Salvatore Aiello began placing his unique and lasting imprint on North Carolina Dance Theatre in 1979 when he joined the company as associate artistic director and resident choreographer. From 1985 to 1995, he served as Dance Theatre’s artistic director.
Aiello’s career as dancer and choreographer included performing with Harkness Ballet as a charter member and tenures with Joffrey Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Hamburg Ballet.
Over the course of his career, Aiello created an extensive repertoire that consists of 36 ballets including his critically acclaimed versions of The Rite of Spring, The Nutcracker, Satto, Afternoon of a Faun and Coppelia.
Alvin Ailey was born in Rogers, Texas in 1931. It was inspiration from early life experiences attending the performances of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, dance classes with Lester Horton, and a junior high school class trip to see the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo that ushered Ailey into a life in dance. In 1958 Ailey founded Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). Led by Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance.
Over his lifetime, Ailey created 79 ballets that have been performed all over the world by dance companies as diverse as American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Royal Ballet and Ailey’s own AAADT. Dance Theatre has previously performed his Feast of Ashes and The River. In the 2007-2008 season, Dance Theatre adds Ailey’s Night Creature to the company repertoire.
The son of a composer, George Balanchine was born in Saint Pertersburg, Russia in 1904. He trained at the Imperial Ballet Academy, and in 1925 he joined the Diaghilev Company in Paris as a choreographer. Balanchine went on to choreograph and to make indelible impressions in opera, ballet, and musical theatre. In 1946, he and American ballet patron Lincoln Kirstein co-founded the company that would two years later become New York City Ballet.
Through his choreographic works, Balanchine is considered the foremost representative of neoclassicism in ballet. Although some of his ballets have a story line, Balanchine is best known for his plotless ballets, such as The Four Temperaments and Jewels, which explore pattern and the movement of the human body to music. North Carolina Dance Theatre maintains a number of Balanchine’s works in its repertoire, most recently including Who Cares?, Agon and Violin Concerto.
Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux began his dance career with the Paris Opera Ballet and continued his performing with the Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet and New York City Ballet. His choreographic works have been commissioned by companies including New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, Pennsylvania Ballet and Munich Opera. In addition, Bonnefoux has served as choreographer and ballet master for Pittsburgh Ballet and as chairman and artistic director of the Ballet Department at Indiana University.
In 1996, Bonnefoux brought his artistic vision for eclectic and dynamic dance to NC Dance Theatre as he was named artistic director. In August 2002, he was appointed president. Bonnefoux is also currently artistic director, choreographer and teacher for the ballet company and the school at the Chautauqua Institute in New York.
NC Dance Theatre’s repertoire features many of Bonnefoux’s works, including Cinderella, Peter Pan and Shindig. In the 2007-2008 season, Dance Theatre presents the Charlotte premiere of Bonnefoux’s Romeo & Juliet.
Jirí Bubenícek, a Czech citizen, born in Lubin in 1974, studied dance at the Prague Dance Conservatory. In 1992 he received an award at the Prix de Lausanne, an international competition for young dancers, and made his professional debut in 1993 with John Neumeier's Hamburg Ballet. There, he was promoted to soloist in 1995 and then Principal dancer in 1997. In August of 2006 Bubenícek took an engagement as a Principal dancer in Dresden SemperOper Ballet. He has guested, as a dancer, with many main leading European companies including the Paris Opera. In January 2010 Bubenícek presented as an artistic director together with his brother Otto an evening of his choreographic and Otto’s musical collaboration, an evening - “Jirí+Otto Bubenícek & selected dancers of the Semperoper ballet” in Tokyo in Saitama Art Theater and in may 2009 they created “Bubenícek and Friends” – their performance which has for two evenings received standing ovation in National Theater in Prag. As a choreographer, Bubenícek has created new works, such as; Toccata for New York City Ballet, Le Soufflé de l´Esprit for Zurich Ballet and staged it for Manuel Legris’ Wiener Staatsballett, Unerreichbare Orte for Hamburg ballet, Graffity for Laterna Magika in Prag and others. He has presented his works in Japan and throughout Europe. Presented with the "Prix Benois de la Danse" (Best Dancer) in 2002, he received a second place award at the 20th International Ballet Competition in Varna for his choreography of "Made on Earth," as well as the Public's Choice Award for "Prisoners of Feelings" at the 18th International Competition for Choreographers in Hanover. He danced in Donna Feuer's film documentary: "The Work of Utopia" as well as the leading role "The King Ludwig II." in the DVD production in John Neumeier’s "Illusions - like Swan Lake” and in "Death in Venice." In 2005 Arte made a documentary film about Bubenícek and his brother Otto "Die Ballett-Zwillinge." NC Dance Theatre performed Bubenícek’s Le Soufflé de l´Esprit in March 2011.
