The Institute's two-week fall session began on Monday, October 26, pairing three choreographers and five designers from the NYU Department of Design for Stage and Film. The collaboration gave the choreographers the experience of working with lighting and costume designers to envision what their piece might look like if production elements were realized. All participating dancers were from New York City Ballet and advanced students from the School of American Ballet.

Photo © Rosalie O'Connor

Mothership: Nicolas Blanc, a ballet master from the Joffrey Ballet, partnered with NYU lighting designer Xavier Pierce and NYU costume designer Christopher Metzger.

Photo © Rosalie O'Connor

Asyla: Andrew McNicol, a freelance choreographer based in London, partnered with NYU lighting designer Leslie Smith and NYU costume designer Isabelle Fields.

Photo © Rosalie O'Connor

Arrivals: Norwegian National Ballet dancer Garrett Smith worked with NYU lighting designer Christina Watanabe


During the session, the choreographers and designers were invited to attend performances and exhibitions, offering them inspiration for their work and exposure to what was happening in New York City. These events included performances by American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, and BalletCollective; and a works and process performance at the Guggenheim with Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto. They also had a guided tour of the Kongo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


A focal point of the Fall 2015 Session, each choreographer worked with a lighting and costume designer to create concepts and renderings of designs, which were presented at the showings. The designers attended all rehearsals and met with the choreographers after rehearsals to work on ideas. Additionally, the choreographers and designers attended a light lab at NYU, which covered the elements of lighting design and how the choreographer and lighting designer relationship works. They also attended a second lighting workshop which provided the opportunity for the choreographers and designers to experiment with pieces of fabric, chosen and brought in by the designers, which they were able to look at under light.


An informal showing in NYCB's studios for an invited audience concluded the 2015 Fall Session on November 6. The choreographers and their casts gathered to show their works along with presentations of the designers' and choreographers' concepts. Nicolas used the music Mothership by Mason Bates. Garrett used two pieces of music, Kevin Volans's White Man Sleeps played by Kronos Quartet and Philip Glass's String Quartet No. 3 "Mishima" played by Brooklyn Rider. Andrew used Thomas Ad├Ęs's Asyla


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NYCI Rehearsal and Performance Images © Rosalie O'Connor


A Fellowship Initiative Grant for 2015-16 was awarded to Minnesota Ballet and the choreographers below and Nashville Ballet and the choreographer below. 

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Ballet

LilaAnn Coates White 
Minnesota Ballet

Photo © Brett Groehler

Nikolaus Wourms
Minnesota Ballet

Photo courtesy of Nashville Ballet

Christopher Stuart
Nashville Ballet


The NYCI 2016 Spring Session will take place from February 29 through March 11 with the three choreographers below, who have been working with Juilliard composers to create original compositions.

Photo © Erik Tomasson

Dana Genshaft
Former Soloist, San Francisco Ballet
Faculty Member, San Francisco
Ballet School

Photo © Nobel Lakaev

Trevor Bumgarner
Juilliard Composer


Photo © Nancy Hall

Geoffrey Gonzalez
Resident Choreographer, City Ballet
of San Diego


Louis Cruz
Juilliard Composer

Photo © Keith Sutter

Rex Wheeler
Dancer, Smuin Ballet

Photo © Eric Snoza

Jared Miller
Juilliard Composer