Dancers to Watch
Corps de ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet
Chosen by PNB principal Carla Körbes, a 2006 “25 to Watch”
The first thing I noticed is how light Jerome can be. It's like he has
air underneath him. You can see every position while he's still in the air. He
has the perfect lines, he's very clean in his technique, and his presence is
very prince-like. The way he holds himself is very classical, very calm. He’s
so beautiful, like a little movie star. I would love to see him do Swan
Artist, Sacramento Ballet
Chosen by choreographer Amy Seiwert, a 2005 “25 to Watch”
The first time I saw Roberto dance was in Smuin Ballet’s Christmas
Ballet in 1999 when he was 11. He was performing a tap dance that has a
battle between him and this girl, and suddenly he dropped to fourth and did 11
pirouettes. I was floored!
Corps de ballet, Boston Ballet
Chosen by Boston Ballet principal, Misa Kuranaga
I’ve known Isaac since he was 16. He grew up in Boston and he went to
Citydance which is Boston Ballet’s outreach program. I was in the company and
he was in the school. Even in school, he was shining. He has this special aura
about him. When I look at his dancing, I don’t feel like I’m looking at
technique, I feel like I’m looking at artwork. He just makes things look really
Corps de ballet, Miami City Ballet
Chosen by former MCB principal soloist and So You Think
You Can Dance contestant Alex Wong, a 2010 “25 to Watch”
His biggest first role was the Green Boy in Dances at a Gathering
by Jerome Robbins. He was 17 then. This was actually really early last season,
and I remember him being like, “I can’t do this. I don’t know why they’re
giving me this.” I was like, “No, you really can do it.” I remember him
practicing over and over again, and he wasn’t really ready in his partnering.
And he ended up doing it really, really well.
Corps de ballet, New York City Ballet
Chosen by NYCB principal Daniel Ulbricht, a 2001 “25 to Watch”
Brittany is a chameleon: She morphs to fit any choreography right before
your eyes. I’ve seen her debuts in all kinds of works, from Balanchine and
Robbins classics to more contemporary pieces, and it always looks like she’s
danced them before. When she did the soloist part in Scotch Symphony—a
very difficult role—she looked like an old pro, with a beaming grin on her
face. She’s an honest performer, too; you can see who she is when she
Corps de ballet, American Ballet Theatre
Chosen by ABT principal Gillian Murphy, a 2002 “25 to Watch”
Leann is on the verge of a brilliant career at ABT. She has all of the
technical elements: turning, jumping, extension. But she moves beyond that.
She’s very musical and extremely versatile. She’s capable of greatness whether
it’s allegro or lyrical in classical ballet, and also in modern works. Last
season she seemed right at home in a principal role in Twyla Tharp’s Brahms-Haydn
Variations, and she has also done exemplary performances of the third
shade variation in La Bayadère. With each new opportunity she’s
growing in her individuality, she’s expressing her artistry more and more, and
looking stunning in all sorts of different roles.
Artist, Ballet West
Chosen by choreographer Helen Pickett, a 2007 “25 to Watch”
My first experience with Whitney was in the fall of 2009, when I went
to Ballet West to start making my new ballet, But Never Doubt I Love,
based on Shakespeare plays, which premiered last spring. She was a part of the
process from the very beginning. Whitney is a risk taker and she had a
brightness in her eyes. I could tell she was curious and ready to be in that
room and be a part of something new.
Leading artist, Milwaukee Ballet
Chosen by San Francisco Ballet principal Tiit Helimets, a 2007 “25 to
Julianne is intelligent and beautiful with strong technique. She is
always going to give 100 percent. She’s had a very solid career.
First artist, Royal Ballet
Chosen by choreographer Wayne McGregor, a 2001 “25 to Watch”
Melissa is proving to be a bold, intelligent, and dynamic dancer in
both the Royal Ballet repertoire and in new creations. Hyper-mobile, fluid,
with an elegant sense of line, she devours movement easily and on stage has a
magical, untouchable presence. She is fantastic in new creations and
choreographers seem always to want to create with her in the studio. She is a
refreshing muse. We worked on Infra together and she was simply
incredible with Eric Underwood. Rehearsals were a real pleasure—invigorating,
inspiring and fun. Equally, she interprets the repertory roles in a questioning
and individual way.
