Dance Company » Choreographers
The Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) performs choreography by Lula Washington and classic works by legends of African-American dance including Donald McKayle, Rennie Harris, Donald Byrd, Katherine Dunham, Christopher Huggins, and many others.
Donald McKayle is a pioneer modern dance living legend. He has created some of the most memorable choreography in modern dance, including “Rainbow Round My Shoulder,” “Games,” “Songs Of The Disinherited” and “Blood Memories.”
Donald McKayle is the Artistic Director of Dance at the University of California, Irvine. He continues to teach there and direct its Rainbow Etude Ensemble while traveling the world setting choreography for dance companies and theatrical productions. On Broadway, McKayle directed “Raisin,” “Sophisticated Ladies,” and other works. He has choreographed The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards, the original musical version of “Golden Boy,” “Minstrel Man,” and “The Cosby Show.” His concert dance work is performed by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Jose Limon Dance Company, Batsheva Company from Israel, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Theater, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Chuck Davis’s African-American Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, and other companies around the world.
McKayle has set a half dozen works on Lula Washington Dance Theatre and serves as an advisor to the LWDT Board and to Lula Washington.
Rennie Harris, a North Philadelphia native, founded Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) based on the belief that hip-hop is the most important original expression of a new generation, with the unique ability to express universal themes that extend beyond racial, religious, and economic boundaries.
In 2007, RHPM and Harris garnered a number of coveted opportunities. Harris was named Artist of the Year by Pennsylvania’s First Lady Judge Marjorie O. Rendell and received one of 50 prestigious United States Artists Fellowships. RHPM was honored to receive one of Philadelphia’s ten “Rocky Awards” for its “absolutely heroic” efforts of producing (3) back-to-back opening nights at the Kimmel Center for its 15th Anniversary retrospective in June.
In a society where hip-hop is often portrayed as a violent, undisciplined counterculture, RHPM deconstructs popular perception of this medium, expanding and challenging the boundaries and definitions of hip-hop in general. As hip-hop continues to be chosen as the modern generation’s medium of expression, RHPM works to honor its history, explore its ideas, and further its contributions to the surrounding community.
Since his departure from the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Christopher Huggins has worked as a freelance artist. As a dancer, teacher and choreographer, he has worked in five European countries, Japan, and throughout the United States. Born in Boston, MA, Christopher trained under Andrea Herbert Major, Danny Sloan and Martha Gray. He attended the State University of New York at Purchase and the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center. Huggins has appeared as a guest artist for several dance companies in the United States and abroad. He was a featured performer for the Essence Awards, Broadway’s A Few Good Men, and Debbie Allen’s musical Soul Possessed at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. He is the 2002 recipient of the Ira Aldridge Award for best Choreography from the Black Theater Alliance in Chicago for his work Emmy Behind the Gates for Philadanco.
Christopher Huggins is presently choreographing for the New York City Housing Authority, Duke Ellington High School in Washington D.C., The Ailey School, Eleone Dance Company of Philadelphia, and has recently worked for Disney in Orlando, Florida.
Jordi Caballero is Hollywood’s acclaimed choreographer-actor who raises the bar of entertainment. Uniquely attuned to creating dynamics through entertainment media, Jordi fuses together his expertise in choreography, dance and acting to kick up the spirit of entertainment and captivate audiences.
Jordi is a two-time American Choreography Award nominee as well as a MethodFest Film Festival nominee. A native of Barcelona Spain, Jordi’s international roots and love for the American way led him to the U.S. to pursue a career in the performing arts. Arriving with two suitcases in hand, Jordi enrolled at NYU Tisch School of the Arts where he earned a BFA degree in acting. During that period, he also cultivated his multi-faceted interest in dance performance with evolving interest in theatrical and Latin styles. Beginning with live staged events, Jordi’s compounded talents escalated to choreographing, performing and acting in television and film venues.
Jordi has worked with a long list of celebrities including Cher, Madonna, the Spice Girls 2008 Reunion World Tour, Tony Bennett , Jennifer Lopez and Macy Gray among many others. Hit Film and TV shows include Chris Columbus’ film/musical Rent, Rob Reiner’s Alex and Emma, The Oscars, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Next Top Model, CSI Miami, Nip-Tuck, Brothers & Sisters, Sex and the City, The Shield, The Unit, Cold Case and Entourage. As a popular celebrity Judge, Jordi infuses shows with a dynamic style through cool critique and articulate wit as seen in such hit TV shows as Bravo’s Step It Up and Dance as well as the British show Dirty Dancing, The Time of Your Life.
His passion and expertise of dance and theatrical entertainment combined with his hip Euro-LA-NY style equip him with the essential elements to spontaneously interact with live talent through cool honesty, be it through messages of praise to those that shine or with tough love to those in need of help. Through it all, Jordi’s shining personality and mastery of performance proves to captivate audiences and win hearts along the way.