National Choreographers Initiative

2009 Choreographers

Sidra Bell
Artistic director of Sidra Bell Dance New York, has a BA in History from Yale University and an MFA in choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance.  Recent commissions include the Alvin Ailey BFA Program, Ballet Divertimento (Montreal), Arts Umbrella (Vancouver), Canadian Children's Dance Theatre (Toronto), Purchase College, LaGuardia High School, Springboard Danse Montréal, Bessie Schonberg Choreographers Residency at The Yard, Ballet Austin, Sacramento Ballet, Ailey II, and The Juilliard School.  Her work “Conductivity” recently won a second prize for performance at the 13th International Solo Dance Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany and it was also presented at the 23rd International Competition for Choreographers in Hanover, Germany. Her company has been presented by the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out Series, Symphony Space, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Ballet Builders, Harlem Stage, The Gershwin Hotel, Riverside Theatre, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Margie Gillis Foundation, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Ballet Builders, and Joyce SoHo. 
Deanna Carter
Deanna Carter has worked internationally as ballet mistress and guest teacher for companies: Taller Coreografico de la UNAM (Mexico), Aterballetto and Teatro San Carlo, Teatro alla Scala (Italy), Leipzig Ballet and Dessau Ballets, Ballet Rossa (Germany), ABC Dancecompanie (Austria) and others. Deanna’s choreographies for professional companies include works for Ballet Met, the Dessau and Leipzig Ballets, Tanya-Perez Salas Dance Company, Bounard Dance Company and Ballet Quad Cities where she is resident choreographer. Deanna’s works have been awarded the “Best American Choreography” at the Nureyev International Ballet Festival is Kazan, Russia and the National Choreography Plan of Regional Dance America in the USA.  Deanna as also choreographed for many Regional Dance America student companies where she has received several Monticello Scholarships for choreography. Since the fall of 2004 Deanna has been faculty at the University of Iowa Department of Dance where she teaches and choreographs.

Rick McCullough
Rick McCullough is currently a professor of dance at Florida State University. He danced professionally with Netherlands Dance Theater for 9 years. He also performed with the Harkness Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theater. He has been the Artistic Director of the North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Festival Dance Company for the past 10 years. He has been a guest teacher at University of Alabama, Ohio State University, Western Michigan University and University of Utah, as well as Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, Peridance Center – NY, Ballet Pacifica, North Carolina Dance Theater, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and American Dance Festival. He has choreographed works for Columbia Classical Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Washington Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theater. He has received numerous honors from the North Carolina State Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.

Olivier Wevers
Olivier Wevers is from Brussels, Belgium. He received his training at the Karys Dance Center with Nicole Karys, a former dancer with Bejart's Ballet du XXieme Siecle. He was a principal at Royal Winnipeg Ballet, dancing regularly with Evelyn Hart, prior to joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a Soloist in 1997. He was promoted to Principal in 1998. Mr. Wevers has performed works by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Agnes de Mille, Mark Godden, Jiri Kylian, Leonide Massine, John Neumeier, Petipa, Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, and Hans Van Manen. In addition to his performing career, Mr. Wevers is an active choreographer. Since 1993, he has choreographed works for numerous companies in Canada, Japan, and the United States, including: Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theatre and the Seattle Dance Project. In 2005, he choreographed an original one-act production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet in Japan. And in 2006, he was selected and participated in the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute. Mr. Wevers is a recipient of the 2008 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship 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.


2009 Dancers

Adrienne Benz – BalletMet
Alexandra Christian – Nevada Ballet Theatre
Corina Gill – Los Angeles Ballet 
Beth Kaczmarek – Company C Contemporary Ballet
Jean Michelle Sayeg – Smuin Ballet
Maggie Small – Richmond Ballet
Kelly Ann Sloan – Los Angeles Ballet
Andrea Vierra – Nashville Ballet
Jeremy Bannon-Neches – Nevada Ballet Theatre
Andrew Brader – Los Angeles Ballet 
Joe Bunn – American Repertory Ballet/Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet
Michael Eaton – Kansas City Ballet
Ted Keener – Smuin Ballet
Geoff Kropp – Kansas City Ballet
Johnstuart Winchell – Ballet Austin
Kristopher Wojtera – Louisville Ballet

All photos by Robert Salas and David Friedman

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