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Read full biographies on the visiting and resident choreographers for our MBII showcase, Momentum, on February 10 at 1:30pm.
With a strong desire to create in multiple idioms, Kristopher Estes-Brown has choreographed more than 40 pieces ranging from full-length story ballets to modern and contemporary repertory pieces. He has worked with dancers from companies such as Milwaukee Ballet, Colorado Ballet, BalletMet, Kansas City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and Oakland Ballet. Kristopher’s works have been performed at numerous dance festivals and workshops, and he has had the honor of guest choreographing for Ball State Dance Theater, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, and Classical Contemporary Ballet.
In 2014, Kristopher Estes-Brown founded Concept Zero, a contemporary dance theater project. Concept Zero focuses on the creation of full- length dance theater pieces and social commentary.
Estes-Brown performed professionally with Milwaukee Ballet, Eugene Ballet/Ballet Idaho, and Sacramento Ballet. He is also currently the co-Artistic Director of the American Youth Ballet and the co-founder of the choreography creation project known as Project Premiere in his hometown of Kansas City.
Mimmo Miccolis, an Italian born dancer and choreographer, is a contemporary teacher and choreographer at The Washington Ballet. He is the winner of the “Outstanding Choreographer Award” at the Youth American Grand Prix Finals 2015 in New York City and at the YAGP Pittsburgh Semifinals 2016. In 2011, he was one of the winners of the BBC Performing Arts Fund Dance in London, UK. Miccolis graduated from two dance academies in Italy: “Fondazione Niccolò Piccinni” (Bari) and “Balletto di Toscana” (Florence).
His recent performance engagements as choreographer and dancer include In All performed at Carnegie Hall, New York City.; Courage performed at the European Forum Alpbach (Austria); and Enlightment2.0 performed at the European Commission Joint Research Center in Ispra (Italy). These three works are the result of a close collaboration with the dancer and choreographer Gloria Benedikt.
Miccolis’ recent choreographies Echo and Away were awarded First Place for the ensemble category at the semifinals of the Youth America Grand Prix in Pittsburgh 2015 and 2016. As of August 2016, Mimmo has presented 15 new choreographies at the YAGP, 13 with The Washington School of Ballet and two with The Orlando Ballet School. In 2016, he also presented new works for the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (VKIBC) in New York, the Helsinki International Ballet Competition and the Vienna International Ballet Experience (VIBE) in Austria.
In May 2016 his Icons premiered for over 9,000 guests at the Embassy of Italy, Washington, DC with 7 dancers of TWSB. In 2015 Miccolis choreographed a rebranding music video for the Inter American Development Bank (IDB). In 2014, his work White was performed by a group of TWSB dancers and TWB Studio Company and Trainee program dancers at the Smithsonian American Art Museum during an event organized by the Embassy of Italy and the organization “Italy in the US”. Also in 2014, he presented a well-received show at the Kennedy Center An evening for humanity that included the American premiere of Rights(?) and the world premiere of Growth in collaboration with the dancer and choreographer Gloria Benedikt. An excerpt of Growth was also presented and performed by the two artists in May 2015 in Vienna, Austria at the House of the European Union during an event organized to commemorate the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II. In London, Miccolis presented two shows, Rights(?) about human rights and Lust Lost Last, a work that addresses violence against women. His last works in London are the choreographies for the music video by Aurora Lee Creature, and a contemporary Flashmob in Central London for the OBR UK Art Festival.
Miccolis previously danced with RBR Dance Company in Verona and with Evolution Dance Theatre in Rome, and he performed in operas including La Traviata and Carmen, and Satyricon in Italy, Spain and Oman. In Italy, Miccolis took part in the TV show “Domenica In” as a member of the chorus and in the American TV series “Rome” as a performer.
Timothy O’Donnell is a dancer, choreographer, graphic artist, art director, and photographer who hails from Wauchope, Australia. He is currently a leading artist and resident choreographer at Milwaukee Ballet. His choreographic style is physically explosive, equal parts intricate and intelligent, impressive and interesting. His works ruminate on issues that affect us all, from the complexities of love, to the strife of misunderstandings, to the intrinsic desire to express and rebel, to body image and more. He holds up a mirror to the audience and invites them to think about their own idiosyncrasies.
O’Donnell commenced his dance training with his mother, Francessca O’Donnell, at her ballet school at age seven. He eventually joined The Australian Ballet School in where he won several awards, including the Jacob Bloch Memorial Award and first place in The Australian Institute of Classical Dance’s national choreographic competition.
As a dancer, O’Donnell performed multiple principal and soloist roles for West Australian Ballet in works including Coppèlia, Cinderella, The Red Shoes, The Nutcracker, and Romeo & Juliet. O’Donnell was also fortunate enough to work with celebrated national and international artists such as Paul Lightfoot, Petr Zuska, Simon Dow, Matjash Morzewski, and Ivan Cavallari. In 2007, he won the “Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer” award at the West Australian Dance Awards.
O’Donnell continued to explore choreography during his years dancing at West Australian Ballet. In 2009, he entered Milwaukee Ballet’s international choreographic competition, Genesis, where he was awarded first place and the Audience Choice Award for his work, The Games We Play. He returned in 2010 to create another new work, Boléro–Let There Be Light. Since then, his choreographic highlights have included becoming a co-director of Ludwig, working for major dance events such as the Australian Dance Awards, and appearing as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance–Australia.
O’Donnell made Milwaukee Ballet his home in 2012This was a full-circle moment for him as Michael Pink’s Dracula, which he saw at age 15, was a major influence on his path to becoming a choreographer.
