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From the Director: Welcome






Choreographers Initiative! This project originated with a group of community leaders, the Advisory Committee. The committee and I have partnered with Irvine Barclay Theatre, who presents the showing and serves as our fiscal agent, and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts – Dance Department, who provides the studios for all of the rehearsals.

Molly Lynch NCI Director

The initiative brings together four choreographers, each developing a new work of their choosing. Fifteen professional dancers from around the country join them to collaborate on these new works presented this evening. It’s important for the health and advancement of the dance community for choreographers to have the opportunity to create new work. It’s exciting to see how far we have reached and the effect of this project not only on our local community but also across the nation. From the 12 choreographers we have invited in the past to

NCI Advisory Committee Anne Nutt, Chair Bobbi Cox Sophie Cripe Diane Diefenderfer Janet Eggers Helen Holland Joanne Keith Lois Osborne Barbara Roberts Sally Anne Sheridan Pam Shue Barbara Kenady Tingley

participate 10 of their works have premiered or developed further and performed elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad. We have also had 35 dancers join us representing 14 companies. This is a unique opportunity to engage these outstanding artists in the creative process and promote the development of professional dance. I hope you will join the process through our discussion with the choreographers at the end of the evening. Thank you for supporting dance!

“untitled 1” Choreography by Frank Chaves Music Renee Aubrey “non ti amo piu” Lighting Design Monique L’Heureux Dancers

Adrienne Benz Nathaniel King

Lauren Fagone Geoffrey Kropp

Brittany Fridenstine Eddie Mikrut

“untitled 2” Choreography by

Frank Chaves

Music Andreas Bocelli “Dulce Pontes: O Mare Tu” Lighting Design Monique L’Heureux Dancers

Adrienne Benz

Eddie Mikrut

Frank Chaves was born in Cuba. He joined River North Chicago Dance Company in 1992 as a choreographer, in 1994, he became co-artistic director, and 2001, assumed sole artistic directorship. An international choreographer and teacher, Mr. Chaves has created numerous works for River North Chicago and other companies including Spectrum Dance Theatre, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Point Park College for the Performing Arts, Barat Repertory Dance Company, Kaleidoscope Dancers, Pori Dance Company (Finland), and Ballet Pacifica’s Choreographer’s Workshop. Mr. Chaves’s theatrical commissions include work for Steppenwolf Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse. As a performer, Mr. Chaves has danced with Ballet Concerto of Miami, New York’s Ballet Hispanico, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and six years with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2000, Mr. Chaves received a Ruth Page Dance Achievement Award for Mission, co-created with Sherry Zunker, Co-Artistic Director Emeritus of River North Chicago, in honor of the Company’s 10th anniversary.

“untitled 1” Choreography by

Edwaard Liang

Music Franz Schubert “Death and the Maiden” Lighting Design Monique L’Heureux Dancers

Corina Gill

Adam Hundt

“untitled 2” Choreography by Edwaard Liang Music Philip Glass “Company II Violin Concerto”, “Symphony No. 3: IV”, “Violin Concerto II” Lighting Design Monique L’Heureux Dancers

Corina Gill Adam Hundt Valerie Tellmann Kristopher Wojtera Suzanne Haag Gillmer Duran Melissa Nolen Edward McPherson Kelly Ann Sloan followed by an INTERMISSION Edwaard Liang was born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Marin County, CA. In 1989, Mr. Liang entered the School of American Ballet. He joined New York City Ballet in the spring of 1993, and the same year he was a medal winner at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition and the Mae L. Wien Award. He was promoted to soloist in 1998. He danced with NYCB until 2001, when he joined the Broadway cast of Fosse, performing a leading role. In 2002, Mr. Liang became a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater 1, where he danced, choreographed and staged ballets. After returning from Holland, he returned to NYCB. He has also performed as a Guest Artist with various companies like the Norwegian National Ballet and Complexions. He has choreographed a number of works including a piece for Nederlands Dans Theater, which has been restaged for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Configurations. He participated in the 2004 New York Choreographic Institute. He has created pieces for Cedar Lake Dance Company, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Sadler Wells Theatre in London. He was named one of the “Top 25 to Watch” for 2006 by Dance Magazine.

