Wabi Sabi Choreographers

Wabi Sabi Choreographers 2013

Atlanta Ballet Company Choreographers


HEATH GILL, a native of southern Illinois, began his dance training at age four with jazz, tap and gymnastics. In order to expand his dance knowledge, he later attended The Children’s Center for Dance Education where he began to study ballet under the direction of Deena Laska-Lewis. He also attended summer intensives at Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater. By age 18, he moved to Atlanta to train and perform with Atlanta Ballet. During his time in Atlanta, he has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as John McFall, Michael Pink, James Kudelka, Lila York, Mark Godden, Matt Kent and Lauri Stallings. Some of Heath’s other interests include playing piano and trumpet, watching movies, and cooking.

TARA LEE made her choreographic debut with Sixteen String in 2003. Originally created for an Atlanta Ballet choreographers’ workshop, Sixteen String, with music by Lou Harrison, was handpicked by John McFall to be performed by the company the following year in their season line-up. In 2004, McFall offered her another opportunity, which led to the creation of Poem, a dramatic duet that she danced with Brian Wallenberg to the music of Jeff Buckley. After making its world premiere with Atlanta Ballet, Poem was also performed by New Orleans Ballet Theatre. Subsequent works include two commissions for Emory Dance Company; a Margaret Mitchell-inspired duet for Georgia Public Broadcasting; and an ensemble piece, Akara, which she created with Jesse Tyler for Wabi Sabi in 2011. Her most recent collaboration with Jesse Tyler, Pavo, was commissioned for 2012's New Choreographic Voices on The Alliance Stage at The Woodruff Arts Center.

JOHN WELKER, Wabi Sabi ballet master, received his dance training at BalletMet Dance Academy, the School of American Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Vail, and Point Park Conservatory.  Classical ballet roles John has performed with Atlanta Ballet include Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Florimund in Sleeping Beauty, Albrect in Giselle, Basilio in Don Quixote, Cavalier in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, and Romeo in Romeo & Juliet.  More contemporary dance classics include Dracula in Michael Pink's Dracula; Principal Male in John McFall's Firebird; Principal Male in James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons; Pinkerton in Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly; Don Jose in Septime Webre’s Carmen; Principal Male in Peter Martin’s Ash; Peter Pan in John McFall’s Peter Pan; and the solo work in Caught, choreographed by David Parsons.  John has had the honor to work with such renowned choreographers as Christopher Hampson, Victor Quijada, Lila York, James Kudelka, Helen Pickett, Val Caniparoli, Twyla Tharp, Jorma Elo, and John McFall.  For the past five years, John has served as co-director of Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education's Professional Division Summer Intensive Program.  He is currently enrolled as a Dance Major in Kennesaw State University’s College of the Arts and plans to further pursue a graduate degree in Arts Administration.  John wishes to thank his wife, fellow artist Christine Winkler, for her support,encouragement, and love. Sponsored by Lynda Courts.

Wabi Sabi Guest Choreographers

JENNIFER ARCHIBALD, founder and artistic director of Arch Dance Company, graduated from The Ailey School and has performed across the U.S. at major venues including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, The Duke on 42nd Street, The Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, Judson Memorial Church and MTV, as well as in Europe, Russia, and Canada. For 2013, Jennifer is 1 of 4 choreographers selected as a choreographic Fellow for Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab under the direction of Robert Battle. Her work was featured outdoors in the heart of Time Square for the Solstice Dance Festival, and was presented by the Bates Dance Festival in a gala concert of international choreographers in 2008 and 2011. Jennifer’s one-woman-show was recently produced at The Studio@620’s “Le Salon de Danse” in St. Petersburg, FL.  She is a recipient of the "Talk of The Arts" award from the University of South Florida, which has also honored choreographers Donald McKayle, Bill Irwin, and Bill T. Jones. As an artistic director she has presented Arch Dance Company nationally with two National Performance Network grants.  Jacob’s Pillow presented Arch Dance Company’s The Uncomfortable Truth for Inside/Out Stage in 2011. She has staged various off-Broadway shows working with casts from Bring in Da Noise/Bring in Da Funk and the musical Cats. Jennifer has also choreographed for the NBA New York Knicks City Dancers and The Alvin Ailey School. Her works have been featured twice at the Elan Awards honoring Rob Marshall (director of the Academy Award winning film Chicago) and contemporary dance choreographer Lar Lubovitch. She has choreographed for the musicals Carousel, The Music Man, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Pippin for professional theater companies and is also a graduate of the Maggie Flannigan Acting Conservatory specializing in the Meisner technique.  She has worked with chart-listed singers Ludacris and Shaggy as well as actors such as Audrey Tautou (The DaVinci Code and Amélie) as a movement specialist and choreographer. Jennifer is currently on faculty at Dance New Amsterdam, Broadway Dance Center and CAP 21 America’s Musical Theatre Conservatory teaching Contemporary Jazz and Hip Hop. She is also a long-time faculty member at the Bates Dance Festival and Florida Dance Festival. She has been a resident artist and lecturer at Princeton University, University of South Florida, University of Illinois, Virginia Commonwealth University, Goucher College, East Carolina University, FAMU, Studio Harmonique in France, Jackson School of the Arts in Bermuda and CAP21/NYU. In 2012 Jennifer was a resident artist for Ailey/Fordham, East Carolina University and Columbia Dance Chicago program.  Internationally, she has taught master classes in France, Russia, Mexico, China, Ecuador, Slovenia, Sweden, and Canada.  She has done numerous outreach projects within the New York City Public School system and was hired by designer Tommy Hilfiger as a guest artist to teach inner city youth.