Jacqulyn Buglisi, a native New Yorker, was trained in the Mary Wigman Technique at the Boston Conservatory of Music, with founder Jan Veen. A graduate of the famed HS of Performing Arts she was commissioned to create the ballet Born Forever by the producer of the movie Fame. During her 35 year association with Martha Graham Dance Co and Center she was a Principal dancer for 12 years, performing in the PBS broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors and featured in the film An Evening of Dance and Conversations with Martha Graham. She was a charter member/choreographer of the Trisler Danscompany, and a co-founder/choreographer of Italy's first modern dance co., Teatro Danza Contemporanea di Roma and founded the first school of modern dance for the community of Spoleto in 1972.
Artistic Director and Choreographer of Buglisi Dance Theatre since 1994, she presented her 17th season at NYC’s Joyce Theater. A recipient of Altria’s Women Choreographer Initiative Award and the American Dance Guild Award for Artistic Excellence, Buglisi’s repertoire of over 65 works is archived in the New York Public Library’s Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image. She is commissioned and presented by major companies and festivals around the world including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; The New York Flamenco Festival, Madrid; The Melbourne International Festival; Ananda Shankar Performing Arts Co., India; the Shanghai Dance Ensemble China creating Sacred Currents to Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger concerto for Dou Dou Huang: Ice Theater of N.Y.; Ailey II; The Juilliard School (faculty from1991 to 2005); The Richmond Ballet; California State University/Long Beach; and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Buglisi is Chair of the Modern Department at The Alvin Ailey School, and serves on the Dance/USA Board of Trustees as Chair, Artistic Director’s Council. Her “bewilderingly beautiful “(The New York Times) ballet Threshold was presented by the NC Dance Theatre in 2003.
Photo: Jacqulyn Buglisi Photo (c) Bill Biggart
Mark Diamond has choreographed and taught dance in Europe, Japan and the U.S. since 1983, when he retired from his performance career at the Hamburg Staatsoper in Germany. Diamond trained with Edward Caton and attended Duquesne University and Point Park College where he studied music, history, and dance and earned a BA degree. Additional tenures from Diamond’s dance career include dancing as principal with Milwaukee Ballet Company, and dancing with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Tamburitzans Slavic Folk Ensemble. Diamond went on to be resident choreographer for the Cincinnati Opera and founder of Ballet Artists Cincinnati.
Mark Diamond has choreographed 20 ballets for North Carolina Dance Theatre and is program director for NC Dance Theatre 2. In the summer he serves as associate artistic director and resident choreographer for Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux at the Chautauqua Institute. In the 2007-2008 season, Dance Theatre will present Diamond’s Beauty & The Beast and the world premiere of his The Little Mermaid.
Nacho Duato, born in Valencia, Spain, started ballet training with the Rambert School in London at the age of eighteen. Duato furthered his dance studies at Maurice Béjart’s Mudra School in Brussels and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York before beginning his professional career with Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm in 1980. He went on to dance for Nederlands Dans Theatre in Holland under the direction of Jiri Kylian.
Duato’s first attempt at choreography in 1983 turned into major success; Jardí Tancat won him the first prize at the International Choreographic Workshop at Cologne. In 1988 Duato was named resident choreographer for Nederlands Dans Theatre. Since 1990 Duato has been the artistic director of Compañí National de Danza.
Duato’s ballets form part of the repertoire of several companies internationally, including Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, American Ballet Theatre, and Paris Opera Ballet. Dance Theatre has performed Duato's Jardi Tancat and Na Floresta.
Nicolo Fonte hails from Brooklyn, New York. He started dancing at the age of 14. In addition to studying on scholarship at the schools of the Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet, Fonte completed a BFA in dance at SUNY Purchase. He went on to dance with Peridance in NYC, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Nacho Duato's Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid, where he was invited repeatedly to choreograph for the company.
