Madison Ballet announced in a press release Monday that Ja’ Malik, a nationally known dancer and choreographer based in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, will join the organization full-time as artistic director in July.
He is currently in Madison choreographing part of “Turning Pointe,” Madison Ballet’s coming performance at Overture Center for the Arts, March 25 to April 3.
Ja’ Malik, an advocate for artists of color, brings to Madison diverse experience as dancer and choreographer. He is director and founder of the all-male Ballet Boy Productions. He worked with Tony-nominated Camille A. Brown on The Public Theater’s 2019 production of Ntozake Shange’s, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf”. In 2003 he graduated from the first class of Joffrey Ballet School, and New School University, BFA program.
“Madison Ballet offers a national platform for me to share my vision to create a company that reflects the diverse world we live in,” Ja’ Malik said in a statement.
Jonathan Solari, chief executive officer of Madison Ballet, said he urges Madison residents to attend Turning Pointe as a show of support for the new artistic director.
“As an arts organization, Madison Ballet helps define beauty through the art we present on this community’s stages. We take that role seriously and recognize our obligation to challenge what ballet is and who it is for,” Solari said in a statement. “Ja’ Malik’s clear and energizing vision will honor our 40-year history while bringing progress to this organization, this city, and this art form. It is apt that he is making his debut during Turning Pointe.”
Pamela Squires of The Washington Post said Ja’ Malik is “a choreographer who shows a fine eye.” Roslyn Sulcas of The New York Times named him a “Choreographer to Watch.” He has been featured in Dance magazine.
He is a former member of Cleveland Ballet, Oakland Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Nathan Trice Rituals, City Dance Ensemble, Ballet Hispanico, and Philadelphia’s BalletX.
“Turning Pointe” begins this Friday and runs through Sunday, April 3. Tickets are $18 to $32 and for sale at the Overture Center Ticket Office in person, by mail or online.