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    Igal Perry, Founder and Artistic Director

    Igal Perry, Founder and Artistic Director of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and Peridance Center, is a world-renowned choreographer, ballet master, and dance educator. Mr. Perry's elegant choreography, often in collaboration with contemporary composers, has been described as "blessedly inventive" (Jennifer Dunning, NYTimes). His works have been set on prestigious companies and performed at renowned festivals including Florence Dance Festival and Invito Alla Danza (Italy), Batsheva and Bat-Dor Dance Companies and the Karmiel Dance Festival (Israel), Ailey II and Complexions Contemporary Ballet (NYC), Companhia de Danca de Lisboa (Portugal), and Alberta Ballet (Canada).

    Born in Israel, Igal Perry began his dancing career with Karmon, a folk dance company. He later joined the Bat-Dor Dance Company, where he worked with leading teachers and choreographers including Alvin Ailey, Benjamin Harkarvy, John Butler, Rudi Van Dantzig, Inesse Alexandrov, Paul Sanasardo, and Lar Lubovitch. Upon arriving in the United States, Mr. Perry joined Dennis Wayne’s Dancers as ballet master and choreographer. During that period, he staged John Butler’s work for the NYC Opera, the Opera of Munich, Caracas Ballet, and Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, where he also directed the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s opera Paradise Lost. From 1981-1982, Mr. Perry headed the ballet department at Jacob’s Pillow. In 1983, he launched his dance school, Peridance Center, now one of New York City’s leading dance institutions. A year later he founded Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, for which he has choreographed over 50 works, with performances at BAM, The Joyce Theater, and City Center.

    In addition to his daily class at Peridance, Mr. Perry serves as guest faculty/choreographer at The Jacob's Pillow Festival, The Ailey School, and Marymount Manhattan College. Since 1995, Mr. Perry has served as a guest teacher at The Juilliard School, where he staged his Intimate Voices and Mourning Song. His international teaching engagements include Scapino Ballet and Het National Ballet (Holland), Laterna Magica and the National Ballet (Prague), Architanz (Tokyo), The Royal Ballet of Sweden and Balettakademien (Sweden), the National Ballet of China, and the Kwang-Ju City Ballet Company (Korea).

    Ohad Naharin, Choreographer

    Ohad Naharin is a choreographer, the creator of the Gaga movement language, and former Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company.

    Born in 1952 in Mizra, Israel, he joined Batsheva Dance Company in 1974 despite having little training. During his first year, guest choreographer Martha Graham invited him to join her own company in New York, where Naharin later made his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayshi studio in 1980. For the next decade he presented works in New York and abroad, including pieces for Batsheva Dance Company, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Nederlands Dans Theater. Naharin worked closely with his first wife, Mari Kajiwara, until she died from cancer in 2001.

    In 1990, Naharin was appointed Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, and in the same year, he established the company’s junior division, Batsheva – the Young Ensemble. He has since created over thirty works for both companies and set pieces on many others like the Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, the Royal Danish Ballet, and les Grand Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. He has also collaborated with musicians, including The Tractor’s Revenge, Avi Balleli and Dan Makov, Ivri Lider, and Grischa Lichtenberger. Under the pseudonym Maxim Waratt, he composed, edited, and mixed many of his own soundtracks. Naharin’s work has been featured in several films, including Tomer Heymann’s Out of Focus (2007) and the Heymann Brothers’ Mr. Gaga (2015).

    In addition to his stagework, Naharin also developed Gaga, the innovative movement research and daily training of Batsheva’s dancers that has spread internationally among both dancers and non-dancers.

    After almost thirty years of leading Batsheva, Naharin stepped down as Artistic Director in 2018, though he continues to serve as House Choreographer. Batsheva will also continue to be the home of Ohad’s research, development, and teaching of Gaga. A citizen of both Israel and the United States, Naharin currently lives in Israel with his wife, dancer and costume designer Eri Nakamura, and their daughter, Noga.

    Photo by Ilya Melnikov

    Kyle Scheurich, Setting Naharin's "Duet Mabul"

    Kyle Scheurich was born in 1992 in New York. In 2010 he graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts. During his time at LaGuardia High School he also studied at Manhattan Youth Ballet under the direction of Francois Perron. He graduated from The Juilliard School and joined Batsheva – the young Ensemble in 2014. Kyle joined Batsheva Dance Company in 2016-2020. He currently performs under the direction of Marlene Monteiro Freitas, co-founder of P.OR.K (Portugal). Kyle is also an Ilan Lev Method practitioner.