A Choo San Goh award recipient, Fonte has created and staged ballets for a very eclectic range of dance companies including Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stuttgart Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. He has also been part of an ongoing creative partnership with The Göteborg Ballet in Sweden. Dance Theatre has performed Fonte’s Spoken In Red and Brave!.
Donlin Foreman danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company for 20 years. He was coached and directed by Martha Graham in nearly every major role in the Graham Company repertory and has drawn worldwide acclaim for his interpretation of these heroic archetypes.
Performing as a guest artist, Foreman danced with the La Scala Ballet in Milan, the International Dance Week in Prague, and Eliot Feld Ballets NY. A growing international reputation as a choreographer returned Foreman to the La Scala Ballet to choreograph and perform an original ballet, Nights' River, with Luciana Savignano. Foreman has been further commissioned by such companies as Pennsylvania Ballet Theater, Ballet National de Mexico and The Dance Project in Copenhagen, Denmark. Foreman co-founded Buglisi/Foreman Dance in 1994, and is currently Associate Professor of Dance at Barnard College, Columbia University. Foreman choreographed So I May Say for NC Dance Theatre.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Mark Godden graduated from David Moroni's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division in 1984. Godden then joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet where he was promoted to soloist in 1989 and danced lead roles in ballets by Petipa, Balanchine, DeMille, Tudor, van Manen, van Dantzig and Kylian. In addition, Godden performed with Nederlans Dans Theatre under the direction of Jiri Kylian
Godden has created original works for Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre-Studio Company, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Ballet Florida, Comania National de Danza—Mexico, Ballet Contemporania —Argentina, Ballet Memphis, Alberta Ballet, Ballet British Columbia and North Carolina Dance Theatre.
He is the permanent guest choreographer with the Harid conservatory and many of his works have won awards in both Varna and Helsinki ballet competitions. Godden’s works created for Dance Theatre are Constructing Juliet, Charlotte’s Web, Double Blind, Divining Grace and Nocturnes.
Daryl Gray was trained under David Howard and at the ABT and SAB schools. He was a soloist with Maurice Bejart’s company and appeared as a guest artist with dance companies in the U.S. and abroad, as well as in Broadway musicals.
For the concert stage, Gray has created dances for Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater Workshop, Atlanta Ballet and numerous other dance companies across the U.S. His choreography has also been featured by Bejart Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal and Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, as well as by other dance companies throughout the world. His musical stagings have been seen at the New York City Opera, Playhouse 91 in Manhattan and Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as on CBS and PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” television. Gray has also taught worldwide. Dance Theatre has performed his ballet American Folk.
Dancer and choreographer Mary Hudetz is a member of the Crow Tribe. She spent her early life in Montana, and much of her choreography is influenced by her Native American heritage. Hudetz received her dance training from the North Carolina School of the Arts and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Ailey School and Fordham University. While studying in New York, she performed Memoria with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Hudetz went on to join North Carolina Dance Theatre 2 as a company dancer for two seasons.
Hudetz has performed works by various choreographers including Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Judith Jamison and Igal Perry. Hudetz's choreography has been performed by The Ailey School, Chautauqua Festival Dancers, NC Dance Theatre and Dance Theatre 2. Hudetz’s works Word’s Edge and In Voice and Light are part of Dance Theatre’s repertoire.
David Ingram, originally from Kingsport, TN, trained with Karen Gibbons Brown at the Kingsport Guild of Ballet. After graduating with honors from Butler University, David joined the Louisville Ballet where he performed the works of such choreographers as Val Caniparoli, Adam Hougland, Robert North, Domy Reiter Soffer, Ben Stevenson and Twyla Tharp. David’s choreography has been performed at Empujón, Fort Wayne Ballet, The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts and The Yard in Massachusetts. He joined NC Dance Theatre as a dancer in 2007 and made his professional choreographic debut in Innovative Works 2010 with the ballet Arson.
Jason Jacobs began tap dancing at the age of nine in his hometown of Pittsford, NY. Leaving home at 15, Jason trained in ballet and modern dance at the Virginia School of the Arts under the direction of Petrus Bosman. After graduating in 1999, Jacobs danced with Louisville Ballet, where he took part in an improvisational collaboration with bassist Victor Wooten.
