At the Ballet
|The 5th Biennial
New American Talent/Dance
"There's no dance showcase or competition quite like this in North America." The Austin Chronicle
Interactive and always exciting, Ballet Austin's search for the country's most talented choreographers returns as the 5th Biennial New American Talent/Dance competition culls a national pool of applicants down to just three finalists. At stake: cash prizes up to $20,000 and national acclaim. Who will win this prestigious event? Your texted vote will help decide. The outcome will accelerate the careers of these choreographers and deliver some of the most innovative and intriguing dance you'll ever see.
New American Talent/Dance is the most significant choreographic project in the U.S., with 12 choreographers having gone on to win other awards and national attention.
"...there's no dance showcase or competition quite like this in North America." - The Austin Chronicle
Ballet Austin's nation-wide search for the country's most exciting choreographers returns as the 5th biennial New American Talent/Dance
competition culls a national pool of applicants down to three finalists who will compete for $20,000. Judges will make official awards on Saturday, March 29, 2014 while the audience votes every night to award its favorite with an extra cash prize.
is the only dance competition of its kind in North America and has awarded $80,000 to twelve finalists who have gone on to win other awards and national-level attention. Most importantly, several past finalists have developed new work with Ballet Austin and other well-respected professional dance companies.
Applicants for the competition each submit no more than 10 minutes of video that highlight their work and reflect their creativity and style. From these entries (usually between 50 and 75 per cycle), three finalists are chosen.
Each finalist travels to Austin and is given 40 hours of studio time with Ballet Austin's world-class dancers to set their work, a $2,000 prize retainer, paid expenses for travel and accommodations, and a per diem. The only rules are that no more than 8 dancers may be used in a piece, and the piece must be 15 to 20 minutes in length. Additionally, each choreographer is given a small budget for production elements, ensuring that the focus of the work is on the choreography rather than the external components.
The choreographers will unveil their new works at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas, in February 2012. During these premiere performances, three internationally-renowned dance jurors will award cash prizes to the choreographers they designate as 3rd place ($4,000), 2nd place ($5,000) and 1st place ($6,000). Additional daily prizes of $1,000 will be awarded at each performance to the choreographer who receives the most votes from the audience.
At the height of American Idol
frenzy in 2005, Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills conceived the groundbreaking New American Talent/Dance
competition as a way to give young choreographers invaluable exposure to the public. Mills borrowed ideas and the title from the New American Talent
exhibition series held by Austin's contemporary art organization Arthouse, which has gathered and judged the best new artists from around the country for over two decades. Now in its 4th biennial year, Ballet Austin’s is still one of the only dance competitions of its kind specifically designed to reward artists financially and with increased recognition. Several past finalists have returned to Ballet Austin to create new work, specifically Thang Dao (Printemps Perdu
in 2007, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
in 2009, Quiet Imprint
in 2010), Viktor Kabaniaev (Phrases
in 2009), Thaddeus Davis (The Monologue Project
in 2007), and Nelly van Bommel (Hansel & Gretel
2006 Finalists & Results
Thaddeus Davis, Majestic Days and Fervent Nights
– $6000 jurors’ award
Thang Dao, Stepping Ground
– $5500 jurors’ award
Sonya Delwaide, Savoir Vivre
("Knowledge to Live
" or "Good Manners
") – $3500 jurors’ award
Thursday – Thang Dao, $1000
Friday – Thang Dao, $1000
Saturday – Thang Dao, $1000
Sunday – Thang Dao, $1000
2008 Finalists & Results
Victor Kabaniaev, Weather
– $6500 jurors’ awards
Amy Seiwert, The Danger of Speaking
– $6000 jurors’ awards
Sidra Bell, Substrata
– $2500 jurors’ awards
Thursday – Sidra Bell, $1000
Friday – Viktor Kabaniaev, $1000
Saturday – Sidra Bell, $1000
Sunday – Sidra Bell, $1000
2010 Finalists & Results
Dominic Walsh, The Whistling
– $6000 jurors’ awards
Nelly van Bommel, Fanfarnèta
– $6000 jurors’ awards
KT Nelson, When Love is Hard
– $3000 jurors’ awards
Dominic Walsh, 5x winner & overall favorite – $3500
Nelly van Bommel, 2x winner – $1000
KT Nelson, 1x winner – $500
Cast & Credits
Gabrielle Lamb is a New York-based choreographer and performer, as well as a self-taught filmmaker and animator. She won the 2009 National Choreographic Competition of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as well as the Grand Prize in Milwaukee Ballet's 2013 Genesis International Choreographic Competition and First Prize in the 2013 National Choreographic Competition of Western Michigan University.
