Troy Schumacher, founder, director and resident choreographer

Troy Schumacher formed BalletCollective as a twenty-first century model inspired by historic ballet, music and visual art collaborative efforts. Its mission is to present ballet-based work in an intimate setting with live music that represents contributions from the choreographer, dancers, musicians and artists who engage in an ongoing give and take process. Schumacher has received choreographic commissions from New York City Ballet, 92nd Street Y, Danspace Project, Performa, School of American Ballet, New York Choreographic Institute, and Atlanta Ballet. Schumacher is active in other cultural media and has participated in a number of collaborations including work for Google in collaboration with Jeff Koons, Sony PlayStation, Capezio featuring Maddie Ziegler, HP, Aritzia, CR Fashion Book, Tom Ford, and The New York Times Men’s Style Section. As a dancer with New York City Ballet, Schumacher has performed principal roles in a number of ballets, including George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Mozartiana, Peter Martins’ Swan Lake, and Jerome Robbins’ Four Seasons and Interplay. Schumacher has choreographed and premiered two commissioned ballets for the New York City Ballet: Clearing Dawn in 2014, featuring music by Judd Greenstein and costumes by Thom Browne, and Common Ground 2015, featuring a new score by Ellis Ludwig-Leone and costumes by Marques’ Almeida. 


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Ellis Ludwig-Leone, resident composer and music director

Ellis Ludwig-Leone is the bandleader and songwriter for Brooklyn-based band San Fermin. Their second album, Jackrabbit, was released worldwide in April of 2015 via Downtown Records. Ellis has written for a wide variety of ensembles, including ACME, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Decoda, Fifth House Ensemble, Hotel Elefant, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Metropolis Ensemble, and wild UP. He was the 2015 Composer-In-Residence for the Alabama Symphony, and has been a recipient of residencies from The MacDowell Colony, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Við Djúpið festival in Iceland.He has worked closely with choreographer Troy Schumacher, most recently on Invisible Divide, a night of three ballets in collaboration with artist David Salle, photographer Paul Maffi, and poet Cynthia Zarin. He is the music director and resident composer for Schumacher’s BalletCollective, having written four ballets for the group. In September 2015, the New York City Ballet premiered Common Ground, Ellis’ first commission from the company. Other recent collaborations include a song cycle with playwright Max Posner and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, to be premiered in the fall of 2016. Upon graduating from Yale University in 2011, Ellis worked as a musical assistant to the composer Nico Muhly. Born in Rhode Island and raised in rural Massachusetts, Ellis currently lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

CARLOS ARNAIZcontributing artist

Carlos Arnaiz is an architect, educator, writer and urban design consultant. He is the founder and principal of CAZA, the co-founder of SURBA and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at Pratt Institute where he teaches a class on the history of ideas about the city and a studio on multi-family housing. His professional experience ranges from the design and construction of large-scale mixed-used complexes to the development of strategic sustainability plans for new cities around the world. Carlos holds a Master’s Degree, with Honors, from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor’s Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Williams College. Carlos’ work has been recognized with prestigious awards such as two consecutive Progressive Architecture awards in 2008 and 2009 and the AIANY building merit award in 2008. His work and writings have been published in ARCHITECT Magazine, Metropolis, Kerb, Dialogue, and 50UNDER50. His work has also been selected as Finalist for ArchDaily’s Best Buildings of the Year, as well as Finalist for Architizer A+ Awards. He has participated in numerous international design competitions including the winning entry for the High Line competition in New York. Prior to founding CAZA, Carlos was associate partner at SAA in charge of over 20 global projects. Carlos started his career working as a design associate at a number of world-renown architecture firms such as Office dA and Field Operations.

JAMES RAMSEY, contributing artist

James Ramsey is the Co-Founder and Creator of The Lowline, and principal of RAAD, an award-winning design and architecture firm based in New York. Ramsey founded RAAD in 2004, and has more than 100 built projects ranging from residential design to retail to urban design and community-driven green spaces. Ramsey’s studied architecture at Yale University where he won a Bates Fellowship to study cathedral design in Europe. He then went to work as a satellite engineer for NASA, an integral part of the team that created the Pluto Fast Flyby and the Cassini satellites. After his time at NASA, Ramsey gained large firm experience at DMSAS in Washington, DC before transferring to the boutique outfit in New York, Penny Yates Architects. RAAD now consists of three divisions—products, architecture and urban design. James closely oversees each of these aspects and personally holds several patents for inventions, including the Remote Skylight technology that powers the Lowline. Ramsey has spoken at conferences around the world regarding his work, and has been featured in hundreds of publications from The Wall Street Journal, to The New York Times and Vice

Brandon STIRLING Baker, Resident Lighting Designer

Brandon Stirling Baker’s lighting can be seen in the repertories of New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, BalletCollective and the LA Dance Project. His work has been presented by major theatre’s internationally including Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Theatre du Chatelet, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Maison de la Danse Lyon, Le Silo Marseille, Havana Ballet Cuba, Guggenheim Bibao Spain, Teatro Carlo Genoa, Oldenburg Staatstheatre in Germany and the Teatro Municpal Colombia in South America. Mr. Baker is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2016 Baker received the Lotos Foundation Prize for emerging artists in New York .

