National Choreographers Initiative

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2013 Choreographers and Dancers

David FernandezDavid Fernandez – born in Mexico City, he began his training at the Centro de arts y Ballet.  After receiving a scholarship to Giordano Jazz Dance in Chicago, he immigrated to the United States. While performing with the company, he began creating contemporary works for performance in art galleries and alternative spaces.  During his dancing career he performed with Chicago’s Boitsov Classical Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ballet Theatre of Chicago, and he performed alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov in the play “The Doctor and The Patient” at the 2004 Lincoln Center Festival. In 2008 he was commissioned to create a solo for Joaquin de Luz (NYCB) for the original “Kings of Dance”, which premiered at the National Opera House, Kiev. He has created works for many principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. His other commissions include the Kings of the Dance Tour, Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Youth America Grand Prix, Opera North, Staten Island Ballet, and the Vassar Repertoire Dance Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School – NY and Some Dance Company. In 2011, David directed and choreographed the short film “White Shirt, Black Tie, Black Pants XXS," which premiered at the Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center in 2012. His previous films include “Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear” (2009) and “Icarus APR” (2009). He also teaches in several ballet and contemporary summer programs in the United States and Mexico.
Susan McCulloughSusan McCullough – is a native of Columbus, Ohio . She graduated from the high school program of the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1969 and shortly became a founding member of the North Carolina Dance Theatre. She joined the Harkness  Ballet in 1972 and in 1974, as Jiri Kylian became the director, she joined Nederlands Dance Theatre  (NDT). Over the next nine years with NDT Ms. McCullough was an original cast member in Kylian’s “Sinfonietta”, “Symphony in D”, “Symphony of Psalms” and of other choreographers such as Hans Van Manen, Glenn Tetley and William Forsythe. She became a company teacher and Ballet Mistress for NDT in 1980. Returning to the United States in 1984 Ms. McCullough was a guest teacher and staged Kylian’s repertory for The Joffrey and The Royal Winnipeg. In 1986 she was appointed the Director of the Pittsburgh Ballet School. In 1988 she was appointed the Dean of The School of Dance of the North Carolina School of the Arts , a position she held until 2008. She “retreated” to the faculty of the School of Dance at (U)NCSA in 2008. Susan has choreographed and restaged over thirty works since returning to the USA in 1984 for the North Carolina Dance Theatre, The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Tallahassee Ballet, SUNY Purchase and the North Carolina School of the Arts to name a few. She was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Arts Council Choreographer Grant in 1987.
Kitty McNameeKitty McNamee - is from Houston, Texas and has her BFA from the University of Texas, Austin. She is the artistic director of Hysterica Dance Company, a consistently prolific and invigorating force in the LA dance community. She was recently commissioned to create a work for the LA Ballet’s NextWave LA and by the LA Philharmonic to create choreography for its “Firebird” Symphony for Youth concerts. Recent highlights with Hysterica include 12th Annual Dance Camera West Dance Media Festival at the Getty, Minimalist Jukebox with The LA Philharmonic at Disney Hall, hysterica x (celebrating the company's 10th anniversary) at the Ford Amphitheatre and performances at REDCAT, LACMA, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Highways. Kitty's work includes original productions for LA Ballet, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and LA Philharmonic. She also brings her passion and unique voice to television, film and live performances.

Peter ZahradnicekPetr Zahradnicek –  is a native of the Czech Republic. As a dancer, he has worked with the National Theater in Prague (Czech Republic), Theater Vorpommern, Salzburg Ballet, Stadttheater Würzburg (Germany), Colorado Ballet and the Milwaukee Ballet. Since joining the Milwaukee Ballet as a dancer in 2003, Petr has created many pieces for the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet II and Milwaukee Ballet School. He has also choreographed four pieces for Ballet Memphis in Tennessee. In 2007, Petr received a grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet. He has choreographed and collaborated with other Milwaukee area art groups including Danceworks, Master Singers of Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Present Music. This autumn, Petr will choreograph “La Traviata” for the Florentine Opera, Milwaukee. He is a three time finalist at McCallum’s Choreography Festival and two time winner of the Paid Engagement Award. This year, Petr will present a new full length program of his work at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert. Petr is currently a choreographer in residence with the Milwaukee Ballet.

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.

2013 Dancers
Allen Abrams – Festival Ballet Theatre

Grigori Arakelyan – Nevada Ballet Theatre
David Barocio – Oklahoma City Ballet

Orlando Canova – Ballet Austin
Roberto Cisneros – BalletMet
Christopher Nachtrab – Sacramento Ballet
Preston Swovelin – San Diego Opera
Rex Wheeler – Sacramento Ballet

Alexandra Cunningham – Sacramento Ballet

Alissa Dale – Nevada Ballet Theatre
Amanda Diehl – Louisville Ballet / Momix
Jennifer Drake – Dance Theatre of Tennessee

Shira Lanyi – Richmond Ballet
Isha Lloyd – Sacramento Ballet
Alessa Rogers – Atlanta Ballet

Elizabeth “Liz” Walker – Los Angeles Ballet

2012 Dancers

All photos by Robert Salas and David Friedman

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