Karole Armitage is a dancer and choreographer widely known for combining disparate styles and themes with the discipline and techniques of classical ballet. Armitage danced with the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Switzerland, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, before forming her own New York-based company in the 1980s. She has created dances for numerous companies including American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet the White Oak Dance Project, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Lyon Opera Ballet, the Washington Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Rambert Dance Company, and most recently, Bern Ballet and Kansas City Ballet.
Armitage has directed operas from the baroque and contemporary repertoire for many of the prestigious houses of Europe including Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Lyric Opera in Athens, and Het Muzik Theater in Amsterdam. She has worked on feature films including The Golden Bowl and The White Countess by Merchant and Ivory and has choreographed for pop icons Madonna and Michael Jackson. Over the years Armitage has collaborated with artists including Thomas Adès, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jeff Koons, Christian Lacroix, David Salle, and Brice Marden.
In 1990, she became Director of MaggioDanza in Florence, Italy, and from 1999 to 2002 she was the resident choreographer of the Ballet de Lorraine in France. In 2005, she launched Armitage Gone! Dance in New York. Her recent projects include choreography for Broadway’s Passing Strange (2008 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography), and the Public Theater’s acclaimed revival of Hair, currently on Broadway (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Outstanding Choreography, and Astaire Award nomination for Best Broadway Choreographer) and in the West End in London.
Among her many honors are the Grand Prix Roscigno Danza, Italy (‘05), and France’s highest arts award, Commandeur dans L’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (‘07). Upcoming projects include choreography for singers and robots in Tod Machover’s new opera, Death and the Powers.