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Oliver Steele is Romanian by birth and a citizen of Germany. In 1991, Mr. Steele began his dance education at the Ivanson Dance Center (Munich/Germany) under the direction of Jessica Ivanson. He moved to New York in 1992 to continue his training and joined Extended Dance Company (Val Suarez Artistic Director) later that year. Since then he has performed with David Storey Dance Works, Scott Rink and Friends and as a soloist for The Kevin Wynn Collection. Mr. Steele has also worked with choreographers: Milton Myers, Andrew Asnes, Michael Foley, Ray Tadio, Charles Wright, Daniel Tinazzi, Richard Pierlon, John Evans, Nadia Tarr, Fabrice Herault, Mina Yo and Jessica Ivanson.
In 1995, Mr. Steele co-founded STEELEDANCE with his wife, Teri Lee Steele. Together they have self produced, co-choreographed, directed and performed several full-length performances in New York City. Mr. Steele's choreography has been commissioned by North Carolina School of the Arts, Joyce Soho presents, In the Company of Men 2004, DNA’s Gene Pool and the Tappan Zee Dance Group. Mr. Steele’s work has been presented by and performed at DTW’s Bessie Schonberg Theater, St. Marks Church with Dancers Responding to Aids "The Remember Project", the French Institute, the Agnes Demille Theater at NCSA, the Patricia Nanon Theatre at The Yard, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the Battery Dance Company in their Downtown Dance Festival, the Cunningham Studio, the Evolving Arts Theater at Dance Space, the Master’s School in Dobbs Ferry as well as Steps’ Faculty Showcase, SWEAT and the Elizabeth Pape Memorial Concert. STEELEDANCE was invited to perform his work "My Thoughts, My Dreams" at the diving event of the Goodwill Games in New York City in July 1998.
In September 2009 Mr. and Mrs. Steele were hired to choreograph the official "Dance Flash Mob" for the opening of the new version of the movie "Fame" which was performed with 100 dancers at South Street Seaport NYC.
Internationally, Mr. Steele has taught at the Ivanson Dance Center (Munich/Germany), Matsuyama University (Matsuyama/Japan), Dance Camp Companie Champagne (Desenzano/Italy) and Ketsevhagoof Studio (Rishon/Israel). He was on faculty at Steps on Broadway and Abizaid Arts from 1997- 2002 and has also taught workshops, master classes and lecture demonstrations at The Juilliard School, Rutgers University, Hunter College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, North Carolina School of the Arts and the Tappan Zee Dance School. Oliver Steele is Co-Artistic Director of STEELEDANCE
Oliver Steele's Contemporary Modern Dance classes are specifically designed
- a) for professional dancers who continuously seek to mature and season their craft
- b) for aspiring professional dancers who seek to grow and realize their craft
- c) for warm up and adequate preparation before rehearsal.
Class begins calm. Initially a series of soft repetitive contemporary movements allow the dancers to gently warm up as they find their center and the connection to the ground. Still utilizing "Classical Modern Technique" these motions consider natural physical placement but encourage to extend ones technical range, though never compromise the safety of the body.
The "Stretch and Strength Study" is Yoga-inspired and heavily influenced by Mr. Steele's Pilates Certification. It preserves the dancer’s health in that it creates balance by opposing the over use of certain muscle groups therefore maintaining or restoring correct skeletal alignment and ultimately granting a longer dance career.
Now feeling present, open and strong the following exercises develop and cultivate the proper use of gravity as their lessons promote "bilateral and circular off- center" (for the largest range of motion possible) as well as "moving-through-center" (to enforce clear, dynamic and efficient transitions). The final goal is to achieve and then maintain high quality in the movement, grounded crisp technique and a clear mind while inviting the confidence of self implementing one's ability and knowledge into the choreography ("Mindful work equals non- thinking results – ‘self-teaching’”).
Mr. Steele's phrases range from intense and expressive to athletic or fluid and musical while their composition will always surprise with constant directional, tempo and level changes.