In September of 2019, I embarked on a new journey as the Director of the Harkness Dance Center at the 92nd Street Y, NY. Having the opportunity to lead a program which has a such rich history of innovative and groundbreaking incubation for dance has been both humbling and exciting.
As the Dance Center Director, my position oversees all aspects of dance at 92NY, working to provide overarching vision, partnership, and support for the School of Dance and the Dance Education Laboratory while also leading all curatorial performance opportunities, workshops, and artist residencies. Under my curation and directorship, in the fall of 2021 the 92NY launched the Harkness Mainstage Series, bringing a year-long dance series to the Kaufmann Concert Hall stage--where Alvin Ailey premiered Revelations in 1960--for the first time in over 50 years. Before working to revitalize 92NY's in-person dance platforms, in the spring of 2021, I created a mid-pandemic online opportunity, connecting emerging choreographers with established industry leaders and company directors: Future Dance Festival introduced the work of 21 choreographers to directors from Ballet Hispanico, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, RUBBERBAND, AIM by Kyle Abraham and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Beyond the initial virtual festival, an additional opportunity to partner with the Martha Graham Dance Company in a co-presentation for 9 of the choreographers arose as part of Graham's Joyce 2021 Fall Engagement.
Before making my way to the Upper East Side, I served on the Artistic leadership team of the Juilliard Dance Division for three years: as Associate Director in the 2016-17 and 2018-19 academic years, and as the Acting Artistic Director in 2017-18. I had the opportunity to program the main stage performances at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater for both seasons with four new creations during the fall and a triple bill in the spring which included Martha Graham’s Rite of Spring and Bill T. Jones D-Man in the Waters. As education is one of my passions, for the past five years since my relocation to New York, I have taught both as part of the faculty of the Juilliard School and as a lecturer for the Conservatory of Dance, SUNY Purchase. I have also, for the past two decades, worked as a guest teacher with Abraham in Motion, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet BC, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and as a regularly company teacher for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater when they are in NYC.
Between 2008 and 2013, I directed Hubbard Street 2 in Chicago. During my tenure as Director of HS2, I was responsible for programming and staffing the HSDC summer intensives and curating HSDC’s National Choreographic Competition. In this capacity, I truly realized my passion for teaching and mentoring young and emerging artists. Hubbard Street 2 created its first full-length children’s program Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure under my directorship. Harold premiered at the Kennedy Center to a sold-out house in October of 2010. The production went onto performances at the Joan B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the American Dance Festival in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, the Cleveland Playhouse, at the Aspen Santa-Fe Dance Festival and at the Detroit Opera House. The success of this children's program remains an enormous source of pride—a labor of love inspired by the birth of my first child, Donovan.
As a performer, I was fortunate to travel extensively over a twelve-year career with both Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet, performing works by George Balanchine, John Cranko, Agnes de Mille, Martha Graham, Lar Lubovitch, Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, and William Forsythe. As a creator, I have composed a number of site-specific installations, most notably in collaborative partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Invested in the belief that access to dance should be universal and inclusive, I continue to reach out to connect to other art forms using improvisation and choreographic tools. In 2019, I taught both a movement workshop for a group of emerging opera singers for their weeklong immersive SongStudio experience led by Renee Fleming and I led movement explorations for the 222 young musicians at the NYO summer programs both under the umbrella of Carnegie Hall. My greatest passion is nourishing artists - seeking to inspire individuals to reach beyond themselves. In this capacity, I currently serve as an Artistic Advisory Council of MOVE[NYC], an organization whose mission I passionately support, and as a member of the Advisory Board for Back to Healing, which provides positive empowerment and community for individuals living with scoliosis. My connection does not disappear when an artist moves on from my mentor-ship. I continue to follow each individual's career as I remain their fan, their advocate and their champion for life.
Photo by Todd Rosenberg