Smuin Dancers Create Works for Fellow Artists, 1/29-30 at ODC Theater

Admired for their versatility on stage, Smuin Ballet dancers invite audiences to experience their talents as choreographers and more when Smuin Ballet presents its 2016 Choreography Showcase. This rare opportunity allows patrons to join Smuin dancers Cara Cooper, Erica Felsch, Rachel Furst, Nicole Haskins, Weston Krukow, Ben Needham-Wood, Susan Roemer, and Rex Wheeler in the intimate ODC Theater, to view a showcase of their own choreography set on fellow company members. These new works, set to a wide range of music, also feature original lighting and costumes.

This sixth edition of Smuin Ballet's Choreography Showcase, including a Q&A after the show, will be presented 7:30pm January 29, and 2pm & 7:30pm January 30 at ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., San Francisco. Tickets ($30-$45) and information are available at or by calling (415) 863-9834.

Smuin Ballet continues to develop significant choreographic voices from within its company. Former Smuin dancer Amy Seiwert is a noted choreographer who has her own company Imagery and whose works appear in the repertoires of Smuin Ballet as well as Ballet Austin, BalletMet, American Repertory Ballet, Washington Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and Robert Moses KIN. This year she created a world premiere "Broken Open" that kicked off Smuin Ballet's 2015/2016 season. Smuin dancers Nicole Haskins and Rex Wheeler are also accomplished choreographers: Haskins has been awarded the Fellowship Grant at the New York Choreographic Institute, while Wheeler's works are in the repertoires of Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Academy East, and Slovak National Ballet, among others. Current dancers Nicole Haskins, Weston Krukow, and Ben Needham-Wood have also had their works premiered on the company's mainstage to critical acclaim.

Debuting in San Francisco in 1994, Smuin Ballet immediately established itself as one of the Bay Area's most eagerly watched performing arts companies of international acclaim, performing to sold-out houses on U.S. and European tours. The Company pushes the boundaries of contemporary ballet within a distinctly American style, combining classical ballet training, technique, and artistry with uncommon physicality and expression. Smuin offers audiences an experience of ballet that is entertaining, evocative, and original. Michael Smuin's singular philosophy to create pieces that merge the diverse vocabularies of classical ballet and contemporary dance has served as the Company's touchstone since its inception.

Since 2008, Artistic Director Celia Fushille's vision includes sustaining and increasing the Company's reputation for presenting compelling and innovative repertoire, as well as attracting new audiences to the medium. Smuin Ballet continues to showcase Michael Smuin's work, while enriching its impressive repertoire with contemporary choreographic voices, commissioning world premieres and collaborating with inventive choreographers from around the world.

Pictured: Smuin Ballet dancers Terez Dean and Robert Moore will be featured in the 2016 Choreography Showcase, January 29-30 at ODC Theater in San Francisco. Photo by Chris Hardy.

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