    Photo by Ascaf Avraham

    Robert Battle, Choreographer

    Robert Battle became Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011 after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Mr. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization.

    A frequent choreographer and artist in residence at Ailey since 1999, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and at The Ailey School. The Company’s current repertory includes his ballets Ella, For Four, In/Side, Love Stories finale, Mass, and Unfold. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by artists as diverse as Kyle Abraham, Mauro Bigonzetti, Ronald K. Brown, Rennie Harris, and Paul Taylor, Mr. Battle has also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers.

    Mr. Battle’s journey to the top of the modern dance world began in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida. He showed artistic talent early and studied dance at a high school arts magnet program before moving on to Miami’s New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis and Gerri Houlihan, and finally to the dance program at The Juilliard School, under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, where he met his mentor, Carolyn Adams. He danced with The Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, and also set his choreography on that company starting in 1998. Mr. Battle then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its debut in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the U.S. representative to the World Dance Alliance’s Global Assembly. Battleworks subsequently performed extensively at venues including The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

    Mr. Battle was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in 2007. He is a recipient of the 2021 Dance Magazine Award and has honorary doctorates from The University of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, and Fordham University. Mr. Battle was named a 2015 Visiting Fellow for The Art of Change, an initiative by the Ford Foundation. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and has addressed a number of high-profile organizations, including the United Nations Leaders Programme and the UNICEF Senior Leadership Development Programme.

    Photo by Andrew Eccles

    Elisa Clark, Setting Battle's "The Hunt"

    Elisa Clark is an award winning artist, educator, and administrator from the Washington, DC area, who trained at the Maryland Youth Ballet, before receiving a BFA from The Juilliard School, under Benjamin Harkarvy.

    As a dancer, Ms. Clark was a founding member of Robert Battle’s Battleworks Dance Company, where she also served as Company Manager and Mr. Battle’s assistant. Additionally, she was a featured member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Peridance Ensemble (now known as Peridance Contemporary Dance Company) and Mark Morris Dance Group, and performed with Nederlands Dans Theater and The Metropolitan Opera, in works by Jirí Kylián, and Crystal Pite, respectively. Since 2019 she has performed alongside Monica Bill Barnes with Monica Bill Barnes & Company in Happy Hour. Her extensive performing career has also included appearances in the Off-Broadway production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, as an actor in several Samuel Beckett plays, directed by Mark Morris for Northern Ireland’s Happy Days Festival, and in an original film directed and choreographed by Breton Tyner-Bryan.

    As an educator and mentor, she has held residencies and faculty positions at the Ailey School/Fordham University, Alabama School of Fine Arts, American Dance Festival, Bard College, Brown University, George Mason University, Indiana University, Jacob’s Pillow, Marymount Manhattan College, MOVE NYC, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, New World School of the Arts, University of Oklahoma, Princeton University, and the University of the Arts. She is currently on faculty at the Ailey School and at Gibney. Furthermore, she has taught company classes for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, the Gibney Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Met Opera Ballet and Mark Morris Dance Group. As a repetiteur and rehearsal director, Ms. Clark frequently restages the works of Mr. Battle and Mr. Morris, and serves as Mr. Battle’s artistic assistant for new and existing dances. Ms. Clark is a Princess Grace Award Winner and a certified Life Coach, often leading seminars, empowering artists to navigate their respective field.

    Photo by Andrew Eccles

    Jessica Lang, Choreographer

    Jessica Lang is an American director and choreographer based in New York City. Since 1999, Lang has created more than 100 original works on companies worldwide including American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the National Ballet of Japan, The Joffrey Ballet, and her eponymous company Jessica Lang Dance, among many others.

    For more than two decades, Lang has worked extensively for American Ballet Theatre. Her original creations on the main company include Her Notes, Garden Blue,and ZigZag with the legendary Tony Bennett, as well as Let Me Sing Forevermorewhich was performed on the ABT Across America nationwide tour and featured regularly on Celebrity Cruise entertainment programs. Lang has created seven ballets on ABT Studio Company including Children’s Songs Dance in collaboration with music icon Chick Corea. Additionally for ABT, Lang was part of the founding faculty of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, a teaching artist for the summer intensives and the Make-a-Ballet program, and served as a mentor and panelist for the Incubator program.

