Choreographer Biography Continued
At Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Bruce Wells taught a Choreography class regularly and this inspired Erin to further explore choreography as a means of expression. While a student, she choreographed solos for small groups and on herself, including a modern solo for her Juilliard audition that received rave reviews from the panel. Erin’s performance and training background includes a decade of ballet and modern training as well as 8 years of jazz and tap training. She’s also performed in Musical Theatre and Show Choir. Having a broad performance background informs her choreographic process. When developing the concept and style of a piece, Erin utilizes all the art forms in which she’s trained.
Erin’s professional choreographic debut in 2011 was for concert:nova, an annual collaboration between professional dancers and Symphony musicians in Cincinnati. The production offered numerous opportunities to collaborate and the resulting pieces were "Appalachian Spring" and "Cave of the Heart". For "Appalachian Spring", Erin and her fellow choreographers each choreographed a part of the storyline made famous by Martha Graham, with one notable exception: both young lovers were male. Erin was thrilled and honored to be choreographing for her fellow professional dancers from Cincinnati Ballet alongside Stephen Jacobsen and Heather Britt. The show premiered to an enthusiastic, sold-out audience.
With such an incredible experience marking her first professional foray into choreography, Erin was eager to explore more. For the next few years, she choreographed mainly student ballet and contemporary pieces for a variety of performances and ages. Erin has choreographed various pieces for ages 3 to 18 for annual student performances and youth companies. She was particularly excited to collaborate on choreographing a new version of "Peter and the Wolf", an iconic children’s ballet with a beloved score.
In 2014 for Emerald Ballet Theatre’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s "Seasons" at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Erin choreographed student ensembles as well as a solo she performed. Choreography was created while collaborating with young pianists who competed for the honor of performing in "Seasons". Even professional musicians who have not performed live with dancers can find the experience demanding. Working with the young musicians and a cast of student dancers meant every phase of the production brought unique challenges. Erin has also created original work for ARC Youth Dance Company.
Erin has choreographed for and coached young dancers for competition. To date, one of her students made it to the Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix international competition in New York, where she performed Erin’s contemporary choreography.
The Studios Center for Performing Arts in Seattle was a training platform and an incubator for new works in support of professionals across all performing arts. Erin was invited to choreograph for their Launch Series (Choreographer Showcase) each time it was held. These popular, sold-out performances showcased choreographic and dance talent for organizations in Seattle who were hiring for upcoming productions. The Launch Series provided Erin with an opportunity to challenge herself to create pieces that tell a story and vary distinctly in style and number of dancers. Pulling in performers who are working professionals means achieving the choreographic vision with minimal rehearsal. For Launch 1.0, Erin created a contemporary ballet pas de deux. For Launch 2.0, she took us into the world of Gershwin with a pointe piece for 2 couples heavily influenced by musical theatre and classical jazz. For Launch 3.0, Erin created a piece for a small group that has classical and contemporary ballet elements.
To date, Erin has had the pleasure of working with choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Edwaard Liang, Olivier Wevers, and Adam Houghland to name a few. She’s also had the privilege of originating roles with Kiyon Gaines, Helen Pickett, Jessica Lang, Barry Kerollis, Ilana Goldman, and Travis Guerin, among others. The opportunity to work with these great artists has influenced Erin’s choreography and creative process.