The Kaplan New Works Series: 2011



September 8 - 18, 2011 | Cincinnati Ballet Center

Choreographers: Heather Britt, James Kudelka, Adam Hougland, Johanna Wilt, Missy Lay Zimmer & Andrew Hubbard


The Kaplan New Works Series is Cincinnati Ballet’s annual contribution to the world of dance. This season-opening production consistently brings audacious new artistic movement to the studio stage. This season’s Kaplan New Works offers three innovative world premieres commissioned by Cincinnati Ballet and one regional premiere. The series runs Thursday, September 8 through Sunday, September 18, 2011 on Cincinnati Ballet’s studio stage in the intimate Mickey Jarson Kaplan Performance Studio.

"It’s really important for our dancers to bring their personal experiences to their work,” says Morgan. “We ask them to be inventive, to shape a new choreographic work with their unique strengths, humor, personalities, intellect and spirit. I’m always asking, ‘what do we need to do that will push us, pull us, challenge us, inspire us?’ If the dancers are inspired, the audience is too."


Heather Britt with JaHipster
“The reason I love New Works so much is that it provides a space for artists to take risks and try things that maybe haven’t been done before, and take a classical art form, make it more contemporary, push the limits and see what the audience thinks,” says Heather Britt, regional director of the popular Rhythm & Motion class and a choreographers for New Works for her third season. Britt is collaborating with spoken-word artist JaHipster on a new piece. “Her passion is her poetry,” says Morgan. “Her work is as much revealing as it is confrontational. We wanted to bring in a voice that spoke to the African American experience, and I’ve wanted the power of her words motivating our dancers.” Music for this piece is by Gabriel Gaffney Smith and Peter Adams. » more info and video

Adam Hougland
Resident choreographer Adam Hougland has worked with Cincinnati Ballet dancers for four seasons, choreographing Mozart’s Requiem and The Firebird, as well as selections for New Works in 2008. Hougland’s New Works contribution will be more playful than his more serious recent work. “I want to look at different sides of the artists of the company,” he says. “I don’t want them to always be portraying the same color, or the same kind of character or the same presence in my work. It’s about finding different ways of pushing them and pushing myself.” Hougland is using John Adams’ composition The Chairman Dances.

James Kudelka
Internationally renowned choreographer James Kudelka first premiered his work The Man in Black, presented in cowboy boots to music by Johnny Cash for Columbus BalletMet in April 2010. Morgan saw the piece and fell in love: “There is an intimacy about it, so I wanted it to premiere in Cincinnati in our smaller studio theatre. It is poignant without being athletic. It is brilliant without being showy. It has precision without technical fireworks,” she says. “Kudelka is a master choreographer whose life experience, combined with years in the studio, creating movement to explore truth and address brave unspoken ideas and emotions, inform his work and drive its intensity and unexpected punch.” » more info

Johanna Bernstein Wilt
Cincinnati Ballet Principal Ballet Mistress Johanna Wilt got her start with the company in 1982 as a Corps de Ballet dancer. She remained with the company as Ballet Mistress and has continued as Cincinnati Ballet’s Principal Ballet Mistress. “She has exceptional maturity and confidence,” says Morgan. “I really count on her in the studio. She has a perceptive eye and is very generous and nurturing.” Wilt has decided to dedicate her choreography to memory of visionary Cincinnati Ballet Artistic Director Richard Collins on the 20th anniversary of his untimely death. “As I reflect on Richard’s life, I have been inspired by how we touch people’s lives, how we support each other, how we influence each other,” Wilt says. She will be choreographing to music by Rick Sowash, an internationally renowned musician who lives in Cincinnati.

Missy Lay Zimmer & Andrew Hubbard
The husband-and-wife duo Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard co-founded Exhale Dance Tribe. They have presented original choreography to music by Over The Rhine for New Works 2009 and 2010, and for the full-length Infamous Love Songs earlier this year. They bring their signature emotional, narrative style to Dianne Dunkelman’s original composition, to be performed live at every performance. Dunkelman, a Cincinnati entrepreneur and philanthropist-about-town, surprised Morgan when she began to play one of her compositions at a friend’s house. “I had no idea Dianne could play the piano. It sounded like The Moonlight Sonata, and I asked if it was Beethoven. She told me, ‘No, it’s me.’”

“For die-hard arts lovers, it rarely gets more exhilarating than this,” wrote Cincinnati Enquirer’s David Lyman about New Works 2010.

Above: New Works 2010 | Photographer: Peter Mueller

The Kaplan New Works Series Performance Sponsors

Title Sponsor

Dr. Stanley & Mickey Kaplan Foundation

Production Sponsor

Rosemary & Mark Schlachter

Choreographer Sponsors

Megen Construction

Dianne & J. David Rosenberg

Heather Britt: Rhythm and Motion dancers

Johanna Bernstein Wilt: Friends of Richard Collins and The Lorrence T. & Barbara W. Kellar Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Tonya Matthews: Friends of Tonya Matthews

2015-2016 Season Sponsors