The Department of Dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts will present a one-night-only concert of works by alumni choreographers at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, March 1, 2013.

Tisch Dance to Celebrate the Work Of Alumni Choreographers at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, March 1
MADboots dance co. will perform as part of Past/Forward 2013 at the NYU Skirball Center of Performing Arts on March 1st, 2013. Photo by Samantha Siegel.

Works by Kyle Abraham, Seán Curran, Cherylyn Lavagnino, MADboots, Rashaunsilasdance, Sydney Skybetter and Associates, and YoMoCo.

The Department of Dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts will present a one-night-only concert of works by alumni choreographers at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, March 1, 2013.  Entitled Past/Forward: A Tisch Dance Alumni Celebration, the program will feature the companies and works of: Kyle Abraham, choreographing a work for the Second Avenue Dance Company, Tisch Dance’s student company; Seán Curran, choreographing a Bessie-nominated work for Darrah Carr Dance; Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance; MADboots; Rashaunsilasdance; Sydney Skybetter and Associates; and YoMoCo.

Past/Forward, co-produced by the Department of Dance and the Skirball Center, highlights the work of several generations of Tisch Dance choreographers, and is part of a regular occurring series that presents the work of Tisch Dance alumni.  The alumni choreographers featured range from newly graduated and emerging choreographers who are beginning their careers to established choreographers who are presenting work nationally and internationally

Past/Forward will take place for one night only on Friday, March 1, 2013, at NYU’s Skirball Center, located at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).   Curtain is at 8 p.m.  General admission is $25; students and seniors are $15.  Proceeds from the concert will be used to support future presentations showcasing the talents of Tisch Dance alumni.  For detailed information, visit Skirball Center online at, or call 212.352.3101.  The box office is open Tuesday through Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m.

Alumni Choreographer’s

Kyle Abraham - a 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and a New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist, began his training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.  Over the past few years, Abraham has received tremendous accolades and awards for his dancing and choreography including a 2010 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, a 2010 Princess Grace Award for Choreography, a BUILD grant, an individual artist fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant.  In 2009, he was named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch.  In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.” 

    His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at On The Boards, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, REDCAT, Philly Live Arts, Portland’s Time Based Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York's City Center, Montreal, Germany, Jordan, Ecuador, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan, The Andy Warhol Museum and The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

    As a performer, Abraham has worked with acclaimed modern dance companies including David Dorfman Dance, Burnt Sugar Dance Conduction Continuum, Nathan Trice/Rituals, Mimi Garrard Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Dance Alloy, The Kevin Wynn Collection, and Attack Theatre.  In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, he is currently working on a commission by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as well as a new pas de deux for himself and acclaimed Bessie Award- winning dancer and New York City Principle, Wendy Whelan. For more information, visit:

Darrah Carr - holds an MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University. She is currently pursuing doctoral work leading to a PhD in Dance through Texas Woman’s University.  Since 1998, Darrah Carr Dance has created a sensational and unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance.  Carr calls her style ModERIN: a playful combination of the words modern (dance) and ERIN (an Irish American reference to Ireland).  Recent NYC performance highlights include: NBC’s “The Today Show,” a guest performance with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and “The Yeats Project” at the Irish Repertory Theatre. The company has performed at venues throughout the United States, including Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The Yard, and JFK Museum, MASS MoCA, and has toured internationally throughout Ireland and Canada. Carr teaches in both the Dance and Irish Studies programs at Hofstra University and has presented her scholarship at the Congress on Research in Dance, the World Dance Alliance, and Dance Research Forum Ireland.  She has written extensively for Dance Magazine, Dance Studio Life, Dancer and The Dance Insider.  Carr recently contributed a chapter to “Close to the Floor: Irish Dance from the Boreen to Broadway” published by Macater Press.

Seán Curran  - artistic director of the Seán Curran Company, began his dance training with traditional Irish step dancing as a young boy in Boston, Massachusetts. He went on to make his mark on the dance world as a leading dancer with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He received a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for his performance in Secret Pastures.  A graduate and full-time faculty member of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Curran was an original member of the New York City cast of the Off-Broadway percussion extravaganza Stomp, performing in the show for four years. He has performed his solo evening of dances at venues throughout the United States as well as at Sweden's Danstation Theatre and France’s EXIT Festival.  Curran's work has appeared on Broadway in James Joyce's The Dead for Playwrights Horizons and The Rivals at Lincoln Center Theater. He recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut choreographing Romeo and Juliette.  He has created works for Trinity Irish Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre's studio company, Denmark's Upper Cut Company, Sweden's Skänes Dance Theater, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Ririe Woodbury Dance Theater, and Dance Alloy, as well as for numerous college and university dance departments.

Cherylyn Lavagnino - artistic director of Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance and chair of the Tisch School of the Arts Dance Department at New York University, has an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a BA in Philosophy from the University of Southern California.  She has choreographed over thirty ballets in the past fifteen years, and since 2000 most of these have been created for her contemporary ballet company, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance.  The company has been presented by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church and “Inside/Out” at Jacob’s Pillow numerous times, and at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. They have been featured in the Dancenow/NYC Festival and during The Joyce Theater’s “Evening Stars” series, and have performed at Symphony Space, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Colloquium Contemporary Dance Exchange, The Field, Dancenow/NYC at John Jay College Theater, and “Ballet Builders” at Florence Gould Hall.  They have participated in Company Residencies at Vermont Academy and Lyndon Institute (Lyndonville, VT), The Yard at Martha's Vineyard in 2008 and 2010, and in a SILO Artist Residency through Dancenow/NYC.  They received a space grant from Baryshnikov Arts Center in 2006.  The Company’s distinguished dancers have performed with the Hong Kong International Ballet, ODC, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Lucinda Childs, Doug Elkins, and many others.  Many of the ballets in the Company's repertoire were created in collaboration with composers/musicians Scott Killian, Jane Chung, Kenneth Hamrick, Andy Teirstein, and Kyle Olson. Independently, Lavagnino has created original ballets for the Tisch School of the Arts, Princeton University, Booker T. Washington Arts High School, Kutztown University, and Monadnok Music Festival.  She was resident choreographer at The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard in 2000.  Through her company, she is the recipient of a 2008 and 2009 Manhattan Community Arts Fund awarded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Live Music for Dance Grant from the American Music Center in 2009.  She also received a Tisch Faculty Artistic Development grant in both 2006 and 2009.