Corps de ballet, Houston Ballet
Chosen by HB principal Melody Herrera, 2007 “25 to Watch”
Allison is the best mix: a strong technician with a very graceful and
elegant quality. She has pure and strong technique, but there’s also something
so feminine and delicate about her dancing—it’s enchanting to watch. When we
did Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina, the second she came out, it was
like she was flying across the stage.
Chosen by American Ballet Theatre principal Marcelo Gomes, a 2001 “25
I’ve known Adam since the Houston Ballet summer program in 1996,
before I went out to France and he went off to Juilliard. He has a lot to offer
to the dance world. I love and respect his choreography. He’s inspired by
Kylián and by Nacho Duato, but he has made it into his own vocabulary, I spent
a little time with him in Brazil and we choreographed my solo, Small Steps,
together. It never felt like work; we went to the studio whenever we wanted.
The amazing thing was how we collaborated together, yet he kept the integrity
of his choreography. His work may be something abstract, but it has a sense of
feeling, emotions behind it. He's a young choreographer, but he has that
sensibility that you don't often find from other young choreographers.
Director, Whim W'Him and principal, Pacific Northwest Ballet
Chosen by PNB principal Kaori Nakamura, a 2001 “25 to Watch”When
I first worked with Olivier, we were in Canada with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
and he created a pas de deux for himself and me. He was already using
really unique movement and costumes. He mixes classical with contemporary, and
his new ballets are always different. For 3Seasons, his costume idea
was to use recycled shopping bags, hundreds of plastic bags. It was set in the
baroque period, but using bags. I was like, “I've never seen this!”
Director, Post:Ballet and dancer, Company C Contemporary Ballet
Chosen by Ballet Arizona dancer Natalia Magnicaballi, 2005 “25 to
When I met Robert in Phoenix—we joined Ballet Arizona the same
season—he was starting his professional career. I pretty much saw him grow up
in front of my eyes. I saw him improving his body, his technique, and being
hungry for new movements and ideas. I’ve always admired his discipline and
determination to overcome very tough situations in his life. He constantly
challenges himself as a dancer and choreographer.
Dancer, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Chosen by AAADT dancer Jamar Roberts, a 2007 “25 to Watch”I
remember him being this little, scrawny kid in The Ailey School. I mean, just
like a pencil. He also did Ailey II, and I saw him perform a solo called Takademe
by Robert Battle. It was just so astonishing because he has this really big
facility and really wide range of movement in his limbs and extensions. To do a
solo that was so quick and contained and be able to control his length—I
thought it was brilliant.
Dancer, Keigwin + Company and nathantrice/RITUALS
Chosen by K+C director Larry Keigwin, a 2004 “25 to Watch”
Everybody who sees Ryoji has a dance crush on him! There are dancers
who are technically proficient, but this guy is born to move. He does
spectacular things with what looks like no effort—it’s not Fred Astaire’s type
of movement at all, but it has that same ease. Watching him is like watching
water: Everything is seamless and velvety. In a room full of great dancers, the
eye goes right to him.
Dancer, Akram Khan Company
Chosen by director Akram Khan, a 2002 “25 to Watch”
I went to Beirut to look for dancers. There’s something very, very
spiritual in his way of moving and how he relates to music and movement. And
it’s very rare that you see that in dancers. His energy always travels upwards.
For Vertical Road, I wanted the body to express spirituality and to
express a story somehow without words or text. That’s why I chose him. He had
something that I felt was needed to kind of infiltrate all and share with the
Dancer, Faye Driscoll Dance Group
Chosen by director Faye Driscoll, a 2008 “25 to Watch”
”Nikki is constantly surprising me. In the three years I've
known her, she's risen to every challenge. My process is very rigorous. You
can't just be like, “Oh I've got the choreography, now I can relax.” I'm always
pushing it for new layers. She’s someone who really loves the investigation,
who shows up for often painful creative processes with an open mind and a sense
of humor and a craving for growth and challenge.
