Joffrey Ballet Concert Group Reveals New Choreographers for Creative Movers Choreographic Initiative

This initiative showcases emerging dance creators and fosters innovation in the world of dance.

By: Nov. 02, 2023
Joffrey Ballet Concert Group Reveals New Choreographers for Creative Movers Choreographic Initiative
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The Joffrey Concert Group has revealed the talented choreographers chosen for the prestigious Creative Movers Choreographic Initiative (CMCI). This initiative is a testament to the Joffrey Concert Group's commitment to nurturing emerging dance creators and fostering innovation in the world of dance. Following a rigorous selection process, we are proud to introduce Vernard Gilmore and Eryn Renee Young as the two choreographers selected for this extraordinary opportunity.

The Creative Movers Choreographic Initiative is a groundbreaking search for the dance makers of the future. It provides an exceptional platform for choreographers in contemporary, modern, and contemporary ballet styles to unleash their creative visions. Through the CMCI initiative, the Joffrey Concert group provides each recipient with a $2500 stipend to help them realize their creative vision. The chosen choreographers receive 40-hours of rehearsal time, spanning over four weeks, culminating in a fully produced work to be presented at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup theater.  The CMCI offers emerging dancemakers with a remarkable opportunity to develop and showcase their artistic voices.  Each commissioned piece will be between 12 to 17 minutes in length and will feature the full company of the Joffrey Concert Group.

The CMCI performance, showcasing new works by Vernard Gilmore, Eryn Renee Young, and Artistic Director Bradley Shelver will take place February 16-18, 2024 at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater.  We hope that you will join us in celebrating the artistic innovation and choreographic verve of Gilmore, Young, and Shelver and witness the next generation of dancers in the Joffrey Concert Group.

About the Joffrey Concert Group:

The Joffrey Concert Group, located in the heart of New York City, is a cornerstone of our institution. Founded by Robert Joffrey in 1981, it serves as a pre-professional performing ensemble for young artists carefully selected from the Joffrey Ballet School's year-round Trainee Program. Over the years, our talented Trainees have had the privilege of studying and performing iconic classical and contemporary repertoire, including works by renowned choreographers such as Gerald Arpino, Robert Battle, George Balanchine, and many others.

Under the visionary leadership of newly appointed Artistic Director Bradley Shelver, the Joffrey Concert Group aims to continue its tradition of excellence. The ensemble was successfully rebooted in September 2022, setting the stage for the next generation of artists to shine. Former Concert Group dancers have gone on to join premiere companies including Miami City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, the Forsythe Company, and the Martha Graham Dance Company, among others.

About the choreographers:

Bradley Shelver (Artistic Director/ Choreographer) trained at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg and at The Ailey School in New York. He has danced with the Ailey II, Elisa Monte Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, The Francesca Harper Project, Limón Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theater (UK) and in projects with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., Lar Lubovich Dance, The Universal Ballet, Radio City Music Hall,  and in productions with the Mark Morris Dance Group. He is in his 13th season as a principal dancer with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Mr. Shelver has choreographed works for; Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, Graham 2, Big Muddy Dance, Richmond Ballet, Ailey II, Ballet Austin, Lustig Dance Theater, Compania Rio Danca, New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, Cape Dance Company, Cedar Lake 2, Sobers & Godley Dance, Nexus Dance Lab, as well as creating works for The Royal Danish and Royal Swedish Ballet Schools, Joffrey Ballet School, Central Ballet School (London) The Ailey School, Boston Conservatory, Long Island University and Purchase College. He was co-producer and curator for the annual REVERBdance Festival from 2010-2016. From 2013-2016, he was the Artistic Director of the STEPS Repertory Ensemble and the Production Director for Steps on Broadway. He is currently the Artistic Director of The Joffrey Concert Group . He has been company teacher for Mathew Bourne's “Adventures in Motion Pictures”, The Lion King on Broadway, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Elisa Monte Dance. Mr Shelver is on the faculty of schools and universities worldwide including ABT/JKO School, Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University, The Limòn Institute, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Academy, Royal Danish and Royal Swedish Ballet Schools, The Ailey School, La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts, Joffrey Ballet School, Bikuratim (Israel), Pan American Modern Dance School (Brazil), Hinton Battle Academy. (Tokyo), DAR Jazz Academy (Russia) among others. He is a certified ballet teacher with the ABT National Training Curriculum. He was a contributing writer for Dance Spirit Magazine and His book, “Performance Through the Dance Technique of Lester Horton” is available worldwide.   

Vernard J Gilmore, a Choreographer,Teacher,and Dancer believes and strives for the tenacity of commitment to the responsibility of our individual life. Mr. Gilmore, a member of the Ailey company and organization for the past twenty five years has enlightened our future generations through extensive outreach in teaching and speaking of the art of dance and it's importance to a forever evolving culture. A Chicago native, founder of La Verdad a male concept, co founder and producer of Dance of Light ( premiere 2005, 2015 ), and Zena Rommett floor barre foundation Mentor and certified teacher. He has choreographed for Opus Dance Theatre, Jazz Foundation of America, Fire island Dance Festival (Dancers Responding to Aids), The Ailey School, Chicago Academy of the Arts, and was featured with Summerstage 2005, Harlem Arts Festival 2011 and Nimbus Dance Works in 2018 which premiered at BAM Fisher. His work “La Muette” premiered as an excerpt in  December of 2017 during the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater City Center season. He has also served as a consultant with David Monn event planning company. His work “Manifesto Por Moi” debuted spring of 2021 on the Contemporary West Dance Theater.  He was awarded the Jersey City Dance Artist Relief Fund Grant Award from Nimbus Arts Center in 2021. He is currently performing with the Ailey company. 

Eryn Renee Young is a freelance choreographer and founding artistic director and resident choreographer of XAOC Contemporary Ballet, a New York City-based neoclassical ballet company. Her choreography, which has been described as “dynamic... pulsing... [with] a fine sense of exploring space and a knack for visual polyphony,” has been showcased and commissioned across the NYC metro area. The name XAOC (pronounced zay-ock) is derived from the Greek ‘χαος,' which means ‘chaos' and implies explosive creation. It is meant to portray the spirit of the company as they move ballet into the future, while maintaining strong ties to classical form.

Ms. Young is an inaugural fellow of the Jacob's Pillow Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows Program through which she received mentorship from New York City Ballet choreographer Lauren Lovette, and she is a 2018 resident choreographer of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Choreographic Institute under the direction of Susan Jaffe with choreographic mentorship from acclaimed choreographer Helen Pickett. She has been commissioned annually since 2012 by Norte Maar for their CounterPointe series celebrating women making work on pointe and since 2016 has created collaborative works with female visual artists for this program. Her commissioned work “Voyager I” for the Columbia Ballet Collaborative premiered in November 2018 in New York City alongside works by NYCB's Silas Farley and ABT's Zhongjing Fang, and was restaged for XAOC Contemporary Ballet in Spring 2019. Her 2019 commission from Eryc Taylor Dance for their “EARTH” presentation featured an original commissioned score by composer Stephanie Ann Boyd.

Her choreographic work has been showcased at the Battery Dance Festival, The Ailey Citigroup Theater, NYC Summer Streets Dance Festival, the Young Choreographer's Festival at Symphony Space, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, the White Wave Dumbo Dance Festival at the Jay Street Theater and the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, Dance at Socrates, Mark Morris Dance Center, the Martha Graham Studio Theater, Hatch, the Choreographer's Canvas, NYC10: an initiative for NYC Dance Week, Dance New Amsterdam, Triskelion Arts Center, Steps on Broadway, the Algonquin Arts Center, Peridance Capezio Center, the Boston Conservatory, the Bart Leukede Theater, the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, the Agnes DeMille Theater at U. North Carolina School of the Arts, and New York University, among many others. Additional accomplishments include selection as a 2017 Resident Artist for Dance at Socrates at Socrates Sculpture Park, selection as a finalist of the 2015 Edward Villella Choreographers Competition, an Eryc Taylor Dance New Choreography Grant, selection for the 2013 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training, selection for the 2013 Women in Dance Series, and a 2015 Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant for her ballet outreach program “Project Ignite.”

She holds a degree in Contemporary Ballet Choreography and Fine Art from New York University, where she was mentored by acclaimed choreographer Kathryn Posin. She is also grateful to count among her mentors such luminaries as Lauren Lovette, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Helen Pickett, Risa Steinberg, Dianne McIntyre, and Molissa Fenley. She began choreographing in 2007

For more information about the Creative Movers Choreographic Initiative please visit


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