COMPANY } Choreographers

Louder Than Words — Choreographers

Ihsan Rustem / Choreographer

Ihsan Rustem was born in London and trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. He was a member of the National Youth Dance Company from 1997-99 before engagements with Adventures in Motion Pictures (Matthew Bourne, UK), Ballet Theater Munich (Germany), Introdans (Netherlands), Bern Ballet and the Tanz Luzerner Theater (Switzerland). Ihsan has worked with many of today's leading choreographers, namely Mats Ek, Jirí Kylián, William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot / Sol Leon, Hans van Manen and had works created on him by Wayne McGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Alexander Ekman, Patrick Delcroix, Stijn Celis, Robert Battle, Carol Armitage and Cayetano Soto, amongst others. Ihsan began choreographing as a student at the Rambert School, creating over ten pieces for the Academy. In 2009 he created Twist of Fate for the Bern Ballet's choreographic workshop. Upon seeing this piece, Sarah Slipper invited Ihsan the following year to Portland, where he created his first major work for a company, State of Matter - a piece which took both the Audience Choice Award at the 2011 International Competition for Choreographers in Hannover and won the 2011 Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest and was performed by the Northwest Dance Project in London 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad. He has since created works for the Tanz Luzerner Theater, Istanbul State Ballet MDT, Würzburg Ballet, BYU Contemporary Dance Theater, Interdans, DSC Faenza, National Youth Dance Company, ArtEz Dansacademie and the choreographic workshops of Ballet Theater Munich, Introdans and Bern Ballet. He returned to the Northwest Dance Project in 2013, where he created Mother Tongue with Oregon Arts Watch calling it "...a model of contemporary choreography – a piece very much of its own time but also fiercely focused and sure of all good dances, it cuts through space with a conviction that this is the only possible way this particular piece could be." Rustem was the 2014 winner of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's National Choreographic Competition and will create a new work for HSD2 this season.

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.

Lucas Crandall / Choreographer +
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.

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.



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