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About


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About


Stephanie Martinez is an award-winning Chicago dance artist with over 30 years professional performing experience. Her 2009 choreographic debut, AviMar, for Luna Negra Dance Theatre’s 10th anniversary season, instantly secured her status as a sought-after dancemaker. She has since traveled the country as a master teacher and professional choreographer, setting works on dance companies and university departments, in addition to a slew of reputable ensembles local to her native Chicago.


Choreography

Professional Residencies

Stephanie has created original works for Luna Negra Dance Theater’s 10th anniversary season at The Harris Theater, Thodos Dance Chicago, Same Planet/Different World, Ron De Jesus Dance, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Chicago Dance Crash,and Visceral Dance Chicago. In 2010, she assisted Broadway legend Ann Reinking in setting the Fosse Trilogy on Thodos Dance Chicago, 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. In Fall 2014, she received a "Winning Works: Choreographers of Color" award from The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and will be embarking on that commission in February 2015.

University Residencies

Stephanie’s choreography has been featured in college dance department galas across the country, including Columbia College, Northwestern University, Ball State University, Shenandoah University, Jacksonville University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Richmond.

Master Teacher

With over 20 years of teaching experience, Stephanie has served as Jazz program director of the Ruth Page School of Dance, as well as on faculty at Lou Conte Dance Studio, Gus Giordano Dance School, and The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago's trainee program. After spending two years in New York City as head of the lower school dance department for the exclusive Spence School, Stephanie returned to Chicago, serving as guest master teacher for numerous world-renowned dance festivals and organizations, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, River North Dance Chicago, The Gus Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress, Thodos Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Same Planet/Different World, Chicago Dance Crash, Elements Contemporary Ballet, and has traveled abroad to teach for Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco and The Nanjing University in China. Stephanie has served as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University, Columbia College, Ball State University, and most recently completed a six-month residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.

Performer

Stephanie has been a featured dancer on a stage, film, and television. After a 17-year stint with River North Dance Chicago, for which she merited a Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Performance, Stephanie joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago as a principal dancer for its productions of Manon and The Merry Widow, followed by the Marriott Theater's production of Swing, spent several seasons with Concert Dance Inc., performed with Luna Negra Dance Theater, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance, Ron de Jesus Dance, Same Planet/Different World, appeared as a special guest performer for The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and was a featured dancer for Diana Ross's appearance in the 2006 World Cup opening ceremonies.

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Répertoire


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Répertoire


 

Choreographic Reel

Watch a compilation of Stephanie's choreography 

Winning Works 2015

Stephanie and cast members discuss her creation for The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago's 2015 "Winning Works" program.

3Arts Award Winner

Stephanie is the recipient of a 3Arts Award 2015. Here she introduces her approach to the creative process.

Auditions

Sneak a peak at Stephanie's audition process

 
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Résumé


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Résumé


Choreography

Avi Mar

Luna Negra Dance Theatre

Quieting the Clock

Thodos Dance Chicago

If...

Same Planet Different World

On the Prairie: Elemental

Elements Contemporary Ballet

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

Nomi Dance Company

Leather Tongues

Ron De Jesus Dance

Orange Bird

Visceral Dance Chicago

Track 4

The A.W.A.R.D. Show

Somos Novios

Dance in the Parks

They All Seem Sweet

Chicago Dance Crash

Transport

Northwestern University, Virginia Commonwealth University

Rekonstruktion 

University of Richmond, James Madison University

Nine 2 Five

Shenandoah University, Denver School of the Arts

Whatever Gets You through the Night

Ball State University 

Taking Watch

Jacksonville University, Island Moving Dance Company, Dance Kaleidoscope

Hyper Human

Ron De Jesus Dance

Non è Normale

Joffrey Ballet of Chicago "Winning Works" Commission

 

Performance

Lyric Opera of Chicago

2009-2010

Luna Negra Dance Theatre

2007-2008

Same Planet Different World

2007

Ron De Jesus Dance

2006-2001

Swing, Marriott Theatre

2005

River North Dance Chicago

1989-2004

Teaching

Joffrey Academy of Dance

2009-present

Ruth Page School of Dance

2007-2011

Lou Conte Dance Studio

2005-present

Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago (Guest)

1995-2011

Luna Negra Dance Theatre

2007-2008

Same Planet Different World

2007

Awards

Joffrey Ballet of Chicago's "Winning Works: Choreographers of Color" Award

2014

Dancer to Watch

(Sid Smith-Chicago Tribune)

2004

Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Performance

2003

 

Education

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

1990-1994

Giordano Dance Center

1998-1990

Joseph Holmes Dance Theater

1998-1990

Forthcoming Commissions

Ballet Hispanico

Spring 2016

New Dance Horizons

2016/2017

Oakland University

Fall 2015Kent State University

Fall 2015

 

University of Richmond

Winter 2016Sacramento Ballet

Summer 2016Eugene Ballet

Winter 2017

 

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Accolades


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Accolades


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History


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History


Throughout my school years, I’d occasionally fake being sick to watch videotapes of Solid Gold and American Bandstand. The concept of body-as-art, of being so intimately responsible for the creation of something, wouldn’t let go of me.

During a chance visit to Chicago, I took my first dance class at Gus Giordano’s. I was offered a full scholarship on the spot and couldn’t refuse. A year later, I transferred to the Lou Conte Dance Studio scholarship program. While Lou acknowledged my raw potential, he none-too-quietly commented on my lack of technical experience. Taking a requisite class alongside members of Hubbard Street – Chicago’s premiere dance company – was like going through puberty in a room full of Calvin Klein models! My tendency to over-analyze steps did little to accelerate my artistic growth. “Stop thinking and start feeling!” my mentor Claire Bataille let loose one day. I took that life-changing advice as literally as my body could muster.

Five years later, as a founding member of River North Dance Chicago, I was cast by choreographer Ginger Farley in Space Witch, my very first solo. Gifted mentor that she is, Ginger pushed me past my limitations by never assuming I had any. For seventeen seasons, with an unquestioning dedication she helped cultivate, I had the privilege of serving as muse and soloist to an array of internationally renowned choreographers.

I feel my caretaker instincts kicking in as I catch a glimpses of myself in the upcoming dance generation – the ones still learning to stand up straight, but resolved to do justice to the craft. I want to tell them to trust their instincts, that dance could very well prove to be the one cherished facet of their lives where it’s actually more practical to lead with the heart than with the head.”

Get in touch


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Get in touch


info@stephaniemartinezchoreography.com

312.933.0889