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 4th biennial New American Talent/Dance
competition culls a national pool of applicants down to three finalists who will compete for $24,000. Judges will make official awards on Saturday, February 18, 2012 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 $60,000 to nine 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
Gregory Dolbashian - views that never cease to keep me from myself
: Red Pencil
: But I grabbed a branch
: Zach Miskin
Loni Landon - The Wild Card
: Unbreakable Silence
: Ben Frost
: Ben Frost
: Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto
: Ef Ég Hefdi Aldrei
: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Bradley Shelver - The Last Just
: Belini-b Balwa (Track 15)
: Jacob Baher
: Out of Babylon: The music of the Baghdadi Jewish migrations into Asia and beyond
: Prayer (Track 12)
: Gustavo Santaolalla
: Babel (Music inspired by the motion picture)
: XII Quando Corpus- Amen. (Track 12)
: Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
: Andreas Scholl, Barbara Bonney, Christophe Rousset
: Pergolesi: Stabat Mater
: Chuck and Ondekoza. (Track 6)
: Chuck Jonkey
: Taiko- Drum music of Japan
: IV. Pie Jesu. (Track 4)
: Academy of St. Martin in the fields, George Guest, Robert King and St. johns College Choir.
: Gabriel Fauré
: Fauré : Reqium- Duruflé: Reqium- Poulene: Motets
: Dengang Manangkok - Marinda Harimau 1
: Djabur Datuk Radjo Taduang and Haliman Datuk Radjo Gampo
: The music of Islam Volume 15: Muslim Music of Aceh and West Sumatra
Cast & Credits
– Born and raised in New York City, Dolbashian made his professional stage debut at the age of eight with the Glimmerglass Opera Company, then was cast in the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson world tour of Einstein on the Beach
. Dolbashian received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School on a fellowship scholarship and graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase dance conservatory, where he studied composition with Kazuko Hirabayashi. He has performed with Patrick Corbin, Nelly van Bommel, Sylvain Emard, and the Chicago Ballet. He was resident choreographer for both Chicago Ballet’s spring season in 2008 and CorbinDances in 2007. He was selected as one of four emerging choreographers in the Springboard Montreal intensive run by Juilliard’s Alexandra Wells. Dolbashian’s works have also been performed at Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Dance Festival (MA), Joyce SoHo, Alvin Ailey Studio Theatre (NY), Dance Place (DC), Athenaeum Theatre (Chicago), the Dance Theater Lab (SUNY Purchase) as part of the Dance Sampler at Symphony Space, as well as his first commission for CityDance Ensemble (DC). Dolbashian debuted his own company, The DASH Ensemble, in December 2009 at Joyce SoHo. In 2010, The DASH performed as part of Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival in July, DanceNOW at DTW in September, and the NuDances Series in December. Dolbashian is the co-founder of The Playground, an open-door, on-going choreographic program.
– Born and raised in New York City, Landon trained at NYC High School of Performing Arts, Dance Theater of Harlem, The School at Jacob's Pillow, and The Scholarship Program at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2005, under the direction of the late Benjamin Harkarvy and Larry Rhodes, she received her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School. After graduation, she worked with Aszure Barton on the opening of the Baryshnikov Arts Center before joining Ballet Theater Munich directed by Phillip Taylor, under whose guidance she began to explore her own choreography. From 2007–09, she performed with Tanz Theater Munich under the direction of Henning Paar. During her time in Munich, she was exposed to a variety of European choreographers, including Jiri Kylian, Stephan Thoss, Rui Horta, Robert North,Tony Rizzi, Cayetano Soto, Mirko Hektor, and Marco Goecke. Landon was a finalist in the Hannover International Choreography Competition 2009. Her work has been shown in The State Theater of Munich, H.T. Chen's NewSteps Choreography Series, The Dance Gallery Festival at The Ailey Theater in NYC, DanceNOW Raw Festival, APAP at City Center, American College Dance Festival, and at SUNY Purchase. Her group, Loni Landon-projects, was invited to perform at Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out festival in Summer 2011.
Landon, along with Gregory Dolbashian, also founded The Playground, a program designed to give emerging choreographers a place to experiment while allowing professional dancers to participate on a donation basis. Most recently, she was the winner of Northwest Dance Project's Pretty Creatives choreography competition. She has been commissioned to create works for Northwest Dance Project and the Next commission from CityDance Ensemble in Washington, D.C. She was featured with Northwest Dance Project in Dance Magazine October 2010.
– Shelver was born in South Africa and trained in the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg and the Ailey School, NYC. He has danced with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Company, Elisa Monte Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, the Francesca Harper Project, Limón Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theater (UK), and the MET Opera Ballet and as guest artist with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., Lar Lubovich Dance, Graham Lustig Dance Theater, Universal Ballet, and in productions with the Mark Morris Dance Group and Radio City Music Hall. He has also performed solo tours and galas throughout Europe and the USA and has choreographed works for international companies in the USA and Europe. He is Artistic Director of Bradley Shelver Contemporary Dance Theater and is on the faculty of schools and universities worldwide. He is guest company teacher for Matthew Bourne's New Adventures in Motion Pictures company and Phoenix Dance Theater. He has written for Dance Spirit
magazine in the USA and Dance Europe, and his book Performance through the Dance Technique of Lester Horton
will be published by L'epos in 2012.
– Bissonnette began her training at the École de danse Eddy Toussaint. In 1989, she joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montréal and was named Principal Dancer. Throughout her career, Bissonnette has worked with James Kudelka, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Ginette Laurin, José Navas, and Nils Christie. As an Artistic Director of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur and as a President of the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD), Bissonnette also work with Édouard Lock at La La La Human Steps. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995 and a Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 1996.
– Lynch is an award-winning choreographer and artistic director. She was the Artistic Director for Ballet Pacifica from 1988–2003 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the National Choreographers Initiative, an internationally known project to nurture the development of new choreography. She has recently created new ballets for Sacramento Ballet, Nashville Ballet, BalletMet, Dance Collage, and Academies of Ballet in Philippines.
Lynch began her dance training with Lila Zali, received a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet, and performed as a soloist and principal dancer with the Louisville Ballet and Ballet Pacifica for over 10 years. At the University of California, Irvine, she studied with distinguished figures in dance such as Eugene Loring, Antony Tudor, and Olga Maynard. Upon receiving her MFA in dance from UCI, she was named Outstanding Graduate Student, the first student from Fine Arts so honored. In 1992, Lynch was given the esteemed Outstanding Alumnus award from UCI and was named one of Orange County METRO magazine's "Ten Women Who Make a Difference.” She was also the recipient of the Red Cross Clara Barton Cultural Arts Award (1996), the Boy Scouts of America Women of Excellence Award (1996), and the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography (2001). In 2007, she received the Outstanding Arts Organization Award (2007) for her National Choreographers Initiative from Arts Orange County, and the Irvine Barclay Theatre's prestigious Jade Award (2008) for her extraordinary leadership and creativity.
– Zachary entered the dance scene as a performer, joining Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1998. His dancing career later brought him to North Carolina Dance Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and BJM Danse Montréal. More recently he has freelanced, taught ballet and improvisation for professional dancers, and has presented choreography in Chicago, Canada and for the camera. As a writer, Zachary has covered dance, film, music and performance for international online magazine Flavorpill, the Windy City Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Pointe, Total Theatre UK and his own site, trailerpilot.com, in addition to penning program notes and a series of essays for the Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s CDF Salon Series. Since fall 2009 he has been the Dance editor in Chicago for Time Out, a weekly arts and culture magazine published worldwide.
“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