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On November 20, 2015

Colleen Barnes Merwin

Colleen Barnes danced with the Dayton Ballet, Ballet Pensacola, and Dance Now! Miami, touring both domestically and abroad. In 2013 she was the guest principal artist for David Holmes’ production of The Nutcracker in British Columbia, dancing both Sugar Plum and Snow Queen roles. Her favorite roles include Diego Salterini’s Chronicles; Hannah Baumgarten’s Unburden; Swan Lake’s Pas de Trois; the Opera Singer in Gaite Parisienne; and the demi-soloist role in Balanchine’s Walpurgisnact, among others.

In 2018, Colleen set both Swan Lake Act II as well as her own work on the dance majors at the University of Utah. Her contemporary ballet choreography took third place in the 2017 Japan Ballet Competition in Takamatsu, Japan. In 2015 she presented work on a Joffrey NY trainee at the Merce Cunningham Theatre, NYC. She has also choreographed numerous works for her summer intensives.

Colleen works as the Artistic Director for Joffrey South, Joffrey Colorado Springs, and Joffrey Heartland Kansas City summer intensives. She has taught across the United States as well as in Genoa, London, and Tokyo. In 2009 she was on faculty at the Allen Ballet in Nanchang, China. She has worked at the Joffrey Ballet School since 2009, working as both faculty and administration, where she has taught Ballet, Pointe, Dance Conditioning, Rehearsals, and Music for Dancers. Colleen currently teaches at the University of Utah, Ballet West Academy, and when she is in town, Joffrey NY. She has participated in the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s teacher training workshop in 2014 and 2016, in addition to the Joffrey teacher training program for four years; she is also a certified Pilates mat instructor.

Colleen is currently earning her Master of Fine Arts in Ballet at the University of Utah, where she is researching the inherent historical racism of ballet and its natural reflection of imperialist discourse. With this research she seeks to cultivate conversation concerning the lack of diversity in ballet, and how we as a society can push the art to be inclusive of all bodies. She holds an undergraduate degree in Ballet from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.

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