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Meet Jodie Gates

About Jodie Gates

Jodie Gates is an artistic director, a choreographer, arts educator, stager, and former dancer. She was a principal ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet, as well as an international guest artist. She most recently was Artistic Director of Cincinnati Ballet and is currently Founder and Artistic Director of Laguna Dance Festival based in Laguna Beach California, and Founding Director of the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in Los Angeles. She was a tenured Professor at the University of Southern California and University of California, Irvine.

She is an accomplished choreographer, commissioned by several dance companies including Staatsballett Berlin, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Ballet West, Colorado Ballet, BalletX, Kansas City Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Vail International Dance Festival, as well as a commissioned choreographer for television commercials, special site-specific events including choreography and direction for singer/songwriter John Legend, and she choreographed a global ad campaign for Los Angeles Tourism.

She is an artistic collaborator with William Forsythe, staging ballets for Forsythe Productions, working with the Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Teatro alla Scala Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Zurich Ballet among others. Her performing career began with the Joffrey Ballet in NYC where she originated many roles and worked with a host of renowned choreographers. She is featured in several publications and has appeared in numerous television programs and festivals. Her guest appearances include galas at The Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg Russia; dancing Odette/Odile with Fernando Bujones in Swan Lake with Ballet de Monterrey Mexico; Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet at Lincoln Center in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and The Music Center in Los Angeles.

She appeared at festivals in Spoleto Italy, The Edinburgh Festival, The Nijinsky Festival in Hamburg, Germany, and The Melbourne Festival in Australia. She has danced at the Bolshoi in Moscow, Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt Germany, Theatre du Chatelet and Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, among other established venues in the United States. She received a Psychology of Leadership Certificate from Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business and studied with the Higher Education Leadership Program for Women at Bryn Mawr College. Honors include recognition for Arts Leadership by the American Association of University Women, Altria/ABT fellowship from American Ballet Theatre, and a recipient of the esteemed Jerome Robbins New Essential Works program.

Most recently, she was awarded the distinguished 2021/2022 Residency Fellowship from The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. Her Fellowship acknowledged her most recent work addressing systemic inequities within the culture of ballet.

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