Choreographers 2018

July 20 – 21st. 7:30 PM @ the GEM Theater

Heather Britt – WORLD PREMIERE


Heather grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio where she began her dance training at The School for Creative and Performing Arts.  After performing professionally in San Francisco, Heather returned to her hometown to perform, choreograph, and teach.

Heather’s choreographic reach spans from work for professional ballet companies to commercial dance choreography. She has had the opportunity to choreograph contemporary ballet works for multiple organizations including Cincinnati Ballet and Nashville Ballet, theatrical productions for Playhouse in The Park, and commercial choreography for  “Zone Perfect Bars”and Fleetwood Mac.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has called Heather’s work “mesmerizing”, “exuberant”, “moving”, “eloquent” and “heartbreaking”.

Heather is the Owner and Artistic Director of HBDC and DANCEFIX, a wildly popular dance workout class offered at Cincinnati Ballet, DANCEFIX Blue Ash, and Nashville Ballet.  The New York Times has recommended her classes for out-of-town visitors and Cincinnati’s CityBeat named DANCEFIX “the best damn dance workout” in the city. Heather served as a full time dance faculty member at Northern Kentucky University from 2008-2016. In 2011, The YWCA recognized Heather as a “Rising Star” and  in 2015 she was named as “one to watch” in Cincinnati Magazine’s Future of Cincinnati edition.

Robert Colby Damon  – WORLD PREMIERE


Robert Colby Damon was born and raised in Richmond, VA, and received his training at the Richmond Ballet, the Boston Ballet, and the Virginia School of the Arts. He has danced professionally for Sacramento Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Northwest Dance Project, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, and BalletX, among others. As a choreographer, he has created works on BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet II, Nashville Ballet II, Opera Philadelphia, and Charlottesville Ballet, as well as on a number of Universities and Conservatories. His work has also been performed at a number of national and international dance festivals, including VivaDança International Festival in Bahia Brazil, the International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City, The Bermuda Festival, and The Current Sessions NYC. As a teacher, he has been a guest company teacher for Bale de Cidade de São Paulo, Pennsylvania Ballet, BodyTraffic, Ballet Hispanico, and Nashville Ballet. He is currently on faculty at the Rock School for Dance Education and the University of the Arts, as well as serving as a company class teacher for BalletX, while working as a freelance choreographer and performer based out of Philadelphia.

Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye  – WORLD PREMIERE

Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye was born in Maine and began his training with Andrei Bossov. Upon graduating from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Mr. Nye danced for Festival Ballet Providence, Eugene Ballet Company and Ballet Idaho. Mr. Nye was chosen to participate in the 2005 Banff Summer Arts Festival where he created roles in Sabrina Matthews’ Losing Ground and Peter Quanz’s Quanz by Quanz. He has been featured in Jessica Lang’s Splendid Isolations III, Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free and Michael Pink’s Dracula. He has performed ballets by Hans van Manen, Rudy van Dantzig, Vicente Nebrada, Mark Godden, Jodie Gates and George Balanchine. Mr. Nye retired from Kansas City Ballet after the 2015-2016 season. As a choreographer, he has created ballets for Ballet Idaho, Kansas City Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and the Kansas City Dance Festival. Mr. Nye also had his work performed by dancers from companies all across the U.S. and Europe, including Alberta Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and the Finnish National Ballet. Recently he was named “Outstanding Choreographer” at the 2017 Youth America Grand Prix where he was recognized for his Kansas City Ballet School work, Concerto 21. Mr. Nye’s choreography has been featured in KC Studio magazine and was recently performed in Niigata, Japan. In February his solo, The Painter, was presented at a gala for The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL.

Jennifer Owen – WORLD PREMIERE


Jennifer Owen is co-founder and Artistic Director of Owen/Cox Dance Group. Jennifer’s ballet career has taken her around the globe. After training with Pacific Northwest Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, she went on to dance with the Russian State Ballet, Moscow Renaissance Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, BalletMet, and had the unique experience of appearing as a guest artist with the National Ballet of Turkmenistan. Notable roles danced include the title role in Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, principal roles in George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Donizetti Variations, and the central pas de deux in Todd Bolender’s Arena. Jennifer has choreographed over forty works for the Owen/Cox Dance Group, as well as nine works for Kansas City Ballet’s “In the Wings” choreographic workshop, and created the winning entry for the 2006 Columbus Choreography Project. Owen is the recipient of a 2000 Princess Grace Honorarium.

In 2006, after a 13-year international ballet career, Jennifer co-founded Owen/Cox Dance Group with composer Brad Cox. The ensemble is committed to creating and performing new and innovative dance works in collaboration with nationally recognized dancers, musicians, and visual artists. The group’s mission is to create new music and dance collaborations, to present high-quality contemporary dance performances with live music, and to engage as wide an audience as possible through affordable live performances and education and outreach programs. With this mission in mind, founders Owen and Cox bring together some of the most talented artists from Kansas City and around the country, representing a variety of genres, to perform contemporary dance with live music. The collaborative results speak for themselves: fresh and vibrant new works that are classical in form, but contemporary in expression.

Since Owen/Cox Dance Group’s debut performance in 2007, the company’s accomplishments include: two world premieres commissioned by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, creative partnerships with newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Charlotte Street Foundation, The People’s Liberation Big Band, Ensemble Ibérica, YWCA of Greater Kansas City, Bach Aria Soloists, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and Paseo Academy, collaborations with artists Peregrine Honig, Peggy Noland, Mark Southerland, and NEA Fellow Nate Fors, participation in annual events Spring to Dance Festival, Modern Night at the Folly, New Dance Partners, Festival on the Vine, and Dance in the Park, and launching of Take the Stage, an educational program providing year-long dance instruction to elementary school students in the Kansas City area. The company has been proud to serve as fiscal sponsor for Kansas City Dance Festival since 2013.

Stephanie Martinez

Chicago-based choreographer and 3-Arts Award winner Stephanie Martinez aims to create environments which captivate, connect, and move her audiences along a journey guided by the kinetic momentum of her work. With original creations for Ballet Hispanico, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Sacramento Ballet, Eugene Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company, Dance Kaleidoscope, Ron De Jesus Dance, Chicago Dance Crash, and Visceral Dance Chicago, among others, she expands the boundaries of contemporary movement. Stephanie’s choreography has been featured in collegiate dance departments across the country, including Point Park University, Columbia College, Northwestern University, Jacksonville University, and Virginia Commonwealth University, and Boston Conservatory. In 2010, she assisted Broadway legend Ann Reinking in setting the Fosse Trilogy, as well as Daniel Ezralow, choreographer of Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, in remounting his celebrated work, Pulse, for Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco. She has also created for The National Choreographers Initiative and  was awarded The Joffrey Ballet’s “Winning Works: Choreographers of Color” commission, which was subsequently performed at The Joffrey Ballet’s 2017 Annual Gala. Upcoming commissions include Charlotte Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Cincinnati Ballet, and World Premiere with The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.

Diana Winfree – Assistant to the Choreographer (Martinez)

Diana Winfree grew up in Southlake, TX. She received her BFA with honors from the University of Oklahoma where she performed repertory by choreographers including Robert Battle, Martha Graham, and Alvin Ailey. Upon graduation, Diana moved to Chicago where she danced three seasons with Thodos Dance Chicago and performed with LevelDance, Kristina Isabell Dance Company and Dance for Life Chicago. Diana lives in New York and recently danced with Ballet Hispanico where she performed works nationally and internally by artists including Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Stephanie Martinez, and Tania Perez-Salas.