UCI Selects 4 Choreographers for their National Choreographers Initiative

Whoops! I made a big mistake in my previous post…this is the revised version. Sorry Lynn! 

Every year in July NCI invites four choreographers to create works for teams of professional dancers. This year they’ve chosen: Sidra Bell, Deanna Carter, Rick McCullough, and Olivier Wevers.  





Sidra Bell graduated from Yale University with a BA in History and received an MFA in Choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. She received her training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and at The Ailey School where she was a fellowship recipient. Ms. Bell’s works have been performed in Spain, Aruba, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto. She received recent commissions from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, Ballet Divertimento (Montreal), Arts Umbrella (Vancouver), Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre (Toronto), Purchase College Conservatory of Dance in collaboration with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School, Marygrove College, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Springboard Danse Montreal, Ballet Austin, Sacramento Ballet, Ailey II, and the Juilliard School. She was featured in the 2009 Ballet Builders New Choreographers on Point Series. She is the founder and artistic director of her own company, Sidra Bell Dance New York.


Deanna Carter is a native of Seattle. She has worked extensively as ballet mistress for international companies: Taller Coreografico de la UNAM (Mexico), Aterballetto and Teatro San Carlo (Italy), Leipzig Ballet and Dessau Ballets (Germany); and from 1994 has worked internationally as guest teacher and choreographer. In 2004 Ms. Carter returned from Europe to take a position at the University of Iowa Department of dance. With works choreographed for BalletMet, Ballet Quad Cities, the Dessau and Leipzig Ballets, Tanya-Perez Salas Dance Company, and Bounard Dance Company, Deanna continues to work as a guest choreographer. In 2007 she was invited to become the resident choreographer for Ballet Quad Cities. In 1994 Deanna’s works were recognized as the “Best American Choreography” at the Nureyev International Ballet Festival is Kazan, Russia. In the United States, Ms. Carter has been awarded the National Choreography Plan of Regional Dance America and several Monticello scholarships for choreography. In June of 2004, BalletMet, Columbus Ohio’s professional company, presented Carter’s original work in their first New York season at the Joyce Theater. While at The University of Iowa, she has created several works and is the co-director of Dancers In Company, the University’s student touring ensemble.



Rick McCullough is currently a professor of dance at Florida State University. He danced professionally with Netherlands Dance Theater for over 10 years. He has also performed with the Harkness Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theater. He has been the Artistic Director of the North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Festival Dance Company for the past 10 years. He has been a guest teacher at University of Alabama, Ohio State University, Western Michigan University, and University of Utah, as well as at the Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, Peridance Center – NY, Ballet Pacifica, North Carolina Dance Theater, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and American Dance Festival. He has choreographed works for Columbia Classical Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Washington Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theater. He has received numerous honors from the North Carolina State Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.



Olivier Wevers is from Brussels, Belgium. He received his training at the Karys Dance Center with Nicole Karys, a former dancer with Bejart’s Ballet du XXieme Siecle. He was a principal at Royal Winnipeg Ballet, dancing regularly with Evelyn Hart, prior to joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a Soloist in 1997. He was promoted to Principal in 1998. Mr. Wevers has performed works by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Agnes de Mille, Mark Godden, Jiri Kylian, Leonide Massine, John Neumeier, Petipa, Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, and Hans Van Manen. In addition to his performing career, Mr. Wevers is an active choreographer. Since 1993, he has choreographed works for numerous companies in Canada, Japan, and the United States, including: Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theatre, and the Seattle Dance Project. In 2005, he choreographed an original one-act production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet in Japan. And in 2006, he participated in the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute. Mr. Wevers is a recipient of the 2008 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award.


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