JUDD GREENSTEINcontributing composer

Judd Greenstein is a composer of structurally complex, viscerally engaging works for varied instrumentation. A passionate advocate for the independent new music community across the United States, Judd’s philosophy as both a composer and a curator involves the creation and promotion of music that is an organic blend of multiple styles, sounds, and instruments, open to all influences. Standout groups that reflect this “post-genre” sensibility, including yMusic and Roomful of Teeth, counted Judd among their earliest commissions and continue to perform his work to this day. As a national and international audience has taken notice of these and other like-minded artists, Judd has been increasingly in demand as a composer from major institutions such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Lucerne Festival, among many others. Judd is a founding member of NOW Ensemble, the composer/performer collective, and is the co-director of New Amsterdam Records/New Amsterdam Presents, an artists’ service organization that supports post-genre musicians through the development of performances and new recordings. He is the curator of New York’s Ecstatic Music Festival, an annual showcase of new collaborative concerts between artists from different musical worlds, and co-curates the Apples & Olives festival in Zurich, Switzerland. 

HOTEL ELEFANT, musical ensemble

Hotel Elefant was founded by composers Leaha Maria Villarreal and Mary Kouyoumdjian, brings an awareness of today’s music to the general public through commissions, performances, and moderated discussions between composers, performers, and audiences. Committed to modern sounds and sonic explorations, this “audacious and unafraid” (New Music Box) ensemble highlights living composers who are blurring lines, pushing boundaries, and fostering creativity. With a flexible roster of more than twenty musicians, Hotel Elefant works closely with a broad spectrum of progressive artists including John Luther Adams, Richard Carrick, Michael Gordon, David T. Little, Angélica Negrón, and Chinary Ung. Past performances include Lincoln Center, Look and Listen Festival, and the Bang on a Can Marathon; and a debut Carnegie Hall performance praised by The New York Times as “deeply felt.”


DAVID SALLE, contributing artist

David Salle helped define the post-modern sensibility by combining figuration with an extremely varied pictorial language. His paintings have been shown in museums and galleries worldwide. Although known primarily as a painter, Salle’s work grows out of a long-standing involvement with perfomance. Over the last 25 years he has worked extensively with choreographer Karole Armitage, creating sets and costumes for many of her ballets and operas staged throughout Europe and America. In 1995, Salle directed the feature film Search and Destroy, starring Griffin Dunne and Christopher Walken. Salle is also a prolific writer on art. His essays and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Art in AmericaModern PaintersThe Paris Review, as well as numerous exhibition catalogs and anthologies. He currently writes a monthly column on art for Town & Country Magazine

CYNTHIA ZARINcontributing artist

Poet, journalist and children’s book author Cynthia Zarin is poet-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Her most recent books are “An Enlarged Heart: A Personal History” (2013) and “The Ada Poems” (2010). Her honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Ingram Merrill Award, the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Literature, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. A long time contributor to the New Yorker, The New York Times, and other magazines, she currently teaches at Yale and the City University of New York.

MARK DANCIGERS, contributing composer

Mark Dancigers is a composer of chamber, orchestral, film, and solo instrumental works, and the electric guitarist for the new-chamber music group NOW Ensemble. Mark is forging a musical language that lives somewhere between pristine post-minimalism and hallucinatory romanticism. As the Artistic Director and guitarist for NOW Ensemble, he has brought music by some of the most exciting voices of his generation to both national and international recognition.

DAFY HAGAI, contributing artist

Dafy Hagai is a Tel Aviv and New York City based art and fashion photographer. Her work has been published in VICE, Dazed, Vault Magazine, Nero Mag, Wax Magazine, It’s Nice That, V Magazine, Juice Magazine, Unlimited Magazine, Dreck Magazine, Office Magazine, and Pik Magazine and she has photographed for such clients as Levi’s, Creative control TV, Big K.R.I.T, Joey Bada$$, Cinematic Music Group and Sam Snider. She has also published several zines, including “Israeli Girls” which was recently transformed into a book. 

PAUL MAFFI, contributing artist

Paul Maffi was born in London and raised in Italy – where his father Roberto instilled in him a love for photography from an early age. Paul’s work frequently draws inspiration from his childhood memories, referencing the iconic pop culture of the 80s and 90s. After studying photography at university he went on to gain four years of invaluable experience assisting the highly talented and charismatic photographer Phil Poynter. Then, in 2008, Paul embarked on his own path which, to date, has seen him work with many of the fashion world’s top publications – including V mag, NY Times Style, Pop, Interview! and CR Magazine – and with influential editorial figures including Carine Roitfeld. Paul has collaborated on a various projects with BalletCollective for the past 3 years. This is the first one entirely inspired by and for BalletCollective.