The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of the Joffrey Ballet, performs its fifth annual program of world premieres by ascendant choreographers of color. The winners, Stephanie Martinez (Chicago), Jennifer Archibald (New York), and Abdul Latif (New York) showcase the powerful and innovative works they have created in three exhilarating performances, along withWindy Sand, a new work from Joffrey Academy Artistic Director Alexei Kremnev, featuring original music by Karen LeFrak.
Each of the three choreographers are selected through a national competition reviewed by Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet, as well as Kremnev and fellow Co-Artistic Director of the Academy Anna Reznik. With the speed, precision, and individuality we recognize from the Joffrey Ballet, the remarkable Trainees and Studio Company members from Asia, South America, Europe, and the US perform these works for the first time in the Edlis Neeson Theater.
About the Artists
Jennifer Archibald is the founder and artistic director of the Arch Dance Company and program director of ArchCore40 dance intensives. She is a graduate of the Ailey School and the Maggie Flanigan Acting Conservatory where she studied the Meisner technique, an instinct-based approach to acting. In 2013, she was awarded a Choreographic Fellows for Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab under the direction of Robert Battle. She also choreographed Seven, a biographical work about Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee commissioned by St. Louis–based MADCO dance company. She is currently on faculty at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, Gibney Dance, and CAP21 America’s Musical Theatre Conservatory.
Abdul Latif is a graduate of Wesleyan University and NYU Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA graduate/scholarship recipient of the Alvin Ailey and Joffrey Ballet School, and a directing fellow at the T. Schrieber Acting Studio. Latif is currently a member of two dance companies: The Group, Donald Byrd’s contemporary ballet company, and Jennifer Muller’s “The Works” contemporary company. Latif is currently conceiving The NEXT Project, launching his urban-contemporary style. He has been a guest teacher at Steps on Broadway in New York, the Fendafor Festival in Brazil, and Moves Institute in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Latif was the resident recipient of Ballet Hispanico’s Institutito Coreografico in 2012.
Stephanie Martinez is an award-winning Chicago dance artist with over 30 years of professional performing experience. Her other credits include choreographing for dance companies and universities, including Elements Contemporary Ballet, Visceral Dance Chicago, Chicago Dance Crash, Jacksonville University, Shenandoah University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Richmond. She has also performed with Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ron de Jesus Dance, and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre and has appeared as a special guest performer for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra