Faculty Profile Joe Celej

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    Joe Celej

    Joe Celej

    Contemporary

    Biography:

    Joe Celej, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, is a New York City based creative artist whose career spans nearly fifteen years of professional concert dance performance, choreographic investigation, and passionate instruction and mentoring of students. Joe began his relationship with METdance, then called Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, as a dancer in 2001, and worked with artists such as Robert Battle, Kate Skarpetowska, Peter Chu, Mario Zambrano, and Eddy Ocampo. During this time, Joe served as Resident Choreographer of METdance, creating several works for the company including audience and critic favorite, What More? (2005). In the fall of 2005, Joe relocated to New York City and performed for over eight years with the internationally touring/acclaimed concert company Elisa Monte Dance. As a senior company member and soloist, Joe performed extensively throughout the US (including multiple Joyce seasons) and Europe with EMD, most notably meeting and performing for the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg. Through the EMD choreographic initiative, Joe enjoyed collaborating and creating six works for the company, and was honored to have his Joyce Theater choreographic premiere in 2011. During this time, Joe continued his relationship with METdance as a guest choreographer, creating new works including ForeverFleeting (2007) and primed (2014), guest faculty, and served on the company’s advisory board. Joe is incredibly honored to be appointed Associate Director of METdance beginning in its 2015-16 20th Anniversary Season. Joe is a master teacher throughout the US and Europe. He has been a guest teacher/choreographer at a variety of educational institutions including Steps on Broadway, SUNY Buffalo, Rice University, Salve Regina University, the High School for Performing and Visual Arts Houston (HSPVA), Episcopal High School, St John's School, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Joe is proud to have been a teacher/mentor to many dancers performing with multiple dance companies and projects. Joe graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance performance from SUNY Buffalo, where he was a performing and creative arts honors scholar and supplemented his training with scholarships to Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, The Edge, and the Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Joe’s commercial credits include Levi Strauss and Company, Wal-Mart, and the City of Houston. As an independent artist, Joe has presented his choreography at numerous venue and his most recent endeavors include presenting his new commission, tonight, we dream together for the Island Moving Company of Newport, RI at the Great Friends Dance Festival this past July, and co-creating a new digital comic book, Drawn In: The adventures of Jamo Lady and Magners Man with co-author Clymene Baugher. www.joecelej.com

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