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From the NYCI: Fall Session 2022

See the most recent Institute Commissions


The New York Choreographic Institute's most recent session, held this past fall, brought in three new choreographers with strikingly distinct backgrounds, perspectives, and voices—Raja Feather Kelly, Caili Quan, and Stephen Shropshire—all of which provided for a vibrant dance conversation. The resulting three works, captured by filmmaker Quinn Wharton, present a rich, multivalent portrait of the choreography of the future. 

Hear from the choreographers on the creation of these works here.


Choreography by Raja Feather Kelly

Dominika Afanasenkov, Olivia Bell, David Gabriel, Noah McAuslin, Ava Sautter, Grace Scheffel, Anna Snellgrove

Alexandria Giroux, Choreographic Assistant; Risa Steinberg, Choreographic Mentor

Dignity in Restraint

Choreography by Caili Quan

Sarah Harmon, Jules Mabie, Samuel Melnikov, Quinn Starner, Claire Von Enck

Sarah Lunnie, Dramaturg

The Bagpiper's String Trio

Choreography by Stephen Shropshire

Mira Nadon, Davide Riccardo, Andres Zuniga

Risa Steinberg, Choreographic Mentor

About the Choreographers

Born in Fort Hood, Texas, Raja Feather Kelly received a B.A. in Dance and English from Connecticut College before moving to New York. Has has performed with Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, David Dorfman Dance, A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham, and zoe | juniper. In 2009, he founded the Brooklyn-based dance-theatre-media company the feath3r theory, for which he has created 15 evening-length works.

Feather Kelly has been awarded a Creative Capital Award (2019), a National Dance Project Production Grant (2019), a Breakout Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (2018), Dance Magazine's inaugural Harkness Promise Award (2018), the Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography (2016), and is a three-time Princess Grace Award winner (2017, 2018, 2019). He was named the 2019–2020 Randjelovic/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts and is an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. 

Head to the feath3r theory website to learn more.

Caili Quan is a New York-based choreographer who danced with BalletX from 2013 to 2020. She has created works for BalletX, The Juilliard School, Vail Dance Festival, American Repertory Ballet, Flight Path Dance Project, Stars of American Ballet, Asbury Park Dance Festival, Oakland Ballet, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, and Ballet Academy East. She served as an Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellow and a Toulmin Creator at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU.

With BalletX, she performed new works by Matthew Neenan, Nicolo Fonte, Gabrielle Lamb, Penny Saunders, Trey McIntyre, and danced at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Belgrade Dance Festival, and DEMO by Damian Woetzel at the Kennedy Center. Mahålang, a short documentary that wove familial conversations of her Chamorro Filipino upbringing on Guam with scenes from BalletX's Love Letter, was shown at the Hawai’i International Film Festival, CAAMFest, and the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center. Caili was one of the 2022 Artists-in-Residence at the Vail Dance Festival and is a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School.

Follow Caili to learn more.

Stephen Shropshire is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City, holds an MA in Arts and Heritage from the University of Maastricht, and is currently a doctoral candidate at PhDArts in collaboration between Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts and the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. 

Between 2009 and 2012, Shropshire was the artistic director of Noord Nederlandse Dans in Groningen, the Netherlands. In 2016 his eponymous foundation was established to facilitate the ongoing development and presentation of new choreographic work. In 2017, Shropshire was awarded a special honor prize from the Dansersfonds ’79 and in 2018 his work We Are Nowhere Else But Here won the VSCD ‘Zwan’ for the most outstanding dance performance of 2017. Shropshire is currently the recipient of a ‘Fast Forward’ international production and research grant from the Dutch Performing Arts Fund.

Visit Stephen's website to learn more.

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