Alejandro Cerrudo (Choreographer, Dancer) was born in Madrid, Spain and trained at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid. His performing career began in 1998 and includes work with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, was named Choreographic Fellow in 2008, and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Thirteen works choreographed to date for Hubbard Street include collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Nederlands Dans Theater. These pieces and additional commissions are in repertory at companies around the U.S. as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands; touring engagements have brought his work still further abroad, to audiences in Algeria, Canada, Morocco, Serbia and Spain. In March 2012, Pacific Northwest Ballet invited Cerrudo to choreograph his first work for the company, Memory Glow, upon receiving the Joyce Theater Foundation’s second Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance. Additional honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011), and a Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed, first evening-length work, One Thousand Pieces. Cerrudo is one of four choreographers invited by New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan to create and perform original duets for Whelan’s “Restless Creature,” and in June 2015, Hubbard Street presents Cerrudo’s fourteenth premiere for the company as part of a dedicated mixed repertory program celebrating his successful and prolific creative residency.
Los Angeles, CA
d. Sabela Grimes is a choreographer, writer, composer and educator whose interdisciplinary performance work and pedagogical approach reveal a vested interest in the physical and meta-physical efficacies of Afro-diasporic cultural practices. Sabela’s AfroFuturistic dance theater projects, like World War WhatEver, 40 Acres & A Microchip, BulletProof Deli, and ELECTROGYNOUS, consider invisibilized histories and grapple with constructed notions of masculinity and manhood while conceiving a womynist consciousness. Using a mix of socio-historical observation, self-examination and exploration, each creative chronicle manifests and exists through layers of non-linear arrangements that sonically, visually and kinesthetically blur the line between our most precious and protected binaries. Audio sampling as citation is a critical compositional tool used in Sabela’s dance and music making endeavors. His compositions employ technology to create unusual sound-shapes that twist the form and function of modern sound design and maintain the custom of “versioning” found in Afro-diasporic music traditions.
New York, NY
RoseAnne Spradlin is one of the most influential experimental choreographers in New York. Her work comes out of the Judson era dance lineage of pedestrianism, which heightened vernacular movement in a performance context. She is particularly interested in using theories of body consciousness to inform her choreography and makes work explicitly about gender and sexuality.
Spradlin’s dances have been commissioned for The Kitchen, The Chocolate Factory, Dance Theater Workshop, Dia Center for the Arts, and New York Live Arts, among others. She is the winner of three Fellowships in Choreography from the New York Foundation for the Arts and was awarded four NYFA BUILD grants. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lambent Fellowship, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award and a BESSIE Award for Choreography. Spradlin received an Artist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Creative Exploration Fund in 2009; her work has received multi-year support from the MAP Fund and Jerome Foundation; she recently received two grants from New Music, USA. Spradlin has toured her work in London and Vienna, and has taught in international workshops in Vienna, London, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, on the island of Tinos in Greece and at the American Dance Festival.
New York, NY
Hailed as a major new voice in dance, dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham’s work is influenced by hip-hop culture and his early studies of the classical cello, piano, and the visual arts. He has stated that, “the goal and perspective of my movement is to create a personalized documentation of my life as a black-gay-man.” Abraham founded his company, Abraham.In.Motion, in 2006. He has presented his choreography throughout the U.S. and abroad, and performed with many acclaimed modern dance companies, including the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Abraham received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance (2010).
New York, NY
Trisha Brown, one of the great innovators of postmodern dance, first emerged in the 1960s. Brown pushed the limits of what could be considered appropriate movement for choreography. She started Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970, creating dances for alternative spaces and the rooftops and walls of buildings in downtown New York. Brown has collaborated with numerous artists, choreographed to classical music and jazz, and directed several operas. The recipient of many honors, including a Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (both 2011), Brown was also the first woman choreographer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship (1991).
San Francisco, CA
Dancer, choreographer, and performance artist Keith Hennessy stages his work in theaters and at protests, fusing performance art with community activism while often breaking the barrier between audience and performer. His works combine dance with speaking, dancing, and visual imagery, and they frequently address AIDS, race, and political injustices. Hennessy has founded several performance collaboratives, including ZERO PERFORMANCE, and has received many honors, including a Bessie Award for Crotch (2009) as well as several Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (1999, 2000, 2009).
Ranee Ramaswamy has been a master teacher and performer of Bharatanatyam, the southern Indian classical dance form, since 1978, when she immigrated to the U.S. Ramaswamy founded Ragamala Dance, and the company has toured nationally and internationally. Her goal is to “imbue the precision and sculptural clarity of Bharatanatyam with a thoroughly contemporary fervor,” and she has collaborated with artists who work in different dance styles. She has received many honors, including a McKnight Distinguished Artist Award (2011) and was recently nominated by President Obama to serve on the National Council on the Arts.
David Thomson is known primarily as a dancer, but he has also worked as a choreographer and in performance and music. Thomson has danced with the companies of Mel Wong, Jane Comfort, Trisha Brown, USA Prudential Fellow Ralph Lemon, USA Ford Fellow Bebe Miller, and Meg Stuart, among others. He was a founding member of the a cappella performance group Hot Mouth. Thomson received Bessie Awards for Sustained Achievement in Performance (2001) and as part of the creative team in Bebe Miller’s Landing/Place (2006).
Modern dance choreographer Donald Byrd has choreographed over 100 works since 1978, both for companies he has directed—Donald Byrd/The Group (1978–2002) and Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle (since 2002)—as well as others including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Aterballetto. He also choreographed the Tony Award-nominated The Color Purple on Broadway (2005). Many of his works deal with social issues or revolve around ideas of love and intimacy. In 1992, Byrd received a Bessie Award for The Minstrel Show.
New York, NY
Nora Chipaumire is a choreographer, director, and dancer. She attended the University of Zimbabwe School of Law before moving to the U.S. in 2000 to study dance at Mills College, Oakland, California. Chipaumire’s work is informed by her self-exile from Zimbabwe, and she is devoted, in her words, “to shifting the central point of view of Africa from being solely the holder of traditional forms, and not a place of innovation.” She has danced with Urban Bush Women and Molissa Fenley and Dancers, among many national and international companies. Her choreographic work has been presented in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Québec. Chipaumire received a Bessie Award for choreography in 2008 and for performance in 2007 for her work with Urban Bush Women.