He has also performed as a member of Chautauqua Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Complexions Dance Company in New York. He currently dances with TU Dance in Minneapolis. Jacobs has performed a broad body of works by choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Paul Taylor, Nacho Duato, Nicolo Fonte and Alonzo King. Jacobs choreographed Flow Form for NC Dance Theatre.
Sasha was born in Perth, Australia, and received his training at the Australian Ballet School. Before joining North Carolina Dance Theatre, he danced professionally with the Australian Ballet, Chautauqua Festival Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet and West Australian Ballet. His favorite roles include Dracula, Jiri Kylian’s Nuages, Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Romeo and Symphony in D.
Alonzo King has created works that have entered the repertories of companies throughout the world, including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
In 1982, King founded Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, which has developed into an international touring company. He is recipient of numerous awards including the NEA Choreographer's Fellowship, the Irvine Fellowship in Dance, five Isadora Duncan Awards, the 2005 Bessie Award and being named a Master of African-American Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005. Also a renowned teacher, writer and lecturer on the art of dance, King was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Dominican University of California, and was given the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University. NC Dance Theatre has performed King’s Chants, Dreamer, Map, Tango and Salt.
At a young age, Emery LeCrone has already created several prominent works, competed in numerous choreography competitions, and received substantial grants and new commissions for her choreography.
LeCrone has worked with dancers from the New York City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theater, and Ballet West among others. She has participated in several choreography competitions including The National Choreographers Initiative (2008), Ballet Builders (2008), and The A.W.A.R.D. Show! (2009).
Claudia La Rocco of The New York Times wrote “…Her Aphorismós is a ready for prime-time knockout…hinting at dark undercurrents that beg for second looks. More, please, Ms. LeCrone. Someone please give this woman a residency.” and Jennifer Dunning exclaimed LeCrone’s work is “…a delightful whole, exploring innovative partnering as well as the ways spinning full-throttle movement can echo and incorporate the planes of space around it.”
LeCrone received a generous grant from The Jerome Robbins Foundation’s, New Essential Works (NEW) Program, directed by Damian Woetzel for the creation of Divergence for Oregon Ballet Theater's April 2010 Series: Duets. She will premiere new works this season for Hartt University, The Columbia Ballet Collaborative, the New Chamber Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theatre.
Heather Maloy began her career as a choreographer shortly after joining NC Dance Theatre as a dancer in 1989. Sensing her potential, Salvatore Aiello gave her the opportunity to create an original work for the company when she was only nineteen, propelling her talent as a choreographer. Since then she has created ballets for many outstanding artists and companies such as Mel A. Tomlinson, who commissioned her to create a solo for himself, Nashville Ballet and Chautauqua Ballet. NC Dance Theatre brought her work, Couch Potatoes, to the Joyce Theatre in New York City, where it was received with great success.
In addition to Maloy’s thirteen years performing as a soloist with NC Dance Theatre she has danced with Ballet Met, the Moving Poets and Tampa Ballet. Maloy is currently the artistic director, resident choreographer and a dancer for Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance in Asheville, N.C.
Darrell Grand Moultrie
Darrell Grand Moultrie was born and raised in Harlem, NY. After beginning his training in musical theater and dance at the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in East Harlem, he studied opera and dance at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, eventually focusing on dance.
Moultrie received his bachelor of fine arts degree from The Juilliard School in 2000 and upon graduation, earned the prestigious Martha Hill prize for outstanding achievement and leadership.
Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times wrote that Moultrie "is obviously someone to watch." Dance Theatre has performed Moultrie’s Beyond Breath.
Dwight Rhoden began dancing at the age of 17 while studying acting. He has performed with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal, and was a principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 1994, Rhoden founded Complexions with fellow dancer Desmond Richardson. Under Rhoden’s direction, Complexions has brought its unique blend of contemporary dance to audiences throughout the globe. Rhoden has created over 70 ballets for Complexions, as well as for numerous other companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem and New York City Ballet/Diamond Project.
Once described as a "…master of invention…" by The New York Times, Rhoden received the Alvin Ailey School’s Apex award in 2006 to celebrate his contribution to the field of dance. Rhoden has created several works on NC Dance Theatre, including Tantrum and Moody Booty Blues. In 2006 he was appointed as resident choreographer to Dance Theatre.
