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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. Choreographer Jessica Lang currently serves as program mentor, offering composition workshops and providing invaluable professional advice.

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 Choreographers

ABT Incubator creation periods will take place November 2020 and February 2021 with six ABT dancers creating works with their colleagues while observing strict COVID-19 health protocols.

 Zhong-Jing Fang was born in Shanghai, China.  She has received numerous awards, including first place in the Prix de Lausanne and the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation Prize in 2000.  Fang joined ABT Studio Company in 2002 after graduating from the Performing Arts College of Shanghai Drama University.  She became an apprentice with ABT in April 2003 and a member of the corps de ballet in January 2004.  Fang was promoted to Soloist in September 2018.  She previously choreographed An Observation of the Dress Code for ABT Incubator in 2019.

Luciana Paris was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and began her ballet training at the age of seven with Elena Perez.  From 1991-1996 she studied at the Colón Theater Superior de Art Institute, where she received a Colón Theater Foundation Scholarship.  Paris joined Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino in 1996, where she performed as Bocca’s dance partner throughout Argentina and internationally until 2001.  She joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in October 2001 and was promoted to Soloist in August 2015.

Luigi Crispino was born in Naples, Italy, and began his ballet training at the Ballet School of San Carlo’s Theater. He attended American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive in 2015 and was invited to join the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School with a full scholarship. Crispino joined ABT Studio Company in September 2016, the main Company as an apprentice in November 2017 and became a member of the corps de ballet in January 2018.

Sung Woo Han, born in Seoul, South Korea, trained at the Royal Ballet School on full scholarship.  He has won numerous awards including International Ballet Competition-Varna, Youth America Grand Prix and second prize at the Prix de Lausanne in 2011. Han joined ABT’s corps de ballet in 2013.  For ABT Incubator, he previously choreographed Beneath the Conscious (2018) and Perspective of Glory (2019).

Melvin Lawovi was born in Toulouse, France, and trained at VM Ballet School, under the direction of Vinciane Ghyssens and Matthew Madsen.  Lawovi has participated in many international competitions, including in Grasse, Cannes, Biarritz and Toulouse, winning gold medals and special prizes in each.  In 2018, Lawovi finished first place at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Barcelona.  He joined ABT Studio Company in January 2018 and became an apprentice with the main Company in December 2019.

Joseph Markey, originally from Jacksonville, Florida, started his training at Debbie’s Dance Company under the direction of Debra Ford.  In 2017, he became a trainee with Orlando Ballet School. He won a silver medal as a YoungArts finalist in 2017, a bronze medal at the USA International Ballet Competition Jackson in 2018 and first place at Youth America Grand Prix Tampa semi-finals in 2018.  Markey joined ABT Studio Company in September 2018 and became an apprentice with American Ballet Theatre in December 2019.

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.