Cherylyn Lavagnino's choreographic mission is to create movement that engages an audience by aligning the rigor of ballet with the humanistic performance values of contemporary dance. Her choreography uses pointe work as a platform to delve into the range of human interaction and emotion. The unconventional use of ballet expresses complex and honest portrayals through the choreography and the dancers. Music is paramount to her creative process, and its influence pushes and prods the imagery.
The company has been presented for five NY Seasons by Danspace Project in St. Mark's Church and has performed at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, DanceNow/NYC Festival, The Joyce Theater's "Evening Stars" series in Battery Park, Symphony Space's "Dance Sampler",
The Field's "Uptown/Downtown" workshop and performance series, and three times at Inside/Out at Jacob's Pillow. Lavagnino is a recipient of the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation's award for choreography. Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance has been supported by space grants from the Baryshnikov Arts Center, company residencies at The Yard and SILO, and has continually received corporate matching support. The company has received funding from the American Music Center's Live Music for Dance grant and from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in support of its "Salon Series". This Series of informal showings, for the past year occurring at the Chelsea Art Museum, integrates live music and visual art to create dialogues among enthusiasts of dance, music and visual art.
Cherylyn Lavagnino 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 soloist 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 (CLD). Ms. Lavagnino has created over forty 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 composer Scott Killian and more recently Martin Bresnick. CLD continues to support a Live Music and Dance incentive for their performances. Lavagnino’s choreography has been presented in New York City and beyond: by The New Festival in Beijing, Bryant Park, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Symphony Space, DanceNow/NYC, Jacob’s Pillow, The Yard, Kaatsban International Dance Center, Indianapolis City Ballet’s Evening with the Stars, Intermezzo Dance, and The Joyce Theatre’s “Evening Stars” series. Ms. Lavagnino is an Alpert Award nominee for choreography and recipient of a space grant residency from the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Her choreography has been supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the American Music Center’s, Live Music for Dance grant and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Manhattan Creative Communities Fund. Ms. Lavagnino received NYU's prestigious Global Research Institute grant for travel and research in Prague, fall of 2017.
Lavagnino served as Chair of the Dance Department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts from 2006 – 2014. 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 the Conservatory and Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In recognition of her superior work, Lavagnino won New York University’s prestigious David Payne Carter Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2003.