Elisa Monte Dance CompanyBiography

Elisa Monte Dance Company
Elisa Monte Dance Company Photo 2ELISA MONTE entered the world of professional dance early, making her professional New York debut dancing with Agnes DeMiile in various stage and television projects at the age of eleven, and attending the prestigious School of American Ballet. Monte worked as a principal dancer with Martha Graham Company for eight years, as well as Lar Lubovitch and Pilobolus, among others. Fifteen years into her professional career, Monte turned her attention to choreography and rounded the company that bears her name.

Monte’s first choreographic work, Treading, created in 1979, immediately identified her as an important innovator and contributor to contemporary dance. Her signature style­ daring, intense, passionate­ is filled with a classical, athletic virtuosity. Initiated in sensuality and sustained by an underlying, steady energy, Monte’s work is especially notable for the expansive range of movement upon which she draws. Monte has acquired an eminently wide vocabulary as a choreographer, at the same time refusing to conform or be confined by the parameters of stylistic constraints.

Monte has created over 45 works in her years as a choreographer. These works have been performed by Elisa Monte Dance and other notable dance companies including Alvin Alley American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Gulbenkian of Portugal, Teatro alia Scala Ballet, Philadanco, Dallas Black Dance Theater, North Carolina Dance Theater, the Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, Contemporary Dance Wyoming and the PACT Contemporary Dance Company of South Africa. Her signature work, Treading, was actually created as part of a choreography initiative to develop new work from artists of the Martha Graham Dance Company. This work helped Elisa Monte Dance win “best company” at the International Dance Festival of Paris in 1982 and has also been adopted as a long-standing favorite into the repertory of Alvin Alley American Dance Theater.

Monte was among the first choreographers awarded a commission by the National Choreography Project, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Exxon Corporation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. This resulted in Monte creating VII for VIII for the Boston Ballet, which was restaged for their 1996 Fall season. Monte has also been a choreographer-in-residence at various venues around the country and abroad, including Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in Salt Lake City, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and the Alvin Alley American Dance Center.

Elisa Monte Dance Company, Slope of Enlightenment

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