Since joining the company, he has danced as Marcello in La Bohème, Verdigris (the green stepsister) in Cinderella, and the title character in Dorian Gray. As resident choreographer, he has staged four world premieres in Milwaukee: Children of the Wall, Talk to Me, The Sixth Sin, and Sans Pleurer (Without Tears).
O’Donnell is also a force behind the scenes. He serves as an artistic advisor to the Milwaukee Ballet marketing department, managing projects that include art directing photo shoots, producing graphic design, and creating promotional videos.
O’Donnell is well-respected a faculty member at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. He also teaches private lessons and choreographs pieces for competition.
Kathryn Posin studied composition with Louis Horst, Anna Sokolow, Merce Cunningham and Hanya Holm. She is a graduate of Bennington College and holds a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary multi-cultural dance from New York University. In 1975 she received her first choreography commission, Waves, which she choreographed for the American Dance Festival.
Ms. Posin has choreographed works for Ballet West, Netherlands Dance Theater 1 and 2, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Feld Ballets/USA, the Ohio Ballet, The Kansas City Ballet, the Sacramento Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Hartford Ballet, BalletMet, the Repertory Dance Theater of Utah, Extemporary Dance Company of London, Ballet Pacifica, and the Milwaukee Ballet. She has also developed new works at the Joffrey Ballet School, the Alvin Ailey School, and the Milwaukee Ballet School. She was the first international choreographer to stage a work for Cloud Gate Dance Theater, the national company of Taiwan.
In 1990 she choreographed Of Rage And Remembrance, set to John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, for the Milwaukee Ballet. It was voted “Premiere of the Year in Music and Dance” by the Milwaukee Journal. She is a recipient of ADF’s Doris Humphrey Fellowship. The Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Met, the Hartford Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet have performed her Stepping Stones, which is set to a commissioned score by Joan Tower which was underwritten by awards from Meet the Composer. Ms. Posin also received a second award from Meet the Composer to underwrite music from the Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos for a work for the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble. Galena Summit, to the music of Steve Reich, was voted Choreography of the Year by the Boston Globe. Her work Four World Songs won first place in the Sarasota Ballet’s 1996 Choreographic Competition.
Ms. Posin was also a recipient of a 1995-96 National Endowment on the Arts Choreography Fellowship.
During the 1996-97 season Ms. Posin restaged her comedy hit, Bach’s Lunch, for the Milwaukee Ballet. This work was developed during the summer of 1995 for the Milwaukee Ballet School and was the first work in the School’s 20-year history taken immediately into the Milwaukee Ballet’s repertory. Ms. Posin also created Poem Without A Hero for the Cincinnati Ballet. In 1999 Ms. Posin re-staged Stepping Stones and created a new work, Crossroads, for the Hartford Ballet.
During the 1999-2000 season Ms. Posin created, Tehillim, a world premiere for the Milwaukee Ballet and re-staged Bridge of Song for the Milwaukee Ballet, Stepping Stones for the Cincinnati Ballet, and John Adams Violin Concerto for the Sacramento Ballet.
Ms. Posin has also been the artistic director and resident choreographer for her own company, the Kathryn Posin Dance Company. She has choreographed over 50 works for her company and the company has received support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Jerome Robbins Foundation. In 1991, Ms. Posin’s company received two grants from the Joint Program of the Ohio Arts and Humanities Councils for the Appalachian Dance/Music work, Shady Grove.
Ms. Posin has taught in London, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Switzerland. For six summers she taught composition at Harvard Summer School and has taught full time at UCLA and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
In 1999 Ms. Posin conceived and designed the Joffrey Ballet School/New School University B.F.A. in Dance and was named founding Chair. She created the curriculum and budgets to interface New School University, with its 70 million-dollar-a-year budget, with the Joffrey Ballet School. At the debut concert of this program, Copland and Dance, at the Joyce Theatre, the New York Times called the BFA “promising both artistically and academically.” In 2000 Ms. Posin became an instructor in the program and continued with the program until 2001. In 2000 Ms. Posin created Piano Concerto for the students of this program’s year-end performance at the Joyce Theatre in New York.
In 2003 Ms. Posin created her new version of Scheherazade for the Milwaukee Ballet, which was also acquired by the Louisville Ballet in 2004, and the Sacramento Ballet and Nevada Ballet Theatre in 2006. In 2004 the Repertory Dance Theatre of Utah revived Ms. Posin’s Waves. In 2008 Ms. Posin created the choreography for the Florentine Opera’s production of Salome. In 2011 Ms. Posin’s Stepping Stones was given its company premiere by the National Ballet of Bulgaria.
In 2012 Ms. Posin was the recipient of a Fulbright Award to teach dance at one of the major dance academies in Sofia, Bulgaria. Also, in 2012, the National Ballet of Bulgaria presented its company premiere of Ms. Posin’s Scheherazade.Ms. Posin has shown her versatility in also choreographing for the theatre. She choreographed the hit rock musical, Salvation, with Bette Midler and Richard Gere, and Andre Serban’s Lincoln Center revival of The Cherry Orchard with Meryl Streep and Raul Julia. She has also choreographed for plays at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard, at the Arena Stage, for the Acting Company with Liviu Cuilei as director, and at Hartford Stage with Yuri Yurimen, of the Pushkin Theater in Moscow, as director. In 2002 Ms. Posin choreographed the dance for Jennifer Jason Leigh in Al Pacino’s production of Salome.