Photography by Zaire Kacz
Guest Blog by Laura Hood Babcock, Ballet Arkansas Artistic Associate
Jimmy Orrante is the winner of the 2016 Ballet Arkansas Visions Choreographic Competition and was selected from votes by a panel of dance experts, along with the audience, last August at the annual dance competition. Orrante returns to Central Arkansas this week to see his winning ballet, Luminous, receive its world premiere during Spring Fantasies, Ballet Arkansas’ mixed repertoire program to be held April 21-23 at The Rep.
Learn more about Jimmy below—and check out the video from last year’s VISIONS competition to see excerpts from the ballet and to hear Jimmy, in his own words, discuss the process of working with the Ballet Arkansas dancers at VISIONS.
A story about Orrante in the Columbus Dispatch tells the tale of the Los Angeles native and fourth-born of eight children who was an athlete and excelled at basketball, yet fell in love with the physical demands of ballet. Orrante began his training at the age of 16 at The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and The North Carolina School of The Arts. He has danced with Nevada Ballet Theatre, Memphis Ballet and for 20 years with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio where he also had the opportunity to choreograph over 15 ballets.
Jimmy Orrante was a recipient of the 2005 Princess Grace Choreography Award, the 2011 Special Project Award for DanceTech and the sole recipient of the 2014 Choreography Mentorship Co Commission (CMCC) Award, all from the New York City based Princess Grace Foundation. Recently he choreographed for the Joffrey Ballet’s Winning Works competition.
Jimmy currently resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and 3 children.