The Kaplan New Works Series Artists

The Kaplan New Works Series

Christopher Stowell
Artist in Residence

Christopher Stowell was born in New York City and received his training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. In 1985 he joined San Francisco Ballet where he danced for sixteen years, appearing in theaters throughout the world including the Paris Opera, New York’s Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. As a principal dancer, Stowell performed leading roles in the full-length classics Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Othello, and had roles created for him by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson and by contemporary choreographers including Mark Morris, William Forsythe and James Kudelka. An established interpreter of the George Balanchine repertoire, Stowell appeared in almost every Balanchine ballet performed by SFB.

Upon his retirement in 2001, he was accorded a gala farewell in the War Memorial Opera House. 

Stowell has taught and coached in San Francisco, New York, Japan, China and Europe. He hacreated new works for San Francisco Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Diablo Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, as well as the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute. He has also staged the works of George Balanchine and Mark Morris.
In 2003, Christopher Stowell became Oregon Ballet Theatre’s second artistic director. He made significant additions to the OBT repertoire, bringing to Portland works from some of the world’s most celebrated choreographers, including Ashton, Balanchine, Robbins, Taylor, Tomasson, Wheeldon and Lubovitch.  During Stowell’s tenure with OBT, the company performed in Korea and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, as well as venues in New York, Chicago, Colorado, Washington and Wyoming.  In addition to creating eight world premieres for OBT, including Swan Lake (2006), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007) The Rite of Spring (2009), Carmen (2011) and Ekho (2012), Stowell also commissioned works by internationally prominent artists James Kudelka, Kent Stowell, Trey McIntyre, Yuri Possokhov, Julia Adam and Nicolo Fonte. Stowell served as OBT’s Artistic Director from 2003-2012.

Heather Britt

Heather Britt is an accomplished choreographer, dancer and teacher who grew up in Cincinnati and attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts. After dancing professionally with many modern dance companies in California, Britt returned home to perform, teach and choreograph in Cincinnati. Britt teaches dance full-time at Northern Kentucky University and Uptown Arts, and is the Regional Director of Rhythm & Motion Cincinnati, a dance workout program at Cincinnati Ballet. Britt's recent choreography projects include work for Cincinnati Ballet, ArtsWave, Exhale Dance Tribe, Playhouse in the Park, The Ohio Lottery and concert:nova. The YWCA named Britt a 2011 Rising Star.

Val Caniparoli

Val Caniparoli’s versatility has made him one of the most sought after American choreographers in the United States and abroad.
He has contributed to the repertories of more than thirty-five dance companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet West (Resident Choreographer 1993-97), Washington Ballet, Israel Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, State Theatre Ballet of South Africa, Louisville Ballet and Tulsa Ballet, where he has been resident choreographer since 2001. When Boston Ballet danced the company premiere of Caniparoli’s full-length Lady of the Camellias in 2004, the critic for the Boston Herald wrote, “Why have we had to wait so long to see a ballet by this gifted choreographer?”

Caniparoli is most closely associated with San Francisco Ballet, his artistic home for over thirty years. He began his career under the artistic directorship of Lew Christensen, and in the 1980s was appointed resident choreographer of San Francisco Ballet. He continues to choreograph for the company under Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. Caniparoli has created a body of work that is rooted in classicism but influenced by all forms of movement: modern dance, ethnic dance, social dancing, and even ice-skating. His extensive knowledge and appreciation of music is reflected in the range of composers that have inspired his choreography: Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (Béla Bartók), Gustav’s Rooster (Hoven Droven), The Bridge (Dmitri Shostakovich), boink! (Juan Garcia Esquivel), Aria (George Frederic Handel), Open Veins (Robert Moran), Prawn-watching (Michael Nyman), Torque (Michael Torke), Jaybird Lounge (Uri Caine), Hamlet and Ophelia, pas de deux (Bohuslav Martinu), Bird’s Nest (Charlie Parker), Death of a Moth (Carlos Surinach), Going for Baroque (Antonio Vivaldi), Aquilarco (Giovanni Sollima), Book of Alleged Dances (John Adams), Aubade (Francis Poulenc), Slow (Graham Fitkin), Djangology (Django Reinhardt), Vivace (Franz Schubert), and one of his most performed works, Lambarena (Johann Sebastian Bach and traditional African rhythms and music), which is performed by 16 companies and has become an international sensation.
Lady of the Camellias, choreographed in 1994 and co-produced by Ballet Florida and Ballet West, was Caniparoli’s first full-length work. He has also choreographed The Nutcracker (2001) for Cincinnati Ballet, and Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story, danced to themes by Richard Rodgers, for Royal Winnipeg Ballet (2004), and in 2009 created a new version of The Nutcracker for Louisville Ballet. Caniparoli has choreographed operas for three of this country’s major companies: Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. In addition, he has worked on several occasions with the San Francisco Symphony, most memorably on the Rimsky-Korsakov opera-ballet Mlada, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, a major success of the 2002 Russian Festival. In 2005, he received rave reviews for his choreography in Carey Perloff’s new production of A Christmas Carol at San Francisco’s esteemed American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.). Additional work with A.C.T. includes choreography for Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and the creation, with Carey Perloff, of a new movement-theatre piece, The Tosca Project.

