Koresh Dance Company

truly a major work
— The Dance Journal

Koresh Dance Company

Koresh Dance Company was founded in Philadelphia in 1991, and is widely recognized for its superb technique and emotionally- compelling appeal. It presents biannual home seasons as the resident dance company of the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, and has toured in over 38 states and 7 countries. The Company's interdisciplinary foundation promotes high-speed attack and gestural diversity drawn from Graham technique, Luigi jazz, classical ballet, hip hop and Israeli folk dance. Guest choreographers including Donald Byrd (Spectrum Dance Theater), Ohad Naharin (Batsheva Dance Company), Robert Battle (Battleworks/Alvin Ailey), Itzik Galili (Galili Dance) and Paul Selwyn Norton have produced works for the company. The company currently consists of dancers Shannon Bramham, Fang-Ju Chou Gant, Joseph Cotler, Micah Geyer, Vanessa Guinto, Casey McIntyre, Krista Montrone, Kevan Sullivan, Robert Tyler, and Melissa Rector, who also serves as the company's Assistant Artistic Director. Koresh Dance Company is supported in part by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Dance/USA Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the William Penn Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

In its 25th year, Koresh Dance Company presents Classic KORESH, a selection of favorites drawn from the company’s quarter century of innovative work. These repertoire classics include interpretations of Classical compositions by Bach, Beethoven, and Ravel, from the rolling strains of “Moonlight Sonata” to the trumpeting processions of “Bolero.” Moments of tenderness and grace alternate with humor and brash force on this tour of highlights drawn from over 60 existing works by Artistic Director Ronen Koresh. As a unique feature of our anniversary program, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 will feature in a newly commissioned work, “23: Deconstructing Mozart,” a collaborative initiative driven by Koresh and multi-media artist Paul Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky. As the acclaimed Koresh dancers move through this timeless allegro, the stunning athleticism and compelling choreography you have come to expect over the past 25 years will appear front and center in works both old and new.

Roni Koresh is an Israeli-American choreographer whose work presents “a wealth of forceful invention” (Art Burst Miami). Koresh has established a repertoire of over 60 works “rang[ing] from intimate to high-voltage” (Northwestern Press). He develops 2 to 3 new works each year including commissions for notable companies across the country. His work has been supported by Pew Charitable Trusts, the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Jerome Robbins Foundation, among others.

Koresh’s work represents his experience of both Israeli and American cultures. Born and raised in Israel, he received early dance training from his mother, a folk dancer in the Yemenite tradition. He then joined Martha Graham’s Batsheva 2 Dance Company before enlisting in the Israeli army. Koresh integrates each of these influences into his choreography, which draws its strong sense of humanity, sweeping circle patterns, military precision, and Middle Eastern flavor from his life in Israel.

In 1983, Koresh moved to New York to study at Alvin Ailey, solidifying his strong foundation in ballet, Horton and Graham techniques. He soon began performing with Shimon Braun’s Waves Jazz Dance Company in Philadelphia, where he studied Luigi Jazz and developed the muscular isolations and periods of continuous movement that define his style today. At this time, he also began to draw from club dancing, hip hop, and pedestrian gesture. A consummate observer and movement chameleon, this prolific choreographer builds his movement repertoire from any genre that can best make his point clear. Undefined by any one school of movement, Koresh calls his style simply “Dance.” “If a movement fits, I use it,” says Koresh. “It is about using movement to communicate, not about adhering to a particular style.” And communicate it does, leading audiences to laughter, tears, and awe within a single program.

Committed to exploring human relationships, perception, and change, Koresh produces contemporary dance that is highly technical and deeply resonant, acclaimed by critics as both innovative and accessible. “Athletic, exuberant, [and] disciplined” (Cincinnati Enquirer), Koresh choreography displays a quick wit, “big-heartedness, and ... humor” (Reading Eagle).