“Fragments” Choreography by

Jerry Opdenaker Music

Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jaques Morelenbaum, Everton Nelson, Gustavo Santaollalla “Bibo no Aozura”, “Endless Flight”, “Tazarine” Lighting Design

Monique L’Heureux Dancers

Brittany Fridenstine Eddie Mikrut Suzanne Haag Edward McPherson Adrienne Benz Gillmer Duran

Jerry Opdenaker was raised in Philadelphia, PA, and graduated from the University of the Arts with a degree in dance. He has danced in many jazz and modern companies as well as Pennsylvania Ballet. After dancing with Kansas City Ballet, he joined Ballet Florida in 1992. He has performed in works by Peter Martins, Val Caniparoli, Daniel Ezralow, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. For ten years, he was instrumental in the development, creatively and educationally, of STEP Ahead, Ballet Florida’s choreographic workshop. This project received an NEA - Access to Artistic Excellence grant twice. He has been choreographing since 1996 and his choreography has been performed by Ballet Florida and Ballet Gamonet. In 2005 he participated in the New York Choreographic Institute.

“Yueh Fei” Choreography by

Melissa Barak

Music Huang Ruo “Yueh Fei” Lighting Design

Monique L’Heureux

1st Movement

Kelly Ann Sloan, Lauren Fagone, Adam Hundt 2nd Movement

Melissa Nolen Geoffrey Kropp Corina Gill Kelly Ann Sloan

Valerie Tellmann Kristopher Wojtera Lauren Fagone Adam Hundt

3rd Movement

Corina Gill Adam Hundt 4th Movement

Lauren Fagone Corina Gill Melissa Nolen Kelly Ann Sloan Valerie Tellmann Adam Hundt Nathaniel King Geoffrey Kropp Kristopher Wojtera Followed by a discussion with Molly Lynch, Melissa Barak, Frank Chaves, Edwaard Liang, and Jerry Opdenaker Melissa Barak was raised in Los Angeles, CA; trained at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica; and was a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet. She joined New York City Ballet in 1998 and performed many leading roles with the company, including a principal in Christopher Wheeldon’s Klavier, Helena in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and leads in The Four Temperaments, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty. She recently became a member of the new Los Angeles Ballet. She began choreographing in 1997 and created a piece for the School of American Ballet Student Choreographic Workshop. She has participated in the New York Choreographic Institute in 2000, 2003, and 2006. She has choreographed works for New York City Ballet and Choreographers on Pointe. In 2001 she received the Mae L. Wien Award for choreography and the Choo San Goh Choreographic Award.

Dancer Biographies Adrienne Benz was born in Vernon, New Jersey. She began her training at Allegro Dance Arts Academy and continued on full scholarship at Theatre Arts Dance Academy, where she performed with Theatre Dance America. She also studied three summers with American Ballet Theatre. She is currently dancing with Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio. This is her fourth season with the company. She has danced in ballets by James Kudelka, (There, below) Harrison McEldowney (Group Therapy), Gerard Charles, George Balanchine (Jewels), Stanton Welch, and David Nixon. Adrienne won the Princess Grace Foundation award in 2006. Gillmer Duran was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. He trained at the Ballet Farten (Fundacion Arte Nuevo) and Ballet Tempo de Caracas. He has previously danced with the Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas, Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas, Ballet National de Caracas Teresa Carreno. In 2003 he joined Tulsa Ballet Theatre and is currently dancing with Eugene Ballet doing solo and principal roles. He has performed works by Toni Pimble, Robert Battle, Daniel Pelzig (Princess and the Pea), Mauricio Wainrot and Vicente Nebrada (Romeo and Juliet). Lauren Fagone, originally from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, trained at the School of American Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet, and the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet. After apprenticing with North Carolina Dance Theatre in Charlotte, NC, she attended Indiana University for two years, where she studied with Leslie Peck and Violette Verdy. Lauren joined Richmond Ballet as an apprentice in 2001, and

