The Juilliard School (Dance Division)

New York City, U.S.A.

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Under the artistic direction of Lawrence Rhodes since 2002, Juilliard Dance aims to develop true contemporary dancers – trained equally in classical ballet and modern dance. Established in 1951 by William Schuman during his tenure as president of Juilliard, with the guidance of founding director Martha Hill, Juilliard Dance became the first major teaching institution to combine equal dance instruction in both contemporary and ballet techniques.

Each year 26 dancers are accepted into the four-year B.F.A. program. In addition to daily ballet and modern technique classes, dancers study partnering, dance composition, anatomy, acting, dance history, stagecraft, production, music theory, repertory, and elements of performance. Each fall, every class works with established choreographers in premieres as part of the New Dances performances. A spring concert gives dancers the opportunity to perform in established works from contemporary repertory. Dancers present their own choreography in informal workshops and the annual Choreographers and Composers workshop and Senior Production. Recent commissions include works by Aszure Barton, Robert Battle, Stijn Celis, Eliot Feld, Larry Keigwin, Susan Marshall, and Luca Veggetti. Recent repertory performances included works by Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Mark Morris, Ohad Naharin, Bronislava Nijinska, Jerome Robbins, and Twyla Tharp.

The 2012/2013 season includes commissions by Camille A. Brown, Emery LeCrone, Susan Shields, and Jarek Cemerek and repertory highlights, including Murray Louis’ Four Brubeck Pieces, Paul Taylor’s Sunset, and William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced.

Juilliard Dance alumni include choreographers, directors, and dancers in major ballet and modern companies throughout the world.

Lawrence Rhodes, Artistic Director (Dance Division)

Lawrence Rhodes was born in West Virginia. He has had a distinguished career as a dancer beginning with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1958 to 1960, and was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet from 1960 to 1964. He joined the newly-formed Harkness Ballet in 1964 and continued not only as principal dancer but also became co-artistic director of the company along with Benjamin Harkarvy. Although highly successful, the company was subsequently disbanded by its founder, Rebekah Harkness, at which time (1970) Mr. Rhodes along with his wife, Lone Isaksen, joined Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam, as permanent guest artists.

Back in New York in 1971, Rhodes began a freelance career that took him to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. While still working with the Pennsylvania Ballet, he accepted an invitation to join the Eliot Feld Ballet and, at the same time, actively pursued a freelance career, most notably dancing with Carla Fracci in Italy.

In 1978 Mr. Rhodes ended his performing career to begin teaching. He was invited to join the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Dance Program and became its Chair in 1981. He remained in that position until he was asked to become the artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal in 1989. After directing that company for ten years, Mr. Rhodes decided to resign and return to New York and continue as a freelance master ballet teacher, teaching not only in New York but for major European companies. In 2002, Mr. Rhodes was appointed artistic director of the Juilliard Dance Division. In July 2009, Mr. Rhodes received the Lifetime Career Achievement Award from Dance Teacher magazine and in December 2008, he received a Dance magazine award for his outstanding work in the industry. He continues to guest teach all throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

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