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Helene Davis
Dance New York
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Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU
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BalletCollective Announces 2015 Season

by Helene Davis
May 15, 2015
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU
566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Sq South)
New York, NY 10012
BalletCollective's 2015 season will include its first performance at the Vail International Dance Festival, a residency at the Millbrook School, a residency at the Palm Theater in Telluride, and performances in New York City that will feature two world premiere ballets that showcase the company's commitment to artistic collaboration, today announced company director Troy Schumacher.

BalletCollective will be in residency at the Millbrook School June 15 – 27, the Palm Theater in Telluride, July 25 – August 1 and will mark its debut performance at the Vail International Dance Festival on August 2.

The company's New York season will feature two new ballets choreographed by Troy Schumacher, November 4 and 5, 2015 at NYU Skirball Center. The program will also include "All That We See" (2014) and "Dear and Blackbirds" (2014). All will be accompanied by live music performed by the ensemble Hotel Elefant.

New ballet 1 (to be named) is a new, full company ballet with music by Music Director Ellis Ludwig-Leone and choreography by Troy Schumacher with source art by photographer Paul Maffi.

New ballet 2 (to be named) is a new duet with music by Mark Dancigers and choreography by Troy Schumacher with source art by Israeli photographer Dafy Hagai.

"All That We See" (2014) is a collaboration between artist David Salle, director/choreographer Troy Schumacher, and composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, inspired by a series of images from a painting by Salle generated specially for this collaboration. All That We See will feature company members Taylor Stanley, Lauren King, Claire Kretzschmar, David Prottas and Meagan Mann.

"Dear and Blackbirds," a pas de deux, performed by Ashley Laracey and Harrison Coll and choreographed by Troy Schumacher, with music by Ellis Ludwig-Leone, is based on a poem by Cynthia Zarin.

BalletCollective, founded by Troy Schumacher in 2010, brings together artists, writers, composers, choreographers, and designers to collaborate as equals through the creation of distinctive works of art. BalletCollective's works are intimate and reflective yet accessible, featuring a highly accomplished group of dancers in works that are made for them. At the heart of BalletCollective lies process. Artists from different genres come together and express ideas that are important to them individually; but as a group – a collective – they're encouraged to think outside of what it is they usually do. A composer considers visual art, a choreographer the structure of a poem, a photographer is inspired by the rhythm of a piece of music. This collective effort is combined and refined, and ultimately presented to audiences. Each work's creative life does not end at performance, but continues to be re-conceived as long as the work continues to be performed. BalletCollective has had previous seasons at the Joyce Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay, NYU Skirball Center, has performed at the Fire Island Dance Festival, and has an annual week-long residency at the Palm Theater in Telluride, Colorado.


Mark Dancigers (Composer) is a composer of chamber, orchestral, film, and solo instrumental works, and the electric guitarist for the new-chamber music group NOW Ensemble. Mark is forging a musical language that lives somewhere between pristine post-minimalism and hallucinatory romanticism. As the Artistic Director and guitarist for NOW Ensemble, he has brought music by some of the most exciting voices of his generation to both national and international recognition.

Hotel Elefant (Music Ensemble), founded by composers Leaha Maria Villarreal and Mary Kouyoumdjian, brings an awareness of today's music to the general public through commissions, performances, and moderated discussions between composers, performers, and audiences. Committed to modern sounds and sonic explorations, this "audacious and unafraid" (New Music Box) ensemble highlights living composers who are blurring lines, pushing boundaries, and fostering creativity. With a flexible roster of more tha twenty musicians, Hotel Elefant works closely with a broad spectrum of progressive artists including John Luther Adams, Richard Carrick, Michael Gordon, David T. Little, Angélica Negrón, and Chinary Ung. Past performances include Lincoln Center, Look and Listen Festival, and the Bang on a Can Marathon; and a debut Carnegie Hall performance praised by The New York Times as "deeply felt."

Dafy Hagai (Contributing Artist) is a Tel Aviv and New York City based art and fashion photographer. Her work has been published in VICE, Dazed, Vault Magazine, Nero Mag, Wax Magazine, It's Nice That, V Magazine, Juice Magazine, Unlimited Magazine, Dreck Magazine, Office Magazine, and Pik Magazine and she has photographed for such clients as Levi's, Creative control TV, Big K.R.I.T, Joey Bada$$, Cinematic Music Group and Sam Snider. She has also published several zines, including "Israeli Girls" which was recently transformed into a book.

