Meet the FIRST LOOK 2017 Choreographers!

Brooklyn Ballet welcomes 11 choreographers to the stage to premiere new work as part of the FIRST LOOK 2017 dance series.

Learn more about these talented choreographers below, and join us for a performance - July 21 & 22 at The Actors Fund Arts Center in Downtown Brooklyn!

Aaron Atkins 

As an emerging choreographer, Aaron Atkins was has received the 2014 & 2015 Jamaica Performing Arts Center Emerging choreographer’s award, 2015 Rider University Emerging Choreographer’s Award, 2015 Lounsbery Choreography Award, was a 2015 Finalist of the Hubbard Street Choreographer Competition, 2014 & 2015 YCF Young Choreographer’s Award recipient and was an Finalist in 2013 & 2014 for the Joffrey Ballet – Choreographers of Color Award. Most recently Mr. Atkins has been commissioned for creation of new work in 2014 & 2015 by Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 2015 Earthside The Band. Atkins’s choreography has become critically acclaimed as “Beautiful, Quirky, Lush and Expansive” - Critical Dance. Mr. Atkins combines an eclectic accessible range of genres of dance to create an individual contemporary ballet esthetic that showcases each artist’s uniqueness and prowess. In 2012 Mr. Atkins Founded Ballet Inc. Since Ballet Inc.’s founding, Mr. Atkins' artistic vision and choreography has led Ballet Inc. to commendable, international credibility and ground breaking success. Broadway World called the company “Hard-hitting..Powerful..Beautiful..Sensual”. 

Mary Ellen Beaudreau

Mary Ellen Beaudreau comes with 15 years of experience as a director, dance educator, professional dancer, and choreographer. Holding a Masters in Choreography degree from the Laban Conservatoire in London, and Bachelors in Dance degree from The Juilliard School, Ms. Beaudreau worked with renowned dance companies such as San Francisco Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Pilobolus Dance Theatre. As a dedicated director of children's dance programs, including Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts in Long Island, NY, Mary Ellen lead programs around the world, collaborating with organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, Harlem Children’s Zone and Artists Striving to End Poverty. As a lead teaching artist with Pilobolus Dance Theatre since 2011, Mary Ellen enjoys sharing the art of dance and the creative process to thousands of children and adults. Mary Ellen Beaudreau is excited to present a new work for FIRST LOOK 2017 in collaboration with dancer/performer Roni Mahler. 

Winnie Berger

Tucson, Arizona native, Winnie Berger, began her dance training at Ballet Arts and then went on to completing a dual degree in Dance and Theology in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program cum laude in 2014. Winnie is the Artistic Director of Mook Dance Company, which came to fruition in 2014. Mook has performed at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Dixon Place, Green Space, the Actors Fund Arts Center, in the DUMBO Dance Festival, and more. Ms. Berger was the 2015 recipient of the Eryc Taylor New Choreographer Grant and one of her works was purchased by Fusionworks Dance Company in Lincoln, RI. She has also set pieces and taught master classes with students of Montclair High School, New York Dance, Cresskill Performing Arts Center, and American Academy of Dance and Performing Arts.  

Courtney Cochran 

Courtney Cochran was born in Sacramento, California and began her dance career at the age of 5. She spent her early ballet training at Deane Dance Center and was a member of their pre-professional company Crockett Deane Ballet. With CDB, she was chosen as an emerging choreographer at Regional Dance America's festival. Courtney attended Dominican University of California as part of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Bachelor of Fine Arts Program. She then went on to spend two years in Dance Theatre of Harlem's Professional Training Program under the direction of Robert Garland, and most recently danced in Brooklyn Ballet's Spring Season, Roots and New Ground 2. Courtney is an aspiring choreographer and wants to use her talents for dance therapy and outreach.

Lindy Fines 

Lindy Fines is the choreographer and artistic director of GREYZONE a multi-media dance company that she formed with artist Justin Fines with the aim to further explore the intersection of dance, sound design, time-based media and the visual arts. Her work has been presented at New Dance Alliance's 30th Anniversary Performance Mix Festival at Abrons Arts Center, Socrates Sculpture Park as part of Norte Maar's Dance at Socrates, Mike Perry's 'Wandering Around Wondering' art space, Juri Onuki's Spacial Design at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, FLICfest at Irondale Center, Movement Research at the Judson Church, The Flea, and Dixon Place. GREYZONE received funding from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant for their work 'Drift' which included a costume collaboration with visual artist Maia Ruth Lee. Their short dance film 'Queens Duets' screened at the International Dance Film Screening (NYC), the Philadelphia Screendance Festival, the Fine Arts Film Festival Santa Barbara, and Salamanca Moves/Movies by Movers (AUS). Lindy Fines received her BFA in modern dance from the University of Oklahoma and trained on full scholarship at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio. 

