PREMIERES- 3 Guest Choreographers & Pianist
PREMIERES is a mixed bill presented at the Rinker Playhouse, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on
March 25-27. It features three world premieres and Balanchine’s rarely-seen pas de deux, Sonatine, accompanied by live piano music.
The company has been a hive of activity this month with the contagious energy of our guest choreographers. It’s also been quite the treat for the dancers to rehearse to live music!
Without further ado, please meet these fabulous choreographers and amazing pianist.
Christopher L. Huggins is a former member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and works in Europe, Japan, the Caribbean, and throughout the U.S. as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Mr. Huggins is a 2002 and 2008 recipient of the ‘Alvin Ailey Award’ for Best Choreography from the Black Theater Alliance in Chicago for his works ‘Enemy Behind the Gates’ for Philadanco and ‘Pyrokinesis’ for Gus Giordano Dance Chicago. Huggins is a silver medalist winner from the 3rd International Contemporary Dance Competition in Seoul, Korea, was named ’25 Choreographers to Watch’ by the NPR in 2008 and was the sole choreographer in 2008 for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Opening Night Gala for their 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Donna Goffredo Murray, choreographer, director, writer and educator, is co-creator of Ballet’s Child, an interdisciplinary, contemporary ballet documenting a young dancer’s recovery from an eating disorder. She earned a BA from the University of Maryland and an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. For twelve years, Murray directed her namesake dance company based in New York City before relocating to Florida in 2011. Murray’s choreography has been commissioned by Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami and Ballet Palm Beach and has been presented by Dance/USA, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Florida Dance Education Organization, Duncan Theater, South Miami-Dade Performing Arts Center and the Kravis Center. In 2017, Murray’s choreography premiered at the Goyang International Dance Festival in South Korea. She is a founder and former director of The Dancers’ Space, serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Dance Education Organization, and is a guest artist at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Gina Patterson has been hailed as a choreographer of “startling originality” by Backstage Magazine, and Dance Magazine said “Patterson has a voice, that ever-elusive thing, and whatever the future of ballet may be, choreographers like her will always have a place in it.” Creating over 100 choreographies, winning international acclaim including the Choo San Goh Award, and a nomination for an Isadora Duncan Award, she illuminates social issues, awareness, and education. Patterson’s works are multi-disciplinary, non-linear, interactive kinetic collages, employing multi-sensory triggers and innovations in use of story, space, and venue. They appear in the repertoire of over 25 national and international dance companies. Thirteen full-evening productions, including Romeo and Juliet and the Emmy-winning Liquid Roads, reflect her expansive vision. Ms. Patterson advocates for empathy and compassion in our disconnected world as a leader, educator, and creative artist.
Cassie Mara Makeeff happily makes her home on the stage as a singer and pianist, as a soloist and as a collaborative artist. Currently in her second season, Cassie joined the music staff at Palm Beach Opera as a pianist and vocal coach upon her relocation to Florida. A recent transplant from Chicago, IL she worked as an accompanist and assistant conductor for the DePaul Community Chorus, for which she also arranged 7 separate concerts of opera scores for chorus, soloists, and 2 pianos. During the summer season, Cassie was a long tenured singer with the Grammy nominated Grant Park Chorus. Performance highlights include mezzo-soprano soloist performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra, as well as a popular concert of Cole Porter music with the Southwest Symphony. As an accompanist, she has performed live on WFMT 98.7 FM, at the ACDA convention at Chicago Symphony Center and the Chicago Theater, Trinity Church in Boston, and solo piano performances in St. Petersburg, Russia.