Announcing the Winners of the 2022 Winning Works Choreographic Competition
Winning Works celebrates 12 years of excellence in 2022, returning to the stage along with four performances over one weekend
CHICAGO –DECEMBER 1, 2021– The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, announces the recipients of the twelfth annual Winning Works Choreographic Competition: Audrey Ipapo Baran, Joffrey Company Artist Edson Barbosa, Taylor Carrasco, Derick McKoy. This announcement follows a national call for ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American) artists to submit applications, which began in June. The choreographers’ world premiere works will be showcased on the dancers of the Joffrey Studio Company and the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program. Winning Works will be presented in four performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Edlis Neeson Theater (220 E. Chicago Avenue) Friday, March 18 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, March 19 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, Sunday, March 20 at 2:00 PM. Tickets for Winning Works are $30 and are currently on sale for purchase at joffrey.org/winningworks. The world premiere works will be available to view digitally following the in person performances. The streaming dates will be announced at a later date.
The Winning Works choreographic competition was created to recognize talented and emerging ALAANA choreographers and to provide them with a platform to showcase their original and innovative work. The winning choreographers are awarded a $5,000 stipend and are given the opportunity to seek guidance from The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet Ashley Wheater MBE and Abbott Academy Director Raymond Rodriguez.
"We are proud to announce this year's winners of the Winning Works choreographic competition, another exceptional group of artists that are sure to bring innovative ideas to the stage," said Wheater. "I am incredibly excited to once again shine a spotlight on the best and brightest in the field, especially now as we return to live performances."
"The pandemic taught us to adapt in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty," added Greg Cameron, The Joffrey Ballet’s President & CEO. "Last year, we were forced to cancel our Winning Works performances, only to find a new audience in the form of our virtual Joffrey Studio Series, which presented all of last year's Winning Works performances to viewers in more than 20 counties. We are thrilled to do so once again in 2022, while also returning to live performances. Once again, Winning Works is shaping the future of dance."
"Winning Works remains one of the most relevant and impactful endeavors of the Joffrey and the Joffrey Academy," added Rodriguez. "Artists from around the world continue to show immense interest and our audience continues to grow. It is a source of great pride for all of us, and I look forward to much more as we come up with new ways to share the work of these diverse artists in a hybrid model that involves in-person performances and digital."
About the 2022 Winning Works Winners
Audrey Ipapo Baran is a Filipino-American dance performer, maker, and educator based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University and a BA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance. She is the founder/artistic director of Baran Dance and apprentice company BD2 and on the faculty of Charlotte Ballet Academy. Baran has presented work through Sites in the City, FEMMEfest, the National Dance Educators Organization Conference, Bill Evans Somatic Dance Conference, the North Carolina Dance Festival, Tobacco Road Dance Productions, Triangle Dance Project, Ladyfest CLT, Charlotte Dance Festival and numerous self-produced productions. She was the 2019 UNCC Department of Dance Distinguished Alum, an inaugural recipient of the Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts and Science Council, a selected choreographer for Charlotte Ballet’s Innovative: Direct from the LAB 2021 and has received recognition for her work from the Movies by Movers Festival, Charlotte Emerging Dance Awards, and Carolina Arts & Theatre Awards. Baran is also a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and thrives on sharing her love of movement and mindfulness throughout the Queen City and beyond.
Edson Barbosa has been a company artist with The Joffrey Ballet since 2014. He was raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and began his training in ballet, jazz, and tap at age 10 at Grupo Cultural de Dança, Ilha, with Patricia Marques. He was voted Best Male Dancer at the Festival de Danca de Joinville in 2012 — the largest dance competition by number of dancers, as documented by Guinness World Records. He received a full scholarship to study at the Miami City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Washington Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, and Princess Grace Academy. He was also a Top 12 finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix in New York in 2010 and 2012, Top 6 finalist at the Beijing International Ballet Invitational for Dance Schools in China, and performed at the Opening Ceremony as a guest artist at the Danzamerica in Argentina.
Barbosa was a prize winner at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, where he was voted the best male dancer of the 40th edition in 2012, receiving a scholarship to be a trainee at the San Francisco Ballet School under the direction of Patrick Armand. While in the school he worked in contemporary workshops with Antoine Vereecken and Wayne McGregor, performed lead roles in ballets choreographed by renowned artists in the dance world, such as Christopher Wheeldon, Val Caniparoli, Myles Thatcher, Parrish Maynard, and the main company's director, Helgi Tomasson. Barbosa has had the opportunity to work in the main company's productions of Ramyonda, Giselle, The Nutcracker, and Romeo & Juliet, as well as Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc, John Cranko's Onegin, Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella, and Yuri Possokhov's Firebird.
Taylor Carrasco… “When I was three, my sister was six and in ballet like every other little girl. My parents would bring me to her classes and I would try to dance with them from the hallway. They assumed I’d like it, enrolled me in class and I never stopped,” says Carrasco of his ballet beginnings. Carrasco trained with the School of American Ballet and New Mexico Ballet Company and has taken summer intensives with Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet Chicago. He joined Cincinnati Ballet Second Company – CB2 in the 2014-2015 Season and was promoted to Apprentice for the 2015-2016 Season. Carrasco was then promoted to Corps de Ballet for the 2017-2018 Season. He has had three of his ballets performed by the main company of Cincinnati Ballet, with two of them being created for the The Kaplan New Works Series in 2018 and 2019. Carrasco’s favorite dancing memories thus far are tied to dancing with his sister. He says that “sharing the stage with family is the best experience.”
Derick McKoy Jr. (he/him) originally from Miami, Florida, is a graduate Glorya Kaufman BFA Scholar of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance. McKoy started his official training under Luctricia Welters and after a year, joined her dance company, Jubilee Dance Theater, as an apprentice. He furthered his training at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Arts Umbrella, BalletX, Ballet Hispanico, Springboard Danse Montreal, under scholarships, as well as NW Dance Project’s LAUNCH.
McKoy has performed with Nimbus Dance, directed by Samuel Pott, Jeremy McQueen’s The Black Iris Project, and on seasons 1 and 2 of the hit tv-show POSE on FX.
His choreographic work has been described as “authentic”, “dramatic”, and “important”. His developing collection of works have been performed at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Ailey Studio Theater, Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, Ades Performance Space, Youth American Grand Prix, the Nimbus Arts Festival, and the Jamaica Dance Festival.
He has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Matthew Rushing, Crystal Pite, Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Dawn Marie Bazemore, Sharon Eyal, Alejandro Cerrudo, Marco Goecke, Adam Barruch and others.
He was also a part of a dance feature of The Ailey School on the talk show Conan. He has also had the opportunity to perform in Ailey’s 2017 Spirit Gala at Lincoln Center at the David Koch Theater and for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Vessel at Hudson Yards.
He started McKoy Dance Project as a way to add his own contributions to the dance. MDP aims to be a strong, but sensitive new voice in the contemporary dance world. The company was founded with five pillars in mind: to create jobs, to inspire and touch, to give purpose, to create leaders, and to heal.
Tickets for Winning Works at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Edlis Neeson Theater are $30 and can be purchased at joffrey.org/winningworks. Performances take place on Friday, March 18 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, March 19 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, Sunday, March 20 at 2:00 PM.
About the Joffrey Studio Company
The Joffrey Studio Company consists of dancers who show exceptional promise and a desire to join the Joffrey or another organization’s main company. The individualized training and performance opportunities allow students to expand their technique and artistry while offering a unique insight into the life of a professional dancer, including performing on some of the most prestigious stages around the country. Academy alumni have gone on to dance with companies around the world, including The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, English National Ballet, Dresden Semperoper, Atlanta Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Kansas City Ballet and more.
About the Joffrey Academy Trainees
The Joffrey Academy Trainee Program is a full-time, one-to-two-year program for students preparing for a professional dance career. Through meticulous training, Trainees focus on artistic excellence, rehearsing, and performing classical and contemporary works from The Joffrey Ballet’s extensive repertoire, as well as works by world-renowned choreographers.
The Joffrey Ballet gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Winning Works Sponsors Pritzker Foundation, Wilson Garling Foundation, and William Blair with Joffrey Board Member Rita Spitz. William Blair is the premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management.
For more information on the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet and its programs please visit joffrey.org/academy. Connect with the Joffrey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.