Meet The Choreographer

Graduating summa cum laude from The State University of New York College at Brockport, Marisa f. Ballaro is based in New York City where the energy serves as inspiration. With dual degrees in Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts for Children, Ms. Ballaro has a passion for arts education, choreography, and a passion for exercise science. She designed a Dance Conditioning curriculum which she teaches in various workshop and intensive programs.


Originally from Buffalo, NY, Ms. Ballaro received her early ballet training from her mother, Michelle Zalewski Ballaro. She is currently leads the Dance Program at The Brearley School (Manhattan), and was on faculty at the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA.) She taught as a master coach with the American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) and performed with the repertory ensemble, Dancing Legacy, for ten years. She has presented her choreography in Connecticut, across New York State, and in Rhode Island; while on faculty at NYSSSA; and in residency with Delaware’s NOVA Dance Company and Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan.


Ms. Ballaro was a member of the Junior Committee for Dance/NYC for five years. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the SUNY Brockport Alumni Association, and is a member of Tomorrow's Leaders for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She was recognized as an Outstanding Educator by The University of Chicago in October 2019. 


What Is Your Choreography Like?


My love of choreography stems from an interest in the use of physical space, music, and timing. Raised in a family of dancers, movement has always been my most successful means of communication. My work is most often informed by music and the underlying rhythmic patterns that emerge from it. I utilize musical themes to create movement phrases that oscillate between contrasting and complimenting the music. My choreography is often fast-paced, energetic, and playful, searching to use linear movement and technical precision to leave the audience with moments of kinesthetic clarity. Much of my work utilizes the dynamics of group versus solo work, with intricate spatial patterning and unison canon phrases. Full-bodied movement arranged on multiple bodies satisfies my search for establishing balanced relationships of space and time. A second focus of the work is on the use of small gesture and storytelling to make meaning. Characters emerge, and the audience is invited to peer into the life of the dancer. The dances are a vessel for the main goal of my work: for building community. Friends of Ballaro Dance are invited to SEE, MOVE, and SHARE with the company in a range of ways to deepen the connection to both the work and the performers.   



Ballaro Dance is a New York City based modern dance company performing the work of Marisa f. Ballaro.


The dances are about physical space, music, and time. Small gestures are brought to life while making meaning through storytelling.