Guest Choreographers

Our 2010-11 guest choreographers have an impressive collection of creative experience that will yield a compelling season of dance:

Oskar Antunez

Oskar Antunez toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe while performing with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, the Harkness Ballet of New York, and the Royal Danish Ballet.  He made his choreographic debut with the Royal Danish Ballet, gaining nationwide acclaim for his original works.

Equally accomplished in ballet, classic jazz, and musical comedy, he staged time-honored classics and choreographed numerous and varied contemporary works for the Montgomery Ballet, where he was Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer from 1996 to 2007.  His choreographic works include Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s Tango, Huapango (with music by Pablo Moncayo), The Planets (with orchestral suite by Gustav Holst), Gatsby (set to music from the Roaring ’20’s), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Joey’s Jest, Carmen, Peter & the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, and Red, White & Blue.  In 2006, he presented his newest full-length ballet, Alice in Wonderland, based on the classic children’s novel by Lewis Carroll.

A native of El Paso, Oskar received his early training from Ingeborg Heuser, was Assistant Director and Ballet Master of Ballet El Paso for ten years, received a degree in Ballet Performance from UTEP in 1993, was on the dance faculty at UTEP and the El Paso Community College, and served on the Dance Advisory Panel on the Arts of Texas.

Harrison McEldowney

Harrison returns to Omaha by popular demand.  His production of Swing, Swing, Swing! for the Omaha Theater Ballet premiered to rave reviews, and he later returned to stage his entertaining duet Let’s Call It Off.

Harrison has choreographed for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, River North Dance Company, the Civic Ballet of Chicago, the Cerqua/Rivera Art Experience, Ballet Met, American Repertory Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Chicago Shakespeare Repertory, and he was resident choreographer for Configurations Dance Company.

Harrison is the inaugural recipient of the Prince Prize and has received the Ruth Page, After Dark, and Choo-San Goh Awards for choreography.  Other choreographic achievements include the opening work of the 10th Anniversary of Dance for Life, the finale of Dance Chicago’s 10th Anniversary, the 35th Anniversary Tour of American Bandstand, directing the Australian Tour of More Dirty Dancing, the ’92 Barcelona Olympics’ Closing Ceremonies, and Carnegie Hall’s Celebration of 125 Years of Musical Theater.

He has choreographed for film an television and recently earned an Emmy nomination for his starring role in Billy Sunday.  Harrison also directs shows for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines including Freedom of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship.

Kennet Oberly

Kennet Oberly began his professional career with Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet under the direction of John Cranko.  Other companies include Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the Twentieth Century, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet and Denmark’s Tivoli Pantomime Theatre.  Mr. Oberly was first Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer then later Artistic Director of Ballet Iowa before returning to Europe to work as a ballet master with the Finnish National Ballet.  After a long residency with the Estonian National Ballet where he reconstructed the two lost Bournonville ballets A Fairytale in Pictures and the full length Konservatoriet, Mr. Oberly came back to the United States to direct the Wolcott Children’s Ballet in northern Vermont where the national magazine “The Smithsonian” created a special feature article on both Kennet Oberly and the rural children who danced, published in the May 1995 issue.

Mr. Oberly later served as Director of the BalletMet Academy in Columbus, Ohio before embarking on a freelance career creating new ballet and staging traditional Bournonville works through out the United States, Europe and Canada including three full length works for the Omaha Theater Ballet; Dracula, Sleeping Beauty, and Hans Christian Andersen.

Edward Truitt

Mr. Truitt is an internationally award winning choreographer, a Fulbright Senior Specialist and recognized internationally as a teacher and choreographer. His work has been performed in the U.S., France, Japan, Italy, and across Russia in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, and Krasnoyarsk. In July 2004, he led a group of university dancers to perform in Russia, and the trip was the subject of a documentary film Dancing in Russian Air which aired regionally on PBS. In June 2005 Mr. Truitt’s ballet Kinetic Ties was awarded 1st place for best contemporary ballet and 2nd place for best overall choreography at the Grand Prix Italia International Dance Festival in Cesena Italy.

Mr. Truitt has choreographed professionally for the stage, film, television, universities, and various dance companies.  He has performed principal and soloist roles in much of the classical cannon and was a principal soloist with the Los Angeles Classical Ballet Company, Santa Barbara Ballet Theatre, and Omaha Ballet Theatre.  He performed as a jazz dancer in feature films, television and the professional stage in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tokyo, and Paris. Mr. Truitt has also been a guest artist for various modern dance companies and has danced in the works of Bill Evans, Jose Limon and others.

Mr. Truitt earned his BFA in Theatre/Dance at the University of Nebraska, Omaha while dancing professionally with the original Omaha Ballet.  He holds his masters’ degree in dance from the University of Oregon. He is currently Associate Professor & Director of Dance at West Texas A&M University and formerly served as Artistic Director of the Lone Star Ballet Company. Mr. Truitt has also served as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Southern Utah University, taught at California State University-Fresno, Brigham Young University, and the University of Oregon (as a graduate teaching fellow).