will return for her fifth season as a company member this fall. Brittany Fridenstine was born in Boise, Idaho, and raised in Seattle, Washington. She trained in the professional division program at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Currently a member of the American Repertory Ballet, she has previously danced with James Sewell Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, and Minnesota Dance Theatre. She has performed work by George Balanchine, Lila York, Trey McIntyre, Mark Godden, and Paul Taylor; and originated roles in ballets by Mark Godden, James Sewell, Kent Stowell, Val Caniparoli, Christian Burns, and Luca Veggetti. Corina Gill was born in Boulder City, Nevada. She trained at the Black Mountain Dance Center and studied in summer intensive programs with San Diego Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Pacifica. She has her BA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. She has danced with Feld Ballet Tech, Ballet Pacifica, State Street Ballet and is currently in the Los Angeles Ballet. She has danced in ballets by Robert Sund (Alice in Wonderland), Val Caniparoli, William Soleau (Carmen), Rodney Gustafson, Molly Lynch and George Balanchine. Suzanne Haag was born in Buffalo, New York. She trained at the School of the Hartford Ballet with teachers Maria Youskevitch and Kirk Peterson. She received her BS in Arts Administration and Dance from Butler University, and graduated Cum Laude with Departmental Honors. She previously danced with Nevada Ballet Theatre and Ballet Internationale. She is currently

dancing with Eugene Ballet in Oregon. She has performed in works by Toni Pimble, Robert Battle (Circle Line Square), Daniel Pelzig, Kirk Peterson and Bruce Steivel (Paquita). Adam Hundt was born in Kettering, Ohio. He trained with Gem City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, and Milwaukee Ballet School. He has danced with Hubbard Street 2, American Repertory Ballet and Ballet Pacifica. He is currently in his fourth season with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio. He has danced in ballets by Dwight Rhoden (Carmina Burana), Stanton Welch, Jodie Gates, Harrison McEldowney, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Dominic Walsh (Love Inter-Fear), Molly Lynch, Choo San Goh and George Balanchine (Allegro Brillante). Nathaniel King was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He started his training at the Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland. He later trained on full scholarship at both Houston Ballet and The Rock School. He danced with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater under Terrance Orr. He then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, to join Ballet West under the direction of Jonas Kage. He has performed in ballets by James Canfield (Equinox), Hans Van Manen (In and Out), Salvatore Aiello, Antony Tudor (Echoing of Trumpets), and Dwight Rhoden. Geoffrey Kropp was born in Bakersfield, California. He trained for two years at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and is currently dancing with Kansas City Ballet, where he has performed in The Nutcracker (Todd Bolender), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (George Balanchine), Duece Coupe (Twyla Tharp), Great Galloping Gottschalk (Lynne Taylor-Corbett) and Sentinel (David Berke), among others.

Edward McPherson was born in Tucson, Arizona. He studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and at Indiana University School of Music. He has been a guest artist with several companies. He is currently dancing with Ballet West under the direction of Adam Sklute in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has performed in ballets by Antony Tudor, William Christensen, George Balanchine (Theme and Variations), August Bournonville,, James Canfield, John Clifford (Glassworks) and John Butler (Carmina Burana). Eddie Mikrut was born in Fountain Valley, California, and just finished his ninth season with Nashville Ballet. Mr. Mikrut has been featured as John Bell in Ann Marie DeAngelo’s The Bell Witch, Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty, and Siegfried in Swan Lake, as well as performing leading roles in Raymonda Variations and The Nutcracker. He has also danced leading roles in Paul Vasterling’s Dracula and Robin Hood, and Albrecht in Giselle. Mr. Mikrut received his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine. His film and television credits include Austin Powers, Mrs. Santa Claus with Angela Lansbury, Fame L.A., and numerous television commercials. Melissa Nolen was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She trained at the Briarwood Ballet School. She also attended Indiana University School of Music Ballet Department, studying with Violette Verdy and Leslie Peck. She currently dances with Eugene Ballet in Oregon. She has performed in ballets by Toni Pimble (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Daniel Pelzig, Eloy Barragan, Bruce Steivel and Robert Battle (Circle Line Square). She has received two grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts to choreograph new ballets for Eugene Ballet/Ballet Idaho.

