Igniting the Choreographic Spark

The School of American Ballet’s connection to the importance of choreography is ingrained in our very existence, having been co-founded by George Balanchine – one of the most prolific choreographers in history. Mr. Balanchine’s pioneering, creative spirit lives on through the School’s choreography programs, which aim to nurture young and emerging choreographers in their own exploration of the art of choreography. One such program is the annual Student Choreography Workshop which gives our advanced division students an opportunity to flex their creative choreographic muscles and experience the process of creating a new ballet on their peers.

The participants must create their new work from ideation through to an informal studio showing. They learn the various aspects that go into creating a ballet beyond the process of merely choreographing the steps. From selecting the music to casting their dancers, running rehearsals, and introducing their ballets at the final presentation, the program gives students a chance to really step into the role of a choreographer in an encouraging workshop setting. A true highlight of our Winter Term, a number of working choreographers today made some of their earliest ballets through this program, including Lauren Lovette, Silas Farley, Peter Walker, Emily Kikta, Gianna Reisen and Justin Peck.