Celebrating 10 years of contemporary dance creation and innovation in Orange County

In celebration of its 10th successful season, The Barclay is excited to expand NCI 2013 into two special performances:

NCI Highlights
A celebration of 10 years of creativity with excerpts of pieces that began at NCI and are now in the repertoire of companies around the country.
Saturday, July 13th @ 8:00pm

NCI Discovery 
Our traditional NCI showing of four new works created during the NCI summer project. 
Saturday, July 27th @ 8:00pm

Irvine Barclay Theatre  -  4242 Campus Drive  |  949.854.4646

Tickets: $30 general, $20 student, plus $60 vip tickets

Buy both shows and save $5 per ticket
Package price: $50 general, $30 student


The National Choreographers Initiative is turning ten. The brainchild of Artistic Director Molly Lynch, NCI is a unique dance project that convenes four promising choreographers and a cast of sixteen professional dancers for a three-week intensive process of contemporary dance creation. NCI culminates in a one-night engagement at Irvine Barclay Theatre for the debut performance of these new works. The evening concludes with a question and answer session, moderated by Ms. Lynch, giving the audience the opportunity to discuss the production with the four choreographers.

The 2013 cast includes professional dancers from Atlanta Ballet, BalletMet, Ballet Austin, Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Festival Ballet Theatre, Los Angeles Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Oklahoma City Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and Sacramento Ballet, who have all auditioned for one of the sixteen desired spots. The dancers train and rehearse in the UC Irvine Department of Dance facilities.

Lynch selected David Fernandez, Susan McCullough, Kitty McNamee, and Petr Zahradnicek as the 2013 NCI choreographers. These movement artists were chosen for this project based on their diverse backgrounds, in both training and professional careers. All four artists bring different perspectives, approaches, and choreographic styles to the NCI experience. At the NCI Showcase, audiences can expect a range of distinctive dance aesthetics, including but not limited to European contemporary, modern, and classical.

The National Choreographers Initiative is celebrating its tenth successful season of contemporary dance creation with two special occasions during July 2013. The first event, NCI Highlights, commemorates choreographic successes originally created during NCI workshops between 2004 and 2012. In total, there have been thirty-seven NCI choreographers, who each created a new piece through this initative. Twenty-two of these original productions have been performed by other companies across the country. NCI Highlights (Saturday, July 13th), celebrates the national artistic impact of this project. Excerpts from several of these pieces will be revived by the 2013 cast - brought back to life on the very stage where they first debuted! NCI Highlights represents the progress and passion of the National Choreographers Initiative’s past ten seasons, and will be a celebration you will not want to miss!

The second production of the 10th NCI season is the annual showcase, featuring four new works by choreographers David Fernandez, Susan McCullough, Kitty McNamee, and Petr Zahradnicek. The NCI Showing (Saturday, July 27th) presents the emergent works developed during the three-week workshop with the 2013 dancers.


David Fernandezborn in Mexico City, he began his training at the Centro de arts y Ballet.  After receiving a scholarship to Giordano Jazz Dance in Chicago, he immigrated to the United States. While performing with the company, he began creating contemporary works for performance in art galleries and alternative spaces.  During his dancing career he performed with Chicago’s Boitsov Classical Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ballet Theatre of Chicago, and he performed alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov in the play “The Doctor and The Patient” at the 2004 Lincoln Center Festival. In 2008 he was commissioned to create a solo for Joaquin de Luz (NYCB) for the original “Kings of Dance”, which premiered at the National Opera House, Kiev. He has created works for many principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. His other commissions include the Kings of the Dance Tour, Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Youth America Grand Prix, Opera North, Staten Island Ballet, and the Vassar Repertoire Dance Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School – NY and Some Dance Company. In 2011, David directed and choreographed the short film “White Shirt, Black Tie, Black Pants XXS," which premiered at the Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center in 2012. His previous films include “Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear” (2009) and “Icarus APR” (2009). He also teaches in several ballet and contemporary summer programs in the United States and Mexico. Read More.

Susan McCullough – is a native of Columbus, Ohio . She graduated from the high school program of the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1969 and shortly became a founding member of the North Carolina Dance Theatre. She joined the Harkness  Ballet in 1972 and in 1974, as Jiri Kylian became the director, she joined Nederlands Dance Theatre  (NDT). Over the next nine years with NDT Ms. McCullough was an original cast member in Kylian’s “Sinfonietta”, “Symphony in D”, “Symphony of Psalms” and of other choreographers such as Hans Van Manen, Glenn Tetley and William Forsythe. She became a company teacher and Ballet Mistress for NDT in 1980. Returning to the United States in 1984 Ms. McCullough was a guest teacher and staged Kylian’s repertory for The Joffrey and The Royal Winnipeg. In 1986 she was appointed the Director of the Pittsburgh Ballet School. In 1988 she was appointed the Dean of The School of Dance of the North Carolina School of the Arts , a position she held until 2008. She “retreated” to the faculty of the School of Dance at (U)NCSA in 2008. Susan has choreographed and restaged over thirty works since returning to the USA in 1984 for the North Carolina Dance Theatre, The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Tallahassee Ballet, SUNY Purchase and the North Carolina School of the Arts to name a few. She was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Arts Council Choreographer Grant in 1987.

