New Works Festival
Barak | Quanz | Stewart | Zendejas

March 25-30, 2014

Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre
407 E. Canal St.
Richmond, VA 23219

These provocative works take dance to its limit, with fascinating new choreography matched with the amazing skill of the Ballet’s dancers. During the New Works Festival, audiences see a wide range of movement styles, and often witness the early stages of works in progress. The festival also sets the stage for potential additional collaborations between the Ballet and participating choreographers. READ MORE

New Works Festival 2014 Choreographers

Melissa Barak

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Ms. Barak received her ballet training at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica, California, as well as at The School of American Ballet in New York City. Having previously danced with multiple US-based companies, including The New York City Ballet from 1998-2007, and from 2007-2011 as a principal dancer with Los Angeles Ballet, Ms. Barak has now choreographed 11 different commissioned works, and has been invited to participate in the New York Choreographic Institute on four different occasions. At only 22, Ms. Barak became the youngest choreographer to choreograph for The New York City Ballet, when her piece If By Chance premiered at the New York State Theater in June of 2002. Ms. Barak has since choreographed two additional works for the legendary company. Ms. Barak has also choreographed for such companies as the American Repertory Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet and Sacramento Ballet, with two appearances at the National Choreographer’s Initiative in 2007 and then again in 2012. One of DANCE Magazine’s ‘Top 25 to Watch’ in 2002, Ms. Barak has been a recipient of the Choo San Goh and Mae L. Wein Award for Choreography.


Peter Quanz

A graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Peter Quanz danced professionally with the Stuttgart Ballet before turning to choreography full-time in 2002. Mr. Quanz has set commissioned works for such esteemed ballet organizations such as American Ballet Theatre, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Hong Kong Ballet, the Mariinsky Theatre (Russia), the National Ballet of Canada, the National Ballet of Cuba, the Royal Ballet (United Kingdom), and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Mr. Quanz’s body of work now includes over 40 original choreographic commissions, including eight works which he has set for his own company, Q Dance. Q Dance, a company as well as a ‘choreographic laboratory’, has performed on stages in both the United States and in Canada, including the Joyce Theatre in New York City. In 2011, the Buryatian National Ballet performed a trio of Mr. Quanz’s works at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The collaboration awarded Mr. Quanz a State Medal in Literature and the Arts from the Republic of Buryatia, Russia.


Gavin Stewart

Gavin Stewart, currently in his second season with Richmond Ballet’s second company, Richmond Ballet II, will be the first member from Richmond Ballet II to participate as a choreographer in the company’s own New Works Festival. Hailing originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Stewart graduated from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance. In addition to performing with Richmond Ballet, Mr. Stewart has performed with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, and the Owen/Cox Dance Group, and has toured with MOVE: the Company, under the direction of Josh Beamish. Mr. Stewart has choreographed for the UMKC Conservatory, the Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, the Stewart/Art and Performance Laboratory and Richmond Ballet II. An avid musician, Mr. Stewart has also composed original music to accompany many of his choreographic works, and in 2012, released “Seep Through”, an album of original folk songs.


Edgar Zendejas

Edgar Zendejas, a native of Mexico, received his dance training from Escuela Nacional de Danza in Mexico City and from the United States International University in San Diego, California. Mr. Zendejas has performed with such companies as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. By the early 1990s, Mr. Zendejas began his work with Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, where he was soon became an associate choreographer. Since the premiere of his first choreographic work in 2003, Mr. Zendejas has continued to produce original pieces that have been met with critical acclaim in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Mr. Zendejas has received choreographic commissions from Jacob’s Pillow, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, DanceWorks Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theater, and Ballet de Monterrey (Mexico). In 2010, Mr. Zendejas was selected as the winner of the Hubbard Street ‘National Choreographic Competition’ and in 2012, he won the Outstanding Choreographer Award at the Youth American Grand Prix. Today, Mr. Zendejas serves as the Artistic Director of his own company, ezdanza, which is based in Montreal. ezdanza continues to be a company focused on research, creation and dissemination.


To be entered to win the pearl jewelry from Adolf Jewelers, purchase your Studio Two tickets by March 18, 2014!


The 2013 – 2014 Studio Series is sponsored by


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