Jerome Robbins is world renowned for his work as a choreographer of ballets as well as a director and choreographer in theater, movies and television. His Broadway shows include West Side Story, The King and I, Gypsy, Peter Pan and Fiddler on the Roof. Among the more than 60 ballets he created are Fancy Free, The Concert and Dances at a Gathering which are in the repertories of New York City Ballet and other major dance companies throughout the world.
In addition to two Academy Awards for the film West Side Story, Robbins has received numerous Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards, the Screen Directors Guild Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Robbins was a 1981 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient and was awarded the French Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur. Robbins died in 1998. His ballet Fancy Free is in NC Dance Theatre’s repertoire.
Uri Sands danced as a principal with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years. He has also performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, Complexions and North Carolina Dance Theatre as a principal.
Sands has been commissioned to choreograph works for companies such as Zenon Dance, North Carolina Dance Theatre and most recently, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Nationally recognized as a creator of contemporary action and poetic lyricism, Sands was awarded a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship, and a 2005 Princess Grace Award in choreography. With his wife Toni Pierce-Sands he founded TU Dance company. Sands and Pierce-Sands were honored with the 2005 Sage Cowles "Best Performance" award and were named "2005 Artists of the Year" by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. NC Dance Theatre’s repertoire includes Sands’ All in Your Trunk, Shapes and Gaits, Sweet Tea and Ne Me Quitte Pas.
Paul Taylor grew up near Washington, DC. He was a swimmer and an art student at Syracuse University in the late 1940s until he discovered dance, which he then began studying at Juilliard. Following his studies, Taylor joined the Martha Graham Dance Company for seven seasons as a soloist, and at the same time made dances on his own small troupe of performers. In 1975, Taylor devoted himself fully to choreography and went on to create many classic works such as Esplanade, Cloven Kingdom and Arden Court. To date, his works have been danced by more than 75 companies worldwide, and Paul Taylor Dance Company has performed in more than 500 cities in 62 countries.
Taylor has received many distinguished honors, including the National Medal of Arts, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from numerous institutions including Duke University and Julliard. NC Dance Theatre has performed Taylor's Company B, Cloven Kingdom and Esplanade.
Twyla Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance, in 1965. In addition to choreographing for her own company, she has choreographed for many other companies including: American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance and The Martha Graham Dance Company.
Tharp has choreographed more than 135 dances, five Hollywood movies, directed and choreographed three Broadway shows, written two books and received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President’s Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts and many grants including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Today, Tharp continues to create and lecture around the world.
Michael Vernon studied at the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet and the Royal Ballet School in London with such legendary teachers as Dame Ninette de Valois and Leonide Massine. He performed with the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera Ballet and the London Festival Ballet before going to New York in 1976 to join the Eglevsky Ballet as ballet master and resident choreographer. He was artistic director of the Long Island-based company from 1989 to 1995.
Vernon has choreographed ballets for various dance companies around the globe, including West Austrailian Ballet, the Junishi Ballet (Japan), BalletMet, and American Ballet Theatre (ABT) on commission by Mikhail Baryshnikov.
A master teacher as well as choreographer, Vernon has taught for ABT, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the Julliard School. He continues to teach classes at New York-based Steps and works regularly for the Manhattan Dance Project. Dance Theatre has performed Vernon’s Watch That Dog.
Septime Webre was appointed artistic director of The Washington Ballet in 1999 after six years as artistic director of American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey. He has created works that appear in the repertoires of many companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Atlanta Ballet, and Ballet Memphis. As a dancer, Webre was featured in works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Antony Tudor, Alvin Ailey and Merce Cunningham as well as in principal and solo roles from classical repertoire.
His recent projects include The Washington Ballet’s highly successful trip to Cuba in 2000 and Journey Home, a collaboration with Sweet Honey In The Rock, visual artist Sam Gilliam, and playwright Norman Allen. Webre, who has received a number of fellowships for his choreography, graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in History and Pre-Law. Dance Theatre’s repertoire includes Webre’s D-Construction, Rushing Angels, Romeo & Juliet Pas de Deux and you/me/we.