HUMAN by Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet

HUMAN by Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet

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Video by Terrell Halsey

Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet 

Supported by the Dr. RJ Wallner DanceVisions Residency

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 3:00 PM, Q&A to follow

Run time is approximately 40 minutes



$18 General Admission

$15 Students

$15 Dance Professionals

HUMAN is a post-human ballet that uses form and context to consider otherness and objectivity. This anti-story imagines an AI being who moves in and outside of human patterned constructs, forests, and time. HUMAN is a ballet that uses a traditional idiom to consider future sensibility. The work is choreographed by Nora Gibson, with an original music score by noted ambient electronic composer Michael McDermott (AKA Mikronesia). This evening-length ballet features a cast of five outstanding dancers, Marria Cosentino-Chapin, Brian Cordova, Sean Thomas Boyt, Katharine Nace, and Hallie Lahm.

Nora Gibson premieres her new work, HUMAN, as the inaugural recipient of the Performance Garage's Dr. RJ Wallner DanceVisions Residency. The Residency was designed by Executive Director Jeanne Ruddy in order to support a Philadelphia dance artist who exhibits exceptional talent. The inaugural year is supported by a generous gift from Dr. RJ Wallner. Ms. Gibson was selected for her ability to thoroughly immerse her audiences in her work through her meticulous choreography, careful lighting design, and use of original music scores. The Performance Garage is proud to support her innovative work.

Please note that haze will be used during the performance.

For more information contact: 


Performance Garage at (215) 569-4060Nora Gibson at


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Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet is committed to presenting ballet that is intellectually bold. Central to the company’s mission is the pursuit of this question: “What is ballet in the 21st Century?” While committed to preserving the idiom of ballet to the fullest extent, Gibson has chosen to contemporize it primarily through non-traditional composition, subject matter, contextual elements, and type of collaborations. Gibson’s work is inspired by the natural world, as evidenced in mathematics and science, as well as philosophical concepts. NGCB provides a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration between dance, music, light installation, and academia.

Nora Gibson (Choreographer) is an American, female choreographer evolving ballet for the 21st century. Gibson is interested in the beauty of the natural world, as evidenced in mathematics and science, and in working across artistic and academic disciplines to expand ballet's reach. Gibson trained at Baltimore School for the Arts, Chautauqua, and NCSA, and earned a BFA from Tisch, at NYU. In addition to performing in the genres of ballet and contemporary dance in MD, D.C., and NY, Gibson was selected to work from 2010-2013 with Lucinda Childs to perform various iconic 70s works as part of the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage's Virtual Reconstruction project. Gibson has been invited as a resident artist in the US and abroad, including the nEW Festival in Philadelphia (2009-10), the CEC New Edge Residency (2009-10), the Ellen Forman Memorial Award (2011), the PHL/Poland Artist Exchange Residency (2012), the Choreographers on Campus Residency, funded through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2014), Diepenheim Werkplaats (2016), and Kaatsbaan (2017). Gibson’s choreography has been presented by New Dance Alliance at Joyce SOHO, at Dance Place in Washington DC, Philadelphia Dance Projects, and The Williams Center for the Arts. Her choreography was featured in Transfixion Films’ Dark White, presented at the 2015 Triskellion Dance Film Lab in Brooklyn, NY. Gibson’s work has received consistent critical acclaim, heralded by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "the most authoritative work in Philadelphia. . ." Gibson's work has been commissioned regularly by universities such as Bryn Mawr College, Drexel University, Georgian Court University, and University of the Arts. Gibson is also a teacher, and has taught ballet and composition in the US and abroad, including Temple University, University of the Arts, the Zawirowania Festival, and many other institutions.

Michael McDermott (Composer) - Composer, musician and programmer stage, recordings, installations, dance, film, advertising and interactive applications. His work is inspired by the natural world and incorporates elements of chance, asymmetry, romanticism and texuralism. Honing his skills at Philadelphia University and Berklee College of Music his music has been presented in artistic centers around the world like New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Toronto, Vienna and extensively in his home town of Philadelphia.

