Boston Conservatory Dance Division Announces Four-Year Partnership with Acclaimed Choreographer Aszure Barton

Barton will develop new works for the Boston Conservatory Dance Division.

February 22, 2024

Renowned Canadian-American choreographer and artistic director Aszure Barton will partner with Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Dance Division for a two-week artist residency every spring, from now through the 2026–2027 academic year. The Aszure Barton Creative Partnership will present in Boston Conservatory’s annual spring dance concert, Limitless, a world premiere created specially for Boston Conservatory contemporary dance students, or a reconstruction of her previous work. To kick off the partnership, this spring a reconstruction of Barton’s masterpiece LIFT—originally commissioned by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—will be featured in Limitless, running April 25 to 28. This will mark the first time the work is being performed by student dancers and only the second time the work has been staged. 

“I am delighted about our artistic partnership! As is known, the truth of something can only be judged and based on our direct experience with it, and my experience at Boston Conservatory at Berklee has been very refreshing,” said Barton. “I have worked with the students twice now, and what draws me back to the school is the institutional respect for form, the dedicated work ethic of the students, and the collective genuine interest in nurturing and celebrating the work.” 

Barton also has commended the Dance Division’s spirit of collaboration and the dedication of its faculty, citing them as reasons to deepen her creative relationship with the Conservatory. “The commitment and care taken by the dance faculty is nourishing and supportive, and the dancers are also very talented, which is clearly a testament to the teaching and environment created,” Barton said. “In general, building trust is meaningful to me; to return means to go deeper. I look forward to taking that journey with these students and sharing my knowledge with the community along the way.”

As a choreographer, Barton has contributed to an evolution of highly specialized dance and theater companies worldwide, collaborating with performers and institutions including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Cyndi Lauper, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, Nederlands Dans Theater, Teatro alla Scala, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, among others. She is a Bessie Award Honoree and has received accolades including Canada’s distinguished Arts & Letters Award, joining the likes of Karen Kain, Oscar Peterson, Eugene Levy, Christopher Plummer, and Margaret Atwood. 

“I have been a huge fan of Aszure’s choreography for many years, and it’s been an honor to have presented her work twice in the recent past,” said Tommy Neblett, dean of dance for Boston Conservatory at Berklee. “I am beyond thrilled that Aszure has agreed to create this four-year creative partnership with us, so our students will have the opportunity to work with such an esteemed artist multiple times throughout their studies.”

More information about the Boston Conservatory at Berklee Dance Division is available here. The spring dance concert, Limitless, will take place at Boston Conservatory Theater from April 25 through 28; tickets are available online.