Nelly Van Bommel, Mamaroneck, N.Y., a graduate and faculty member of the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, premiered her new work Gelem, Gelem with the Milwaukee Ballet Company April 3-6 to rave reviews. The premiere was part of her prize for winning last year’s “Second Genesis International Choreographic Competition” sponsored by the dance company.
Ms. Van Bommel, who has her own dance company, NØA DANCE, created a modern dance piece influence by East European Roma dancing and music, reflecting a history of nomadic people or Gypsies. The piece was performed at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, Wis. Paul Kosidowski of Milwaukee Magazine called her work the best of the three premieres.
One of the most talked about choreographers to emerge from the French American dance scene, Ms. Van Bommel has presented her work at major festivals and venues throughout New England including the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Joyce SoHo, Danspace, P.S. 122, Dance Theater Workshop, the Merce Cunningham Studios and the Duke on 42nd Street, to name a few.
Raised in France by Dutch parents, she trained and studied in France and from 1997-2002 performed throughout Europe and North Africa with French choreographer Claudine Peny. In addition to her performing career, Ms. Van Bommel also attended Université de Paris 8—Sorbonne and Université de Bourgogne and graduated with an MA in Performing Arts Aesthetics and an MA in Comparative Literature. She moved to New York City in 2002 and received the Outstanding Master of Fine Arts Award upon graduation from the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. She is an alumna of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival from which she was awarded a full scholarship to study with choreographer Susan Marshall during the summer of 2005.
She is also a co-founder and curator of the REVERB Dance Festival, a yearly event taking place at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City.