a group of dancers form a tight circle while standing under a blue spotlight

New Dance Partners
The Ultimate Collaboration

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 20, 2024 - September 21, 2024 | Yardley Hall

Tickets start at $25.
Season tickets on sale now. Individual shows on sale June 17.

Individual Tickets Season Tickets (Save 10-15% per show)

Pre-show talk: Artistic Advisor Michael Uthoff at 6:30 p.m., Sep. 20 and 21.

Audiences will delight in a feast for the eyes as four new works premiere on Yardley Hall stage. For this festival of contemporary and modern dance, the Midwest Trust Center has enlisted four choreographers to create original works for four local dance companies to perform at the world premieres. This year, New Dance Partners is excited to welcome a new partner — the Regina Klenjoski Dance Company, Wichita's premier professional dance company!

The collaborative partners are:

  • The Kansas City Ballet, working with Peter Chu
  • Owen/Cox Dance Group, working with Alexander Anderson
  • Störling Dance Theater, working with Hélène Simoneau
  • Regina Klenjoski Dance Company, working with Kia S. Smith

Peter Chu (he/him) is an award-winning multifaceted movement artist. Born in the Bronx and raised in Cocoa Beach, Chu's interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine was a gateway to a deeper understanding of his Chinese identity. Being raised by his mother, a music therapist, profoundly shaped his rhythmic and musical approach to creating. Chu began his dance training as a competitive gymnast and nurtured his artistry at Dussich Dance Studio. He was a BFA student at The Juilliard School and awarded the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography upon graduation. Chu's career spans over three decades. He has performed with renowned dance companies such as Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Crystal Pite's Kidd Pivot, EZdanza, Aszure Barton and Artists, and Celine Dion's A New Day. Chu has also choreographed for Ballet Augsburg, Backhaus Dance, Charlotte Ballet, Cirque du Soleil, DART Dance Company, Gibney Dance Company, Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) Summer Intensive, Orlando Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and more. In 2008, Chu formed his project-based company, chuthis., which combines innovative lighting and sound with live contemporary movement. He takes great pride in chuthis., where he explores the deepest parts of his identity and artistry as a director, choreographer, and educator. Chu's accolades include receiving the 2010 A.C.E. Capezio Award and being selected as the 2008 choreographer for the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival. In 2018, he received the Harvard Blogett Award for Distinguished Artist for his creative process and piece at the Theater, Dance, and Media Department at Harvard University. Chu has also served as Rehearsal Director for Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and Guest Rehearsal Director for NDT1. Currently based in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Chu travels frequently for freelance choreographic commissions and teaching experiences. He has looked forward to Cincinnati Ballet and Kansas City Ballet commissions in 2024. Chu's dynamic artistry and dedication to pushing the physical bounds of dance make him a highly respected and sought-after artist in the industry.

Alexander Anderson (@zanderander) is a South Florida native. He attended the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and upon graduation, was accepted to The Juilliard School. During his time at Juilliard, he performed works by renowned choreographers such as Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Pina Baush, and Jiri Kylian, among others. Anderson’s early choreographic creations were selected for “Choreographic Honors” and featured at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. He was also the recipient of the Dizzy Feet Foundation Scholarship Award and the 2013 Princess Grace Foundation Scholarship Award. Upon graduating from Juilliard with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2014, Anderson joined Nederlands Dans Theater 2, followed by the esteemed Nederlands Dans Theater 1 in 2017. In 2019, Anderson won critical acclaim for his performance in Crystal Pite’s “Solo Echo,” Dance Europe Magazine’s critic’s choice for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer.” In 2020, he joined the Gibney Dance Company as an Artistic Associate. In his final year with the organization in 2022, Anderson was named the Inaugural Choreographic Fellow and provided resources to premiere a choreographic work for the company’s Gibney Fellow program. While currently residing in New York City, he has served on the faculty of the Ailey Fordham BFA (Professional Division), Peridance, Steps On Broadway, Gibney Dance, School of American Ballet (SAB), and ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Most recently, Anderson received choreographic commissions at Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance, Peridance (Youth Ensemble), Ballet Austin II, Houston Contemporary Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theater, SFDanceworks, Alvin Ailey BFA Fordham, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for their Create Summer Intensive in 2024. He is thrilled to be a part of New Dance Partners for the 2024 season.

Hélène Simoneau is a French-Canadian choreographer exploring themes of intimacy, agency, identity, sexuality, and power. Her choreography has been commissioned by Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Juilliard School, Charlotte Ballet, PARA.MAR Dance Theatre, Vitacca Ballet, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, BalletX, the Ailey School, Dimensions Dance Theatre, and the American Dance Festival. She was recently a Choreography Fellow at New York City Center and received a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship. She has also been a resident artist at Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYU/Tisch, NCCAkron, and a fellow of The NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts, Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab, the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Swiss International Coaching Project for Choreographers (SiWiC) in Zurich. Simoneau was awarded first place for Choreography at the 13th Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, for her solo “the gentleness was in her hands.” Originally from Luceville, a small village near Rimouski, in Eastern Québec, Simoneau now resides in Montréal.

Kia S. Smith is a Chicago native and founder of South Chicago Dance Theatre. She was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch for 2024” and her recent choreographic commissions include Southeast Missouri State University, Chautauqua Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, Houston Contemporary Dance Company, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Western Michigan University, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company and Madison Ballet. In 2018, she received the inaugural Young and Ambitious Entrepreneurship Award from the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League and was chosen by the New York City-based Stage Director’s and Choreographers Foundation as a member of the national Observership class. In 2021, Smith received a 3Arts Make A Wave award and was an Ann & Weston Hicks Choreographic Fellow at the renowned Jacobs Pillow. She was a 2022 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Awardee and a participant in the Artist in Residence “AIR” Program at the Cliff Dwellers (Chicago). In 2023, Smith premiered her first evening-length work, “Memoirs of Jazz in the Alley,” for South Chicago Dance Theatre, presented by the Auditorium Theater of Chicago. After the premiere of Memoirs, See Chicago Dance lauded “Smith’s first evening-length work is a ‘tour de force,’ a sensory immersion into this artists’ creative wellsprings.” She is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance, where she received the Joan Myers Brown Artist Development Fund scholarship and was a 2018 invited panelist for “Women of Color Arts Leaders.” She was recently named a rising star by Chicago Magazine, and “Player of the Moment” in the category of dance for New City Magazine's annual “50 Players List” in 2023. She is thrilled to be participating in New Dance Partners and working with Regina Klenjoski Dance!

Supported in part by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.