp.

Juilliard Dance alumni include, among many others, the choreographers and directors Robert Battle, Pina Bausch, Jessica Lang, Lar Lubovitch, Andrea Miller, Ohad Naharin, and Paul Taylor. Juilliard dancers are currently dancing in Nederlands Dans Theater, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Ballet BC, Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet, BJM, L.A. Dance Project, Limón Dance Company, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Ballett des Saarländisches Staatstheater, Kidd Pivot, and Batsheva Dance Company, among many others, as well as in several Broadway productions.

The Juilliard Dance Division, proud recipient of the 2015 Capezio Award, was the first educational institution to receive the honor. (juilliard.edu/dance)

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Juilliard Dance
Juilliard dancers in Gentian Doda's "This Silence" from New Dances: Edition 2017 (photo by Rosalie O'Connor)