Kelly Ann Sloan was born in Bayonne, New Jersey. She studied at the New Jersey School of Ballet and attended summer intensive programs at American Ballet Theatre. She has her BSOF from Indiana University in Ballet and Journalism. She has danced with the Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Ballet. She is currently performing with the Los Angeles Ballet. She has performed works by Victoria Morgan, Kirk Peterson (Don Quixote), George Balanchine (Concerto Barocco), Donald McKayle, (Rainbow Round My Shoulder) John Butler and Val Caniparoli. Valerie Tellmann, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, began her dance training with the Tulsa Ballet, Lexington Ballet, and the Richmond Ballet before joining Richmond Ballet’s professional company in 2000. She thrives on the opportunity to perform and to be exposed to a variety of dance styles. Some of her notable neo-classical roles have included Mauricio Wainrot’s Now and Then, Colin Connor’s Street and Legends, and Val Caniparoli’s Djangology. Her favorite classical roles range from George Balanchine’s Who Cares and Serenade to John Butler’s Carmina Burana. Her favorite full-length ballet roles have been Myrtha in Giselle and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. Kristopher Wojtera, a native of Poland, graduated from the National Ballet School of Gdansk, Poland. He has danced for the National Theatre of Warsaw, Poland; was a soloist in the Columbia City Ballet, South Carolina; and is currently a first soloist with the Louisville Ballet in Kentucky. Kristopher has performed the works of George Balanchine (Serenade, Theme and Variations, Who Cares), ChooSan Goh (Variations Serieuses), Robert North (Troy Game), and Antony Tudor (Echoing of Trumpets), among others.

Monique L’Heureux (Lighting Designer) is a Lester Horton award-winning lighting designer who has been working in the field of dance for two decades. She is delighted to be a part of NCI, her seventh collaboration with artistic director Molly Lynch. Ms. L’Heureux recently finished lighting half of the national Regional Dance America festival in Pittsburgh, a five-day event featuring 86 performing companies from across the nation. Her dance design credits include a special performance at the International Ballet Competition, Dance Kaleidoscope, SOLA, Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet, Backhausdance, Anjani Ambegaokar, Media City Ballet, Jazz Spectrum, Rhapsody in Taps, and Danza Floricanto, among others. Her theatre design credits include the summer season at the Hollywood Bowl, Pasadena Playhouse, Dallas Theatre Center, and Laguna Playhouse. She is an accomplished artist and photographer whose work has been shown in galleries including the VIVA Gallery, Long Beach Arts Center, City of Brea Gallery, and The Stage Gallery in New York. She is a member of United Scenic Artists.

The National Choreographers Initiative would like to thank the following individuals for their support of the 2007 Initiative: Producer Mr. and Mrs. William Roberts Director Bobbi Cox Frank W. Lynch Choreographer William Gillespie Anne B. Nutt Mr. and Mrs. John Stahr Mrs. Richard Steele Dancer Mr. and Mrs. Henry Eggers The Robinson Foundation Michelle F. RohĂŠ Designer Mrs. Alan V. Andrews Alan Andrews and Molly Lynch Fran Bass Paul Blank Mr. and Mrs. Larry Cripe Diane Diefenderfer and David Hanlon Frome Family Foundation Joanne and Dennis Keith Ed Moen and Janek Schergen Mr. & Mrs. J. Matthew Osborne Mr. Andrew Rose George H. Russell Don and Sally Anne Sheridan