Her works for stage and screen have also been presented by BalletX, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, the American Dance Festival, and Jacob's Pillow.
Ms. Lamb, a native of Savannah, Georgia, was trained at the Boston Ballet School. After nine years as a soloist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, she was invited by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon to join his company Morphoses in New York. She continues to perform the work of choreographers Pontus Lidberg, Luca Veggetti, and Shannon Gillen.
James started dancing at the age of nine. He trained with Ballet Oklahoma, Cece Farha's ROM, Houston Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Lou Conte's, and The Edge Performing Arts Center.
James then moved to Chicago to dance with River North Dance Company in 1999. He was with RNDC for several years and then moved to Montreal in 2005, where he is currently dancing with Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal . James also is a member of Aszure and Artists, and guests with other dance companies around the country.
James started choreographing as a youngster in school, but really found his passion when he arrived in Chicago. He has, since then, set works on River North Dance Company, Impetus Dance Company, Instruments of Movement, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Domain Forget, North West Dance Project (PCCC), and Springboard Danse Project Montreal,.
Most recently, James was a finalist in the Genesis choregraphic competition in Milwaukee. He also won the 2011 International Choreographic Competition at Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur for his piece, Radio Kids.
Jimmy Orrante -
Jimmy Orrante is a recipient of the 2005 inaugural Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. Now in his 19th season with BalletMet, the Los Angeles native has choreographed several works for the company, including in 2009 the highly successful Great Gatsby
. Mr. Orrante attended the Los Angeles County High School For the Performing Arts under Don Hewitt as well as North Carolina School of the Arts. He has danced with Memphis Ballet, Nevada Dance Theater, Los Angeles Chamber Ballet and guested with Northern Ballet (UK), Dance St. Louis, and Dance Kaleidoscope (Los Angeles).
In spring 2011 he was honored with the National Choreographic Recognition Award for Regional Dance America and in fall chosen as Choreographer In Residence for Denison University. In 2011 he also applied for and received the Special Project Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation as well as a grant from the NEA to collaborate with The Ohio State University's Advanced Center for Computer Art & Design (ACCAD) and media composer, Sean Beeson. Illuminated Tapestry
premiered in April 2012 and involved motion capture using the XBOX Kinect.
During the summer of 2012, he choreographed Sing,Sing,Sing
with Atlanta Ballet's WabiSabi project, a site specific work at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Most recently during BalleMet's 2012/13 season he premiered Rhapsody Espag˝ole
to Ravel's composition of the same name with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and three children.
“These experienced, developed, distinct choreographic voices suggest a performance well worth seeing, for ballet goers but also – maybe especially – for members and fans of the local independent dance scene.” - Jonelle Seitz, The Austin Chronicle
"...there's no dance showcase or competition quite like this in North America." -The Austin Chronicle
"Ballet Austin's New American Talent/Dance just might be the most original choreography competition out there – like Dancing with the Stars meets the world of contemporary ballet." -Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
"This competition is about more than a trophy and bragging rights for the coming year; it's about giving artists an opportunity to create." -Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
"One of the more innovative programming ideas in dance; The program's reach is wide and deep." -Clare Croft, Austin American-Statesman
"Smart, funny, and rich." -Austin American-Statesman
"Just like a new baby, new art needs a little push. This weekend, the audience will have the last word, American Idol style." -CultureMap
"In short, sports fans, they got game." -The Austin Chronicle
"Sheer joy, energy and humor" -The Austin Chronicle
Studio Spotlight – New American Talent/Dance
Thurs Mar 20, 2013
12 – 1pm or 6 – 7pm
Ballet Austin’s AustinVentures StudioTheater
Watch company dancers in rehearsal, learn about the New American Talent/Dance
competition and the collaborative processes involved in making the works, and ask the artistic staff and dancers questions about the artistic process. Free admission for those who RSVP. Learn more or sign up
Footlights – New American Talent/Dance
One hour prior to all performancesMar 28 – 30, 2013
The Long Center
Just an hour before each competition, join us in the theater for a look at the final preparations for the three pieces. See the last-minute workings of dancers and production crew as you learn about the history, music, and artists involved in the production. Free for ticket holders. Learn more