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Laura Katz Rizzo



    • B.A. History, English, University of New Mexico
      Ed.M. Dance, Temple Univesity
      Graduate Certificate: Women's Studies, Temple University
      Ph.D. Dance, Temple University

      Laura Katz Rizzo is a ballet choreographer, scholar and pedagogue.  She has received certification in the Vaganova method of classical ballet pedagogy, which she studied under John White and Margarita de Saá, as well as being an ABT certified teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in levels Primary through 7 and Partnering of the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum. She began her ballet training under Hortensia Fonseca at the Maryland Youth Ballet, later studying with Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, Melissa Hayden and Allegra Kent at the Chicago City Ballet, Helgi Thommason, Christopher Boatwright and Larissa Sklyanskaya at the San Francisco Ballet, and Ben Stevenson and Rosemary Miles at the Houston Ballet. As a student, she performed with The Joffrey Ballet and New York City Ballet. She has performed professionally with several classical ballet companies, including Ballet South, the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, the Santa Fe Opera Company, and The Ballet Theatre of New Mexico, and several contemporary and baroque dance companies, including Dance Theatre X, Opus I Contemporary and Sprezzatura Dance Ensemble. Her repertoire includes principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Les Patineurs, Firebird, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Dark Elegies, Raymonda, Paquita, and many other classical and contemporary ballets.

      She has trained in archive and oral history work through the Legacy Oral History Project, and written articles, book reviews and teaching guides for dance publications and institutions such as Dance Chronicle, Playbill Magazine, Critical Correspondence: Movement Research Journal and The Brooklyn Academy of Music.  She has participated in interviews and panels on dance for The National Museum of Women in the Arts and WRTI Radio, and presented papers, choreographic work and taught master classes at some of the following institutions: The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Chicago, Sarah Lawrence College, The University of the Arts, The University of Utah, Franklin and Marshall College, Muhlenberg College and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
      Rizzo has taught at Mount Holyoke College, Bryn Mawr College, Drexel University, the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, the Dance Theatre of the Southwest and Ballet Theater of New Mexico.

    • Scholarly Publications

      Book: Dancing the Fairytale: Performing and Producing The Sleeping Beauty. Temple University Press, 2015.

      Upcoming: “African Dance and Classical Ballet: A Dialogue across Genre”
      Critical Correspondence: Movement Research Journal

      New York: Movement Research

      Upcoming: Book Review, “Vaganova’s Vision and the Development of Neoclassical Russian Ballet Training”
      Dance Chronicle

      Taylor and Francis: London and New York

      Book Review, “Embodied History: The Cultural Revelations of Dancing Bodies in Their Times”
      Dance Chronicle,
      January 2009
      Taylor and Francis: London and New York

      Generation BAM Study Guide for “Les Noces and Petrushka”
      Brooklyn Academy of Music
      , November 2005
      Brooklyn, New York

      “The Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker Turns 35”
      Playbill Magazine
      , November 2003
      New York, New York

    • Scholarly Presentations

      June 2012, Society of Dance History Scholars Conference
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      “How Aurora Woke Up in Philadelphia: the Modernizing of American Ballet”

      June 2012, Congress of Organized Researchers of Pedagogy in Ballet
      Jacob’s Pillow, Beckett, Mass
      “Catherine Littlefield and the Philadelphia Ballet Company”

      April 2012, Reflection/Response Speaker Series: Temple University
      Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
      “Aurora Speaks: Theorizing the Lived Experience of Dancing The Sleeping Beauty”

      March 2012, National Women’s History Conference
      Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
      Women, The Arts, Activism
      “The Sleeping Beauty Speaks: Aurora as Empowered Agent”

      November 2011, Congress on Research in Dance and Society of Ethnomusicology Conference
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      “Dance in the City: Undergraduate Students Learning Dance through Community Engaged Learning Projects”

      November 2009, National Museum of Women in the Arts
      Bryn Mawr Film Institute: Bryn Mawr, PA
      Panelist for museum sponsored film screening and panel discussion of “Who Does She Think She Is?” a film about women artists and mothers

      November 2004, WRTI Public Radio
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Radio interview entitled, “The Nutcracker and the Rituals of the Holiday Season”

      July 2002, Society of Dance History Scholars Conference
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Orientalism in the Early Works of the Ballets Russes: The Exoticizing of Russian Ballet, 1909-1911

      April 2002, AAUW “Female ‘Bodies’ of Knowledge” Symposium
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Sleeping Beauties: The Sleeping Female Body in Late 19th century Western Painting and Ballet

      March 2002, Eyes on the Mosaic “Globalizing Race” Conference
      Chicago, Illinois
      Race Against Time: An Embodied Conversation About Raced Womanhood

      April 2000, Schulkylkill Graduate Student Conference
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Exploring the Power of the Ballerina


      Creative Research: Choreography/Re-stagings

      May 2012, Excerpts from Coppéllia, Pas d’Esclave from Le Corsiare, and Don Quixote

      December 2011, Excerpts from Flower Festival at Genzano and La Fille mal Gardé

      January 2012, A Wild Patience (original choreography for 7 women)

      September 2011, Grand Pas Hongrois from Raymonda (original choreography in the style of Marius Petipa)

      May 2011, Excerpts from Don Quixote and La Esmerelda

      February 2011, Game and Round of the Princesses from L’Oiseau de Feu (based upon original by Michel Fokine)

      December 2010, Excerpts from Raymonda, Swan Lake and Giselle

      February 2010, NoStalgia (original choreography for 8 dancers)

      September 2010, Pas de Trois des Odalisques from Le Corsaire

      February 2007, Excerpts from Raymonda

      February 2006, Excerpts from Paquita

      February 2005, Excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty

      May 1996, Garland Waltz from The Sleeping Beauty