National Choreographers Initiative

2008 Choreographers

Amy Seiwert
Amy Seiwert,  originally from Cincinnati, was a principal dancer with Sacramento Ballet before joining Smuin Ballet in 1999, where she was recently appointed choreographer- in-residence.  An active choreographer with work in the repertory of Robert Moses' Kin, Ballet Austin, Smuin Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and American Repertory Ballet, she also directs im-ij-re, a contemporary ballet company that collaborates with artists from other disciplines in the Bay Area and is committed to experimental work from a classical base. She was named one of "25 to Watch" by Dance Magazine in 2005 and has received the Gerbode Foundation's Emerging Choreographer grant.  In 2006 she was invited by Peter Martins to participate in the New York Choreographic Institute where she worked with dancers from the New York City Ballet.

Edmund Stripe
Edmund Stripe is currently in his seventh year as ballet master with Alberta Ballet. Born in Enfield, North London, and trained at the Royal Ballet School, he was a soloist with Ballet Gulbenkian (Portugal) and principal dancer with London City Ballet. From 1987 to 1997, Mr. Stripe was principal dancer and choreographer with West Australian Ballet and was appointed ballet master there in 1998. In 2000, he was appointed ballet master of Singapore Dance Theatre, moving to Alberta Ballet in 2002. He has assisted in the mounting and re-creation of works by such noted choreographers as Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, George Balanchine, Hans van Manen, Ted Brandsen, Agnes de Mille, Kirk Peterson, Natalie Weir, and Christopher Wheeldon, among many others. An award-winning choreographer, Mr. Stripe has created over 30 major works for many international ballet companies. In Canada, his work outside of Alberta Ballet, has been seen in collaborations with Calgary Opera and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Following the outstanding success of his works, Unquiet Light and Swelter (Mirage under a Sheltering Sky), for Alberta Ballet, Mr. Stripe presented Alice in Wonderland,  his first full-length work for the company in March 2006; and was recently commissioned to create their new Nutcracker to premiere in November 2008. In September 2008, he is returning to Singapore Dance Theatre to restage his Piano Concerto No.2, Opus 102 as part of that company’s 20th anniversary celebration.

Emery LeCrone
Emery LeCrone, originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, began her dance training at The Greensboro Ballet at the age of six.  She attended several summers at the School of American Ballet on scholarship and continued her dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts with legendary teachers such as the late Melissa Hayden.  Post graduation, in 2005, she joined The North Carolina Dance Theater where she performed in works such as Balanchine's Serenade, Faust, and the Stravinsky Violin Concerto, as well as director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux's Carmina Burana. Miss LeCrone began choreographing  at the age of fourteen and received an award for her work, Pulling to Break, at The Chautauqua Summer Gala in 2006.  The piece, subsequently, became  part of the repertoire of North Carolina Dance Theatre II during the 2006-07 season. This summe,r Miss LeCrone was  a member of faculty and choreographed for the North Carolina Dance Theatre Summer Intensive. She returned to Greensboro to restage Pulling to Break on members of The New York City Ballet for Greensboro Ballet Gala Stars at Night.  Since moving to New York in August 2007, Miss LeCrone has performed for Christopher Wheeldon's company Morphoses,  as well as The Lincoln Center Institute, Ballet Neo,  and The New Chamber Ballet. Most recently, her choreography premiered in the Ballet Builders 2008 showcase.

Ma Cong
Previously with the National Ballet of China, Ma Cong joined Tulsa Ballet in 1999. Ma studied at the Beijing Dance Academy, where he received a full scholarship and graduated with honors. He has worked with choreographers and teachers from the Royal Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the Cuba National Ballet. Ma has danced and performed a number of important leading roles and has also appeared as an international guest artist. As a choreographer, in the spring of 2006, he was invited to perform his choreography, Melodia, at the Pesaro International Choreographic Festival Grand Gala and at the Miami International Festival Gala. Also in 2006, he was named one of the “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine for both dancing and choreography. Ma has created several ballets for Tulsa Ballet, including the new Carmina Burana for Tulsa Ballet’s 50th Anniversary celebration. He was invited by Ballet Met to create a new work for their 30th Anniversary celebration. He has created two pieces for Ballet Des Moines and works for Tulsa Ballet II and Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education. In May 2007, he was named by Oklahoma Magazine as one of the state’s “40 under 40.”  In April 2008, he won two awards at the 21st Century Choreographic Competition, including 1st prize and the Audience Favorite Award. 

Lighting Designer
Monique L'HeureuxMonique L’Heureux is an award winning lighting designer who has been working in the field of dance for over two decades.  This year, she is celebrating her fourteenth collaboration with artistic director, Molly Lynch.  

Past designs include: Ma Cong’s French Twist for Smuin Ballet; Molly Lynch’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Anjani Ambegaokar’s Made in Mumbaii at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center;The Motion Picture and Television Fund event featuring Chita Rivera, Dick van Dyke, Shirley MacLaine, Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson, and others; Charles Moulton’s Ball Passing piece in Fall for Dance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center; Robert Sund’s Alice in Wonderland; the National and Pacific Festivals of Regional Dance America; the summer season at the Hollywood Bowl; and associate design work on the Universal Studios’ Magical Starlight Parade in Osaka, Japan.  

She attended Pepperdine University and received her MFA from the University of California , Irvine , after which she apprenticed at the Los Angeles Music Center ’s Mark Taper Forum. She has taught for the dance departments at Loyola Marymount University and Moorpark College and the theatre department at El Camino College.  She is the recipient of four Lester Horton Dance Awards.  

She is an accomplished artist and photographer whose work has been shown in galleries including the Long Beach Public Library’s Art on Display, the Carl Broderick Gallery, VIVA Gallery, Long Beach Arts Center, City of Brea Gallery, and The Stage Gallery, as well as a permanent installation in the Glendale Adventist Medical Center.  She is a member of United Scenic Artists.


2008 Dancers

Dubraskha Arrivillaga - Eugene Ballet
Adrienne Benz - BalletMet
Jamie Dee - BalletMet
Lauren Fagone - Richmond Ballet
Nancy Richer - Los Angeles Ballet
Kristin Scott - American Repertory Ballet
Kelly Ann Sloan - Los Angeles Ballet
Valerie Tellmann - Richmond Ballet
Jason Linsley - Ballet West
Christian Broomhall - BalletMet
Joseph Bunn - American Repertory Ballet
Christopher Butler - Nashville Ballet
Brent Cannons - Los Angeles Ballet
Ted Keener - Sacramento Ballet
Eddie Mikrut - Nashville Ballet
Kristopher Wojtera - Louisville Ballet


All photos by Robert Salas and David Friedman

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