Public Art

Public Art

2021/2022 Public Art Installation

Coming to Philadelphia May 2022, Behind the Stage Door is an interactive multimedia performance that explores the “invisible” forces that bring the ballet to life. Through a soundscape of diverse voices, original musical composition, dance, film, sculpture and interactive multimedia stage design, the piece illuminates the many personalities, stories, and experiences that underlie and make possible the transcendent artform that is the ballet.

  

Alex Martray
Heidi Saman
Cybee Bloss
Alex Aldrich Barrett
John B. Hedges
DaVon Doane
Gary Jeter
Maria A. Konrad
Zechang Liang

Alex Martray

Co-Executive Producer

Aleks Martray is the Executive Director for Big Picture Alliance, a youth media non-profit based in Philadelphia. He is a filmmaker, musician, and arts educator who has worked with youth and communities in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Central America. He is the co-founder of Art of Solidarity (AoS), a media-based cultural exchange program that has produced over a dozen film collaborations between hundreds of Nicaraguan & North American artists. He has worked with Scribe Video Center & PhillyCam as facilitator and producer of community-based documentaries and workshops in Philadelphia. He holds an MA in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and his work had screened at film festivals, museums, and on television. 

Heidi Saman 

Director

Heidi Saman was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces to Watch. Her first feature film, Namour, was acquired by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY, and won the LA Muse Jury Award at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival. In 2008, Saman’s short film The Maid (il Shaghala) premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. She is a 2016-2018 Pew Fellow in the Arts. Her second feature film The Armenian Club was selected for the Sundance Institute’s Film Two Initiative. Heidi is a long-time producer for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and is currently a visiting instructor in Film and Media Studies at Swarthmore College.

Cybee Bloss

Animator

Cybee is a nonbinary animator, editor and producer. Originally from rural West Virginia, they have called Philadelphia home for over a decade. Community media and playful pedagogy are central to their creative practice. They are currently producing and animating a documentary film called Smile4Kime, a magical and intimate story about friendship and mental health. They also create an animated series called Theydies and Gentlethems. They are a recipient of Philadelphia Independent Media Fund, The Velocity Fund, and the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change Grant. Their work has also received support from Scribe Video Center, Doc Society, and The Puffin Foundation. 

Alex Aldrich Barrett

Illustrator 

Alex is a Philadelphia-based illustrator and animator. Her work is texture and color-obsessed, story-driven, and synesthetic. Her process is experimental, utilizing guache, graphite, charcoal, printmaking techniques, scanners, printers, and digital tools. She is currently a key animator for Smile4Kime, a poetic documentary film that tells the story of a friendship through interviews, dreams, and a transcendent sense of time. She has illustrated for The Baffler, Jewish Currents, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and she is a Leeway Art and Change Grant recipient. 

John B. Hedges

composer 

John B Hedges is a composer based in Philadelphia. His has written works for the concert hall, stage, film and digital media. As a musician and producer, he has recorded in pop, jazz and classical genres and his arrangements and orchestrations have been performed throughout the world. He studied at the Curtis Institute or Music and University of Pennsylvania and served as an assistant to Academy Award winning Tan Dun, as well as composers Oliver Knussen and George Tsontakis. He won awards from the Theodore Presser, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Independence Foundation and the Corporation of Yaddo and New Music USA and served as composer-in-residence of both Fort Worth and Richmond symphony orchestras.  John B lives outside Philly where he homeschools his son, Bran, with his wife, visual artist Lynn Palewicz, a dog (Boo Boo) and a rabbit (Rose Tyler). 

Da’ Von Doane

Da’ Von Doane began his training at the Salisbury Studio of Dance, where he trained with Betty Webster, Tatiana Akinfieva-Smith and Elena Manakhova. At age 15, he began training at Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre as a full-time academic student and remained there for four years. In 2008, Da’ Von moved to New York City to join the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble. In 2009, Da’ Von performed with Ballet Noir at East River Park, as part of SummerStage, and at Jacob’s Pillow. In the fall of 2009, he began dancing as part of Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), and that winter he began touring with DTH as part of its Dance for America tour. As a guest artist, Da’ Von has performed with the Classical Contemporary Ballet Theatre and with choreographer Ja’ Malik in 2009’s E-Moves Emerging Choreographers Showcase. In the summer of 2010, Da’ Von performed once again with Ballet Noir in the 200th Anniversary Chopin Celebration and the 2010 World Dance Gala in Kielce, Poland. Da’ Von joined the newly reborn Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2012.  