Chosen by NY2Dance director Nejla Y. Yatkin, a 2005 “25 to Watch”
Emily Schoen is a beautiful redhead that can adapt roles from one character
to another. I first met her in spring of 2009 when she auditioned for my
company NY2Dance. I chose her for the Berlin Wall Project because I needed
dancers that were physical and raw but also refined and had many textures in
Dancer, Gallim Dance and Sidra Bell Dance New York
Chosen by Benoit Swan-Pouffer, director of Cedar Lake Contemporary
Ballet, a 2008 “25 to Watch”I'm fascinated by Troy. She has a
presence that's a rarity; she commands the stage. She's very feminine, but at
the same time she's very grounded and raw. She has a very strong energy, an
amazing physicality and musicality as well. She's young and she's a hard
worker. She has this uncommon beauty, eyes that are very piercing.
Choreographer and dancer, Limón Dance Company
Chosen by Hubbard Street 2 director and HSDC artistic associate Taryn
Kaschock Russell, a 2003 “25 to Watch”
I found Jonathan’s intelligence intriguing from the start. From the
second he stepped in the studio to create his piece after winning Hubbard
Street 2’s National Choreographic Competition he was just working. And there
was something incredible about watching the changes that were happening inside
of his mind and then how he would translate them. He’s very— I really wish I
had a different word besides “confident.” But he just has an incredible vision,
a strength of vision, but with an open mind.
Chosen by Fang-Yi Sheu, a 2005 “25 to Watch”
When Huang Yi is performing his incredible flow of movement through
space fascinates me. The way he floats is like his body blends into the air. He
has a very special way of learning and choreographing. He is a very quiet
person—quietly observing, quietly learning, and quietly choreographing. He
makes dance through different lens and media, like with a video camera,
projector, and LED lighting.
Chosen by choreographer Noémie Lafrance, a 2004 “25 to Watch”
Luciana is doing something that has an edge, but it’s also very clean,
concise, together. I feel like her work, while experimental, is also
accessible. You could see it if you hadn't been exposed to dance and still be
moved. It has a touch of being universal.She’s also very strong as a performer.
She’s powerful without being arrogant; her power is very pure. She’s a very
down-to-earth human being—generous and natural.
Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley
Dancer and co-director of the Tapology Dance Festival for Youth
Chosen by Roxane Butterfly, a 2002 “25 to Watch”
On National Tap Day in 2000 at NYC’s Town Hall, a young troupe of
hoofers from Flint, MI, blew my mind the same way Baby Laurence did when I
first saw him dance on video. Their piece was choreographed and also performed
by Ali Bradley. During her solo, I caught Harold Nicholas in the audience with
the most mesmerized face.
Freelance dancer and faculty member, JUMP Dance Convention
Chosen by former “In The Heights” performer and “So You Think You Can
Dance” contestant William Wingfield, a 2010 “25 to Watch”
I met Teddy through Mia Michaels. He’s one of the most incredible
dancers and human beings I’ve met. He has a very sweet energy—you just feel
comfortable around him. When you watch him dance, you want to move with him.
You don’t even realize you’re doing it; it just happens. He takes the music by
the horns and rides it until the wheels fall off. He’s such a great mover, how
he transitions from one movement to the next feels like that’s the way it
should’ve been done
Co-choreographer, Peepshow and dance captain,
Catch Me If You Can
Chosen by choreographer Jerry Mitchell, a 2003 “25 to Watch”Nick
is a really gifted choreographer. What I like most about him is he understands
the storytelling of theatricality, yet he’s got all the contemporary moves that
I so rarely see in a Broadway show. He was a big, big, big component of putting
Peepshow together for me in Las Vegas. And he’s a brilliant dancer.
He’s extremely sexy, extremely masculine.