PROJECTS  }  Artists


Lucas Crandall / Ballet Master
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Lucas Crandall began training in dance at the age of 14. In 1980 he obtained his first professional contract with the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve. In 1985, he joined Nederlands Dans Theater where he first worked with HSDC's Artistic Director, Jim Vincent. After performing with the Nederlands Dans Theater for two years, Crandall returned to the Ballet du Grand Theatre, working with choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Jirí Kylián, Mats Ek and Christopher Bruce. In 1996 he became the company's Rehearsal Director. Lucas then went to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2000 to serve as the renowned company’s Artistic Associate.

Lucas has also served on faculty with the Lou Conte Dance Studio, as well as ballet and repertory instructor for master classes throughout the country. Creating works since 1982, his pieces have been performed in the US and abroad. Lucas has led master classes and workshops for the Northwest Dance Project and created Triptych for the company in 2006 and Blue in 2008. In 2010, Lucas returned to Nederlands Dans Theater 1 where he served as Repetitor through 2012. Since then, Lucas has served as a guest teacher for the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve, guest Ballet Master for Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and Rehearsal Director for Northwest Dance Project.

Lucas returned to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in April 2013 to serve as the company’s Ballet Master.

Matthew Neenan / Co-Founder

Matthew Neenan began his dance training at the Boston Ballet School and with noted teachers Nan C. Keating and Jacqueline Cronsberg. He later attended the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York. From 1994-2007, Matthew danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet where he danced numerous principal roles in works by George Balanchine, John Cranko, Paul Taylor, Peter Martins, Val Caniparoli, Jorma Elo, Lila York, Meredith Rainey, Jeffrey Gribler, Christopher Wheeldon and Jerome Robbins. In October 2007, Matthew was named Choreographer in Residenceat the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Matthew’s choreography has been featured by the Pennsylvania Ballet (totaling 12 commissions), BalletX, The Washington Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Juilliard Dance, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, Sacramento Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Indiana University, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts (NYC), among others. He has received numerous awards and grants for his choreography from the National Endowment of the Arts, Dance Advance funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Choo San Goh Foundation, and the Independence Foundation. In 2006, Matthew received the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute’s Fellowship Initiative Award. Matthew’s Carmina Burana, As It’s Going, and 11:11 was performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet at New York City Center in 2006 & 2007. In 2008, he received a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. This marks his fourth time receiving the PCA fellowship. In October 2009, Matthew was the grand-prize winner of Sacramento Ballet’s Capital Choreography Competition and was also the first recipient of the Jerome Robbins NEW Program Fellowship for his work At the border for Pennsylvania Ballet.

In 2005, Matthew co-founded BalletX with fellow dancer Christine Cox. BalletX had its world premiere at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival in September 2005 and is now the resident dance company at the prestigious Wilma Theatre. BalletX has toured and performed Neenan’s choreography in New York City at The Skirball Center and Symphony Space, Jacob’s Pillow Festival, The Cerritos Center, Laguna Dance Festival, Spring to Dance Festival in St.Louis, and internationally in Cali, Colombia and Seoul, Korea.

Matthew was recently named Best Dance Talent by the editors of Philadelphia Magazine’s annual “Best of Philly” list.  He currently serves on the Dance USA / Philadelphia Advisory board and recently joined the Board of Trustees for National Dance USA in Nov. 2010.

Sarah Slipper / Founding Artistic Director
Northwest Dance Project

"Sarah Slipper is truly gifted. This is what dance should be ... she found the point at which the form of dance (steps, technique, feet, performance) combine to create a work of art." - The News Record

Sarah Slipper was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, and received her professional training at the Royal Ballet School in London, England and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. In 1980, she made her professional debut with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as a corps de ballet member, and became one of the company's leading dramatic ballerinas. Ms. Slipper worked closely with many internationally renowned directors, choreographers and teachers, including Arnold Spohr, Rudi van Dantzig, Hans van Manen, Jirí Kylián, Agnes de Mille, Galina Yordanova, and Alla Savchenko. Ms. Slipper was noted for her classical line and dramatic abilities, dancing the principal roles in classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Giselle, and The Nutcracker. In addition to the classical repertoire, she received worldwide acclaim for her performances of contemporary ballets, most notably Nobert Vesak's The Ecstasy of Rita Joe and the award winning Belong pas de deux.