Da’ Von was featured as one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to Watch in 2014 and in a new dance web series For the Love of Dance with Sarita Lou. Da’ Von can be seen in Estelle’s new video for the single “Conqueror” from her new album True Romance, directed by Paul Jung. With The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Da’ Von can be seen in various roles from “Black Swan Pas de Deux” staged by Anne Marie Holmes, “Act III Pas de Deux” from Raymonda, Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven by Ulysses Dove, and Balanchine’s Agon and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. He was also part of Nacho Duato’s Coming Together and works by other choreographers such as Robert Garland, Tanya Wideman and Thaddeus Davis, Helen Pickett, Donald Byrd, Bill Wilson, Arthur Mitchell, Darrel Moultrie, Francesca Harper and John Alleyne. Da’ Von performed this year as part of the Vail International Dance Festival’s International Evenings of Dance as well as the NOW: Premieres program alongside dancers from NYCB, ABT and more. As an independent artist, he has performed with numerous companies and worked with choreographers from across the globe. Da’ Von Doane has also created a number of original dance works curated and presented by Bryant Park, Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Periapsis Music and Dance, the CUNY Graduate Center, Composers Now Festival and Symphony Space. Da’ Von is currently pursuing his graduate degree at University of the Arts. 

Gary W. Jeter II

Gary W. Jeter II began dancing in 1997 at Pebble Brook High School for the Performing Arts in Atlanta, Georgia where he graduated in 1999. Gary attended the Alvin Ailey fellowship summer program and received a full director’s scholarship to The University of the Arts, where he graduated in 2003 with a BFA in Dance. After graduation, he was asked to join PHILADANCO!, where he was a principal dancer from 2003 to 2007. Gary has also worked with Fernando Bujones and Eddie Shellman, in addition to dancing with Eleone Dance Theatre.

Gary danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet from 2007 to 2014, and is now an Artist-in-Residence for the company. He has set works for The University of the Arts, Eleone Dance Theatre, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Dance 2 and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Gary joined BalletX in 2014.

Maria A. Konrad

Maria A. Konrad, graduated from the Dreyfoos High School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and then earned her BFA in Performing Arts at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a teacher in Philadelphia, Mrs. Konrad created the early-dance-education curriculum for the school of the Koresh Dance Company, which has been featured in Dance Magazine. Ms. Konrad’s choreography has been presented nationally in such venues such as the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, The School of Colorado Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, Florida Dance Festival, Miami Dade Cultural Center, Florida Atlantic University, The Kravis Center, Next Generation Ballet and has collaborated with artistic organizations such as Palm Beach Symphony and Palm Beach Pops. Her work has been picked up by choreographic workshops in NYC such as The STEPS Beyond Foundation at STEPS on Broadway and Uptown Rising Series at The Bridge. Her piece “Portraits” was chosen to perform in the 2018 Come Together Festival hosted by Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She has been recognized by organization’s such as Young Arts and Youth America Grand Prix for “Outstanding Choreography” (2015, 2017). She has been a guest teacher for institutions such as The Colorado Ballet School, University of the Arts, Florida’s Young Dancers Workshop, The Art of Classical Ballet (dir. Magaly Suarez), Next Generation Ballet, St. Paul’s School, Florida Dance Festival and Youth America Grand Prix. She has worked at both The Harid Conservatory and A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. She served on the 2018 faculty at The International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. She is excited to join the YAGP organization this season as a judge and Master Teacher. She is currently resident choreographer with The Next Generation Ballet (Dir. Philip Neal) and the director of the contemporary program at Florida School for Dance Education.

Zecheng Liang

Zecheng Liang received his ballet training at the Guangzhou Art School, which he attended from 2004 to 2010. He then continued his instruction with Houston Ballet II from June 2010 to June 2012, supplementing his studies at summer intensives (on full scholarship) with Houston Ballet in 2010 and 2011. Throughout his training, Zecheng competed in several competitions, including the 3rd Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition, where he won a gold medal in 2015. He was also a 2010 finalist in the Prix de Lausanne and placed 2nd and 3rd (classical) in the 2008 Beijing International and 2009 Tao Li Bei competitions respectively.

