Small Places

February 16-18, 2018

A collection of three world premieres marks the finale of our newest original series.

This choreographers’ showcase introduces Stephanie Martinez, an award-winning dance artist and one of the most sought-after dancemakers, to Memphis. Stephanie’s contemporary works have been described as “luminous and intricately conceived, in order to imagine answers to unspoken questions,” a perfect pairing to the thoughtful work from our own dancer Julie Marie Niekrasz and ballet master Brian McSween. Julie’s world premiere from last season, Sa Voix, was so favorably received it is set to tour this season. Now she focuses on intrinsic, close-to-the-heart places where our most important things are stored. Brian, who created the imaginative Pushin’ the Stone for our Pairings world premiere in 2016 will use as his inspiration the Clyde Parke Miniature Circus at the Pink Palace, described as “an unrivaled creation…one man’s hopeful response to the hopelessness” of the Great Depression. From Places in time, and those far out of reach, we now look inward at the great impact even small Places can have in this powerful series finale.

"Stephanie Martinez shows a sure hand.... Combining contemporary dance with hints of hip-hop, and alternating group sections with solos and duets, (she) creates a nuanced work with a teasing, just-out-of-reach meaning." —Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader


Chicago-based choreographer and 3-Arts Award winner Stephanie Martinez aims to create environments which captivate, connect, and move her audiences along a journey guided by the kinetic momentum of her work. With original creations for Ballet Hispanico, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Sacramento Ballet, Eugene Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company, Dance Kaleidoscope, Ron De Jesus Dance, Chicago Dance Crash, and Visceral Dance Chicago, among others, she expands the boundaries of contemporary movement. Stephanie’s choreography has been featured in collegiate dance departments across the country, including Point Park University, Columbia College, Northwestern University, Jacksonville University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Boston Conservatory. In 2010, she assisted Broadway legend Ann Reinking in setting the Fosse Trilogy, as well as Daniel Ezralow, choreographer of Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, in remounting his celebrated work, Pulse, for Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco. She has also created for The National Choreographer’s Initiative and  was awarded The Joffrey Ballet’s "Winning Works: Choreographers of Color” commission, which was subsequently performed at The Joffrey Ballet's 2017 Annual Gala. Upcoming commissions include Charlotte Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Cincinnati Ballet, and a world premiere with The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. This is her first work for Ballet Memphis.