Founded in 2001 by Alexandra Wells & Susan Alexander
ALEXANDRA WELLS → CO-FOUNDER + ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Alexandra Wells is elated to join the Gibney organization as the Senior Director of Training and Company Advisor. Paradigms must be shifted and methodologies must evolve; Alexandra is thrilled to be working with Gina and her team – advocates with vision, purpose, passion, commitment – to move the field forward. Alexandra’s career as the Founder and Artistic Director of Springboard Danse Montréal, the Director of Artist Training at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, a faculty member at The Juilliard School, Creator of IMAGE TECH for Dancers™, and an esteemed Principal dancer with Ballet National de Nancy has prepared her for this new role.+-
Springboard and Gibney have been working in partnership since 2016: they have co-presented seven SpringboardX fundraising workshops, where dancers can engage with Springboard artists in a non-audition setting. As of 2020 the EMERGE Choreographic Award will have supported three Springboard artists. This joint initiative between Gibney Company and Springboard Danse Montréal aims to cultivate, mentor, and actualize the burgeoning visions of today’s emerging artists as tomorrow’s creative leaders in the field.
Alexandra served as the Director of Artist Training at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago from 2017 – 2020. Under her direction, Hubbard Street Professional Program (HS Pro) responded to the needs of dancers entering the current job market. By curating relevant methodologies, techniques, and mentors, HS Pro connected emerging artists to leaders in the field who empowered them to become advocates within an evolving landscape.
She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Springboard Danse Montréal. Springboard is a nonprofit organization that connects leading contemporary companies, choreographers, and dancers in a dynamic artistic ecosystem. The 3-week festival in Montréal cultivates a shared language of professionalism that values the creative process and connection above all else. Through workshops, classes, creations, the restaging of celebrated repertory, international auditions, installations, and pop-up performances, Springboard is recognized worldwide as a destination for career development. Since the organization’s inception in 2001, Springboard has curated artists from over 40 countries, and directly connected more than 750 dancers to paid jobs.
Alexandra is also the Creator of IMAGE TECH for Dancers™, a weight bearing somatic practice that prepares a dancer for a technique class. Inspired by the work of Irene Dowd and Alexander Technique, IMAGE TECH culminates over 20 years of research with a broad demographic of dancers and dance training. She is currently training and certifying 10 curated teachers in IMAGE TECH’s first ever pilot program.
Alexandra was a full-time faculty member at The Juilliard School in New York City for 18 years teaching various levels of ballet and pointe. She also served as a rehearsal director, working with William Whitener on Twyla Tharp’s Deuce Coupe, Donald Mahler on Anthony Tudor’s D ark Elegies, Gary Chryst on Jerome Robbins’ Opus Jazz, Jill Johnson on William Forsythe’s Limbs Theorem, and Shelley Washington on Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen. Additionally, she was an advisor, mentor and Colloquium facilitator for students in all artistic disciplines, and was recognized for her entrepreneurial accomplishments at Juilliard’s 2012 convocation ceremony.
Alexandra created the concept and curriculum for the Movement Invention Project, where she acted as Concept & Artistic Director from 2008 – 2017. She was on faculty at SUNY Purchase and Gibney Dance Center in New York and has been a guest teacher for many companies including A.I.M. Abraham in Motion, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet BC, BJM Danse Montréal, chuthis., Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She served as a curator.
for emerging choreographers as part of the M.A.D. Air performance series at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC for six years. In 2010 she was selected by the Joyce Theater to be editing advisor on the Bessie Award winning production of Kyle Abraham’s Radio Show. Alexandra currently serves on the Artistic Advisory Council for MOVE|NYC|, and is the Artist Curator and an Honorary Board Member of The Legacy Project – celebrating the work of the iconic Canadian artist and choreographer Margie Gillis.
As Principal dancer of the Ballet National de Nancy, Ms. Wells toured the world and formed lasting partnerships with the late Rudolf Nureyev for six years and Patrick Dupont for four. During this time, she danced leading roles in the classics as well as the ballets of Balanchine, Fokine, Nijinsky, Lifar, Culberg, Bejart, DeMille, Neumier, Kylian, Van Manen, Limon, Christy, and Dove.