Ellis Ludwig-Leone (Composer and Music Director) is a composer and the bandleader for Brooklyn-based San Fermin. Their self-titled debut album, released worldwide in the fall of 2013 via Downtown Records, was named as one of NPR's "50 Best Albums of 2013," and received rave reviews from the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, NME, BBC and more. The band has performed numerous shows and festivals throughout the world including Lollapalooza, Firefly, Festival d'Été, and Celebrate Brooklyn, and have shared the stage with The National, St. Vincent, Arctic Monkeys, and The Head and the Heart. Downtown Records will issue the band's follow-up, Jackrabbit, worldwide in April 2015. Ludwig-Leone has written for a wide variety of ensembles, including ACME, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Decoda, Fifth House Ensemble, Hotel Elefant, JACK Quartet, Metropolis Ensemble, and wild UP. He has worked closely with choreographer Troy Schumacher and BalletCollective, most recently on All That We See, a night of three ballets written in collaboration with artist David Salle and poet Cynthia Zarin. He was named the 2015 Composer-In-Residence for the Alabama Symphony, and has been a recipient of residencies from The MacDowell Colony, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Við Djúpið festival in Iceland.

Paul Maffi (contributing artist) was born in London and raised in Italy – where his father Roberto instilled in him a love for photography from an early age. Paul's work frequently draws inspiration from his childhood memories, referencing the iconic pop culture of the 80s and 90s. After studying photography at anniversary, he went on to fain four years of invaluable experience assisting the highly talented and charismatic photographer Phil Poynter. Then, in 2008, Paul embarked on his own path which, to date, has seen him work with many of the fashion world's top publications – including V Magazine, NY Times Style, Pop, Interview! and CR Magazine – and with influential editorial figures including Carine Roitfeld. Paul has collaborated on various projects with BalletCollective for the past 3 years. This is the first one entirely inspired by and for BalletCollective.

David Salle (Contributing Artist) helped define the post-modern sensibility by combining figuration with an extremely varied pictorial language. His paintings have been shown in museums and galleries worldwide. Although known primarily as a painter, Salle's work grows out of a long-standing involvement with performance. Over the last 25 years he has worked extensively with choreographer Karole Armitage, creating sets and costumes for many of her ballets and operas staged throughout Europe and America. In 1995, Salle directed the feature film Search and Destroy, starring Griffin Dunne and Christopher Walken. Salle is also a prolific writer on art. His essays and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Modern Painters, The Paris Review, as well as numerous exhibition catalogs and anthologies. He currently writes a monthly column on art for Town & Country Magazine.

Troy Schumacher (Director and Choreographer) formed BalletCollective as a twenty-first century model inspired by historic ballet, music and visual art collaborative efforts. Its mission is to present ballet-based work in an intimate setting with live music that represents contributions from the choreographer, dancers, musicians and artists who engage in an ongoing give and take process. Schumacher has received choreographic commissions from New York City Ballet, Danspace Project, the 92nd Street Y Fridays at Noon series, Performa, School of American Ballet, New York Choreographic Institute, Salon/Sanctuary, and Atlanta Ballet. Schumacher is active in other cultural media and has participated in a number of collaborations including Carine Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book, Aritzia and Creative Agency V Group's Zero Zero Project, Sony PlayStation, and a recent photo spread in The New York Times Men Style Magazine. As a dancer with the New York City Ballet, Schumacher has performed principal roles in a number of ballets, including George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Stars and Stripes, Peter Martins' Swan Lake, and Jerome Robbins' Four Seasons and Interplay. Schumacher choreographed and premiered his first ballet commissioned by the New York City Ballet in 2014, featuring music by Judd Greenstein and costumes by Thom Browne, and will choreograph a new premiere for the Company in September, 2015 featuring a new score by Ellis Ludwig-Leone.

Brandon Stirling Baker (Lighting Designer) works with artists internationally and throughout the United States. Baker's lighting for dance has been commissioned by New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, José Limón Dance Company, LA Dance Project, BalletCollective, Theatre du Châtelet (Paris), Sadlers Wells Theatre (London), Maison de la Danse (Lyon), Guggenheim Bilbao (Spain), Havana Ballet (Cuba), Edinburgh Festival (Scotland), International Dance Biennial (South America), Joyce Theater, New York City Center, Fall For Dance Festival, New York Choreographic Institute and the Los Angeles Music Center. He is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cynthia Zarin (Resident Writer) is a poet, journalist, and children's book author. Currently poet-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, she is also a long-time contributor to The New Yorker. Her books of poetry include The Swordfish Tooth, Fire Lyric, The Watercourse (winner, Los Angeles Book Award) and The Ada Poems. Zarin's poetry for adults has been praised for its slightly offbeat perspective on mundane, typically overlooked topics, and her picture books for children, including Rose and Sebastian and What Do You See When You Shut Your Eyes?, encourage her preschool audience to look at things from a fresh perspective. Zarin has received numerous awards for her work, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

NYU Skirball Center (The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts) is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Founded by Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and led by executive director Michael Harrington, the programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU's mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance. nyuskirball.org

Tickets range in price from $20 – $75; student tickets are available for $12. Tickets will be available mid-June at nyuskirball.org, by phone at 212.998.4941 or in person at the box office at NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square. BalletCollective will perform on Wednesday, November 4 and Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 pm. For further information on the company, visit www.BalletCollective.com.

Photo © & courtesy of Matthew Murphy

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