En Mouvement was originally conceived in 2015 to bring neo-classical and contemporary dance to the local community and to provide opportunity for Artisan Ballet Company dancers to perform these types of dance. In 2015, En Mouvement included guest choreographers Alberto Mendez and James Kelly as well as our own Daymel Sanchez and Martha Perdomo. Back by popular demand, En Mouvement 2 will feature choreographies from Ben Stevenson, Alberto Mendez, Michelle Manzanales, Andrea Young, Daymel Sanchez and Martha Perdomo.
Artisan Ballet Company presents a contemporary and neo classical ballet concert in the Spring. Past choreographers have included Ben Stevenson, Alberto Mendez, Michelle Manzanales, Andrea Young, Claudia Palacios and Angel Laza
BEN STEVENSON, O.B.E
Ben Stevenson, a native of Portsmouth, England, received his dance training at the Arts Educational School in London. He appeared with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and English National Ballet where, as a principal dancer, he performed leading roles in all the classics.
In 1967, English National Ballet asked him to stage his first and highly successful, production of The Sleeping Beauty which starred Margot Fonteyn. In 1968, Rebekah Harkness invited him to New York to direct the newly formed Harkness Youth Dancers. After choreographing Cinderella in 1970 for the National Ballet in Washington, D.C., he joined the company in 1971 as co-director with Frederic Franklin. That same year, he staged a new production of The Sleeping Beauty in observance of the inaugural season of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In 1976, Mr. Stevenson was appointed artistic director of Houston Ballet. Over the next twenty-seven years, he choreographed for Houston Ballet distinguished versions of the full-length works such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Don Quixote, and original productions of Peer Gynt, Dracula, The Snow Maiden, and Cleopatra. During his tenure, he developed Houston Ballet’s repertory by acquiring the works of the world’s most respected choreographers, commissioning new works, staging the classics and choreographing original works.
Mr. Stevenson has received numerous awards for his choreography, including three gold medals at the International Ballet Competitions of 1972, 1982, and 1986. .
In addition, he has staged his ballets for English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, La Scala in Milan, the Munich State Opera Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, London City Ballet, Ballet de Santiago, and for many companies in the United States.
For his contributions to international dance, Mr. Stevenson was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year’s Honors List in December 1999. In April 2000, he was presented with the Dance Magazine Award.
In July 2003, he was appointed artistic director emeritus of Houston Ballet, and the company’s affiliated school was renamed Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy in recognition of his enormous contribution to both Houston Ballet’s professional company and its school. In his position as artistic director emeritus, he continues to stage his works for Houston Ballet and for other companies nationally and internationally.
In July 2003, Mr. Stevenson assumed the artistic directorship of Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth, Texas.
Alberto is a dancer and choreographer, born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. He is a choreographer at the National Ballet of Cuba and founded Danza Contemporánea de Cuba. He made his debut with the national set of modern dance in 1959 and joined the cast of the National Ballet of Cuba the following year. He began his career as a choreographer with Plasmasis (Barroso, 1970), which won the first prize for modern choreography in the International Ballet Competition of Varna of that same year. He has also choreographed: We Will See Last Night, Margarita (Sauguet, 1971), From The 16th To The 20th Century (Britten, 1972), Later In The NAP (Lecuona, 1973), Times Of Solitude (Lecuona, 1973), The River And The Forest (Guerrero, 1973) which won first prize for modern choreography at the 7th International Ballet Competition of Varna (1974), La Bella Cubana (Roig and White, 1973), Nuestra América (folk music 1973) choreographed Iván Tenorio and C. Carranco, woman (1974), History of Ballet (several, 1975), Step Two (Mangiagalli, 1975), Polonaise (Chopin, 1975), …Of the waves (folk music, 1975) choreographed with Gustavo Herrera, Those Taught To Be Strong (Estevez, 1975), The Duo Always (Vitier, 1976), Step 3 (Mauri, 1976), Safeta love (folk music, 1976), Glorious Landing (Landa, 1976), Waltz (Gounod, 1976), La Péri (Burgmüller, 1976), Youth (several, 1977), Song For The Odd Flower (Soriabin, 1977), The Future Was Born In October (several, 1977), Las Muñecas (Egüés, 1978) which won first prize for modern choreography at the International Ballet Competition in Tokyo (1978), Nutcracker(Tchaikovsky, 1978), In The Garden (several, 1978). More of his choreographies are Ad Libitum (Vitier, 1978) to Antonio Gades and Alicia Alonso, La Diva (Guerrero, 1983) based on the life of María Callas, Poem Of Love And The Sea (Chausson, 1990) created for Rudolf Nureyev, and Alicia Alonso Nutcracker: dance the Chocolate (Tchaikovsky, 1992) for the 13th Havana International Festival of Ballet, Cristóforo Colombo (Donizetti, 1992) for the Theatre of La Scala, Memoirs of the Lady of Camellias (Chopin, 1992) premiered at the Teatro Sistina in Rome, Evil Angels (Scriabin, 1994) and Phantom of the Opera: The Ballet (Liszt and Torres, 1997) for Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico.
