DEBUTS

February 17-18, 2024

Edmonds Center for the Arts

Vibrant and exciting, Debuts presents new works by talented contemporary choreographers. This production features Luna by award-winning Juilliard choreographer Norbert De La Cruz III with music by Nathan Prillaman and a world premiere choreographed by Eva Stone, founder of the Stone Dance Collective and CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work Contemporary Dance Festival.

    Estimated Performance Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
    (Including one 15 minute intermission)

    Edmonds, Sat, Feb 17, 7 pm

    Edmonds, Sun, Feb 18, 5 pm

    Ticket Price: $24–$45
    (varies by age and seating location)

    “Meet the Choreographers” Q&A Session

    Saturday, February 17, 2024

    Meet the choreographers after the performance for an in-person Q&A Session and ask them questions about the creative inspiration behind their works!

    Luna by Norbert De La Cruz III

     

    Luna was originally created for the dancers at the New York City Ballet for the NY Choreographic Institute in 2017. In collaboration with composer and film producer Nathan Prillaman, Luna is a nebulous dance piece that was born out of a search for enchantment, wonder, and surrealism in a challenging world. Luna was the first ballet Norbert created upon forgoing his performance career, and in some ways, he wanted to unearth the gravity of this departure and relaunch his imagination through the lucidity of fantasy. Through fluid neo-classical vocabulary, Luna oscillates within seraphic energies between Earth and Moon, foregrounding the ballerina as a conduit into the divine. Part ceremonial and part spiritual, the dance mirrors the magnetism between people and their sacred relationships. The piece orbits from idea to idea, melding from one constellation to another. It invites the audience to make associations between earthly desires and holding onto a dreamworld, gracefully shifting between the rigorous and the beautiful and from virtuosity and into tranquility.

    Keep Me in Mind by Eva Stone

    Seattle-based choreographer/producer Eva Stone creates a glamorous and seductive world in her latest work Keep Me in Mind, set to the music of legendary singer/songwriter Peggy Lee. Stone digs deep into the methods of persuasion and attraction alongside a lush musical exploration of Lee’s tempting songs. Using a variety of dance styles from modern jazz to Neo-classical ballet, Stone offers up a moving and memorable journey of desire, memory, and longing. 

    “Keep Me In Mind” was generously underwritten by Frank and Tina Bretthole.

    MEET THE CHOREOGRAPHERS

    Eva Stone

    Eva L. Stone received a BFA in Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University.  After completing a Master of Arts degree in Choreography and Choreological Studies from Trinity Laban in London, England, she formed The Stone Dance Collective, a modern dance company. Eva relocated to Seattle in 1995, re-established her company, and began an extensive teaching and lecturing career throughout the Puget Sound.  She is currently on faculty at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Spectrum Dance Theater, in addition to working as a guest instructor and commissioned choreographer with dance festivals and companies around the US. 

    Eva’s approach to choreography evolved from learning the art form in reverse (choreography before technique) and is unique with its intent based in humor and authentic human connection and experience. She has created works inspired by love, imposter syndrome, the periodic table, a reimagining of Eve, contronyms, and the art of making bad decisions, to name only a few.

    In November of 2019, Eva was commissioned to create a main stage work for Pacific Northwest Ballet. F O I L premiered in PNB’s rep Locally Sourced and received outstanding critical acclaim. Eva’s work has been presented at On the Boards, Men in Dance, Bumbershoot, and has been commissioned by the Seattle International Dance Festival. She has created work for Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle Dance Project, Olympic Ballet Theatre, Eugene Ballet, Bellingham Repertory Dance, South Bay Ballet, Mid-Columbia Ballet, Ballet Theatre (BYU), Marin Ballet, Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, and is a regular guest teaching artist for The Ballet Alliance. Eva was commissioned by Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Art Museum to choreograph for Sculptured Dance, a site-specific dance event at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park that was attended by 4000+ viewers. Her work has premiered in New York (Lincoln Center), London (Sadler’s Wells), Geneva, Montreal, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Her other projects include assisting Donald Byrd for the Seattle Opera production of Aida and choreographing over 30 award-winning musical theatre productions.  Most recently Eva was selected as Artist in Residence for the National Choreographers Initiative at UC Irvine and granted a choreographic residency at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Eva restaged F O I L for Eugene Ballet in the spring of 2023 and will be presenting her latest work, Keep Me in Mind, for Olympic Ballet Theatre in Feb of 2024.

    Eva has lectured in choreography for over 25 years. In 2018, she initiated the nationally recognized choreography program New Voices: Choreography and Process for Young Women in Dance at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. This course is designed to educate and support the next generation of female choreographers.

    Since 2008, Eva has been the producer and curator of CHOP SHOP:  Bodies of Work, an annual contemporary dance festival held in Bellevue, Washington. This highly anticipated event brings the best of local, national, and international contemporary dance companies and artists together for a unique series of performances, lectures, master classes, and community outreach programs. Visit chopshopdance.org for more information.

    Norbert de la Cruz III

    Born in the Philippines and raised in Los Angeles, California, Norbert De La Cruz III is recognized for his versatility in performance and choreography. His movement practice is shaped by his training experiences from the Gabriella Foundation, LA County High School for the Arts, Marat Daukayev School of Ballet, and through his performance career as a professional dancer.

    He started training in classical dance at age 11 (Cecchetti and Vaganova) with ballet masters Vera Ninkovic and Marat Daukayev. After moving to New York, he received a B.F.A. in Dance from The Juilliard School followed by an M.F.A. in Dance from Hollins University.

    Professionally, Norbert has performed as a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida, Aszure Barton & Artists in Germany & Austria (Blue Soup & Busk), Balletto Teatro di Torino (Italy), Joe Goode Performance Group, Sydney Skybetter & Associates, Santa Clarita Ballet, Lustig Dance Theatre, Boca Tuya, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

    As a preprofessional, he was awarded 2nd place at Youth America Grand Prix’s non-classical division, and represented the Juilliard School at the first annual Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala. Norbert has also been casted in Warner Brothers Pictures film adaptation of “In The Heights.”

    His early career was recognized through the support of the Jerome Robbins Foundation’s NEW Essential Works Grant (2012), commissioning his first large-scale ballet, “Square None” (2012) with ASFB. He was also selected for the 2017 and 2018 Spring Sessions at the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, where he created his “Lunar” and “Traces” ballet alongside Juilliard composer, Nathan Prillaman. He has been listed as one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to watch.

    He has since been commissioned to create and premier new works for companies such as Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, Joffrey Academy of Dance, James Sewell Ballet, Tulsa Ballet II, Barak Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Ballet Florida, Peridance, Golden State Ballet, Attack Theatre, Ballet X, Olympic Ballet Theatre, Periapsis Music & Dance, and Eisenhower Dance Detroit.

    De La Cruz has instructed and created works for such schools as The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, Ailey Fordham University, Princeton University, University of Richmond, Hollins University, Marymount Manhattan College, Columbia University, California State University of Long Beach and Hartford University. He has taught at the International Ballet School intensives at Gdynia, Poland for two summers. He is a current faculty member and guest choreographer at the Juilliard School under the direction of Alicia Graf Mack and Mario Alberto Zambrano.

    While navigating a freelance career as a choreographer, performer and educator, Norbert operates a bi-coastal freelance dance career between NYC and LA. He is in constant search of inspiration; seeking for more valuable collaborations and human connections.

    OUR GRANT SPONSORS

    We graciously thank the following sponsors for their support of our exciting performance season!
    Without you, our special programming would not be possible!

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