The recipient of ten grants for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts, Caniparoli was also awarded an artist fellowship from the California Arts Council in 1991. He has twice received the Choo-San Goh Award from the Choo-San Goh and H. Robert Magee Foundation: in 1994 for Lambarena, choreographed for San Francisco Ballet, and in 1997 for Open Veins, created for Atlanta Ballet. Lambarena was also nominated for the Benois de la Danse Award from the International Dance Association at a gala at the National Theater of Warsaw, Poland, in 1997. Dance Bay Area acknowledged Caniparoli’s contributions to the local dance scene with an Isadora Duncan Award (or Izzy) for Sustained Achievement in 1996. In addition, he has twice won Izzies for Outstanding Choreography. He was also honored to have been selected to choreograph a pas de deux for Evelyn Hart and Rex Harrington for the Royal Jubilee Gala for Queen Elizabeth in Toronto.

Born in Renton, Washington, Caniparoli opted for a professional dance career after studying music and theatre at Washington State University. In 1972, he received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend San Francisco Ballet School. He performed with San Francisco Opera Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet in 1973. He continues to perform with the Company as a principal character dancer.

Jodie Gates

Jodie Gates is a thirty-year veteran in the professional dance field and has substantiated a remarkably wide-ranging career as an innovative choreographer, director, educator, producer and dancer. She is internationally recognized as a leader in the dance world with her choreographic work for professional companies, the creation of the California-based non-profit organization Laguna Dance Festival and directing educational programs at the university level.

Gates is Vice Dean and Director of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. In this role she hopes to shape the next generation of extraordinary artists and curious thinkers in the dance field. The USC Kaufman School of Dance will be opening their doors to the first BFA freshman class in the fall of of 2015.
Jodie is founder and artistic director of the award winning Laguna Dance Festival based in southern California. This non-profit organization was founded in 2005 and serves the community by offering diverse educational opportunities and presents performances at venues throughout Laguna Beach.
She has established herself among the elite in neo classical dance choreography. Characterized by vivid articulation of balletic vocabulary and rich musicality her work has been called “visually compelling, powerful, beautiful,” Philadelphia Inquirer, and praised for “showing considerable skill at construction, moving dancers seamlessly on and off stage” New York Times. Recognized by American Ballet Theatre for her choreographic excellence after being named the Altria/ABT Fellow, a recent recipient of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works (NEW) Program for her ballet Embellish created for Colorado Ballet, and honored by the American Association of University Womenfor her achievement in the arts, all of these achievements are merits representing the scope and breathe of her work within the art form.

She has worked as rehearsal director for the Joffrey Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet and has been an invited guest teacher for professional dance companies such as the Frankfurt Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Scottish Ballet among others.  Gates continues to teach master classes, conduct lectures, and stage the ballets of William Forsythe around the world.
She has danced as a principal ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and as an international guest artist. She has recently choreographed ballets for Ballet West,  Staatsballett Berlin in Germany, Colorado Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, American Ballet Theatre II, CorbinDances, BalletX, The Juilliard School, Washington Ballet, Company C Contemporary Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and several other companies nationally. She is also responsible for teaching, staging and producing William Forsythe’s ballets world-wide.

Her professional dance career began in 1981 with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City under the artistic direction of Robert Joffrey. In 1995, she joined The Pennsylvania Ballet as a principal ballerina performing title roles in numerous full-length classical ballets. She then danced for five years with William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany until 2004.

Ms. Gates has toured internationally as a choreographer, master teacher and artist throughout North and South America, Mexico, Russia, Asia, Australia and Europe. She has been featured as a dancer in two television programs from the PBS Great Performance series and can be seen on video in Billboards, the Joffrey Ballet’s rock-ballet by the musical artist Prince. Gates has also appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno, a special presentation at the White House, and has been featured at several international festivals and in numerous television events.

  James Kudelka

James Kudelka is widely acknowledged as one of North America’s most innovative choreographers. His mastery of both classical ballet and modern/contemporary dance has earned him commissions from companies—some 25 in all—as stylistically diverse as American Ballet Theatre, Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal.

Even as a student at Canada’s National Ballet School Kudelka demonstrated a choreographic interest in exploring innovative approaches. While adept in the classical ballet vocabulary he infuses it with a contemporary sensibility acquired from his intense interest in modern movement idioms.
Kudelka’s work covers an impressive range, from virtuoso pas de deux, through large-scale and always arresting adaptations of such classics as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Cinderella, to boldly innovative creative collaborations with dancers, designers and musicians.

Kudelka has never been afraid to tackle psychologically challenging subject matter in his story ballets—he views dance as a primary medium of artistic discourse—and through his gift for movement metaphor infuses poetic, emotional meaning into his many non-narrative works.
After nine distinguished years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005) James Kudelka continues to undertake collaborative projects that engage and challenge him as a choreographer.

Gina Patterson 

Gina Patterson has been hailed as a choreographer of “startling originality” (Back Stage) and “engaging creativity” (Richard Christensen) and is the artistic director of VOICE Dance Company, a project-based laboratory for her work. She was awarded the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Choreographer, and was selected five times for the Ballet Builder's Showcase in New York. Patterson is a winner of the Hubbard Street 2 National Choreographic Competition and the National Choreographic Initiative in California and her ballets have been presented internationally in Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Spain.  Since 1998, she has created over 70 original works for companies including VOICE, Richmond Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, CoDa21, Ballet Austin, Ballet Concierto, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Florida, Dayton Ballet, BalletMet, DanceWorks Chicago, Imagery, Ballet Pacifica, Ballet East, Point Park University, and the University of Iowa.
 Patterson is known as a versatile, consummate performer of classical and contemporary principal roles.  Over the last 25 years, she has danced with VOICE, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Ballet Austin, Ballet Florida, American Repertory Ensemble, and as a guest artist, performing in the US, Canada, Iceland, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, and France.

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