Choreographer Eliot Feld's Ballet Tech, founded in 1974, has been described as a post-classical ballet company which attempts to rethink ballet in a way that is both characteristically American and very New York. Although the year-round professional company was suspended in 2003, Mr. Feld's works continue to be presented in abbreviated seasons at the Joyce Theater featuring a small group of laureate dancers.
Significant performances have included the Mandance Project, which featured 12 new ballets by Eliot Feld; the premiere of Pianola: Indigo, another of Mr. Feld's explorations of player piano music; the premiere of Skandia, danced to music by the Swedish Nyckelharpa Orchestra; and Pacific Dances set to luscious Hawaiian slack-key guitar music. There are the usual revivals of Feld classics, too, such as the elegiac Endsong; and At Midnight, set to the music of Strauss and Mahler; and Jukebox, set to classic hits by the Coasters.
Mr. Feld's exceptional choreography represents only one aspect of the company's three-fold mission. For, in addition to helping forge a contemporary American identity in classical ballet, there is the Ballet Tech School. Together, company and school introduce thousands of New York City public schoolchildren to the performing arts every year and support those gifted students as a means of developing the dancers of tomorrow.
Ballet Tech's pre-professional student troupe, known as Kids Dance, presents a weekend family matinee series during the company's regular spring season. Kids Dance also in a sense completes the cycle for Ballet Tech by engendering among students greater interest in the school. Thirty thousand students audition annually for the school. Those accepted are able to learn the art of the dance tuition-free.
Kids Dance is Ballet Tech's student performance troupe. Created in 1994, Kids Dance provides students with the opportunity to learn choreography and develop performance skills, activities that are essential to the development of a professional dancer. Kids Dance presents programs for families and young audiences.