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ABT News

February 4, 2009


Choreographer Jodie Gates has been named the Altria/ABT Choreography Fellow for 2009, it was announced today by ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

A former principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt, Gates teaches for universities and dance schools internationally, and stages the works of William Forsythe for dance companies around the world. She is a Professor of Dance at the University of California, Irvine and is founder and artistic director of the award-winning CaDance, which presents the annual Laguna Dance Festival in Laguna Beach, California. She currently serves on the board of Dance/USA. Her recent choreographic credits include Courting the Ballet for Staatsballett Berlin, Barely Silent for Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Minor Loop for The Washington Ballet, among others.

The Altria/ABT Choreography Fellows program was established as part of Voices and Visions: The Altria/ABT Women’s Choreography Project, launched in 2008 in an effort to identify and nurture female choreographers. The Fellows program annually chooses an emerging female choreographer to create a new work for ABT II. The newly commissioned works, one each year for three years (2008-2010), will be performed in New York City and at ABT II’s tour venues. Gates’ new work, set to the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with costumes by Melanie Watnick, will be given its World Premiere at the Lynch Theater at John Jay College on April 3, 2009.

In addition to the Fellows program, Voices and Visions, generously funded by Altria Group, Inc., includes a series of training and mentoring workshops open to female members of ABT and ABT II. The Workshops, led by Stephen Pier, a faculty member and choreographic mentor at the Juilliard School, focus on developing choreographic structure and the creative process with studies on intention, theme, phrase, music, style, partnering and overall form, as well as analysis of existing ballets. Dancers who wish to pursue further study will then be able to explore their choreography by creating original work on students from The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and ABT’s Summer Intensive program. The goal is to encourage potential choreographers to explore the art of choreography more deeply in subsequent years and offer opportunities to female members of ABT to choreograph future works for ABT II.

For more information on Voices and Visions: The Altria/ABT Women’s Choreography Project, please contact Wes Chapman, ABT II Artistic Director, at

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