After Ms. Slipper left the stage, she continued her passion for music and drama, studying theatre at the honours level at the University of Winnipeg, and in Oxford, England. During the 1996/97 season, she served as ballet mistress of Alberta Ballet, and from 1997/99 as ballet mistress of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Ms. Slipper's command of classical and contemporary styles is demonstrated in her active role of teaching and coaching younger dancers. As a guest master teacher, Ms. Slipper has worked with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet Austin, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Jefferson Dancers and the Dance Departments of the University of Utah, Cornish College of the Arts, and the University of Iowa.

An award winning independent choreographer, Ms. Slipper is presently based in Portland, Oregon, creating dance worldwide. She has worked with prominent dance companies including the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Nashville Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet Jorgen, Louisville Ballet, Fugate/Bahiri BalletNY, Alberta Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Cornish Dance Theater, Northwest Dance Project and The Jefferson Dancers. She was awarded the Grand Prize for Choreography at the International Choreographic Competition Saint Sauveur 2000 for her ballet Shattered Night, which was created on the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. During her choreographic residency at Festival des Arts in Quebec, Canada, her ballet A River In A Dry Land, was described by the Montreal Gazette as "one of the finest choreographies produced in residency." Ms. Slipper's works have been described as "absolutely remarkable ... grippingly pits breezy romanticism against a sinister undercurrent." (The Oregonian) and "... a complete, enclosed world, a somber yet hopeful winter landscape across which the three couples thread in a long, smoothly unfolding skein of dance." (The New York Times)

A Fine Balance, her pas de deux created during the first year of Northwest Dance Project, was a finalist for the prestigious Benois de la Danse award in 2006 and was performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as part of the award's gala celebration.

Ms. Slipper has created over 40 ballets to date and is currently working on several new creations while serving as the Founding Artistic Director of Northwest Dance Project.

Olivier Wevers / Artistic Director
Whim W'Him

Originally from Brussels, Belgium, Olivier Wevers is the founder and Artistic Director of Seattle’s critically acclaimed contemporary dance company Whim W’Him. In 2012 Wevers was honored with the City of Seattle’s Mayor’s Arts Award and in 2011 he received the Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. In both 2011 and 2010 Oliviers’ work took home the grand prize award at the Annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in California and he has also been named by Dance Magazine as one of their 25 To Watch.

Olivier first began exploring choreography in 2002 while still a Principal Dancer at Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB). In 2009 he founded Whim W’Him to create a “platform, centered around choreography and dance, for artists to explore their craft through innovation and collaboration.” In 2011 Whim W’Him was named the resident dance company of Intiman Theatre.

Besides developing new creations for Whim W’Him, Olivier has created works for numerous companies and festivals in Canada, Japan, and the United States, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Grand Rapids Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, Ballet X, Prix de Lausanne and Seattle’s Bumbershoot.

Olivier was chosen to participate in the 2009 National Choreographers Initiative held in Irvine California. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Artist Trust/ Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award, recognizing his work, Shindig, commissioned by PNB, while in 2006, he was selected to participate in the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute.

Olivier danced as a Principal Dancer at Royal Winnipeg Ballet before becoming a Principal with PNB, where he danced lead roles in the major full-length classical ballets, as well as in contemporary works by the world’s most noted choreographers.


Banning Bouldin
Nashville native Banning Bouldin received her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School in 2002. She spent the first eight years of her career working internationally with some of her field’s most renowned companies, dancers, and choreographers such as The Cullberg Ballet, Mats Ek, Johan Inger, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Alexander Ekman, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Wen Wei Wang, and others. She was a soloist, master class teacher, and rehearsal assistant during her tenure with Aszure Barton and Artists from 2003-2010. In 2007 she joined Rumpus Room Dance, based both in Portland, Oregon and Goteborg, Sweden, where she had the opportunity to co-create and perform multiple site-specific dance works with Stephan Laks and Rachel Tess. She and her Rumpus Room colleagues were nominated one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2010. That year, Bouldin returned to Nashville and in 2012 founded New Dialect, which was named Nashville’s Best New Dance Company in 2014, and Bouldin, herself, was honored with the Tennessee Dance Association’s Margaret Martin Award for her outstanding contributions to further the public image and accessibility of dance in Tennessee. She has created dance works for New Dialect, the Nashville Ballet, and Visceral Dance Chicago, and is thrilled to be joining the roster of e-choreographers for Springboard Danse Montreal in 2015 and to be named a winner of Northwest Dance Project’s seventh annual Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition.

Yoshito Sakuraba
Yoshito Sakuraba departed from Japan for New York at the age of 19 and started dancing the following year. He received his BA in dance from Manhattanville College as a scholarship student, later graduating from the Martha Graham School. In the fall of 2012, he founded his own dance company, Abarukas. Since then, he has shown his work for Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Series, Booking Dance Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dance Gallery Festival at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, and more, and has choreographed for several plays and films.