Dance Contributor Beverly and David Carmichael Mr. and Mrs. Van Holland Dr. Burton Karson Kathryn Lynch and Robert McDonnell Mr. and Mrs. Carl Neisser Marshall Parker Cyndi and David Runstrom Ann and Dick Sim Mr. and Mrs. Keith Swayne Ms. Barbara Kenady Tingley Paula Tomei and David Emmes

Partner Diane Baker Stacie Brandt Laurie Brown Bronny Daniels Debra Davis Dawidoff Family Roger du Plessis Kay Faranda Cliff Faulkner and Shigeru Yaji Gillian Finley and Robert Labaree Mary and Andrew Franklin Judi Gorski amd Rod Harron Glenn Highland James and Carol Hollas Christine Johnson Chuck Johnston Lorenzo and Karen Knapp James Joseph Koller Maurice Mandel Debra Maxwell Mrs. Michael McNalley John and Margi Murray Suzy and Jack Peltason Marica Pendjer and John Miller James Penrod Robert Petel Jane and Pat Phelan Janice Gudde Plastino Dolly Platt Louise Ringwalt Bruce and Jan Scherer Jack and Katy Schoellerman Mr. and Mrs. William Shue Richard Sneed Liz Stillwell Gary and Karen Thorne John Warndahl Carol and Kent Wilken Special Thanks Diane Diefenderfer Donald McKayle Alan Terricciano Dr. Jack Giangiulio UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts - Dance Department Irvine Barclay Theatre – Board of Directors Theodore Robbins Ford Enterprise Car Rental

Irvine Barclay Theatre Board of Directors Gary Singer, Chairman

Ex OfďŹ cio Beth Krom Mayor, City of Irvine

Michael V. Drake, M.D.

2006 NCI photos by Robert Salas

Donna Brownell Arlene Cheng Mark Coyle Bobbi Cox Tony Ellis Morgan Evans Robert Farnsworth Nohema FernĂĄndez Mary Ann Gaido Sam Goldstein Kurt Hagel Skip Johnson Sean Joyce Jerry Mandel Patricia L. Murphy Rick Paikoff William H. Parker Leason Pomeroy Ryan Rieches Mickie L. Shapiro Robert E. Tarlton Cheryl Trosky Lisa Bhathal Vogel Judy White

Chancellor, UCI

Administration Douglas C. Rankin, President Domenick Ietto, Vice President Christopher Burrill, General Manager Karen Drews Hanlon, Dir of Communications Gary Payne, Director of Finance Luanne Bauer, Box Office Manager Helena Danovich, Marketing Assistant Ginny Hayward, Assistant to the President Jim Laird, Production Manager Peggy Magee, Patron Services Manager Jeff Stamper, Assistant Production Manager Eva Doane, Development Assistant David Walker, Assistant Box Office Manager

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le Ensemb Jazz Tap 3 at 8pm r1 Octobe

This vivid, action portrait captures memorable dances from the big screen with Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, and the Nicholas Brothers interspersing live dance and film sequences. In the second half, the show shifts to a fresh look at the theater works of contemporary tap masters Jimmy Slyde and Gregory Hines. This company of 6 dancers, performing to live music, reflects the vibrancy of American tap dance, the brilliance of choreography and improvisation, and the dancers’ ability to draw on the past as they create the future.


“It will make you jump out of your shoes and beat your feet.” - Wall Street Journal

JTE was commissioned by the California Arts Council in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces Program to create this work as part of a project to celebrate the best of American cultural and artistic legacy.

2007 NCI Program  
2007 NCI Program  

choreographers - title Frank Chaves - untitled - re-titled “Tuscan Rift” & “Sentir em nos” Edwaard Liang - untitled - re-titled “Vicissitud...