BENJAMIN MILLEPIED IDENTIFIES PRINCIPAL DANCER CARLA KÖRBES AS L.A. DANCE PROJECT’S ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND DANCER/REHEARSAL DIRECTOR, CHARLIE HODGES, RETIRES
LOS ANGELES, California – June 22, 2015 –
In keeping with L.A. Dance Project’s commitment to sustainable, top quality dance based in the City of Los Angeles, Founding Director Benjamin Millepied has identified Carla Körbes, superstar Principal Dancer from the Pacific Northwest Ballet, to join the L.A. Dance Project artistic team. Mr. Millepied described Carla as “a thoughtful and inspirational leader who brings out the best in those that she works with.” In addition to overseeing daily rehearsals, casting, and programing for the company, Ms. Körbes will report directly to Mr. Millepied and collaborate as part of L.A. Dance Project’s team in the development and planning of artistic projects. “Carla makes great decisions as an artist and staying connected with her while she is in the studio every day will allow me remain in sync with the dancers and the company,” said Millepied.
Ms. Körbes, who retires as a celebrated Principal Dancer following a 16 year career in dance, stepped away from full-time performing on June 7th at McCraw Hall in Seattle Washington. She begins working with L.A. Dance Project as Associate Artistic Director on June 22nd, at L.A. Dance Project’s studios in Downtown Los Angeles. Ms. Körbes said, “I have followed L.A. Dance Project since it launched in 2012 and am thrilled to begin this next chapter. It is an honor to be invited by Benjamin to be a part of this exciting organization, and I’m looking forward to working with the company’s amazing dancers.”
L.A. Dance Project also celebrates the career and incredible contributions of its premiere dancer and Rehearsal Director, Charlie Hodges. Charlie will retire from the company after his final performance at Jacob’s Pillow on August 22nd. Charlie is one of the company’s original dancers and has doubled as Rehearsal Director from the beginning. Mr. Hodges’ diverse career, spanning nearly 20 years, started in ballet and included substantial time working closely with Twyla Tharp, performing in Broadway’s Movin’ Out and helping create and perform in her shows The Times They Are A-Changing and Come Fly Away. An intelligent dancer and gifted designer, Mr. Hodges is leaving L.A. Dance Project to pursue a degree at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Mr. Millepied said of Charlie, “He is the heart of this company and a true compass to the dancers, a virtuosic dancer responsible for creating many of our most exhilarating moments on stage. His artistry and leadership will be sorely missed.”
Ms. Körbes was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began her ballet training at age five with local teachers. At age eleven, she began studying at Ballet Vera Bublitz. In 1996, Peter Boal danced with her as a guest artist of the school and encouraged her to come to New York to study at the School of American Ballet. For academic year 1997–1998, her tuition was paid by Alexandra Danilova so she could continue studying at the School of American Ballet. In 1999, she was the Mae. L. Wien Award recipient and was made an apprentice with New York City Ballet. She joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000 and was the Janice Levin Dancer Honoree for 2001–2002. She was promoted to soloist in 2005 and later that year joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a soloist. Ms. Körbes was promoted to principal dancer in 2006.
In 2002, Ms. Körbes performed Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances for the nationally televised PBS Live from Lincoln Center broadcast, “New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography.” In addition to her performances with New York City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ms. Körbes has performed with Peter Boal and Company. In 2007, she performed in the worldwide company debut performance of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. She has also performed as a guest artist on the Vail International Dance Festival’s “International Evenings of Dance” galas and at the “Dance Open” Gala in St. Petersburg, Russia in April 2010.
Charlie graduated Valedictorian from Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts where he earned the Arnold C. Taylor Award for Artistic and Academic Excellence. He spent four years dancing soloist and principal roles with the Sacramento Ballet, performing works by Ron Cunningham, Balanchine and deMille. Prior to joining L.A. Dance Project, Charlie spent ten years working for and alongside Twyla Tharp. Dancing in her touring company, he was nominated the Best Male Dancer of 2003 by the European Critic’s Choice Awards. In 2006, he made his Broadway Debut in the Tharp/Joel musical Movin’ Out. He assisted in the creation of, and performed in, Tharp’s subsequent Broadway musical The Times They Are A-Changin’. And in 2010, he won the Fred Astaire Award for Best Male Dancer on Broadway for the creation of his role, Marty, in the Sinatra musical Come Fly Away. He has had the thrill of staging works of both Tharp and Millepied on companies in France and Australia as well as in New York, Seattle, Michigan and California. He has guested with Lar Lubovitch, Los Angeles Dance Company, Westside Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Charlie earned a High Honors Undergraduate Degree from the University of Washington where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, gaining admittance to both Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Alpha Lambda. As a Mary Gate’s Research Scholar, he developed a University curriculum that exploits how a dancer’s brain is their most valuable tool. He deferred from pursuing a Master’s Degree for Industrial Design at Pratt University in order to kickstart LADP, a project in which he has been thrilled to participate. And, he has spent the two years prior to joining LADP working with ODA, an architecture firm in SoHo, Manhattan that specializes in mid-century modern renovations. He dances for his family; John, Brenda, Boone, and most importantly his mother, Cathy.