Danielle Agami / Artistic Director / Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY
John Alleyne / Artistic Director / Ballet British Columbia
Lillian Barbeito / Artistic Director / BODYTRAFFIC
Gioconda Barbuto / Choreographer + Nederlands Dans Theater III
Aszure Barton / Artistic Director / Aszure & Artists
Robert Battle / Artistic Director / Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
Cristina Betts / BodyVox
Gregg Bielemeier / Choreographer
Hélène Blackburn / Artistic Director / Cas Public
Donald Byrd / Artistic Director / Spectrum Dance Theater
James Canfield / Artistic Director / Nevada Ballet Theatre
Maurice Causey / Choreographer - 2009 Pretty Creatives Winner
Alejandro Cerrudo / Choreographer / Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Lucas Crandall / Ballet Master / Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Thaddeus Davis / Choreographer
Paul De Strooper / Artistic Director / Ballet Victoria
Patrick Delcroix / Choreographer
Madeleine Denko-Carter / Dance Mentor
Mariecella Devine / Director / Devine Funk
Pedro Dias / Choreographer - 2011 Pretty Creatives Winner
Gregory Dolbashian / Choreographer - 2011 Pretty Creatives Winner
Tracey Durbin / Choreographer
Lauren Edson / Choreographer -2009 Pretty Creatives Winner
Noam Gagnon / Artistic Director / The Holy Body Tattoo
Susan Gaudreau / Rehearsal Director / bjm_danse Montréal
Dana Gingras / Artistic Director / The Holy Body Tattoo
Mark Goldweber / Ballet Master / Joffrey Ballet + Ballet West
Mark Godden / Choreographer
James Gregg / Choreographer - 2010 Pretty Creatives Winner
Jamey Hampton / Co-Artistic Director / BodyVox
Eric Handman / Choreographer - 2014 Pretty Creatives Winner
Shawn Hounsell / Choreographer
Lane Hunter / Artistic Director / BodyVox 2
Hanna Kiel / Choreographer - 2012 Pretty Creatives Winner
Alonzo King / Artistic Director / LINES Ballet
Ronen Koresh / Artistic Director / Koresh Dance Company
Loni Landon / Choreographer - 2010 Pretty Creatives Winner
Carla Mann / Choreographer / Reeed College Dance Dept. Chair
Marina Mascarell / Choreographer - 2011 Pretty Creatives Winner
Donald McKayle / Choreographer + Artistic Mentor / Limón Dance + Professor, UC Irvine
Andrea Miller / Artistic Director / Gallim Dance
Stephen Mills / Artistic Director / Ballet Austin
Emily Molnar / Artistic Director / Ballet BC
Josie Moseley / Choreographer
Robert Moses: Artistic Director / Robert Moses' Kin Dance Company
Eric Nordstrom / Oslund + Company
Simone Orlando / Choreographer - 2013 Pretty Creatives Winner
Davis Robertson / Choreographer
Louis Robitaille / Artistic Director / bjm_danse Montréal
Ashley Roland / Co-Artistic Director + Choreographer / BodyVox
Alison Roper / Oregon Ballet Theatre
Ihsan Rustem / Choreographer
Jonathan Sadony / Choreographer
Gustavo Ramírez Sansano / Artistic Director / Luna Negra Dance Theater
Kemba Shannon / Choreographer
Sarah Slipper / Artistic Director / Northwest Dance Project
Alex Soares / Choreographer - 2012 Pretty Creatives Winner
Cayetano Soto / Choreographer
Lauri Stallings / Choreographer
Christopher Stowell / Artistic Director / Oregon Ballet Theatre
Benoit-Swan Pouffer / Artistic Director / Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
Lesley Telford / Choreographer - 2014 Pretty Creatives Winner
Rachel Tess / Artistic Director / Rumpus Room Dance
Gérard Théorêt / Artistic Director / Cirque du Soleil
Minh Tran / Choreographer / Reed College Dance
Paul Vasterling / Artistic Director / Nashville Ballet
Luca Veggetti / Choreographer
Didy Veldman / Choreographer
Eduardo Vilaro / Artistic Director / Luna Negra Dance Theater
Wen Wei Wang / Artistic Director / Wen Wei Dance
Septime Webre / Artistic Director / Washington Ballet
Meredith Webster / LINES Ballet
Robyn Mineko Williams / Choreographer - 2012 Pretty Creatives Winner
Yin Yue / Choreographer - 2013 Pretty Creatives Winner
Edgar Zendejas / Artistic Director / ezdanza

© 2015 Northwest Dance Project  |  All Rights Reserved