Fall 2017 Session


The Institute's two-week Fall Session began on Sunday, October 22, 2017, 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. The participating dancers were from New York City Ballet and  advanced students from the School of American Ballet.

NYCI/NYU Partnership

The Fall 2017 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 Silas Farley, "My costume designer, Ilana Breitman, drew sketches of the dancers throughout each day's rehearsals. She truly captured the essence of each of my nine male dancers. And it was a delight to see how the gentlemen reacted to seeing themselves drawn, giving them a more expansive vision of themselves."
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. Marc Happel, Director of Costumes, met with them to discuss their ideas and sketches and created mock-ups of the designs.


Photo © Ellen Crane

Convergence of Pathways: Craig Davidson, a former dancer with the Semperoper Ballett Dresden, worked with NYU costume designer Kat Jeffery and NYU lighting designer Jennifer Hill.

Photo © Ellen Crane

Tenebris/Lux: NYCB dancer Silas Farley partnered with NYU lighting designer Kate McGee and NYU costume designer Ilana Breitman.

Photo © Ellen Crane

Turangalila: Andrew McNicol, a freelance choreographer based in London, partnered with NYU costume designer Lily Prentice and NYU lighting designer Reza Behjat.

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. 
These events included The Red Shoes at New York City Center, an American Ballet Theatre performance at the David H. Koch Theater, a Semperoper Ballett Dresden performance at The Joyce Theater, and a BalletCollective performance at the Skirball Center. They also had a guided tour of the Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980 exhibition at The Met Breuer.


An informal showing in NYCB's studios for an invited audience concluded the 2017 Fall Session on November 3. The choreographers and their casts gathered to show their works along with presentations of the designers' and choreographers' concepts. Craig used the music Piano Sonata #8 in C Minor, Op. 13, "Pathetique": I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio by Ludwig van Beethoven. Silas used Arvo Pärt's Which Was the Son of...and J.S. Bach's Concerto for Organ in D Minor, BWV 1059:III. Presto. Andrew used Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila, Chant d'amour 1.

Convergence of Pathways 

Davidson Rehearsal Davidson Performance


Farley Rehearsal Farley Performance


McNicol Rehearsal McNicol Performance

NYCI Rehearsal Images © Kyle Froman

NYCI Performance Images © Ellen Crane