GREGORY DOLBASHIAN, born and raised in New York City, made his professional stage debut at the age of eight with the Glimmerglass Opera Company. Soon after, he was cast in the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson world tour of Einstein on the Beach. Gregory received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School on a fellowship scholarship and then graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase dance conservatory were he studied composition with Kazuko Hirabayashi. Since then he has gone on to dance and choreograph with a variety of artists, performing with Patrick Corbin, Nelly van Bommel, Sylvain Emard, and The Chicago Ballet. He was resident choreographer for both Chicago Ballet’s spring season in 2008 and CorbinDance's in 2007. He was selected as one of four emerging choreographers in the Springboard Montreal intensive run by Juilliard’s Alexandra Wells, where he created and premiered his first international work. Gregory’s works have been performed at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Dance Festival (MA), Joyce SoHo, Alvin Ailey Studio Theatre (NY), Dance Place (DC), Athenaeum Theatre (Chicago), and shows in New York as part of the Reverb Festival, the Dance Sampler at Symphony Space, and a self-produced collaboration with Sidra Bell at the Gershwin Hotel. He recently showed his work as part of the Emerging Artists Program at DTW’s Summer DANZ Festival and was also accepted into The Bessie Schoenberg Residency at The Yard for emerging choreographers in 2010. He debuted his own company, The DASH Ensemble, in December 2009 at JOYCE SoHo. The company has gone on to present works at the Skirball Center, DTW, Summer Stage, and The JOYCE Theater. In 2013, Dolbashian was the winner of choreographic competitions for both Ballet Austin and Northwest Dance Project and, most recently, was the winner of Hubbard Street 2’s international choreographic competition. Gregory is the co-founder of The Playground, a choreographic initiative that was named one of “25 to Watch” in 2013 by Dance Magazine.

RACHELLE SCOTT, originally from Montpellier, France, received her dance training from LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and the Alvin Ailey School in New York City. During her time at The Juilliard School, she danced works by Merce Cunningham, Alexander Ekman, Ohad Naharin, Fabien Prioville, Lucca Veggetti, Sidra Bell, Eliot Feld, Jose Limon, and Bronislava Nijinska, among others. Rachelle received the YoungARTS, New York Regional Award in DANCE and Modern and the Eiger Scholarship Award upon her graduation from high school. She is currently developing her skills as a choreographer, and the premier of her piece, Journey 5, was performed at the Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater at The Juilliard School in the spring of 2012. Upon graduating from The Juilliard School, Rachelle will become a member of the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City.

MICHAEL SMITH joined The Joffrey Ballet in 2001 as a company member after being one of the first participants in the Arpino Apprentice Program. Prior to joining The Joffrey, he was a student in the dance department at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, where he studied ballet with Anna Paskevska and Graham-based modern dance with Randy Duncan. Mr. Smith has also studied dance at The Ruth Page School and The Joffrey Ballet School’s Midwest workshop. During his time with The Joffrey, Mr. Smith has enjoyed performing in various ballets, including The Clowns, Les Patineurs, Les Presages, Miracle Interrupted, The Nutcracker, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz!, Petrouchka, The Prodigal Son, Romeo and Juliet, Round of Angels, Le Sacre du Printemps, Square Dance, Suite Saint Saëns, The Taming of the Shrew, Tensile Involvement, Viva Vivaldi, and A Wedding Bouquet.

*Programming and casting subject to change.



Peng-Yu Chen, Heath Gil and Tara Lee. Photos by Charlie McCullers.
Jennifer Archibald. Photo courtesy of jenniferarchibald.com.
Gregory Dolbashian. Photo courtesy of thedashensemble.org.
Rachelle Scott. Photo courtesy of cedarlakedance.com.
Michael Smith. Photo courtesy of joffrey.org.