Zecheng joined Philadelphia Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet for our 2017/2018 season, and was promoted to soloist for the 2018/2019 season and principal dancer for our 2019/2020 Season. Since joining the company, he has danced principal roles in Angel Corella’s The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Desire), Swan Lake (Siegfried), Giselle (Albrecht), Don Quixote (Basilio); and La Bayadère (Solor); Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet (Romeo); George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Cavalier), Theme and VariationsJewels, Apollo, and Stravinsky Violin ConcertoEpisode 31For Four;  Jerome Robbins’ The Cage and Glass Pieces; Petite Mort; and DGV. He’s also performed in many world premieres: Helen Pickett’s TILT, Russell Ducker’s This Divide, Matthew Neenan’s Deco, Jorma Elo’s Trigger Touch Fade, Juliano Nunes’ Connection, and Garrett Smith’s Reverberance. 

Prior to joining the company, Zecheng danced with Houston Ballet, which he joined in 2012 as a member of the corps de ballet and danced in productions that included Ben Stevenson’s The Sleeping Beauty (Bluebird), William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated, Jirí Kylián’s Wings of Wax, Wayne McGregor’s Dyad 1929, Stanton Welch’s Divergence and Clear, and the role of Gopak in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker. 

Organizational Collaborators 

Big Picture Alliance is a Philadelphia-based non-profit that empowers youth to define their own narrative through filmmaking and digital media. Our pathway of digital media programs, independent filmmaking, and industry apprenticeships provide youth ages 12-21 the tools to represent themselves and the skills to succeed in school, life and career. We aim to uplift and amplify underrepresented voices and build an inclusive creative community that plays a vital role in Philadelphia and beyond.

For more information visit: bigpicturealliance.org

Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 35 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts engages communities in 50–100 public art projects each year, and maintains its growing collection through a restoration initiative. Our core program areas—Art EducationRestorative Justice, and Porch Light—yield unique, project-based learning opportunities for thousands of youth and adults. 

Each year, 15,000 residents and visitors tour Mural Arts’ outdoor art gallery, which has become part of the city’s civic landscape and a source of pride and inspiration, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.” 

For more information visit: Homepage – Mural Arts Philadelphia Mural Arts Philadelphia 


2020/2021 Spread Your Wings Philadelphia


“Spread Your Wings” makes dance personal and accessible through a variety of brand-new activities, all encouraging creativity and personal engagement with dance and storytelling. Through partnerships with local Philadelphia artists and organizations, Philadelphia Ballet celebrates the diversity of dancers, teaching artists, and communities it works with through an exhibition of 
photography, videography, visual arts, and live performance at Cherry Street Pier and sister cities park. The Spread Your Wings public arts project encompassed a variety of programs in addition to the exhibition at Cherry Street Pier, including a choreographic mentorship program for high schoolers, a digital storybook activity illustrated by Kailey Whitman, and live and pre-recorded art classes by Fleisher Art Memorial teaching artists—inviting Philadelphia to join in the art-making process. 


Artistic Collaborators:


David McShane: David McShane – Mural Arts Philadelphia Mural Arts Philadelphia
Arian Molina Soca: AMStuimagen (zenfolio.com)
Vikki Sloviter: Vikki Sloviter Photography (vikkiphoto.com)
Shawn Theodore: Shawn Theodore
Kailey Whitman: Kailey Whitman
Marie Elcin: MARIE ELCIN | fiber art
Darla Jackson: Darla Jackson (darlajacksonsculpture.com)  

Organizational Collaborators:
Mural Arts: Homepage – Mural Arts Philadelphia Mural Arts Philadelphia
Big Picture Alliance: Home – Big Picture Alliance
Cherry St Pier Cherry Street Pier » Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
Fleisher: Home – Fleisher Art Memorial
Mighty Writers: Mighty Writers • We Teach Kids to Think Clearly and Write with Clarity 

“Spread Your Wings” was generously funded with support from Reliance Standard Life Insurance’s Delphi Project Foundation. 

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