Spring 2016 Session



The Institute's two-week spring session began on Monday, February 29, pairing three choreographers with three composers from the Juilliard School. The composers and choreographers worked in the months prior to the session to create original compositions. All participating dancers were advanced students from the School of American Ballet.

Photo © Rosalie O'Connor

Light Compass: Dana Genshaft, former San Francisco Ballet soloist, partnered with Juilliard composer Trevor Bumgarner.

Photo © Rosalie O'Connor

Imperfect Grace of Chaos: Geoffrey Gonzalez, resident choreographer of City Ballet of San Diego, partnered with Juilliard composer Louis Cruz

Photo © Rosalie O'Connor

Echo Syncopations: Smuin Ballet dancer Rex Wheeler worked with Juilliard composer and NYCI alum (Spring 2013 Session) Jared Miller.


In 2003, the New York Choreographic Institute formed a partnership with the Juilliard School. Together, the two organizations have paired 29 composers from Juilliard with emerging choreographers from around the world, creating new music for works in process. Juilliard graduate music professor Pia Gilbert initiated this partnership stating, “It’s important to me that music and dance be treated as sister arts, not one accompanying the other.” NYCI values innovation and the nurturing of new artistic voices, a mission that not only encompasses the field of dance, but also the integral field of music. The opportunity to work with a composer on the development of a new score, specifically created for their work, allows choreographers greater artistic control in the evolution of their piece. According to Professor Gilbert, “The process should be as stimulating, as interesting, and as valuable as the final product.” It is this process of creative partnership that the Institute and Juilliard seek to cultivate, providing the space and time to create and collaborate, culminating in an informal showing for an invited audience.

Currently, composer and Juilliard professor Daniel Ott selects the composers that work with the chosen choreographers for the spring sessions. The selected choreographers and composers share work samples with each other and meet in person, online, or by phone to elaborate on their ideas and styles. Through these conversations partnerships naturally establish and the creative process begins. Composers send pieces of the working compositions to their choreographer in the weeks leading to the Institute session, and eventually a full draft of the score is sent prior to the choreographers’ arrival at the Institute.  These collaborations provide a laboratory for conversation and experimentation, challenging artists to discuss their ideas and try new approaches based on the style and tendencies of their collaborators.


An informal showing in NYCB's studios for an invited audience concluded the 2016 Spring Session on March 11. The choreographers and their casts gathered to show their works along with live music performed by students and recent graduates of the Juilliard School. According to Peter Martins, bringing composers and choreographers together helps “foster a relationship and a mutual respect for their work.” Mr. Martins believes this collaboration “can only help both art forms.” The New York Choreographic Institute and the Juilliard School aim to continue this partnership to develop artists with an understanding of collaboration and its role in inspiring experimentation and innovation.

Light Compass

Imperfect Grace of Chaos

Echo Syncopations

NYCI Rehearsal and Performance Images © Rosalie O'Connor



The NYCI 2016 Fall Session will take place from October 17-28 with three choreographers new to the Institute.

Photo © Kenneth B. Edwards

Gianna Reisen
School of American Ballet

Photo © Lindsay Thomas

Price Suddarth
Pacific Northwest Ballet

Photo © Daniel Azoulay

Eric Trope
Miami City Ballet


A Commission Initiative Grant for 2016-17 was awarded to Grand Rapids Ballet and choreographer Penny Saunders as well as Joffrey Ballet and NYCI alum Nicolas Blanc.

Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Ballet Photo © Cheryl Mann