Boise’s John Michael Schert now has the chance to influence the future of American ballet, not just as an artist, but also as a fellow at the newly founded Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.
It’s a think tank that will ponder the state of the art form explore ways to broaden its appeal and insure its place in world culture.
Ballet dancer turned historian Jennifer Homans heads the project. She is an NYU scholar-in-residence and author of “Apollo’s Angles,” a sweeping history of ballet’s 400 that declared in the end that ballet is a dying art.
Schert is the co-founder, former executive director and company member of the Trey McIntyre Project, a company that while based in Boise became a beacon of hope for American ballet when it burst on the international dance scene because of McIntyre's fresh approach to ballet both in style and content. Schert is an associate fellow at the Center.
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Schert is a major innovator in the dance world, rethinking how companies function from the inside out. He and McIntyre created innovative programs for TMP, such as spUrbans, spur-of-the-moment urban performances that brought dance to the streets, and engagement and enrichment programs that put dance in schools and hospitals. He left the company, which is now disbanded, in 2013. He currently is a Visiting Artist and Social Entrepreneur at Chicago University’s Booth School of Business where he is developing his nonprofit business models.
He also is a member of Boise State University's "The Gang," a group of creative business leaders organized by BSU's Centre for Creativity and Innovation director Nancy Napier.
And recently became a producing partner for Boise's Treefort Music Fest.
He will now balance his time between his home on Boise's North End, Chicago and New York.
The Resident Fellows program brings together scholars and artists from the fields of ballet and its related arts and sciences to think, collaborate, learn, and create. The other fellows are former New York City Ballet superstar, writer and scholar Heather Watts, NYU ethics and arts professor J. David Velleman, dancer, choreographer and and Heritage Professor at George Mason University Christopher d’Amboise, Broadway choreographer John Carrafa, director, producer and professor Gregory Mosher and filmmaker and theater director Frederick Wiseman.
The Center residency provides each fellow with an office, the support of our staff, and time away from daily life to focus and dedicate time to a specified project.