Juilliard School

Julliard logo

Saturday, October 16
Alicia Graf Mack, Dean & Director
BalletMario Alberto Zamrano, Associate Director

Julliard School
New York, NY
Juilliard Dance Department Convocation Photo by Erin Baiano

Juilliard Dance Department Convocation Photo by Erin Baiano

Under the direction of Alicia Graf Mack, Juilliard Dance develops artists of the 21st century—trained in ballet, modern, and contemporary dance forms. With the establishment of the dance division in 1951—by then-president William Schuman with the guidance of founding division director Martha Hill—Juilliard became the first major teaching institution to combine equal instruction in both modern and ballet techniques.In the four-year dance program—leading to a bachelor of fine arts degree—students learn the great traditions of both past and present. Juilliard dancers enjoy unparalleled opportunities to work with today’s leading choreographers and perform both new and existing repertory. In addition to high caliber technical training and performances, dancers learn about the craft of choreography and immerse themselves in other facets of the field. Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard prepares dancers for all the possibilities that lie ahead.

Juilliard dance alumni include the choreographers and directors Robert Battle, Pina Bausch, Jessica Lang, Lar Lubovitch, Andrea Miller, Ohad Naharin, and Paul Taylor. Juilliard dancers are currently dancing in Nederlands Dans Theater, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Ballet BC, , BJM, L.A. Dance Project, Limón Dance Company, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Ballett des Saarländisches Staatstheater, Kidd Pivot, and Batsheva Dance Company, among many others, as well as in several Broadway productions.

The Juilliard Dance Division, proud recipient of the 2015 Capezio Award, was the first educational institution to receive the honor.

Alicia Graf Mack photo by Gregory Costanzo

Alicia Graf Mack
photo by Gregory Costanzo

Alicia Graf Mack

Alicia Graf Mack enjoyed a distinguished career as a leading dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also been a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and she has danced as a guest performer with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Beyoncé, John Legend, Andre 3000, and Alicia Keys. Graf Mack graduated magna cum laude with honors in history from Columbia University and holds an MA in nonprofit management from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2007, Smithsonian magazine named her an American Innovator of the Arts and Sciences. She is a recipient of the Columbia University Medal of Excellence, an award given each year to an alumnus who has demonstrated excellence in their field of work. In 2008, she delivered the keynote address to the graduates of Columbia University’s School of General Studies. As a dance educator, Graf Mack was a visiting assistant professor at Webster University, and an adjunct faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis and University of Houston. She is a co-founder of D(n)A Arts Collective, an initiative created to enrich the lives of young dancers through master classes and intensives. She began her inaugural season as director of the Juilliard Dance Division in the fall of 2018.

Mario Alberto Zambrano headshot

Mario Alberto Zambrano

Mario Alberto Zambrano

Mario Alberto Zambrano received his early training from the Houston Ballet Academy and the High School for Performing and Visual Arts before joining Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the age of seventeen. In 1998, he joined Nederlands Dans Theater II, where he danced soloist roles in ballets choreographed by Jíri Kylián, Hans Van Manen, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, Johan Inger, and Shusaku Takemuchi. In 2000, he accepted an invitation to join Batsheva Dance Company and was a member of the original creations of Ohad Naharin’s Virus and Minus 16. Thereafter, he began studying literature at Open University in London while working intermittently as a guest artist with Ballet Frankfurt for the next four years. His honors in dance include a 1994 Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award and a 1995 Princess Grace Award. In 2013, he graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with an M.F.A. in English and published his debut novel Lotería with Harper Collins.

As choreographer, writer, and educator, Zambrano has worked with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Nederlands Dans Theater II, The Joffrey Ballet School, New School, Harvard University, Lewis & Clark University, University of Iowa, and Orsolina28 in Moncalvo, Italy. He has published fiction and non-fiction in The Brooklyn Rail, Guernica: Arts and Literature, Gulf Coast, and Ploughshares Journal, and has served as Fiction Editor and Editor-in-Chief for the award-winning literary journal 12th Street published by New School. He comes to Juilliard from positions as Assistant Professor at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Program Director for Kylián: O28 at Orsolina28, and Lecturer in Theater, Dance & Media at Harvard University.