Alejandro Cerrudo, Cheryl Mann Del Cuore, Micaela Taylor, Mike Tyus and Luca Renzi

CalArts Spring Dance: LAUNCH

About

Meet the next generation of dance artists at this year’s CalArts Spring Dance program. Featuring performances by the graduating class of 2024, this two-night engagement highlights the agility, intelligence, and innovation of this dynamic group of young artists. The program includes a solo and duet by choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo restaged by Cheryl Mann Del Cuore; a premiere by Micaela Taylor; the remounting of a commission by Mike Tyus and Luca Renzi; and three new works by emerging choreographers from the class of 2024.

 

The program includes post-performance receptions on May 7-8.

Presented by CalArts’ Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance.

about the artists

Alejandro Cerrudo

Alejandro Cerrudo was born in Madrid, Spain. His professional career includes work with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC). Cerrudo became HSDC’s first-ever resident choreographer in 2008 and held that position until 2018.

Cerrudo’s body of work has been performed by over 20 professional dance companies around the world. Honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011) and the Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed, first evening-length work, One Thousand Pieces. In 2014, he was awarded the USA Donnelley Fellowship by United States Artists. Also, Cerrudo was one of four choreographers invited by New York City Ballet’s Wendy Whelan to create and perform original duets for Restless Creatures. In 2017, Cerrudo was invited by Daniil Simkin to choreograph a site-specific performance for the Guggenheim Rotunda, a Works & Process Rotunda Project commission, featuring Daniil Simkin and original costumes by Dior. Cerrudo’s Sleeping Beauty, created with Ballet Theater Basel in 2016, was nominated as “Production of the Year” in Switzerland in the Tanz, Jahrbuch by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

In 2020, Cerrudo was appointed Pacific Northwest Ballet’s resident choreographer, becoming the first artist in the company’s history to have the honor of holding that title. Independently, he directed and choreographed his show, It Starts Now, which premiered in 2020 at The Joyce Theater in New York. In 2022, Cerrudo was appointed artistic director of Charlotte Ballet.


 

Cheryl Mann Del Cuore

Cheryl Mann Del Cuore joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago under the leadership of founder Lou Conte in ’97. She danced there for 10 years and was fortunate to travel the world doing what she loved to do. She served as the artistic associate of Visceral Dance Chicago until she moved to LA to become the executive director of Ate9 Dance Company. She is the owner of Cheryl Mann Productions, where she has traveled the world setting dance works for world renown choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, Toru Shimazaki, Alejandro Cerrudo, and Danny Ezralow. She is also the official photographer for Joffrey Ballet Chicago, and has shot for countless dance companies nationwide. In LA, Mann  was on the creative team for NBCUniversal’s Little Big Shots featuring Steve Harvey, and was the associate choreographer of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory LIVE at the Hollywood Bowl. She also had the pleasure of casting and choreographing Moby’s music video “Motherless Child.” She is currently assistant dean at CalArts and is grateful for it all. 

 

Micaela Taylor

Micaela Taylor is a dancer, choreographer, and the artistic director and founder of the TL Collective. Trained in hip-hop and ballet, she has created her own dance genre called “expand practice,” exuding emotion from the core and creating varied physical shapes and textures as expressions of one’s authentic self. Her quirky style of exaggerated facial expressions, gesture, and athletic theatricality sets her work apart. Taylor created her own technique and is building the TL Collective from the ground up. She received the inaugural Springboard EMERGE Choreographic Award, was named in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2019, and graced the cover of Dance Magazine in April 2020. Most recently, she was awarded San Francisco’s 2022 Audience Choice Award for “Best Solo Artist.”  A millennial herself, Taylor is a role model and influencer to aspiring BIPOC artists and is creating groundbreaking work that introduces commercial styles to concert dance. Taylor’s work has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the BroadStage, Ford Amphitheater, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and more. Alongside the launch of her company, Taylor has been commissioned to choreograph and teach by Rambert Dance Company, the Getty Center, BODYTRAFFIC, Springboard Danse Montreal/Gibney Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, b12 Festival Workshop Berlin, and Carlos Acosta’s Acosta Danza. She has just been named Resident Choreographer of BODYTRAFFIC and upcoming commissions include Ballet BC, Venice Biennale, and more.


 

Mike Tyus

Mike Tyus is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, and creative director from Los Angeles, California. He has been performing and creating dance works for the stage and screen for over 15 years. As a performer Tyus has worked with Cirque du Soleil:IRIS at the Kodak Theater in LA and in Kooza as “the trickster”—“a devilish ringleader.” Tyus joined Pilobolus Dance Theater in 2013 performing works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Penn & Teller, and Israeli choreographers Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak, while also creating company repertory that is still performed today. He is a founding member of Jacob Jonas The Company and an associate producer for Films.Dance, a platform focused on dance film creation through unconventional collaboration. Tyus’ passion for performing inevitably led him to choreographing his own work. His dance works derive from techniques and styles from his past. Circus theater, acrobatics, ballet, and Greco-Roman wrestling are abstracted and synthesized to create something unique. He has created works for dance companies, museums, pop stars, and universities alike. Recently he’s worked with The Broad Museum, The Wende Museum, Visceral Dance Chicago, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Manhattan Youth Ballet, ZiRu Dance, the University of Utah, Vassar College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CLI Studios by Teddy Forance, and the LINES ballet training program. In 2020 Tyus directed and choreographed a dance film called Elsewhere with Whim W’him Contemporary Dance Company that is now being shown on PBS. He also choreographed a Facebook commercial directed by FKA Twigs that now lives in the MOMA’s archives because of its cultural significance. Tyus’ has also choreographed music videos for Nigerian pop star Adekunle Gold and newcomer Anna Margo, bringing art-world sensibilities to pop culture. In 2020 Tyus created Mike Tyus & Co, a dance company that focuses on the creation of Tyus’ work with over 13 films and the creation of a piece called Hunger developed at Orsolina28, a dance residency in Moncalvo, Italy.

As a creative director Tyus has developed branded campaigns for VAARA, Anthropologie, Veuve Clicquot, Club Monaco, Sony, Apple, and Abercrombie & Fitch—focusing on the relationship between dance and commerce and utilizing his large social media following to help share the joy of dance worldwide. Community and creation are at the core of Tyus’ mission and continue to drive his efforts in crafting work that feeds the human spirit and reflects the times in which we live.

 

Luca Renzi

Luca Renzi is a choreographer, movement /creative director, and video artist. He was born in Bern, Switzerland and is based in Los Angeles. He trained at the University of Zurich under Jochen Heckmann (Germany) and Andrea von Gunten. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with his MFA in Dance with a concentration in Choreography and Dance/Technology under the direction of Sean Curran.

Renzi was a member of Vivo Ballet, a contemporary dance company in New York. He has also toured with recording artist INNA from Romania, danced in music videos for Jackson Wang, and directed music videos for Soaky Siren. Recently he is assisting Mike Tyus & Co. in videography and choreography.