Marria Cosentino-Chapin (Dancer) began her dance training at the Cleveland Ballet School. At age 15, she moved to New York City to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet. Her instruction also comprised multiple summer intensive programs, including Miami City Ballet and several summers in Chautauqua, NY under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. Marria joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet for our 2013/2014 season. She has performed in numerous works for the company, including George Balanchine’s Jewels, Allegro Brillante, and Serenade, Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake and Polyphonia, Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Alexei Ratmansky’s Jeu de Cartes, and Matthew Neenan’s Penumbra. Prior to joining Pennsylvania Ballet, Marria performed with Carolina Ballet, where she danced from 2007 to 2009 and then again in 2011, after some time with Judith Fugate and Medhi Bahiri’s BalletNY.


Brian Cordova (Dancer) native of Brentwood, NY, began his formal dance training in 2010 focusing in ballet and modern styles. He earned his BFA in Dance from Temple University in December 2016, completing numerous choreographic works presented in Conwell Dance Theater and the InHale Performance Series in South Philadelphia. He has also worked to become an established freelance lighting designer, presenting designs for Temple University MFA thesis concerts, Temple Preparatory School, and Philadelphia’s Fringe Festival. Brian has had the pleasure to dance with artists such as Kariamu Welsh, Charles Anderson, Lauren Putty-White, Meredith Rainey, and Kun-Yang Lin. This is Brian’s second season with Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet.

Sean Thomas Boyt (Dancer) is a dancer and choreographer newly-based in Philadelphia. He currently dances for The Naked Stark, Anne-Marie Mulgrew & Dancers Co, Vervet Dance, stb x at, and SKI BALL. Sean holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Iowa and has danced for Ballet Minnesota, Moving Arts Ensemble, Dancers in Company, Antonia & Artists, and independent choreographers including Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Jennifer Muller, Nicholas Leichter, Nora Gibson, Chris Masters, Melinda Jean Myers, and Paula Lamamie de Clairac.  Sean's work has been presented at Ten Tiny Performances, LOUi, Fertile Ground, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, IUCC Experimental Microcinema, InHale Performance Series, ETC. Performance Series, iHearIC, Society of Composers Inc, 24+24, OCGOPF, and IC Open City, as well as at various University of Iowa concerts and self-produced shows and tours. He enjoys working collaboratively and incorporating physical theater, video, improvisation, and text. More information can be found on This is Sean's third season with NGCB.


Katharine Nace (Dancer) was trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, after which she joined Richmond Ballet as a trainee and corps performer. While in Richmond, she attended and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Dance and Choreography. She has also danced professionally with Charlottesville Ballet, Rapture Dance Company, Theatre West Virginia, and as a company member for First State Ballet Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware.  She is currently performing as a freelance artist at locations such as MetLife Stadium and The Kennedy center, as well as outreach for inner-city children and autistic friendly events like the annual Washington DC Holiday for Hope. When not dancing, she teaches dance in all genres and levels including university caliber. Her choreography has been presented at school productions, competitions, and college concert venues.


Hallie Lahm (Dancer) began her training at the Joffrey Ballet School in 2008 under the direction of George de la Peña. Throughout her time with the Joffrey School she was invited to participate in several choreographic works in collaboration with the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet. In 2011 she started her training with The Ailey School under the study of Hassan Blandford, where she received training in techniques such as Graham, Horton and West African. By 2013 she continued her dance education in New York City, training with Francois Perron at The French Academie of Ballet and with Nadege Hottier at Premiere Division School of Ballet. Lahm regularly works with Ms. Hottier when she is not in Philadelphia. She is currently a third year student in the School of Dance at The University of the Arts where she is receiving her BFA in Dance Performance. During her time at The University of the Arts, she has been granted opportunities to work with choreographers such as Douglas Becker, Helen Simoneau, Meredith Rainey and Nora Gibson, and was recently invited to dance at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris and the Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels.