Joining the Heifetz Institute Communication Faculty in 2020, John Heginbotham is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer, and teacher.
John graduated from The Juilliard School in 1993 with a BFA in Dance, and was awarded the Martha Hill Prize for Sustained Achievement in Dance. John 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.
John received a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship and in June 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in recognition of his unique choreographic vision and promise. John is currently 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). John and Dance Heginbotham have been invited to participate in creative residencies at BAM Fisher, The Banff Centre, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn College, CUNY Kingsborough, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, LMCC’s Extended Life program on Governor’s Island, The Watermill Center, and White Oak.
Live music is an integral part of John’s creative vision leading to collaborations with the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, string quartet Brooklyn Rider, the Raymond Scott Orchestrette, art/pop duo Fischerspooner; composers Tyondai Braxton, Ethan Iverson, and Colin Jacobsen; pianist George Shevtsov; multi-instrumentalist Nathan Koci; and vocalists Jesse Blumberg, Gabriel Kahane, and Shara Nova (also known as My Brightest Diamond).
In addition to his work with Dance Heginbotham, John is active as a freelance choreographer. He recently created a new ballet, RACECAR, for The Washington Ballet as part of their NEXTsteps series, that premiered in October 2019. In 2015, John choreographed Daniel Fish’s highly-acclaimed Bard SummerScape production of Oklahoma!, which received its New York City Premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse in October 2018, and opened on Broadway at Circle in the Square on April 7, 2019 for a limited engagement through January 2020. Oklahoma! won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and will launch a National Tour in Fall 2020. In 2016, John 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 November 2018. In 2016, he was commissioned to create First for Juilliard Dance: New Dances. In July 2014, John created his first ballet, Angels’ Share, for Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi Project. In December 2013, he choreographed Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter & the Wolf for Works & Process at The Guggenheim, which has become an annual holiday event. John’s 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: 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, John 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. John 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.