Michelle is a choreographer and dance educator originally from Houston, TX. Ms. Manzanales has served as the Rehearsal Director of the main company of Ballet Hispanico of New York for over five years and was named Artistic Associate in August 2014, giving her the opportunity to express her artistic voice in the Ballet Hispanico School of Dance (which serves over 600 students), BHdos (BH’s second company), as well as collaborate in educational programs in communities across the country. Michelle began working with BH CEO and Artistic Director, Eduardo Vilaro, in 2003, as a dancer for his company Luna Negra Dance Theater of Chicago, where Ms. Manzanales later became Rehearsal Director in 2006 and served as Interim Artistic Director from 2009 to 2010.
With over 20 years of teaching experience, Ms. Manzanales has taught for/been on staff at Ballet Hispanico of New York, Lou Conte Dance Studio (home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), the University of Houston, Rice University, San Jacinto College South, Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Regional Dance America, Festival de Danza Cordoba-Youth American Grand Prix, as well as numerous dance studios and high schools. Ms. Manzanales has choreographed for professional dance companies, universities, and schools including Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (Chicago, IL), Impetus Dance Theater (Chicago, IL), Momenta (Oak Park, IL), Houston Metropolitan Dance Company under the direction of Dorrell Martin, University of Houston, Rice University, San Jacinto College South among others and has been commissioned to set a new work on the main company of Ballet Hispanico in the upcoming 2016-2017 season.
Michelle Manzanales’ homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida (2010), was hailed as a “visual masterpiece” by Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Tribune and was described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “gorgeously designed, richly hallucinatory, multi-faceted vision of the artist.” Ms. Manzanales was invited to the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 2008 as an emerging choreographer to co-create the site-specific work entitled Muscle and Mortar: Animating Architecture at the National Building Museum for the Capital Fringe Festival. In 2007, Michelle created Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda) for LNDT, which was applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as “a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work.” Over her choreographic career, five of her works have been recognized by the American College Dance Festival, which in 2006 she had the great honor of having her piece, Pour Me Out, presented at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), for the National Gala. ACDFA bestowed this honor once again in 2008 for The Letting Go. Ms. Manzanales’ choreography has also been presented by Texas Contemporary Weekend (Houston, TX), Spring to Dance (St. Louis, MO), Festival de Danza Córdoba (Veracruz, Mexico), and Fort Worth Dance Festival (Fort Worth, TX).
Andrea Young is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Arts with a concentration in Dance. Miss Young is also a graduate of Smeal College of Business where she received her Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain and Information Systems. During her time at Penn State, Andrea received Penn State’s Most Valuable Dancer and the Outstanding Senior Award. She also had her choreography adjudicated at American College Dance Festival Association. Since graduating, Miss Young has worked at The Grier School for 6 years in Tyrone, PA, where she has taught all forms and levels. Teaching and performing all over the world is a dream of hers where she has been blessed to already start that dream. Andrea has traveled to Suriname, South America, and Monterrey, Mexico, in pursuit of that dream. Andrea was a proud founding member of Fluidity Dance Company and worked with August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble first as an apprentice and then as a guest dancer. Andrea has had the privilege of dancing in the works of the very talented Pascal Rioult, Jason McDole, Jon Lehrer, Kiesha Lalama, Kyle Abraham, Antonio Brown, Terence Greene, Maria Caruso, Christopher Huggins and Sidra Bell. She has performed at Chicago’s Jazz Dance World Congress, Pittsburgh’s Jazz Dance World Festival, California’s Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival, and NYC’s Project Live in association with Project Dance to name a few. Andrea also enjoys working behind the scenes and has done so as Managing Director of August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble and as a Touring Manager for Lehrer Dance. Miss Young is also an administrator for Centre Dance under Nicole Swope. She is currently working in Monterrey, Mexico, at the Estudio de Danza Maries.