Kitty McNamee is from Houston, Texas, and has her BFA from the University of Texas, Austin. She is the artistic director of Hysterica Dance Company, a consistently prolific and invigorating force in the LA dance community. She was recently commissioned to create a work for the LA Ballet’s NextWave LA and by the LA Philharmonic to create choreography for its “Firebird” Symphony for Youth concerts. Recent highlights with Hysterica include 12th Annual Dance Camera West Dance Media Festival at the Getty, Minimalist Jukebox with The LA Philharmonic at Disney Hall, hysterica x (celebrating the company's 10th anniversary) at the Ford Amphitheatre and performances at REDCAT, LACMA, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Highways. Kitty's work includes original productions for LA Ballet, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and LA Philharmonic. She also brings her passion and unique voice to television, film and live performances. Read More

Petr Zahradnicek is a native of the Czech Republic. As a dancer, he has worked with the National Theater in Prague (Czech Republic), Theater Vorpommern, Salzburg Ballet, Stadttheater Würzburg (Germany), Colorado Ballet and the Milwaukee Ballet. Since joining the Milwaukee Ballet as a dancer in 2003, Petr has created many pieces for the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet II and Milwaukee Ballet School. He has also choreographed four pieces for Ballet Memphis in Tennessee. In 2007, Petr received a grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet. He has choreographed and collaborated with other Milwaukee area art groups including Danceworks, Master Singers of Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Present Music. This autumn, Petr will choreograph “La Traviata” for the Florentine Opera, Milwaukee. He is a three time finalist at McCallum’s Choreography Festival and two time winner of the Paid Engagement Award. This year, Petr will present a new full length program of his work at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert. Petr is currently a choreographer in residence with the Milwaukee Ballet. Read More.

Molly Lynch, Artistic Director of National Choreographers Initiative
Molly Lynch is an award winning choreographer and artistic director, with over 35 years of experience creating, producing, and presenting dance. She is currently an Associate Professor of Dance in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine. She teaches ballet, pointe, partnering, ballet repertory, and dance management. Ms. Lynch is the Founder and Artistic Director of the National Choreographers Initiative, an internationally known project to nurture the development of new choreography.

She was the Artistic Director for Ballet Pacifica from 1988-2003. During her tenure, Ms. Lynch established Ballet Pacifica as Orange County's leading professional dance company and one of the area's top performing arts organizations. Among her innovative trademark programs was the Pacifica Choreographic Project. Under Ms. Lynch's direction, the company worked with forty choreographers, premiered more than forty new ballets and restaged some of America's most beloved classics by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and Choo San Goh. Ms. Lynch has also choreographed over 40 concert and story ballets, 6 children's ballets and a full-length production of "The Nutcracker". Ms. Lynch has recently created new ballets for Sacramento Ballet, Nashville Ballet, BalletMet (Columbus, Ohio), Dance Collage (Hermosillo, Mexico), Academies of Ballet In Philippines (Manila), and Singapore Dance Theatre.

She began her dance training with Lila Zali, received a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet and performed as a soloist and principal dancer with the Louisville Ballet and Ballet Pacifica for over 10 years. As a Fine Arts major at the University of California, Irvine, she studied with distinguished figures in dance such as Eugene Loring, Antony Tudor and Olga Maynard. Upon receiving her MFA in dance from UCI, she was named Outstanding Graduate Student, the first student from Fine Arts so honored. In 1992, Ms.Lynch was given the esteemed Outstanding Alumnus award from UCI and was named one of Orange County Metro Magazine's "Ten Women Who Make A Difference". She was also the recipient of the Red Cross Clara Barton Cultural Arts Award and the Boy Scouts of America Women of Excellence award in 1996. She was the recipient of the 2001 Choo San Goh Award for Choreography. In 2007 she received the Outstanding Arts Organization Award for her National Choreographers Initiative from Arts Orange County. And in April 2008 she was honored with the Irvine Barclay Theatre's prestigious Jade Award for her extraordinary leadership and creativity. Read More.

For more information, visit The National Choreographers Initiative.

Press Contact:
Karen Drews Hanlon
Irvine Barclay Theatre