Leah Moriarity

Leah Moriarty is a Brooklyn-based dance artist who began her training at the Educational Center for the Arts High School in New Haven, Connecticut focusing on dance and choreography. She received her BFA in Dance at the University of Massachusetts as part of the Five College Dance Department. Since graduation, Leah has worked with choreographers Kellie Lynch, Donna Mejia, Shalewa Mackall, Ni'Ja Whitson, Souleymane Badolo and Rosangela Sylvestre. She is currently working with choreographer Joya Powell. She also works as a study abroad coordinator for ThisWorldMusic, a dance and drum intensive in Ghana. Her work has been presented at the New Haven Arts & Ideas Festival, on Martha's Vineyard, Boston College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Martha's Vineyard, Hampshire College, Amherst College, Dixon Place, Cedar Crest College and Arts On Site.

Corinne Shearer

Corinne Shearer is a freelance dancer and dance/film-maker based in Brooklyn, NY. Shearer graduated from the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Performance and a Concentration in Dance Composition. She has studied choreography under Doug Varone, Rosalind Newman, and choreography and directing under Alexandra Beller. Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, The Hudson Guild Theater, and FiveMyles Gallery, among other venues.

Alaina Wilson

Alaina Wilson is a New York based choreographer, dancer, and visual artist trained in classical ballet, modern, and contemporary dance. She graduated with a BA from Vassar College in 2016 after completing a thesis on the legacy of ancient Greek dance within contemporary performance. Throughout her time at Vassar, Wilson contributed to the Vassar Repertory Dance Theater, directed by John Meehan, as both a performer and choreographer. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Contemporary Dance at Sarah Lawrence College. Her creative process is largely driven by imagery and content collected through research into art history, philosophy, Greek and Roman studies, and contemporary aesthetic theory, resulting in works the strive to reinvigorate classical forms within innovative choreographic contexts. Wilson’s work has been presented at Green Space in Queens, NY, the Burklyn Ballet Theater in Johnson, VT, the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, NY, Bard College, Sarah Lawrence College, and Vassar College. 

Mei Yamanaka

Mei Yamanaka is a dancer and choreographer from Japan. Mei moved to New York in 2008. Mei has worked and collaborated with artists including Tiffany Mills Company, Mark Dendy Projects, Jennifer Archibald, Katy Pyle, Patricia Noworol Dance Theater, Jody Oberfelder, Dai Jian, Palissimo, Oui Danse, Catherine Galasso, , among others. Mei's work has been seen at Fresh Tracks at New York Live Arts, Movement Research at Judson Church, Under Exposed and Crossing Boundaries at Dixon Place, “Take Roots” Series at Green Space, “Collaborations in Dance Festival” and “Split Bill” Series at Triskelion Arts, Mix Festival at HERE, and more. Mei was a “Fresh Tracks” residency artist at Dance Theater Workshop(now New York Live Arts) in 2010 - 2011. She was also residency artist at Chez Bushwick Artist In Residence: Cycle 1, in 2014 at Chez Bushwick.

Eryn Renee Young 

Eryn Renee Young is co-founder and resident choreographer of XAOC Contemporary Ballet, a New York City-based neoclassical ballet company founded in 2010. Her choreographic work has been showcased at many venues including at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, the Young Choreographer’s Festival at Symphony Space, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival at the Paramount Theater, Triskelion Arts Center, Steps on Broadway, the Moving Beauty Series, the Algonquin Arts Center, Peridance Capezio Center, the Boston Conservatory, the Bart Leukede Theater at Rider University, and New York University, including a solo choreography show entitled A New Era: Elements of Dance in 2009 and another in the Gallatin Arts Festival in 2012. Her awards include selection as one of five winners of the 2015 Edward Villella Emerging Choreographers Competition at Rider University, a 2015 Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant for her ballet outreach program “Project Ignite,” the 2014 Eryc Taylor Dance New Choreography Grant, selection as a mentee for the 2013 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training, and selection as a choreographer for the 2013 Women in Dance Series. In 2016, Norte Maar commissioned her to create “The Edge of Sunset Gems” in collaboration with visual artist Amanda Browder for the CounterPointe series, celebrating women making work on pointe. Ms. Young holds a degree in Contemporary Ballet Choreography and Fine Art from New York University. She began choreographing in 2007 and draws inspiration from Balanchine-Stravinsky works, classical sculpture, Greek myth, Christopher Wheeldon, and William Forsythe.  

Sarah Zehnder

Sarah Zehnder, Artistic Director of Zehnder Dance, is a New York based dance artist originally from Ohio, where she began her training as a hip-hop dancer. Zehnder Dance, established in 2010, is known for commanding physicality, boldness and architectural precision, and has been produced nationwide, performing in such prestigious festivals as Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Reverb International Dance Festival, Pasadena Dance Festival, DUMBO Dance Festival, the MAD Festival, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, and the Women in Dance Project (NYC and Chicago). Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Gowanus Arts, Triskelion Arts Center, 92nd Y, Greenspace, and the Center for Performance Research (CPR). Zehnder received her BS in Dance from Bowling Green State University and her MFA from SUNY Brockport. 

Peformances take place July 21-22 at The Actors Fund Arts Center, 160 Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Tickets are $15, with discounts for students and seniors. 

Click here to purchase tickets! 

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