Fall 2016 Session


The Institute's two-week Fall Session began on Monday, October 17, 2016, pairing three choreographers with six 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 advanced students from the School of American Ballet.


NYCI/NYU Partnership

The Fall 2016 Session focused on the choreographers' partnerships with their lighting and costume designers to create concepts and renderings of designs, which were presented at the showings. The designers were part of the rehearsal process from day one, attending all rehearsals and meeting with the choreographers after each rehearsal to work on ideas. The value of these unique partnerships is captured by choreographer Eric Trope, "The collaboration with Nina and Cecilia was extremely rewarding for me. Having them sit in on every rehearsal was very valuable. I loved hearing not only their ideas for lighting and costumes, but also their insights into the piece and  their thoughts on the day's work.  They were instrumental in helping me create this piece and I learned so much from their input and experience." 
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. In a second lighting workshop, they experimented with stage lighting's effect on different colors and types of fabric, chosen and brought in by the designers. Each team was also able to see the dancers perform excerpts from their respective choreography under the lighting they had conceptualized that first week.
The costume designers were able to bring to life their designs by working with NYCB's costume shop. Director of Costumes, Marc Happel, met with them to discuss their ideas and sketches and created half mock-ups of one design.


Photo © Kyle Froman

Hexapoda: Gianna Reisen, a student at the School of American Ballet, worked with NYU lighting designer Barbara Samuels and NYU costume designer Jessica Posteraro.

Photo © Kyle Froman

Holding Pattern: Price Suddarth, a dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, partnered with NYU costume designer Andy Jean and NYU lighting designer Jennifer Reiser.

Photo © Kyle Froman

A Little Early and with Feeling: Eric Trope, a dancer with Miami City Ballet, partnered with NYU costume designer Nina Vartanian and NYU lighting designer Cecilia Durbin.

During the session, the choreographers and designers attended performances and exhibitions throughout New York City, providing inspiration for their work, and exposure to multidisciplinary art forms. "All of these experiences gave us more immediate art in common to discuss and compare with each other as artists which was incredibly useful" (Cecilia Durbin, lighting designer).
These events included a New York City Ballet performance featuring a program of new choreography; American Ballet Theatre’s performance of Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium; Mikhail Baryshnikov's one-man show, Letter to a Man, directed by Robert Wilson at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; and a BalletCollective performance at the Skirball Center. They also had a guided tour of the Kerry James Marshall: Mastry exhibition at The Met Breuer.


An informal showing in NYCB's studios for an invited audience concluded the 2016 Fall Session on October 28. The choreographers and their casts gathered to show their works along with presentations of the designers' and choreographers' concepts. Gianna used the music Hexapoda by Robert Russell Bennett. Price used Kevin Keller’s Riding the Purple Twilight. Eric used Johannes Brahms’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108.: “un poco presto e con sentimento" and the “adagio” section.


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Holding Pattern

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A Little Early and with Feeling

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NYCI Rehearsal Images © Rosalie O'Connor

NYCI Performance Images © Kyle Froman


The NYCI 2017 Spring Session will take place from March 6-17 with three choreographers new to the Institute: Fabio Adorisio from Stuttgart Ballet and freelance choreographers Norbert de la Cruz and Claudia Schreier. As in each Spring Session, the choreographers have been working with graduates from the Juilliard School in composition to create original scores. The composers are Nicky Sohn, Nathan Prillaman, and Will Stackpole.

Photo © Roman Novitzky

Fabio Adorisio


Nicky Sohn 

Photo © Jeremy Jackson

Norbert de la Cruz

Photo © Johnny Sandaire

Nathan Prillaman



Claudia Schreier

Photo © Dennis Christians

Will Stackpole