Choreographers Brian Brooks, Beth Gill and Pontus Lidberg have been awarded New York City Center's 2012-13 Choreography Fellowships. The Fellowship program was launched in conjunction with the theater's reopening season in 2011-12 with a mission to support choreographers at critical stages in their careers. It reflects City Center's long history of nurturing dance makers from George Balanchine to Christopher Wheeldon.
The Fellowship provides choreographers with a creative home at City Center for one year. The recipients receive a generous stipend in addition to rehearsal space in the City Center studios and a performance opportunity at City Center. Technical assistance is also offered to the Fellows, who have full access to City Center's expertise in fundraising, finance, technology and marketing.
"We wanted to go beyond simply providing studio space and offer a whole spectrum of resources," said New York City Center President & CEO Arlene Shuler. "It's important to have space to create, but administrative know-how is also key to developing and sustaining a dance company. We are very proud to be able to offer this kind of support to these talented choreographers."
The recipients of City Center's inaugural Choreography Fellowship were Emery LeCrone, Andrea Miller (Artistic Director of Gallim Dance) and Shen Wei (Artistic Director of Shen Wei Dance Arts).
New York City Center gratefully acknowledges the generous leadership support of Frederic and Robin Seegal. Mr. Seegal, a member of the New York City Center Board of Directors, was instrumental in encouraging the development of the Choreography Fellowship Program. Additional support has been provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Brian Brooks, artistic director of Brian Brooks Moving Company, lives and works in New York City. Brian's dances "shatter conventional notions of the human capacity for strength and endurance" (Dance Magazine), and have been presented since 2002 by world-renowned venues throughout New York, the US, South Korea and in Europe. Two commissions from Dance Theater Workshop (2004, 2006) provided early and elevated exposure for the company, which has since enjoyed two consecutive seasons at The Joyce Theater (2011, 2012), and will return in January 2013 as part of the Focus Dance program. Brian recently premiered a duet with New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan, commissioned for the 2012 Vail International Dance Festival by Damian Woetzel. Brian has dedicated much of the past decade to dance education, recently serving on the part-time faculties at both Rutgers University and Princeton University.
Beth Gill is a Queens-based artist who makes contemporary dance and performance in New York City. Beth's mission is to use the experience of dance, theatrical design and sound within the framework of live performance to shift perceptions of the world around us. Her work has been performed internationally and commissioned by The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, The Chocolate Factory Theater and Dixon Place. She received two New York State Dance and Performance "Bessie" Awards in 2011, and her most recent work, Electric Midwife, was named one of the 'Best Dances of 2011' by Time Out New York, as was her previous work what it looks like, what it feels like for 2008. Beth is one of seven choreographers profiled in Michael Blackwood's documentary New York Dance: States of Performance, which premiered in the Lincoln Center Dance on Film Festival in 2010.
Pontus Lidberg has been making dances for stage and film since 2000. Most recently, he produced WITHIN (Labyrinth Within), during his tenure as Resident Artistic Director of Morphoses. WITHIN premiered in June 2012 at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and was followed by a five-city tour in Sweden along with an upcoming run at The Joyce Theater in November. Pontus has been commissioned to develop new works for several international dance companies, including the Royal Danish Ballet (2010), Beijing Dance Theater (2009), and the Royal Swedish Ballet (2012). In 2003, he formed Pontus Lidberg Dance to support the development and production of his independent projects, and since then he has created three ballets for the stage and three full-length dance films. His film The Rain (2007) received numerous awards and critical praise. His most recent dance film, Labyrinth Within, which features New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan and a score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, won Best Picture at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York (2012).