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ABT Incubator

Photo: JJ Geiger.

ABT Incubator

ABT Incubator is a choreographic program providing a focused lab to generate and inspire ideas for the creation of new work. Open to ABT dancers and outside choreographers chosen through an audition process, ABT Incubator provides participants with resources to explore and experiment as choreographers with dancers from American Ballet Theatre.

Under the direction of ABT Principal Dancer David Hallberg, ABT Incubator was established in 2018, building on earlier choreographic workshops that Hallberg catalyzed for the Company. In 2020, ABT dancer Jose Sebastian was named director of ABT Incubator.

ABT Incubator is presented thanks to support from American Express.

2022 ABT Incubator Choreographers

The 2022 ABT Incubator takes place April 11-22, with new works created on ABT dancers by four choreographers.

Claire Davison was born in Boulder, Colorado and began her ballet training at the Boulder Ballet School on full scholarship. She attended the Boston Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, School of American Balletc and San Francisco Ballet School summer programs on scholarship. Davison was awarded third place at the Denver Ballet Guild Young Dancers Competition and was a finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix competition in New York City in 2009. She was recognized as an international Young Medalist and performed at the International Ballet Festival of Miami. Davison joined the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in 2010 and was a recipient of the Ron and Toby Altman scholarship. She joined ABT as an apprentice in November 2012 and the corps de ballet in June 2013. Her repertoire with the Company includes Berthe in Giselle, Good Fairy in Harlequinade, Madame in Manon, Nanny and Sugar Plum Fairy in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, Olga’s Mother in On the Dnieper, the Queen Mother in Swan Lake, and a featured role in Deuce Coupe. Davison previously participated in ABT’s Innovation Initiative choreographic workshop in 2014 and ABT’s Incubator in 2019. Her choreographic credits include One of Us (2019) for the Boulder Ballet in collaboration with composer Paul Fowler and Por Ti for the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park’s 2021 Summer Festival in collaboration with 3AM Theatre, Jeff Seal, and Tyler West. In 2021, Davison was a selected choreographer for New York Theatre Ballet’s Lift Lab. For 2022, she will choreograph a ballet on American Repertory Ballet set to Fleetwood Mac music and will create a one-woman show, “Crash Test Dummy,” with sponsorship from Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’ “First of May” award which she received in 2021. Davis’ new work for ABT’s 2022 Incubator will be in collaboration with the Lenape Center.

Raymond Pinto (he/they), is an artist and choreographer based in the tri-state area. They graduated from the Juilliard School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, and since then has danced professionally for companies in North America and Europe. They are a YoungArts awardee and Princess Grace Award recipient. They also hold a master’s degree in Performance Studies from NYU. Their work has been presented at the Royal Ballet of Flanders, Amsterdam Fringe Festival, Participant, Inc., Cue Art Foundation, MoMA PS1, the Venice Biennale, and the Judson Memorial Church. In an ever-changing world, they look forward to continuing to create work that resonates with social and political values of our contemporary times.

Courtney Shealy is from Fort Walton Beach, Florida and trained with Northwest Florida Ballet for nine years. She received scholarships to Summer Intensives at Boston Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and American Ballet Theatre. In 2014, she received third place at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-final for both senior classical and contemporary. Shealy joined the ABT Studio Company in September 2015, became an apprentice with the main Company in August 2016 and joined the corps de ballet in January 2017. Her repertoire includes Aya and Lead D’Jampe in La Bayadère, the Canteen Keeper and the Spanish Dance in The Nutcracker, Lead Czardas in Swan Lake, a leading role in AFTERITE and a featured role in Deuce Coupe. She created Plangon in Of Love and Rage and a featured role in A Time There Was.

Quinn Wharton is a professional choreographer, photographer, and filmmaker. He was born in Seattle, Washington and moved to Hawaii at age 8, where his family still resides. His early training consisted of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, West Hawaii Dance Theater, and North Carolina School of the Arts. He joined San Francisco Ballet (SFB) in 2005, after participating in the inaugural year of their studio company. With SFB, he performed leading roles and created works by William Forsythe, Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, Paul Taylor, Wayne McGregor, Val Caniparoli, and Helgi Tomassen. During that time, Wharton launched a photo and film business working for dance and tech companies in the Bay area, including LINES Ballet, Airbnb, Square inc, Google, and San Jose Ballet, among others. In 2012, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, working with Mats Ek, Glen Edgerton, Robyn Mineko Williams, Penny Saunders, and Alonzo King. After leaving Hubbard Street, Wharton launched several projects ranging from films for Rolex, to full lengths at the Bolshoi Ballet. He has lectured at Stanford and the Booth School of Business on human movement and its potential for leadership. He created a viral series during the early pandemic which recreated famous dance scenes from movies.

Previous Workshops

ABT Incubator was conceived in 2010 under the title The Innovation Initiative. The Innovation Initiative took place in 2010, 2011, and 2014, before being relaunched as ABT Incubator in 2018.

Below are the choreographers that participated in these past workshops and the works they created.