Ronen Koresh, Artistic Director

Roni Koresh

The best part of me is that I love what I do.
I live it. I sleep with it.
It is what I am.
                                    – Roni Koresh

Ronen (Roni) Koresh is a choreographer, teacher and collaborator whose unique blend of ballet, modern and jazz leaves audiences dazzled by the raw passion that is infused into his movement. He formed Koresh Dance Company in 1991 and quickly established an international reputation for highly technical and emotionally charged work. With a gift for movement creation, Roni refuses to settle on a technique, instead defining himself by a signature style of ever evolving movement.

Roni was born and raised in Israel. He began his dance education as a youth as he trained with his mother, a folk dancer in the Yemenite tradition, and with a local Tel Aviv folk dance group. Two of Roni's earliest teachers in Israel were Alida Gera and Micha Deri. At 17, he moved on to more comprehensive study with Nira Paz and Moshe Romano and then became a member of Martha Graham’s Batsheva 2 Dance Company.

In 1983, following a three year enlistment in the Israeli army during which he was able to continue his dance training, Roni immigrated to the United States to pursue a career in dance beyond Israel. He trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City and in 1984, he began performing with Shimon Braun’s acclaimed Waves Jazz Dance Company in Philadelphia. Roni was one of the original Evening Magazine Dancers and won a People’s Choice Award in 1987 as Philadelphia’s Most Outstanding Jazz Dancer.

Since forming the company, Roni has created a vast repertoire of over 40 works and continues to create new works each year. The company tours extensively, both nationally and internationally, performing Roni's work and the work of guest choreographers including Donald Byrd (Spectrum Dance Theater), Ohad Naharin (Batsheva Dance Company), Robert Battle (Battleworks/Alvin Ailey), Itzik Galili (Galili Dance) and Paul Selwyn Norton.

Roni is a multi-year recipient of choreography fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His unique and engaging choreographic style has been commissioned by numerous companies across the country including Odyssey Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City, UT; Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, WA; the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles, CA; Dance Celebration: a co-presentation of Dance Affiliates and Penn Presents in Philadelphia, PA; and Brandywine Ballet in West Chester, PA.

Roni's capacity for movement creation and ability to transform a dancer's physique have made him a sought after teacher. He began teaching at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1986 and remains on faculty to this day. In 1993, he opened Roni Koreshthe Koresh School of Dance in Philadelphia where he teaches weekly classes throughout the year and intensive workshops during the summer. The studio serves as the home base for his company and attracts dancers of all ages in the community. In addition to teaching locally, he has taught master classes and created choreography on students throughout the country. He has participated in various festivals including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Northwest National Dance Project.

An avid collaborator, Roni is an integral member of the local arts community, often initiating interdisciplinary projects with other Philadelphia artists. He has commissioned and collaborated on original soundscapes with local composers Gregory Smith, Karl Mullen, Nick Kendall, Daniel Bacon, John Vosbikian, Zenon Marko, Eric Vincent and John Levis. Roni has also worked with art photographers Pete Checchia, Martin Jackson, Cylla von Tiedeman, Gabriel Bienczycki and Mark and Danya Henninger. As Roni creates and develops his work, he continues to be an artistic resource and leading force in the Philadelphia community.