“The choice to dance is completely instinctual, completely compelling. We all struggle through life trying to understand why we’re here and what we’re doing. For me, dance has always been my way of communicating of finding answers. There was just no other path.” - Elisa Monte


Elisa Monte

ELISA MONTE (Resident Choreographer) made her professional debut dancing with Agnes DeMille. She then went on to continue her dance career as principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company, Lar Lubovitch, and Pilobolus among others. Monte’s first choreographic work, Treading (1979), defined her as an important innovator and contributor to contemporary dance.

Her signature style, recognized as daring, intense, and passionate, is classical and highly athletic. Rooted in sensuality and controlled, sustained energy, Monte’s work is notable for its expansive range of movement. Hers is a diverse movement vocabulary that refuses stylistic conformity.

Ms. Monte often collaborates with artists in other disciplines, examples being: composers Glenn Branca, Richard Peaslee, Barbara Kolb, David Van Tieghem, Joe Dallarda; architects Todd Williams and Billie Tsien and visual artists Philip Tsiaras.

Since the Company’s inception, Monte has choreographed more than 50 works danced by this company and others, including Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Gulbenkian of Portugal, Teatro alla Scala Ballet, Philadanco, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theater, the Batsheva Dance Company of Israel the PACT Contemporary Dance Company of South Africa.

Monte was among the first choreographers awarded commission by the National Choreography Project. This resulted in Monte creating VII for VIII for the Boston Ballet.

Now into her third decade of choreography, Monte’s Volkmann Suite, Slope of Enlightenment, Shattered, and other recent works have received widespread acclaim and represent her continuing contribution to dance. As Artistic Director of the Company, Monte has seen her career come full circle. Just as Treading was created as part of an initiative to develop new choreographers from within the Martha Graham Dance Company, today Monte is strongly committed to identifying and nurturing new talent, “As I reflect on my evolution from student to teacher, I hope to be able to offer as much to younger dancers as I received from those who came before me.”