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

2014 Finalists & Results
James Gregg, The Space Between - $6000 jurors' award
Jimmy Orrante, Ya Me Fue- $5000 jurors' award
Gabrielle Lamb, Dovetail- $4000 jurors' award

Audience Awards:
Friday - James Gregg, $1000
Saturday - James Gregg, $1000
Sunday - James Gregg, $1000

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. The competition pulls 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.

Ya Me Fue
Choreography: Jimmy Orrante
Music: Maria Dolores Pradera

Choreography: Gabrielle Lamb
Music: Tin Hat Trio

The Space Between
Choreography: James Gregg
Music: Amon Tobin, Max Richter

Get TicketsThe Long Center
8pm | Mar 28Audio description by VSA Texas available for this show, 29
3pm | Mar 30

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Artist Profiles


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 The 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 the spring of 2011 he was honored with the National Choreographic Recognition Award for Regional Dance America and in the fall was chosen as Choreographer In Residence for Denison University. 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 BalletMet's 2012/13 season, he premiered Rhapsody Espagñole 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.

Gabrielle Lamb -

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, 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 Gregg -

James began 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 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 is also 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 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 choreographic competition in Milwaukee. He also won the 2011 International Choreographic Competition at Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur for his piece, Radio Kids.


"...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.

NAT/D 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.

Program Notes


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.

Juror Biographies

Nancy Wozny, Juror
Nancy Wozny is the editor of Arts + Culture Texas, reviews editor for Dance Source Houston and a contributing editor for Dance Magazine. As a frequent contributor to Dance Magazine's Your Body column, Ms. Wozny is widely reconsigned as a leading voice in performing arts health. Her byline has also appeared in Pointe Magazine, Dance USA's The Green Room, Culturemap, The Houston Chronicle and Dance Teacher. Wozny was a 2005 NEA Fellow of the Institute for Dance Criticism. Ms. Wonzy has served as a scholar in residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival since 2010. She was also a 2004 recipient of the Gary Parks Memorial Award for Emerging Dance Critics, a two-time recipient of Artists Project Grants from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County, a 2001 finalist for the Sommerville Award in Somatic Writing, and a 1994 research fellow at the Leonard Bernstein Center for the Arts and Education.

Stoner Winslett, Juror
Stoner Winslett is the founding Artistic Director of the Richmond Ballet professional company. In the past 30 years, under Ms. Winslett's direction, Richmond Ballet has established the first major company of professional dancers in the Commonwealth, commissioned 55 new works from 20 choreographers from around the world, introduced the much-acclaimed Minds In Motion program into area schools, renovated and occupied its landmark downtown building on Canal Street, and introduced the work of Richmond Ballet to audiences in such major centers as New York, Chicago, and London. Ms. Winslett was trained by Ann Brodie, Aldofina Suarez and Michael Lland in Columbia, South Carolina, and at American Ballet Theatre School and North Carolina School of the Arts on scholarship. After knee injuries curtailed her performing career, she pursued a course of independent study at Smith College, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Ms. Winslett's vision for the organization has always encompassed not only performing but also the training of artists and education of the community that are necessary to both preserve the heritage and explore new directions for the ballet. The major programming divisions of the organization-the Richmond Ballet professional company, The School of Richmond Ballet, and Minds In Motion-all reflect this mission. She has built an impressive repertory for Richmond Ballet with a foundation of full length classics and 20th century masters coupled with a strong commitment to new work. Her own choreography is part of the backbone of the company's repertory, including her acclaimed version of The Nutcracker. Ms. Winslett's work has been recognized both regionally and nationally with numerous appointments and honors. She has served as a panelist and site visitor for several state arts commissions and for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has also served multiple terms as a vice chairman for Dance/USA. Named a YWCA Woman of the Year in 1988, Ms. Winslett served as the Cadmus Leader-in-Residence at the University of Richmond Jepson School of Leadership in 1997. In 2000, Ms. Winslett was chosen by Style Weekly as one of the 100 most influential Richmonders of the 20th century, and that same year was named by Richmond Times-Dispatch as one of the most influential people in the history of Virginia. In 2005, she received The Smith College Medal, the highest honor the college confers on an alumna. Ms. Winslett and Richmond Ballet were recipients of the 2008 Governor's Awards for the Arts announced by then governor Timothy M. Kaine. Currently, Ms. Winslett serves as president of the John Butler Foundation. Ms. Winslett lives in Richmond with her family.

Charles Santos, Juror
Charles Santos is Executive Director/Artistic Director of TITAS, a 31-year old arts organization responsible for bringing to Dallas many of the world's most important dance and music artists. He has had an extensive career in the performing arts field as a presenter, performer and producer. He danced professionally for 9 years before becoming a producer/presenter. Mr. Santos began his producing career in Austin, TX by creating the award-winning Austin Festival of Dance, considered for many years as the most significant dance event in Austin. The Festival ran for ten years and raised millions of dollars for AIDS Services of Austin bringing a cultural community together in partnership with some of the country's leading dance artists. He moved to New York in 1995 as the Managing Director for Eos Orchestra where he produced concerts at New York's Lincoln Center, 3 CD's and published 2 associated books. He continued his career as the Producing Director for Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA) a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. At DRA and Broadway Cares he produced events with such luminaries as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris, Glen Close, Bebe Neuwirth, Jennifer Holliday, Twyla Tharp and Merce Cunningham, as well as creating highly successful national grass-roots events with thousands of dance students from across the country. Before coming to Dallas for TITAS in October 2001, for two years he was the Managing Director/Associate Producer for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at New York's World Trade Center. There he produced the highly acclaimed Evening Stars series at the World Trade Center, as well as facilitating an artist residency program and a re-granting program for the state of New York.

Since taking over TITAS, he has expanded the range and depth of artists TITAS brings to Dallas. Always pushing the envelope, he brings some of the world's most intriguing artists to Dallas. Artists such as Philip Glass, Twyla Tharp, Ravi Shankar, ABT, Mark Morris, France's Lyon Opera Ballet, Japan's Kodo Drummers and Portugal's Mariza. Now in a partnership with Dallas' AT&T Performing Arts Center, TITAS, and the arts in Dallas, is experiencing new levels of success and cultural collaboration. Mr. Santos, with an international reputation for excellence, has established TITAS as a major dance presenter.

Mr. Santos has received many awards nationally and locally for his work and continues to sit on local and national cultural boards.


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 in 2011).

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

Audience Awards:
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

Audience 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

Audience Awards:
Dominic Walsh, 5x winner & overall favorite – $3500
Nelly van Bommel, 2x winner – $1000
KT Nelson, 1x winner – $500

2012 Finalists & Results
Loni Landon, The Wild Card - $6000 jurors' award
Gregory Dolbashian, views that never cease to keep me from myself - $5000 jurors' award
Bradley Shelver, The Last Just - $4000 jurors' award

Audience Awards:
Friday - Bradley Shelver, $1000
Saturday - Bradley Shelver, $1000
Sunday - Bradley Shelver, $1000


Coming soon.



Cast & Credits


Ya Me Fue
Choreography: Jimmy Orrante
Dancers: Aara Krumpe, Oren Porterfield, Chelsea Marie Renner, Jaime Lynn Witts, Orlando Julius Canova, James Fuller, Christopher Swaim

Choreography: Gabrielle Lamb
Dancers: Ashley Lynn, Grace Morton, Chelsea Marie Renner, Brittany Strickland, Jaime Lynn Witts, Ian J. Bethany, James Fuller, Jordan Moser, Frank Shott

The Space Between
Choreography: James Gregg
Dancers: Michael Burfield, Edward Carr, Ashley Lynn, Grace Morton, Jordan Moser, Oren Porterfield, Christopher Swaim, Michelle Thompson

Director's Notes


“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, Houston

"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, 2014
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 performances
Mar 28 – 30, 2014
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.

Encore – New American Talent/Dance
Immediately following the Mar 29, 2014 performance
The Long Center

Join us for an informal conversation with Ballet Austin's Artistic Director Stephen Mills, company dancers, and guest artists on the creative and artistic facets of the production. Free for ticket holders. Learn more. Learn more.

Get TicketsThe Long Center
8pm | Mar 28, 29
3pm | Mar 30

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