Jessica and Clara visited choreographer and founder of BalletCollective, Troy Schumacher (and his cute dog Shallot), at his sunny apartment in NYC. We learned about Troy’s collaborative approach to creating ballets by integrating artists who work in different mediums, such as music and photography, into the process and presentation of work. We also discussed his current aesthetic interests and were impressed by his ability to balance the demands of multiple roles: choreographer, director of a contemporary ballet company and not least of all, ballet dancer with NYCB. We had the pleasure of seeing BalletCollective perform last fall and we look forward to seeing the company again on October 27th and 28th at NYU Skirball Center in Manhattan. Buy tickets before they sell out! Oh, and if you too are curious to see the “World’s Greatest Victory Dances” that Troy choreographed for PlayStation, check out the playlist on YouTube.
Troy Schumacher was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Although his infatuation with dance began with tap, a Nutcracker audition led him to ballet and he began studying with Atlanta Ballet in the year 2000. In 2001, Troy started taking summer sessions at the Chautauqua School of Dance, and soon after, at age 15, he became a full-time student at the School of American Ballet. In 2005, Troy joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps. Only 5 years later, while dancing full time with NYCB, he began to form a ballet company that eventually became BalletCollective. The mission of BalletCollective is to present ballet-based work in an intimate setting with live music that represents contributions from a unique, evolving collective of artists. This idea of cross-disciplinary artistic collaboration is rooted in an understanding that dance is a collaborative art and is inspired by the historic examples of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and the creative partnership between Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky when creating Agon. Since beginning his choreographic career, Troy has received commissions from New York City Ballet, 92nd Street Y, Danspace Project, Performa, School of American Ballet, New York Choreographic Institute, and Atlanta Ballet. He is also active in other cultural media and has participated in collaborative projects for Google, Sony PlayStation, Capezio and more. As a dancer at NYCB, Troy has performed principal roles in a number of ballets, including George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter Martins’ Swan Lake, and Jerome Robbins’ Four Seasons and Interplay.