Emery LeCrone, Andrea Miller and Shen Wei Receive New York City Center Choreography Fellowships

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Three choreographers have been chosen to take part in New York City Center's inaugural Choreography Fellowship Program, a new initiative being launched in conjunction with the theater's reopening season. The Fellowship will provide three choreographers at critical stages of their careers with a creative home at City Center for one year. The recipients are: Emery LeCrone, an emerging ballet choreographer; Andrea Miller, Artistic Director of Gallim Dance; and Shen Wei, Artistic Director of Shen Wei Dance Arts.

During each yearlong fellowship, the choreographers will receive a generous stipend in addition to rehearsal space in the City Center studios and a performance opportunity at City Center. They will also have full access to City Center's administrative expertise in fundraising, finance, technology and marketing.

"City Center has a long history of nurturing choreographers, from George Balanchine to Christopher Wheeldon, and we are proud to continue the tradition with this new initiative," said Arlene Shuler, President & CEO of New York City Center. "We chose choreographers at various stages in their careers, from emerging to established, because dance makers continue to need support even after they've achieved a certain degree of success. Our staff is ready to support these choreographers in every aspect of the creative process as well as provide technical assistance for the companies."

New York City Center gratefully acknowledges the generous leadership support of Frederic and Robin Seegal. Mr. Seegal, a member of the New York City Center Board of Directors, was instrumental in conceiving and encouraging the development of the Choreography Fellowship Program. Additional support has been provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

At the age of 24, Emery LeCrone has already created several prominent works, competed in numerous choreography competitions, and received substantial grants and new commissions for her choreography. Directors of prominent dance companies, dance institutions and foundations across the country, as well as major critics, have recognized her work. In the 2010-11 season alone, LeCrone premiered new ballets for Minnesota Dance Theater, North Carolina Dance Theater, Miro Magloire's New Chamber Ballet, The Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Hartt University of Dance, Greensboro Ballet, and Colorado Ballet as part of The Vail International Dance Festival. She also created new works for the Guggenheim Museum's acclaimed Works & Process performing arts series and participated in the renowned New York Choreographic Institute. In addition, she serves full time as choreographer-in-residence for New York dance companies the New Chamber Ballet and the Columbia Ballet Collaborative. LeCrone also teaches dance regularly.

Andrea Miller, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, graduated from the Juilliard School with a BFA in Dance before joining Ohad Naharin's Ensemble Batsheva in Israel. In 2006 Miller returned to New York City to establish Gallim Dance, a contemporary dance company that supports the creation and performance of her choreography. A sought-after choreographer, Miller has been noteworthy for her use of extreme physicality and the ability to create an experience where the dancers appear to be at The Edge of their limits. She was awarded the 2009 Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship in Choreography and was selected for Dance Magazine's 2009 "25 to Watch." Her work has been presented throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. In addition, Miller is associate choreographer with Noord Nederlandse Dans.

Shen Wei is widely recognized for his defining vision of an intercultural, interdisciplinary, original mode of movement-based performance. Born in a rural village in Hunan, he danced with the Hunan State Xian Opera Company and was a founding member of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, the first such company in China. He moved to New York City in 1995 upon receiving a scholarship from the Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab, and in July 2000 he formed Shen Wei Dance Arts, which tours extensively on five continents. Shen Wei's works have been performed throughout the world, including in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is the recipient of a 2007 MacArthur "Genius" Award and a United States Artists Fellow, and he has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and the American Dance Festival's Ben Sommer Fellowship, among others. His newest work will have its world premiere at the Park Avenue Armory in November.

New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for more than 60 years. It was Manhattan's first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as "one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York." Dance has been integral to the theater's mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival and a partnership with London's Sadler's Wells Theatre, remain central to City Center's identity. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People's Dance Series. Special workshops cater to families, seniors and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities to the general public. City Center is completing an extensive renovation project to revitalize and modernize its historic theater. A grand reopening gala is scheduled for October 25.

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