The Artistic Partnership Initiative advances choreography in professional dance companies worldwide.

Photo of the two 2019 Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellows
Left: Caili Quan (Photo by Sara Black). Right: Megan Williams (Photo by Amber Star Merkens)

The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU (CBA) – an international research institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences – announces dancer and choreographer Caili Quan (nominated by BalletX) and choreographer and teacher Megan Williams (nominated by the Mark Morris Dance Group) as the 2019 Artistic Partnership Initiative (API) Fellows.

The Artistic Partnership Initiative is a collaboration between CBA and professional dance companies around the world to advance the art of choreography. Prior recipients include Gemma Bond (American Ballet Theatre), Julie Cunningham (Rambert), Shannon Glover (Joburg Ballet), and Wubkje Kuindersma (Dutch National Ballet). API Fellows are selected by companies' artistic directors for their notable choreographic abilities and are awarded a 3-4 week residency to develop new work with the full resources of CBA and NYU.

“API is a unique opportunity. Not only was I able to create work in CBA’s gorgeous studio, but I had the time and space to explore ideas that were not directly connected to a performance. It was a one-of-a-kind experience,” reflected 2018 API Fellow Gemma Bond.

While at The Center, Quan will research new ways to integrate the pointe shoe in contemporary movement by developing new choreography and a short film. Williams will develop three repertory works (two group and one solo) with the music of, and in collaboration with, contemporary composer Eve Beglarian.

CBA is delighted to welcome the 2019 API Fellows:

Photo of Caili Quan, BalletX

Photo by Sara Black

Caili Quan, BalletX
Raised in Guam, trained in New York, and currently a dancer with BalletX since 2013, Caili Quan has choreographed for Konverjdans, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, CelloPointe, and St. Paul’s School. With BalletX, she has performed new works by Matthew Neenan, Nicolo Fonte, Gabrielle Lamb, Trey McIntyre, and Penny Saunders, among others, and danced at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vail Dance Festival, Central Park SummerStage, Belgrade Dance Festival and the Joyce Theater. Quan's piece Fancy Me was programmed by Damian Woetzel as part of the Vail Dance Festival in 2018. Quan will be choreographing a new work for BalletX’s 2020 Summer Series.

The focus of Quan’s API Fellowship will be to research new ways of integrating the pointe shoe in contemporary movement. She plans to explore this question through a new work for Konverjdans and the development of her first dance short film.


Megan Williams, Mark Morris Dance Group
Megan Williams is a dancer, choreographer, educator and repetiteur with a BFA from the Juilliard School and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work with Megan Williams Dance Projects has recently been produced at the 92ndSt Y , the Emelin Theater and at Joe’s Pub at the Public where she was the Dancenow 2018 Commissioned Artist, presenting her evening-length ‘One Woman Show’ to critical acclaim. She was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1988-98 and continues her affiliation with the Dance Group as guest performer, guest rehearsal director, and stager of his works worldwide for the past 20 years. She has been Morris’ assistant in various projects in ballet, on Broadway and in television. She has served on the faculties of Purchase College, Connecticut College, Hunter College and Marymount Manhattan College and will be joining the Sarah Lawrence faculty in fall 2019. She is on the Mark Morris Dance Group’s renowned Dance for PD© flagship teaching team and teaches Pro Level Ballet at Gibney. She currently dances with Rebecca Stenn, and in Netta Yurashalmy’s Paramodernities project.

During her CBA Fellowship, Williams will develop three repertory works (two group

Photo of Megan Williams

Photo by Amber Star Merkens

and one solo) with the music of, and incollaboration with, acclaimed contemporary composer Eve Beglarian that will be performed with live music in a fully produced concert event in March 2020 at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn. The main focus will be can I have it without begging, a “ballet” to a suite from Beglarian's MACHAUD IN THE MACHINE AGE series that will interrogate the classical ballet lexicon while forging a narrative around Love with a capital “L”, the truths and fallacies of Desire, and what wanting “it” can mean. Williams will be creating a solo for herself that exposes the vigor, swiftness and solitude of the aging dancer, with a newly commissioned score by Beglarian, and will continue work on Play Like A Girl, a large group dance.  


For more information about the Artistic Partnership Initiative, please contact Andrea Salvatore at andrea.salvatore@nyu.edu. For more information about The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, visit balletcenter.nyu.edu.

About The Center for Ballet and the Arts
The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University (CBA) is an international research institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences. It exists to inspire new ideas and new ballets, expanding the way we think about the art form’s history, practice, and performance in the 21st century. The Center is made possible by founding and ongoing support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and New York University and additional support from The Charles H. Revson Foundation, Fishman Family Fund, an advised fund of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Merce Cunningham Trust, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. We also extend a special thanks to individual members of CBA’s Center Circle for their essential support.

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