Originally from Cocoa Beach, Florida, Peter Chu is a distinguished artist who strives to push the physical bounds of dance. He began his training as a competitive gymnast, later nurturing his artistry at Dussich Dance Studio where his evolution into dance began. As a BFA student at The Juilliard School (under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy), Chu was pushed further as a technical mover and began an explosive journey into choreography. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography.
Chu is a remarkable and multi-faceted artist. As a performer, he has danced with BJM _Danse and EZdanza, as the lead in Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts music video, in Celine Dion’s Vegas spectacular A New Day, and with Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot.
In 2008, Chu formed a Las Vegas project-based company—chuthis. His multi- disciplinary dance company combines innovative lighting and sound with live contemporary movement. In 2018, chuthis. presented paper cuts in an empty bag at Zuiderstrandtheater in The Hague, Netherlands, as a part of the Shortcuts XL program, and was the company in residence at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp. A part of the mission of chuthis. is to provide movement education programs for the next generation of artists. Through the chuthis. Movement Intensive, an annual summer event, and chuthis. Moves, a 2-3 day custom workshop for both national and international dance schools, the chuthis. team fosters technical/artistic development and mind/body familiarity while igniting an adventurous side of dance.
Chu has been an honoured recipient of choreographic awards & commissions, including the Hector Zaraspe Prize, A.C.E. Capezio Award, & Hubbard Street
Dance International Commission Project. He was also named a Blodgett Distinguished Artist by Harvard University for 2018. Additionally, Chu has served as the Rehearsal Director for Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and as a Guest Rehearsal Director for NDT1.
Chu has created works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Staatstheater Augsburg, Germany, Charlotte Ballet, Charlotte Ballet II, Orlando Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street 2, Giordano Dance Chicago, So You Think You Can Dance, Naomi
Stikeman’s Çaturn, Houston MET Dance, New Dialect, SALT Contemporary Dance, The Juilliard School, Harvard University, Point Park University, Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive, Springboard Dansé Montreal, SUNY Purchase, Western Michigan University, & Brigham Young University Contemporary Dance Theatre, among others. Teaching highlights include Harvard University (Guest Lecturer), HSPro, Springboard X | shift perspective, Axis Connect, Hubbard Street Studio Series, The Dance Teacher Summit, and Movement Invention Project.
This season, Chu has premiered new works for Giordano Dance Chicago and Gibney Dance Company, and was the choreographer for Cirque du Soleil’s Vitori in Malta. Later in 2020, he will also premiere a creation for Paul Taylor Dance Company, and develop a new work with his own company, chuthis.
Lauren Lovette is a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and an acclaimed independent choreographer. In her time with the company she has earned both the Janice Levin Award and the Clive Barnes Award for dance.
She has created works for the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, among others. Her collaborators include musician Kate Davis, poet Andrea Gibson, and fashion designers Zac Posen, Narciso Rodriguez, and Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim of Oscar de la Renta/MONSE.
In 2019 Ms. Lovette was named Artist-in-Residence for Damian Woetzel’s prestigious Vail Dance Festival. In 2018, she was awarded a Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship for Women Leaders in Dance at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.
Since December 2018, Ms. Lovette has served as Artistic Chair of the Board of Groove With Me, an organization that offers hundreds of young women free dance and movement classes, with the goal of providing a safe and nurturing environment in which to practice self-expression and explore potential.
Michelle Manzanales is a choreographer and dance educator originally from Houston, TX. Her choreography “…isn’t just about one girl’s experience; it applies to everyone, of any gender, and of any culture,” said CriticalDance. Her most recent work, If by Chance… which “unspooled dreamily atop and between the tables” (-Courtney Escoyne, Dance Magazine), was created and performed for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 75th anniversary Gala in December 2019. Manzanales created Con Brazos Abiertos for Ballet Hispánico and premiered in the 2017 spring season at the Joyce Theater. This “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican-American background” (-Marina Harss, New York Times) has since toured worldwide to critical acclaim including its inclusion in New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival. Other acclaimed works by Manzanales include her 2010 homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, which was hailed a “visual masterpiece” by Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Tribune and was described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “gorgeously designed, richly hallucinatory, multi-faceted vision of the artist.” Michelle was invited to the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 2008 as co-choreographer for the site-specific work entitled Muscle and Mortar: Animating Architecture at the National Building Museum for the Capital Fringe Festival. Her 2007 choreography for Luna Negra Dance Theater, entitled Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda), was applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as “a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work.” Before being named Director of the School of Dance in December of 2016, Ms. Manzanales was in the midst of her seventh season as the Ballet Hispánico Company Rehearsal Director & Artistic Associate.