From: Brooklyn, New York. LA Opera: La Traviata (2024).
Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, John Heginbotham is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer and teacher. He graduated from The Juilliard School in 1993 with a BFA in dance, and was awarded the Martha Hill Prize for Sustained Achievement in Dance. He was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) from 1998-2012, performing lead roles in L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato; The Hard Nut; Four Saints in Three Acts; and Romeo and Juliet: On Motifs of Shakespeare. During his time with MMDG, he toured across the United States and abroad alongside artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, The Bad Plus, and Zakir Hussain, and performed with opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and the English National Opera.
He received a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in recognition of his unique choreographic vision and promise. He was a research fellow at the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron (NCCAkron), was awarded a 2017/18 New York City Center Choreography Fellowship, was a 2016 Fellow at NYU's Center for Ballet and the Arts, and is a two-time recipient of the Jerome Robbins Foundation New Essential Works (NEW) Fellowship (2010, 2012).
In addition to serving as artistic director and choreographer for his own company, Dance Heginbotham, he is active as a freelance choreographer. He recently choreographed Episode 1, Season 2 of Netflix’s hit series Umbrella Academy. He created a new ballet, RACECAR, for the Washington Ballet as part of their NEXTsteps series in 2019. In 2015, he choreographed Daniel Fish's highly-acclaimed Bard SummerScape production of Oklahoma!, which received its New York City premiere at St. Ann's Warehouse in 2018, and opened on Broadway at Circle in the Square in 2019, for a limited engagement through 2020. Oklahoma! won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and recently completed a national tour throughout the U.S. Oklahoma! enjoyed an acclaimed run in London at the Young Vic Theatre in 2022 and opened on London’s West End at Wyndham’s Theatre in 2023.
In 2016, he was invited to return to Bard to create the evening-length work Fantasque in collaboration with renowned puppeteer Amy Trompetter. Fantasque had its New York City premiere at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in 2018. In 2016, he was commissioned to create First for Juilliard Dance: New Dances. In 2014, he created his first ballet, Angels’ Share, for Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi Project. In 2013, he choreographed Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter & the Wolf for Works & Process at The Guggenheim, which has become an annual holiday event. His work has been featured in the music videos of Fischerspooner and NICKCASEY, and in the live performances of cabaret artists Lady Rizo and Our Lady J.
John’s growing list of opera commissions include La Traviata at San Francisco Opera (2022); John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, directed by Peter Sellars, at San Francisco Opera (2017) and Dutch National Opera (2019); Candide with the Orlando Philharmonic (2016) and The Knights (2018, 2019); The Magic Flute at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, directed by Isaac Mizrahi (2014); Handel’s Alceste with the American Classical Orchestra (2014); Macbeth with the Manhattan School of Music Opera Studies Department (2014); and Maria de Buenos Aires at the Cork Opera House (2013).
As a teacher, he offers dance master classes in the United States and abroad. He has taught at institutions including Princeton University, Barnard College, George Mason University, Laban Centre in London, School of Visual Arts, University of California, Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Washington. He was invited to give the keynote address to the Utah Dance Educator’s Conference in November 2016. He is the director of the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble, and is a founding teacher of Dance for PD®, an ongoing collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group.
Learn more at DanceHeginbotham.org.