North American Tour 2024

Snapshot by Prince Credell

Pathways to Performance, NDT workshops North American tour 2024, NDT ambassador work

Did you know that when NDT tours internationally, we often provide more than performances in theaters? Prince Credell, NDT’s Policy Advisor Diversity and Inclusion and member of the Talent development & Education department, joined NDT 1 on their North American Tour. In this story, he shares about his contribution to the tour that included a residency called Pathways to Performance Choreographic Program, guiding NDT workshops by dancers and other NDT ambassador work. Have a read!

Prince at MOVE|NYC| together with Nigel Campbell, artistic director of MOVE|NYC|. Photo: courtesy of MOVE|NYC|

NDT 1 during North American Tour

Most recently, I had the pleasure of joining NDT 1 during their North American Tour to New York City Center. Words can’t express how valuable the trip was for me, not only because I could connect NDT directly with many former colleagues, schools, and companies in the NYC area, but also because of the extensive educational workshop program that occurred in various dance settings with diversified staff and student bodies during the tour. The NDT dancers were exceptional in their performances. Still, it was a double treat to see the NDT 1 dancers developing their leadership skills and growing as teachers in the field!

Pathways rehearsal

Meredith Rainey with dancers in the studio. Photo: courtesy of Theresa Ruth Howard

During the earlier part of the tour, when the company was in Canada, I was also up north in the snow at the New England Berkshires historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival grounds and archive. As an ambassador for diversity and inclusion for NDT, I was invited by Theresa Ruth Howard to share insights with professional dancers and staff both inside and outside the dance studio on artistic practice and creative inclusion in today’s dance landscape for various dancers. It was essential not only to coach the dancers, but also to share NDT’s journey and story in our cultural climate. More importantly, I am excited about the discussions that are continuing NDTs ability to share on the topics, and the potential to further develop relationships with new allies!

The residency at Jacob’s Pillow, Pathways to Performance Choreographic Program (PTP), is a MoBBallet initiative that cultivates Black choreographers (and those of color) who specifically work in the idiom of ballet. PTP is curated and directed by Theresa Ruth Howard, a former ballet dancer, writer and since 2015 international organizational consultant and diversity strategist. The residency culminates with a presentation of works that highlight black choreographers, dancers, and conductors at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in July 2024.

Meredith Rainey with dancers in the studio. Photo: courtesy of Theresa Ruth Howard
The Perles Family Studio at Jacob's Pillow. Photo from the Jacob's Pillow website

New York City

Upon returning to New York City to meet my NDT colleagues, the week began with extensive commuting from uptown to downtown on the New York subway system to carry out the support: workshops delivered downtown occurred at MOVE|NYC| (at Gibney Dance) with teenaged dance students preparing to enter university, while further east at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts dance students were aiming to finish their degree program to enter the dance field. The NDT 1 dancers taught tailored workshops for various dance environments such as LaGuardia H.S. of the Performing Arts, Barnard College, The Ailey School, The Juilliard School, and our incredible hosts, New York City Center.

Prince (centered) together with Nigel Campbell, NDT's Executive director Willemijn Maas and Eva Monen (Manager Talent Development & Education) at MOVE|NYC|. Photo: courtesy of MOVE|NYC|

For now, I’d like to thank Theresa for our partnership in the cultural competency coalition, the Jacob’s Pillow direction and staff, and the Kennedy Center for supporting and promoting projects dedicated to inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and environmental sustainability! Last, but not least a special thanks to all staff and departments at NDT for their endless dedication to delivering exceptional dance performances and teaching engagements during the tours! Thank you for ’doing what you do’ to make the magic happen at home and ‘on the road’!

NDT 1 dancers at New York City Center bowing after performing 'Jakie' by Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar. Photo: Prince Credell

Prince Credell

Prince Credell

Policy Advisor Diversity and Inclusion / Talent development & Education

This story was written by Prince Credell, current Policy Advisor Diversity & Inclusion at NDT.