Founded in 2011, Dance Heginbotham (DH) has quickly established itself as one of the most adventurous and exciting new companies on the American contemporary dance scene. The Brooklyn-based ensemble has been celebrated for its vibrant athleticism, humor, and theatricality, as well as its commitment to collaboration. DH has shared the stage with music icons including Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Rider, Gabriel Kahane and Shara Worden, and is beginning a new evening-length work with beloved author and illustrator Maira Kalman.
Well-known for his 14-year tenure as a dancer with Mark Morris Dance Group, Artistic Director John Heginbotham creates work known for its “tight formal structure and inventive movement, bolstered by a disarming wit and strangeness” (The New Yorker). In recognition of his unique artistic vision, John received the 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.
DH had its world premiere in January of 2012 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has since been presented by Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carolina Performing Arts, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.. In the 2015-16 season the company will be presented by Vail International Dance Festival and The Joyce Theater, and will tour to Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines as cultural ambassadors of the United States with the DanceMotion USA program, a collaboration between the US Department of State and BAM.
Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, John Heginbotham is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer, and teacher.
He graduated from The Juilliard School in 1993 with a BFA in Dance, and was awarded the Martha Hill Prize for Sustained Achievement in Dance. John was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) from 1998 – 2012, performing lead roles in L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato; The Hard Nut; Four Saints in Three Acts; and Romeo and Juliet: On Motifs of Shakespeare. During his time with MMDG, he toured across the United States and abroad alongside artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, The Bad Plus, and Zakir Hussain, and performed with opera companies including The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and the English National Opera.
In June 2014, John was awarded the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in recognition of his unique choreographic vision and promise. In addition, he is a two-time recipient of the Jerome Robbins Foundation New Essential Works (NEW) Fellowship (2010, 2012). John and Dance Heginbotham have been invited to participate in creative residencies at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2013, 2014), Baryshnikov Arts Center (2011, 2012), and the Watermill Center (2013).
Live music is an integral part of John’s creative vision. leading to collaborations with the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, string quartet Brooklyn Rider, the Raymond Scott Orchestrette, art/pop duo Fischerspooner; composers Tyondai Braxton, Ethan Iverson, and Colin Jacobsen; pianist Yegor Shevtsov; and vocalists Jesse Blumberg, Gabriel Kahane, Shara Worden (also known as My Brightest Diamond).
In addition to his work with Dance Heginbotham, John’s choreography has been presented at venues including The Museum of Modern Art, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, La MaMa E.T.C., Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, Big Apple Baroque, and the New York and Toronto Fringe Festivals, among others. In 2013, he choreographed Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter & the Wolf for the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series. In college and university settings, he has created and set work for Dartmouth College, The Juilliard School, Long Island University, Princeton University, Purchase College, and the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. John will create a new work for the Barnard Dance Department in the Spring of 2015.
John’s growing list of opera commissions include: Maria de Buenos Aires at the Cork Opera House (2013); The Magic Flute at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, directed by Isaac Mizrahi (2014); Handel’s Alceste for the American Classical Orchestra (2014); and Macbeth with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Studies Department (2014). His first ballet, Angels' Share, will be premiered by the Atlanta Ballet in May 2015.
As a teacher, John offers dance master classes in the United States and abroad. He has taught at institutions including George Mason University, Laban Centre in London, School of Visual Arts, University of California, Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Washington. He is currently on faculty at Princeton University, and is the Guest Director of the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble at Dartmouth College in 2014/15. John is a founding teacher of Dance for PD®, an ongoing collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group.