Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artist

Jean Butler

Choreographer and performer Jean Butler draws from her extensive history and training in Irish dance to create work that bridges the gap between a culturally specific dance language and a contemporary approach to dance making. Jean will develop a new duet in collaboration with Jon Kinzel.

Jean Butler
Artist Bio

Jean Butler

Jean Butler is a New York City-based choreographer and performer. Best known as a Practitioner in Irish Dance Jean was the co- choreographer of ‘Riverdance The Show’ and ‘Dancing on Dangerous Ground.’ Since 2005 she has been working in a contemporary context. Butler’s work has been commissioned and supported by The Irish World Academy, University of Limerick (Artist in Residence 2003-2005), The Arts Council of Ireland, The Dublin Dance Festival (2007-2013) The Project Arts Center (Dublin), The Abbey Theatre (Dublin), Plankton Productions (Japan), Movement Research, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Danspace Project.

Her 2007 work ‘does she take sugar?’ was awarded Most Innovative Production in the Critics’ Survey in the ‘Ballet-Tanz Magazine’s 2007 Yearbook.’ In 2010 Butler had the pleasure of premiering ‘DAY’ choreographed by Tere O'Connor, at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Her latest solo work, entitled ‘hurry’ was co-created with dance artist Jon Kinzel and premiered at Danspace Project in March 2013. 

Since moving to NY in 2006 Butler has worked with Yoshiko Chuma, Jodi Melnick, Tere O’Connor, Jen Rosenblit and Jon Kinzel. She was also an editor at Although Butler’s substantial history and training in traditional Irish Step Dance continues to influence her work, it is not defined by it. Her ongoing creative focus is on opening a dialogue between a culturally specific practice and a contemporary approach to dance making- either as a soloist or in the work of others. Butler is currently a Professor in Irish Studies at NYU.

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Slideshow photos by: Ian Douglas Headshopt photo by: John Midgley