Cherylyn Lavagnino (Artistic Director/Choreographer) has an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a BA in Philosophy from USC. Lavagnino toured nationally as a featured dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet. She has performed a range of classical repertoire and contemporary work by choreographers including Balanchine, John Butler, Hans Van Manen, and Tere O’Connor, and the diversity of these experiences has informed the dialogue between classical and contemporary in her work with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. Ms. Lavagnino has created over thirty works in the past fifteen years, and since 2000 the platform for her choreography has been Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. Many of those works were created in collaboration with composers Scott Killian and Jane Chung. She regularly incorporates the performance of live music into her performances to support CLD’s Dance and Live Music incentive. Lavagnino’s choreography has been presented in New York City by: Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Symphony Space, DanceNow/NYC, Kaatsban International Dance Center and The Joyce Theatre’s “Evening Stars” series. Ms. Lavagnino was a 2012 nominee for the Alpert Award for choreography, and she received a space grant residency from the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Her choreography has been supported by the American Music Center’s Live Music for Dance grant and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Manhattan Creative Communities Fund.
Lavagnino is currently Chair of the Dance Department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has been a full-time member of the NYU faculty since 1987. She teaches professional ballet locally in NYC and internationally; she is developing a creative exchange with the Beijing Dance Academy and Minzu University in Beijing. In recognition of her superior work, Lavagnino won New York University’s prestigious David Payne Carter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003.