    For opera, Lang directed and choreographed Pergolesi's Stabat Mater at the 2013 Glimmerglass Opera Festival that was presented at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival in 2017 performed by Jessica Lang Dance. In 2016, she choreographed San Francisco Opera's production of Aida, directed by Francesca Zambello that was presented at Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera and, in 2022, LA Opera. Additional commissions include new works for the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, The Harris Theater and the Chicago Architecture Biennial in collaboration with architect Steven Holl, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum for its Works and Process series. For fashion, Lang was the movement advisor for Carolina Herrera's Pre-Fall 2022 collection.

    Lang was Artistic Director of Jessica Lang Dance from 2011-2019. Founded in 2011, the company toured and performed in over 85 cities presented by major venues including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles Music Center, The Kennedy Center, The Harris Theater, New York City Center, Northrop Auditorium, Winspear Opera House, Tel Aviv Opera House, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, BAM Fisher and Helikon Opera, among many others.

    She is the recipient of a 2018 Martha Hill Mid-Career Award, the 2017 Arison Award and a 2014 Bessie Award. She was nominated for The Critics' Circle National Dance Awards for Best Digital Choreography in 2021 for Ghost Variations on Pacific Northwest Ballet and a Manchester Evening News Award in 2012 for Lyric Pieces on Birmingham Royal Ballet. She has been a fellow of New York City Center and The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, and in 2019 named a Caroline Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence at Princeton University. Lang’s work has also been performed by numerous educational institutions including The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, NYU Tisch School of the Arts and University of Arizona, among many others.

    Jessica Lang is originally from Bucks County, PA and a graduate of The Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy. Lang is a former member of Twyla Tharp's company, THARP! where she toured and performed all over the world

    Photo by Kazu

    Claudia McDonald, Setting Lang's "Touch of Your Voice"

    Claudia McDonald holds a B.F.A. in Dance from Fordham University/The Ailey School. She was a founding member of Jessica Lang Dance, both as dancer and rehearsal director. Claudia has assisted Ms. Lang at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival and the National Ballet of Japan and restaged her work at Seattle Opera, LA Opera, Point Park University and Marymount Manhattan College, among others. She has also performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group in The Hard Nut, Romeo & Juliet: On Motifs of Shakespeare, and L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato as well as in Mr. Morris' production of Orfeo ed Euridice at the Metropolitan Opera.

    Photo by Hannah Lentz

    Nicholas Palmquist, Choreographer

    Nicholas Palmquist is an internationally recognised teacher and choreographer currently based in Germany. As a freelance dancer in NYC, he has performed on In The Heights; episodes of SNL; Netflix; The Tony Awards; and The Tonight Show; as well as with American Dance Machine at the Joyce Theater; Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum; and at Radio City Music Hall opposite the Rockettes. Nicholas has been featured in Vogue Magazine, Numero China, Dance Teacher Magazine, Tanz Magazine as well as Dance Magazine US and Japan. Additionally, he has partnered with the Vogue CFDA Gala, Vogue Mexico, Nordstrom, Kenzo, Zalando, and NYFW. Since moving to Germany, Nicholas has created new works with Ballet x Schwerin, Semperoper Ballett, and Palucca University. He has taught Masterclasses with Staatsballett Berlin and their educational program; Tanz Ist Klasse! as well as classes throughout France, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Paraguay, Shanghai, Japan, and Switzerland.

    Photo by Michael Cooper

    johannes wieland, Choreographer

    conceived in lisbon and born in berlin, johannes wieland completed his bfa at the amsterdam university of the arts, and worked, thereupon, in various companies with an extensive array of choreographers. after performing with the béjart ballet lausanne, he relocated to new york city, where he received his mfa in contemporary dance and choreography at nyu / tisch school of the arts. while running the company 'johannes wieland' in new york, he built from scratch what, for 15 years, has been known as the contemporary dance company at the state theater of kassel, germany, holding positions as a resident choreographer, artistic director and director of the dance department. his continued cinematic interest led him to making short movies. creating multi-disciplinary work through his berlin company mind eraser/johannes wieland is his newest playground and aside from being commissioned from companies and teaching for universities, his critically acclaimed pieces have been invited to tour internationally to festivals and events. johannes is also directing and curating b12 - the festival for contemporary dance and performance art (www.b12.space), which runs annually in berlin. he is a 1st prize winner of the kurt jooss prize, and has been awarded numerous other prizes, recognitions, scholarships, and grants. johannes was a nominee for the german theater prize der faust in 2016 for his creation you will be removed. he works on non-categorising art.

    Photo by Alvaro Rodriguez

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