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ORLANDO BALLET NOMINEE WINS DANCE/USA GRANT

06/27/2022
Featured | OB News | OB School News
ORLANDO BALLET NOMINEE  WINS DANCE/USA GRANT

Emerging female choreographer to premiere her work in OB 2022-2023 season

ORLANDO, FL – Monday, June 27, 2022 –  Natrea Blake, winner of Orlando Ballet’s 2021 Dance Accelerator 2 competition, has been named one of five choreographers to receive the prestigious Dance/USA Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) grant for its Female Choreographers in Ballet Initiative. The initiative is supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Natrea, who was nominated by Orlando Ballet, will premiere her winning piece entitled, “Breakthrough,” as part of Artistic Director Jorden Morris’ “Directors Choice,” in the 2022-2023 season.

As part of its mission to champion an equitable and inclusive dance field, Dance/USA

awarded these grants to mid-sized member ballet companies in order to support newly commissioned works by BIPOC female choreographers for the 2022-2023 season.

“This is particularly impactful because of the opportunity it provides for emerging female artists of color and why we nominated Natrea, who made such an impression on us,” said Cheryl Collins, Executive Director of Orlando Ballet. “We have a very active commitment to expanding access to ballet for all through our many community enrichment programs, scholarships and audience engagement strategies. Natrea’s work aligns beautifully with our mission.”

Natrea said, “I’m excited and thrilled to be chosen as the winner of Orlando Ballet’s 2021 Dance Accelerator 2 competition and join other talented BIPOC female choreographers whose works are supported by Dance/USA for the 2022-2023 season. I’ve learned to trust the process of creating because it’s through the process we achieve progress. Always leading with love and choosing joy, I’m super excited to get into the studio with the beautiful dancers of Orlando Ballet.”

A native of New York City, Natrea received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the Juilliard School and graduated from the Fame School. She has trained at Bernice Johnson, DeVore Dance Center, The Ailey School, Ballet Hispanico, and Peridance. Her diverse background has provided her the opportunity to work with many choreographers including Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons, Savion Glover, Darrell Moultrie and Margureite Derricks. Additionally, she has taught Contemporary, Modern and Jazz at artistic institutions including NYU, Touro College, Rutgers University, Broadway Dance Center and The Ailey School to name a few. Natrea was commissioned in 2013 to choreograph a new work for Tulsa Ballet’s second company. She has also taught and choreographed for Dance for All, Cape Town, South Africa.

About Orlando Ballet:

Founded in 1974, Orlando Ballet is Central Florida’s only fully residential professional ballet company. Orlando Ballet produces year-round main stage productions at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre, featuring timeless masterpieces and innovative contemporary world premieres, achieving the highest level of professionalism and artistic excellence. Orlando Ballet promotes dance education through community enrichment programs, performance lecture demonstrations, the renowned Orlando Ballet School, and Orlando Ballet II, a second pre-professional company to train and support dancers as they approach the start of their dance careers. For information about Orlando Ballet, please visit our website at OrlandoBallet.org.

 

 

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