MADboots dance co - co-founded in August 2011 by Jonathan Campbell (Juilliard, B.F.A. ’10) & Austin Diaz (NYU, B.F.A. ’11), made its premiere at the Gibney Dance Center and has since been presented at festivals in Italy, Canada, New York City, and New Jersey, including the Alto Jonio Dance Festival (Italy), Springboard Danse Montreal (Canada), David Parker’s Soaking WET, and DANCENOW Joe’s Pub Festival (2012 challenge winner). Aside from performing, the duo has also taught master classes at Point Park University in Pittsburgh and Velocity Dance Center in Seattle. In 2012, MADboots was generously granted the boo-koo round 4-space grant at Gibney Dance Center, as well as, the Inception to Exhibition 2012 Space Grant. This spring, the company will be in residence at the Duo Multicultural Arts Center. Get into the MADness -

Silas Riener – grew up in Washington DC and graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Comparative Literature and certificates in Creative Writing and Dance.  As a dancer, he has worked with Chantal Yzermans, Takehiro Ueyama, Christopher Williams, Jonah Bokaer, Rebecca Lazier’s TERRAIN, and is currently dancing for Tere O’Connor.  He is a member of the interdisciplinary architecture design and performance collective Harrison Atelier, with whom he choreographed the 2011 site-specific performance Pharmacophore: Architectural Placebo at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. He premiered a new Harrison Atelier work in February 2013 at The Invisible Dog.  He was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from November 2007 until its closure in 2011, and received a 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for his performance in Cunningham’s Split Sides.  While performing with MCDC, Riener completed his MFA in Dance at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.  He has taught workshops and techniques classes at Concord Academy SummerStages, throughout Turkey at several universities, and is currently on faculty at NYU’s Playwrights Horizons, Princeton University, and Gallim Dance’s Clinton Hill Arts Center.  Since 2010, he has collaborated with poet Anne Carson and choreographer Rashaun Mitchell with whom he continues to develop new projects.

Rashaun Mitchell - started dancing at Concord Academy in Massachusetts and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000.  He moved to New York shortly after to pursue dance projects with an array of artists, including Chantal Yzermans, Donna Uchizono, Pam Tanowitz, Risa Jaroslow, Sara Rudner, Jonah Bokaer, Richard Colton, Deborah Hay, Rebecca Lazier, and Silas Riener. In 2007, he was the recipient of a Princess Grace Award: Dance Fellowship, and in 2011he received a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for sustained achievement in the work of Merce Cunningham (2004-2012). His own work has been presented by Danspace Project, La Mama Moves Festival, Mount Tremper Arts in New York, with writer Anne Carson at the Skirball Center at NYU, Summer Stages/ The Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston, the OMiami Festival, College of St. Elizabeth, Wellesley College, University of Minnesota, and Princeton University. In 2012, he was awarded a Bessie for “Outstanding Emerging Choreographer” and is also a recipient of the 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Art Grants to Artists. He is currently on faculty at Tisch School of the Arts and premieres his next piece, Interface, on March 14 and 15 at Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Sydney Skybetter – is a choreographer, curator, and consultant for performing arts organizations. After studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Columbia, and New York University, Skybetter performed with Christopher Williams and the Anna Sokolow Foundation. His choreography has been presented in New York at The Joyce Theater, The Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop / New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, among many others. Skybetter is a founding partner at Edwards & Skybetter Change Agency, which provides product development, brand management, and technology consulting for such international organizations as the Mark Morris Dance Group and Jacob’s Pillow, and has written about performance history and technology for the Ballet Review and The Huffington Post. He is a producer with the Dance [NOW] NYC Festival, a teacher for the NYU Tisch Dance Department, and a lecturer on Dance History for the LEAP Program at St. Mary’s College. Skybetter serves as the president of the Board of Directors of the Gotham Arts Exchange / Zia Artists, and as the founding chairman of the Technology Committee for the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University.

The YoMoCo - is a dance company committed to the exploration of collaborative efforts between creative minds across all ventures of art. Led by artistic directors Robert Vail and Matthew Flatley, The YoMoCo strives to blend the artistic spheres of movement, film, fashion, original music, and photography to produce innovative and original works. The company was founded in 2010 out of the need to merge dance with other artistic elements to produce more dynamic, multifaceted art. The collective is comprised of artists that have a passion for their art and an urge to experience other original perspectives.

About the Department of Dance at the Tisch School of the Arts:

The Department of Dance at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University is a conservatory training program that offers an intensive curriculum for students committed to entering the profession as dancers or choreographers. It seeks exceptionally talented students who have learned through previous experience that they are physically and imaginatively capable of committing themselves to training that reflects the standards of professional work. It provides a full range of technical training, and, for those interested in choreography, a solid base for creative work.

About the Jack H. Skirball Center for Performing Arts at NYU:

The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael Harrington, the programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU’s mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance.



Press Contact

Richard Pierce
Richard Pierce
(212) 998-6796