Following her performing career, Ms. Wells returned to the United States and was offered the position of rehearsal director with Ballet Hispanico of New York. In 1995 she was invited to join the Faculty of l’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec, formerly associated with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens. She later served as Interim Director and had the opportunity to work with young talent in a professional school setting, as well as foster relationships with many contemporary companies and choreographers in Montréal. This experience would eventually lead her to create Springboard Danse Montréal in 2001.
MERRYN KRITZINGER → ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR + DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
A former Springboard dancer, Merryn Kritzinger is currently based in Montréal working as a freelance dancer, teacher and rehearsal director. Along with dancers Susan Paulson and Roxane Duchesne-Roy, Merryn co-founded the unique project Le Broke Lab, a series of micro-laboratories for exploration, research and creation (lebrokelab.com). Currently, Merryn is performing and collaborating with freelance choreographer Audrey Bergeron, and works with Destins Croisés as rehearsal director. She also works with Cirque du Soleil, and is a proud member of l’Agence Kik.+-
Merryn performed and collaborated over six years with Hélène Blackburn’s Cas Public. Merryn has also collaborated with Cirque Éloize, and performed in the opera “The Damnation of Faust”, a collaboration between Robert Lepage/Ex-Machina and l’Opera de Québec, choreography by Johanne Madore. On screen, Merryn has starred in numerous short dance films, both with the Berlin-based dance film company Bad Posture Productions and through Le Broke Lab. Merryn has also worked with American choreographers Peter London, Troy Powell and Takehiro Ueyama, Paris Opera’s Alexandre Proia, and New York based Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. She received her training as a Fellowship student at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York.
Merryn has had the pleasure of touring and collaborating in many countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.
On the administrative side, Merryn is Jasmine Ellis’ Artistic Advisor for Bad Posture Productions. Merryn has been working closely with Alexandra Wells for Springboard since 2011 and is honoured to accept the post as Associate Director.
MARGIE GILLIS → FOUNDING COLLABORATOR
Internationally acclaimed modern dancer/choreographer, Margie Gillis has been creating original works for over forty years. Her repertoire now includes more than one hundred pieces, which she performs as solos, duets and group pieces. Over the years, Margie Gillis has won over loyal audiences with her masterful interpretation of the different facets of the human soul. Relentlessly, she continues to develop her work through experimenting, teaching and creating.+-
In 1979, Margie Gillis was invited to teach and give lectures in China, thus becoming the first artist from the West to introduce modern dance in that country after the Cultural Revolution. Two years later, she founded her own company, the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation with the mission to support and present her artistic work. Her international tours have taken her to Asia, India, Europe and the Middle East as well as across North and South America.
In parallel to her solo work and on a regular basis, Margie Gillis collaborates on projects initiated by her peers. She has worked with some of the most important dance artists and companies of her time. Teaching is also an important aspect of her career. She offers workshops for dance professionals and students in various cities throughout the world, including New York where she has taught at the prestigious Juilliard School. She is a founding collaborator of Springboard Danse Montréal. She also gives lectures on dance and the role of art in society. With her unique approach of Dancing from the Inside Out, she teaches her art form to professionals and aficionados. She also mentors fellow artists of excellence and new dancers alike.
Margie Gillis is a socially committed artist. She has been spokesperson for a number of organizations dedicated to the fight against AIDS and environmental causes as well as for OXFAM and the Planned Parenthood Foundation. She is also a founding member of Artistes pour la paix.
AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS
Margie Gillis is an Honorary Cultural Ambassador for both the Quebec and Canadian governments. In 1988, she was the first modern dance artist to be awarded the Order of Canada. In 2001, she received a Career Grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for her exceptional contribution to Quebec culture. In the fall of 2008, Margie Gillis was chosen by the Stella Adler Studio of New York to receive their first MAD Spirit Award for her involvement in various social causes, and she was awarded the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts by a jury of her peers at the Canada Council for the Arts. In June of 2009, Margie Gillis was appointed Knight of the Ordre national du Québec. In May 2011, she received the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing of Canada.
“I choreograph and dance from a place deep inside, in order to make visible the imagery that lives in my body. I endeavour to bring to light and to work with the essential, vulnerable and authentic parts of our nature. I have always been fascinated by the miraculous links that exist between physical expression and the intellect, between emotions and spirituality. Dance… a means to catharsis, transformation and discovery.”
— Margie Gillis
photo: ©Julie Perreault
KYLE ABRAHAM → ARTISTIC CONSULTANT
Recently featured in both Kinfolk and O, The Oprah Magazine, 2018 Princess Grace Statue Award recipient and Lincoln Center Education Artist in Residence, Kyle Abraham is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and a 2016 Doris Duke Awardee who began his dance training in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before receiving his BFA from Purchase College and his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Abraham is in his fourth year as a Visiting Professor in Residence at UCLA and is the Artistic Director of A.I.M, acclaimed NY-based company of dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds.
In 2011, OUT Magazine labelled Kyle Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama”.
For more information please visit: abrahaminmotion.org
photo: Carrie Schneider
JONATHAN ALSBERRY → ARTISTIC CONSULTANT
Jonathan Emanuell Alsberry from Normal, IL is a dance educator, creator and coach focused on inspiring excellence and joy in the study of Ballet, Jazz, and Modern techniques with a constant dedication to the exploration of artistry and the creative process.+-
Currently a rehearsal director with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Jonathan began dancing with his mother Lyndetta and went on to graduate from The Chicago Academy for the Arts where he has since been a guest faculty member. In 2006 he received his BFA from The Juilliard School where he met Aszure Barton. Jonathan a.k.a “Jojo” is now dancer, rehearsal director, and creative collaborator with Aszure Barton & Artists and has assisted Mrs. Barton in over a dozen creations including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bayerische Staatsballett and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2007 Jonathan also joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and is currently a performer, rehearsal director and teaching artist with the company. He has shared two tours with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s “Hell’s Kitchen Dance” as well as “Evolution” with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo. Other credits include The Chase Brock Experience, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Nilas Martins Dance Company, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Since 2007 Jonathan has been teaching, coaching and creating work at various educational institutions including Arts Umbrella, Harvard University, University of California at Irvine, Springboard Danse Montreal, Ballet Hispánico and University of Southern California.
SIDRA BELL → ARTISTIC CONSULTANT
Artistic Director of Sidra Bell Dance New York, Ms. Bell has a BA in History from Yale University and an MFA in Choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Barnard College (Columbia University).+-
Recent commissions include River North Chicago Dance Company, The Ailey School, The Duo Theatre, Ballet Divertimento (Montréal), Arts Umbrella Dance Company (Vancouver), Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre (Toronto), Purchase College Conservatory of Dance in conjunction with the St. Luke’s Orchestra, LaGuardia High School, Springboard Danse Montréal, National Choreographers Initiative, The Margie Gillis Foundation, Stella Adler Studio of Acting/NYU, The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, LINES Ballet Training Program, University of Michigan, August Wilson Dance Center, Bessie Schönberg Choreographers Residency at The Yard, New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, Point Park University, August Wilson Dance Ensemble, New York Live Arts Studio Series, Ballet Austin, Mystic Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Ailey II, Tisch School of the Arts Dance/NYU, The Juilliard School, The Barnard Project with New York Live Arts, and Dance Theater Workshop. Her work has been seen at many premiere venues throughout the United States and internationally in Denmark, Austria, Germany, Canada, Aruba, Spain, France, and Greece.
Bell has been commissioned for many special projects nationally and internationally. A solo work, Conductivity, won a prize for performance at the Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany in 2009 and was then toured in Greece and in select German cities. She was invited back to Stuttgart for the 2011 Solo-Tanz-Theatre Festival with a new solo work Grief Point. She received First Prize for Choreography for the solo and her dancer Moo Kim received First Prize for Performance. Grief Point will tour Germany and Brazil in 2011/2012. Ms. Bell was selected to work as an emerging choreographer at Springboard Danse Montréal for two consecutive years and created works that were presented at Place des Arts, Piscine-théâtre, and Usine C. She has also been awarded several creative residencies at The Duo Theatre, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Inception to Exhibition Space Grant and Dance Theater Workshop.
Presentations of the company include the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out Series, Symphony Space, Skirball Performing Arts Center, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Ballet Builders, The Harlem Stage E-Moves Series, Tangente (Montréal), The Gershwin Hotel, The Riverside Theatre, Stella Adler Studio of Acting’s M.A.D. Series, danceNOW, The Duo Theatre, Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center, Reverb Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Chutzpah! Festival at The Norman Rothstein Theater (Vancouver), Baruch College Performing Arts Center, Joyce SoHo, New York Live Arts Studio Series and Dance Theater Workshop (Residency & Commissioning Program) to name a few. The company was lauded in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s 2010 Best in Dance for the full length work REVUE which premiered in October 2010 at the historic Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. Critic Jane Vranish wrote- “It was a REVUE unlike any other, a blend of vaudeville, Fellini and Cirque du Soleil. Ms. Bell proved that she had her finger on the future of dance where ballet and hip-hop coexist on the same plane.”
Bell is a sought after master teacher and has taught her unique and comprehensive approach to creative process, improvisation, and technique at many prestigious institutions for dance and theater. She has been on the faculty at Stella Adler Studio of Acting in the Movement Department as well as the Physical Theater Intensive and is also an artist in The Harold Clurman Center for New Work in Movement and Dance Theater (M.A.D.). Other guest teaching includes The Movement Invention Project NYC, The Joffrey Ballet School Jazz & Contemporary Program, Peridance Capezio Center, Project Launch San Francisco, LINES Ballet Training Program, Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre (Toronto), Arts Umbrella (Vancouver), Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, Marygrove College (Detroit), New Jersey Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson, Ballet Divertimento, Perry Mansfield, New Haven Ballet, Greenwich Academy, LaGuardia High School, Elisa Monte Dance Choreography Workshop, Balance Dance Company (Boise), Long Island University, young ARTS Miami (NFAA), Hunter College, Ailey II, and The Ailey School.
PETER CHU → ARTISTIC CONSULTANT
Born in the Bronx, NY, & raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Peter began his training as a competitive gymnast, later nurturing his artistry at Dussich Dance Studio. Upon graduation from The Juilliard School, he performed with BJM Danse, EZdanza, Aszure Barton & Artists, Kidd Pivot, & in Celine Dion’s Vegas spectacular, A New Day. Peter can be seen as the lead in Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts music video.+-
In 2008, Peter formed a Las Vegas project based dance company, chuthis., which showcases the work of Chu & his collaborators. chuthis. also provides movement education programs which foster technical & artistic development.
Chu has been an honoured recipient of choreographic awards & commissions, including the Hector Zaraspe Prize, A.C.E. Capezio Award, & Hubbard Street
Dance International Commission Project. He was also named a Blodgett Distinguished Artist by Harvard University for 2018. Additionally, Chu has served as the Rehearsal Director for Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and as a Guest Rehearsal Director for NDT1.
Chu has created works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Charlotte Ballet, Staatstheater Augsburg, Germany, Orlando Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street 2, Giordano Dance Chicago, Charlotte Ballet II, SYTYCD, Houston MET Dance, New Dialect, SALT Contemporary Dance, HSPro, Harvard University, Point Park University, & The Juilliard School, among others.
This season, Chu premiered works for Giordano Dance Chicago & Gibney Dance Company, and choreographed for Cirque du Soleil’s Vitori in Malta. He will also premiere a creation for Paul Taylor Dance Company, and develop a new work with his own company, chuthis.
photo: Levi Walker
STEPHAN LAKS → ARTISTIC CONSULTANT
Based in Sweden, Stephan Laks currently works with a range of dance organizations, in a number of roles. Since 2010, he has consistently been a Rehearsal Director with the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, as well shorter periods with the Royal Swedish Ballet. The most notable ongoing artistic associations as a performer, repetiteur, and choreographer currently include Sasha Waltz & Guests, Fernando Melo, Royal Research/Royal Swedish Ballet, Project Point Blank/Hokuto Kodama, and Springboard Danse Montréal.+-
After graduation from The Juilliard School in 2003, Stephan danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, the Göteborg Ballet (now the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani), and Bern Ballet. He then began freelancing, working with a variety of choreographers, including Adi Salant, Aszure Barton, and Luca Veggetti. He also co-founded/directed Rumpus Room Dance (2006 – 2009), which was a platform for collaborative, site specific dance installation. It was featured in Dance Magazine’s 2010 “Top 25 to Watch”. Collaborators included Fernando Melo, Rachel Tess, Jermaine Spivey, Banning Roberts, Luis Rodriguez, Isaac Spencer, Karen Madsen and Michael Mazzola.
Stephan began his association with Springboard Danse Montréal as a participant for the first two years of its existence, receiving his first full year dance contract at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens through the program. Since 2011, he has participated as a Principal Company repetiteur and choreographer. He strongly believes in the mission, culture, and energy of Springboard, as well as its relevance to the dance world.
TROY OGILVIE → ARTISTIC CONSULTANT
Troy Ogilvie has danced for and collaborated with choreographers – Roy Assaf, Sidra Bell, Antonio Brown, Gabriel Forestieri, Itzik Galili, Shannon Gillen, Margie Gillis, Andrea Miller, Patricia Noworol, Zoe Scofield, Idan Sharabi, and Nicole Wolcott; violinist – Liv Heym; theater company – Punchdrunk (as Lady Macbeth in “Sleep No More” NYC); and directors – Sophie Bortolussi (“McKittrick Masquerade” parties), Susan Misner (“Bend,” FOSSE/VERDON), and Peter Sellars (“The Gospels According to the Other Mary,” LA Philharmonic).+-
She has also curated, produced, and performed in solo shows ‘RESET’ (2011), ‘PRISM’ (2017 – with producer Ron Black), and ‘BITE’ (2019). Troy teaches improvisation and is on faculty at SPRINGBOARDx Skills + Process, The Joffrey Jazz & Contemporary Program, Peridance, and The Performing Arts Project. Troy’s choreography has been performed by the Joffrey Jazz & Contemporary trainees, Rivertown Dance Academy, Bare Opera (“Maria de Buenos Aires” with director Malena Dayen), and as a part of Met Live Arts (“The Ninth Hour: A Beowulf Musical” with director Kevin Newbury). She has participated in residency programs at The Marble House Project and Turkey Land Cove Foundation and was one of “Dance Magazine’s 2011 Top 25 to Watch.” Juilliard B.F.A. www.troyogilvie.com @troyanosaurus
AMI SHULMAN → ARTISTIC CONSULTANT
Ami Shulman is a Rehearsal Director at the GoteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sweden. She has choreographed for for the National Theatre of London; the Shakespeare Theatre Company; Mouvement Perpetuel and has co-created works with the Cirque Du Soleil; the National Ballet of Canada and Ballet BC.+-
Ami performed with Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Compagnie Flak and the DanceOn Ensemble in Berlin and has taught throughout Europe, Canada and the USA including for the Juilliard School; Jacob’s Pillow; EDCMTL; CODARTS; Staatstheatre Kassel; b12 amongst others and she is an Artistic Consultant of the Springboard Project Montreal/New York. Ami has co-authored for the anthology Back to the Dance Itselfand has written articles on enactive cognition in the pedagogy of embodied mathematics. Ami is a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner.
NEW YORK AUDITION COORDINATOR
RESIDENT + EMERGING CHOREOGRAPHER COORDINATOR
ASSISTANT TO THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
PUBLIC AND ARTISTS RELATIONS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS – SPRINGBOARD DANSE LTD.
ALEXANDRA WELLS → PRESIDENT
SPRINGBOARD DANSE MONTRÉAL, CO-FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
MERRYN KRITZINGER → VICE PRESIDENT
SPRINGBOARD DANSE MONTRÉAL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
LE BROKE LAB, CO-FOUNDER
TROY OGILVIE → SECRETARY
MARGIE GILLIS DANCE FOUNDATION, FOUNDER
ONTARIO SECURITIES COMMISSION, VICE-CHAIR
BOARD OF DIRECTORS – FRIENDS OF SPRINGBOARD DANSE LTD.
ALEXANDRA WELLS → PRESIDENT
SPRINGBOARD DANSE MONTRÉAL, FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
SIDRA BELL → VICE PRESIDENT
SIDRA BELL DANCE NEW YORK, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
JENNA POLLACK → SECRETARY
BOSTON-BASED MAKER, PERFORMER, EDUCATOR
PF2 SECURITY EVALUATIONS, INC., DIRECTOR
FRIENDS OF SPRINGBOARD DANSE ADVISOR