Contemporary ballet

New Ballet 5th Annual FAST FORWARD Contemporary Ballet Announced at Hammer Theater Center

Fast Forward offers the opportunity for award-winning and avant-garde choreographers, local and from across the country, to experiment. Choreographers Amy Seiwert, Duncan Cooper, Marika Brussel, Mariana Sobral and Dalia Rawson create brand new works that push the boundaries of classical ballet. Set to music ranging from classical to live-performing singer-songwriters, this program will provide audiences with a thrilling evening of new contemporary ballet, often described by dancers as their favorite program of the season.

Fast Forward gives New Ballet’s Company dancers the opportunity to dance to a work created especially for them, allowing each dancer to grow as an artist and be part of the creative process. The choreographers will discuss new works during the program, providing context and insight into the dances and their inspiration.

Fast Forward premieres Saturday, April 2, 2022 at the Hammer Theater Center, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA. 95113. General admission tickets are between $10 and $25 and VIP tickets are $250. For more information, the public can visit or call the box office at 408-924-8501.

VIP tickets include access to the VIP lounge from one hour before the show and at intermission, as well as access to a post-show Cast Party with the dancers, with sweet and savory bites and wines elegant.

Director and principal choreographer, Dalia Rawson founded New Ballet in 2016 and created Fast Forward in 2017 because, as she describes it, “I wanted to offer choreographers and dancers the opportunity to experiment, explore and push back the limits of classical ballet”.

Rawson continues, “At a time when so many artistic endeavors have been curtailed by the pandemic, the ability to create and perform new work allows artists to continue to grow. Your support of this program through the purchase of tickets helps advance the art of ballet. .”


Dalia Rawson: Director, Founder and Principal Choreographer of New Ballet. From 1991 to 2006, Rawson performed a wide variety of lead roles as a dancer with Ballet San Jose. She started teaching at the BSJ School in 2000, was appointed Ballet Mistress in 2007, Principal in 2012 and Principal in 2014.

In 2013, Rawson received a fellowship from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet. A Certified ABT Teacher, who successfully completed the Intensive ABT Teacher Training from Primary to Level 7 of the National ABT Training Program, Rawson is also a member of the ABT Art Examination Board.

Amy Seiwert: Director of Imagery for Amy Seiwert, Resident Choreographer of Smuin Ballet and 19 years dancing with Smuin, LA Chamber and Sacramento Ballets. As a dancer with the Smuin Ballet, she became involved in the “Protected Program” where her choreography was mentored by the late Michael Smuinand became choreographer-in-residence there after retiring from dance in 2008. Named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” her first full night of choreography was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 10” events. 2007 dance by the SF Chronicle.

From 2018 to 2020, Seiwert served as Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet. Twice Seiwert worked with dancers from the New York City Ballet, participating in the NY Choreography Institute. Collaborations include work with visual designers Marc Morozumi and Matthew Antaky, composers Daniel Bernard Romanian and Mason Bates, media designer Frieder Weiss and spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

Seiwert was artist-in-residence at the ODC Theater from 2013 to 2015, the first national artist-in-residence with The Joyce Theater in 2017, and worked in the repertoire of Ballet Austin, BalletMet, Washington, Atlanta, Oakland, Sacramento, Colorado, Louisville, Cincinnati, Carolina, Oklahoma City, Dayton, Milwaukee and American Repertory Ballets, and Robert Moses KIN.

Duncan Cooper: Former principal dancer at the Dance Theater of Harlem, dancer at the San Francisco Ballet and guest artist at the New York City Ballet, the Washington Ballet and the Royal Birmingham Ballet.

Cooper was the first recipient of the Lew Christensen scholarship for the most outstanding male dancer. Moreover, he was the first student to be promoted from the school directly into the company where he spent 7 years.

Cooper joined the Dance Theater of Harlem as a principal dancer for 9 years and performed as a guest artist for New York City Ballet, Washington Ballet, Royal Birmingham Ballet, among others. He has been a guest teacher for ABT JKO School & ABT 2, Boston Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Alonzo King’s Ballet School, Complexsions Contemporary Ballet Company, and others.

Currently, Cooper is a Grand Ambassador for the Universal Ballet Competition and Head of Ballet Faculty for the REVEL Dance Competition. Cooper has judged and taught with NYCDA, ADC/IBC and more. He founded Duncan Cooper Winter and summer workshops in 2022 pushing students to expand their artistic and technical boundaries.

Marika Brussel: independent choreographer of contemporary ballet, scholarship holder of the UNCSA Choreographic Institute (2019).

Brussel is a contemporary ballet choreographer. Her work has explored myths, plays and personal stories such as Unraveling, a ballet about dementia. From Shadows: A Ballet About Homelessness, premiered in October 2017, to sold-out audiences in San Francisco. His ballet, Still Time For Impossible, looked at the climate crisis.

The Brussels ballets have been commissioned by Kansas City Ballet, New Ballet Studio Company, ARC Dance, Columbia Repertory Ballet, Renverse Ballet, Bay Pointe Ballet and Ballet Theater of New Mexico. Her festival work includes Dancing in the Park, Oakland Dances and West Wave. Brussel has completed residencies at Levydance, Dresher Ensemble Residency, Moving Arts SF, SAFEhouse Arts and Keshet Makers Space. She was twice part of the ODC pilot project and was a choreographer in Doug Varon‘s Devices 5. Her awards include two Fleishhacker Opportunity Scholarships and The Classical Girl Grant. In 2019, she was the recipient of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Contemporary Ballet Fellowship, 2020 Fellow at LABA East Bay, and 2021 Fellow at Peace Studio.

Mariana Sobral: Director of eMotion Arts Dance Co., former professional dancer and certified ABT teacher. Born in Argentina, her career as a soloist and principal dancer includes “Giselle”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Coppelia”, “La Bayadere” and “Who Cares?” among many others.

After moving to the United States, Sobral developed ballet programs and created award-winning choreography for studios and companies throughout the Bay Area. His work has been in RAW Artist Residency at SAFEhouse Arts, San Francisco Arts Movement, The DanceWright Project.

New Ballet was founded in March 2016 by local dancer, teacher and choreographer Dalia Rawson, filling a void in downtown San Jose for a professional ballet school. Offering additional emphasis on dancers’ health and child development, the organization offers ballet lessons as well as performances. With a certified teaching staff, New Ballet is one of five schools designated as a Certified American Ballet Theater School nationwide.

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