2019-2020 ARTISTIC COLLABORATORS
Choreographer Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to dance. His work has been noted by critics for a unique movement language as well as a highly developed fusion of ideas, dance and design. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Fonte started dancing at the age of 14. He studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York as well as at the San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet Schools while completing a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase. Upon graduation he danced with Peridance in NYC and later joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, dancing in the works of Balanchine, Tudor, Kudelka and Spaniard Nacho Duato. Fonte subsequently joined Duato's Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid and forged a strong identity in the Spanish company for seven years - for both his dancing and his choreography. En los Segundos Ocultos, (In Hidden Seconds), one of three ballets Fonte made for the Spanish company, was hailed as a breakthrough work of great impact with the poetic vision of a mature artist and indeed this ballet established his presence on the European dance scene.
In 2000 Fonte retired from performing to devote himself full-time to his choreographic career. Since that time he has created or staged his ballets for The Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stuttgart Ballet, The Australian Ballet, The Göteborg Ballet, The Finnish National Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Perm Tchaikovsky Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Ballett Mainz, Ballett Nürnberg, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, TANZ Ensemble Cathy Sharp, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and Queensland Ballet.
Fonte received a Choo San Goh award for his 2002 collaboration with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Almost Tango, of which R.M. Campbell of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote, "Fonte is a thinker, an architect who creates the new rather than reinvent the old. He is a master of manipulating space and creating relationships".
Almost Tango was also voted as one of Dance Europe's "Best Premiere's when it was re-staged for The Australian Ballet in 2004.
From 2002 to 2006 Nicolo enjoyed an ongoing creative partnership with The Göteborg Ballet in Sweden, creating and staging numerous works that helped establish the company's distinct profile. While in Göteborg he created his first full-length ballet, based on the life of Tchaikovsky. Widely acclaimed in the international press for Fonte's marriage of narrative skill and a contemporary choreographic language, Re: Tchaikovsky appeared on the "Best of 2005" lists of both Ballett-Tanz and Dance Europe. Fonte has also played an important role in the ongoing development of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as one of that company's most popular guest choreographers. To date he has created eight highly successful works for ASFB that have toured throughout the US and overseas. Nicolo Fonte is currently the Resident Choreographer for Ballet West, in Salt Lake City, which began with the 2012-2013 season. He also became Resident Choreographer at Oregon Ballet Theatre beginning with the 2016 - 2017 season.
Christian Denice's professional dance experience includes Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago, Company E, Montgomery Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC, and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Christian teaches and choreographs nationally and internationally, and is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago HSPro program. He has created new works for Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago in collaboration with Frank Chaves, LEVELdance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, Interlochen Center for the Arts, METdance too, the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Visceral Dance Chicago, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Western Michigan University, METdance Houston, Modern America Dance Company, Modas Dance, SALT II, and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Christian is the 2015-2016 winner of the University of South Florida's Echo Choreographic Competition and the 2016 winner of the Joffrey Academy's Winning Works Choreographic competition. Christian was recently one of the guest choreographers for both DanceWorks Chicago's ChoreoLab and the Barton Movement's AXIS Connect in Los Angeles this past summer. Christiancurrently dances for Chicago based project company the Cambrians. In April 2016, Christian directed and choreographed a short dance film entitled "the watchers" filmed by Salt Lake City-based videographer Bryce Johnson. He is a certified Power Vinyasa yoga instructor and teaches for CorePower Yoga. For more information, please visit www.christiandenice.com.
Her work called “stunning…mesmerizing…powerful,” and “a remarkable contemporary dance display,” Elizabeth Shea’s choreography has been produced by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and presented at numerous festivals across the country, such as PUSHfest, Detroit Dance City Festival, the American Dance Guild, DUMBO Dance Festival and Wave Rising Series, Footprints Dance Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, and RADfest. A recent choreography, “Last Good Thing,” was shown in Adelaide, Australia last summer, and she has also presented work in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and China. Liz recently won Sharp Dance Company’s inaugural choreography competition, and has been a guest artist for Moving Collective, Dance Kaleidoscope, Eisenhower Dance, Karen Reedy Dance, Kenyetta Dance Company, Phoenix Rising Dance Company and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Liz has worked extensively in new media and film; her recent work “Breath|Light|Stone,” has been an official selection at film festivals internationally and won several awards, including Best Choreography for the Lens, Best Dance Film, Best Ensemble, and Best Cinematography. Liz has served on the faculty and as a guest artist at many universities and dance schools and is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Contemporary Dance at Indiana University. She teaches her self-developed somatic practice, SomaLab, and choreographic methods and mentorship at workshops in the USA and abroad, most recently at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, and Dance Italia, in Lucca, Italy. Liz is a 200-hour RYT.
Gregory Patterson is associate professor and chair of Oakland University’s dance department. A faculty member since 1989, he teaches courses in jazz and modern dance technique, dance conditioning, dance for musical theater, dance history and dance production. In addition to being a certified Pilates instructor, Patterson is also founder and artistic director of Patterson Rhythm Pace Dance Company. The group performed its debut concert in 2010 at Ailey City Bank Theater in New York.
With a Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from the University of Michigan, Patterson has developed a noteworthy career performing, teaching and choreographing. He has more than 30 years of professional dance experience and has been a member of Harbinger Dance Company, Ann Arbor Dance Works, Rigmarole Dance Company, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. He has also performed as a guest artist with both the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the Doug Elkins Dance Company of New York.
Throughout his career, Patterson has taught at numerous college dance festivals and workshops, and has choreographed for universities, high schools, studios and dance companies. His work has been performed by dance companies including Western Michigan University, Bowling Green State University, Hope College, Morgan State University, and Alma College, as well as the Michigan Opera Theatre, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble and Bal-Chi Dance Company of Chicago. He also regularly travels to Greece to teach, choreograph and perform in the Detroit Mercy/Oakland University Classical Greek Theatre Summer Study Program, which is the only American university- sponsored program of its kind.
In 2008, Patterson received a Travis Professorship. The award, named in honor of OU supporters Doris and Paul Travis, recognizes faculty members from the departments of Art and Art History and Music Theatre and Dance for outstanding achievements in teaching, research and professional services. Patterson was recognized in 2002 with the Maggie Allesee Choreography Award and his work has been chosen for the Leo Choreography competition at the Jazz Dance World Congress. He has also received three faculty fellowships through Oakland University's Office of Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research, and was most recently honored with a Faculty Recognition Award.
David Goodman-Edberg is overjoyed to continue collaborating with Eisenhower Dance Detroit as a lighting designer and production stage manager. Some highlights have included designs for Stephanie Pizzo’s ARC and The Lovely Exchange, Laurie Eisenhower’s The Wilding, and Edgar Zendejas’s Common Ground. Based in Chicago, David has also designed with such companies as Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Visceral Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance, Water Street Dance Milwaukee, Chicago Tap Theatre, Joel Hall Dancers, RE|dance group, Chicago Repertory Ballet, and Marlene Skog & Dancers, among others. He also designs frequently in Chicago’s theater scene, exploring how his experience in dance lighting can inform his theatrical lighting and vice versa. daviddesignsthings.com
Mitty Carter is a dreadful dancer who loves photographing dancers and singers. He has more than ten years’ experience, and is honored to be an official photographer for Eisenhower Dance Detroit as well as Michigan Opera Theatre. His photographs have appeared in Opera Singer Magazine, The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Crain’s, Aspire Design Magazine, and The Jerusalem Post.