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Desmond Richardson (Founding Artistic Director)

Desmond Richardson was the first African-American principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre and is hailed by The New York Times as one of the greatest dancers of his time. Nominated for a Tony Award for his role in the original Broadway cast of Fosse and deemed a standout in the Tony-Award winning production After Midnight, Richardson is highly esteemed by the concert dance and American theater community. He appeared in Twyla Tharp’s Broadway production Movin’ Out, and had his singing debut in Burt Bacharach’s and Hal David’s The Look Of Love, choreographed by Ann Reinking and Scott Ellis. 

Richardson has appeared on celebrated stages across the world, namely The Metropolitan Opera, The Kennedy Center, Paris Opera, The Bolshoi Theatre, The Mariinsky Theatre, The State Kremlin Palace, Teatro Massimo, and Teatro alla Scala. He has been a member and invited guests of prestigious companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Frankfurt Ballet, Royal Swedish Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, to name a few. 

Richardson, a Young Arts Finalist and Presidential Scholar, has received numerous awards including the Dance Magazine Award, Capezio Award, Ailey Apex Award, L.A. Ovation Award, Bessie Award, YoungArts Alumni Award, and most recently the Roosevelt “Rosey” Thompson Award presented by the Presidential Scholars Foundation.  In the spring of 2109, Richardson received an honorary doctorate degree from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in recognition of his extensive contributions to the field of dance.

Richardson has been a celebrity guest performer and choreographer for productions across media such as the American Music Awards, the Academy Awards, City Center’s Encores! series, Italy’s AMICI, and international franchises of So You Think You Can Dance. Richardson has been featured by famed artists such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Elton John, and Aretha Franklin, and he appears in celebrated films such as the Oscar-Award winning Chicago, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, and the recent independent film, Fall to Rise. He has worked with fashion icon, Tom Ford, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, and recently contributed to Grammy-Award winning Jill Scott’s video Back Together, which features dancers from COMPLEXIONS. Internationally and domestically, he is a master teacher for dance programs such as the New York’s All Stars Project, YoungArts Miami, United Way, The Pulse, NYCDA, and ASH. He served as co-creative director and choreographer with David Monn for the Park Avenue Armory Gala Masquerade. Richardson is currently a guest artist in residence at USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and is the visiting adjunct professor of dance at Southern Methodist University. 

Christina Johnson trained at Boston School of Ballet, School of American Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem. She began her professional career at age seventeen with Boston Ballet, before joining Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she became a principal dancer within four years. In her 13-year tenure with DTH, she worked with legends Frederic Franklin, Ulysses Dove, Carmen De Lavallade, Glen Tetley and Suzanne Farrell to name a few. She danced leading roles in much of the company’s repertoire including Giselle, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, and Fancy Free. She was a member of the Swiss companies, Le Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve and Ballett Basel, where her repertoire expanded to include works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Twyla Tharp and Jean-Christophe Maillot to name a few. Christina is an original member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and has been a featured guest artist with various companies worldwide, including the Royal Ballet of London where she and her dance partner, Ronald Perry, were the first African-American couple in history to perform with the company.


After her performance career Christina has been sought after as a teacher and coach and has worked with companies and schools such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Gotesborg Ballett and Cornish College of the Arts among others. Christina held the position of Rehearsal Director for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Trey McIntyre Project, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. She was full time faculty at Marin Ballet in San Rafael, CA, and is currently Adjunct Faculty at Dominican University in the LINES/Dominican BFA in Dance Program.


Christina holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University in collaboration with the American Dance Festival, The Forsythe Company and Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany.

Jae Man Joo is a Korean born artist, recipient of Princess Grace Choreographer Award in 2009. He was a Principal Dancer at Complexions Contemporary Ballet & Ballet Hispanico. Joo has worked with Shen Wei, Zvi Gotheiner, Igal Perry, Jessica Lang. For the past 19 years he has worked with Complexions Contemporary Ballet as the Associate Artistic Director (2011- 2018), Ballet Master (2011- 2019) and currently as Artist in Residence. In 1996 he received the Best Artist Award from the Bagnolet International Dance Festival in Paris, France. As a resident choreographer for Complexions, Joo created many works, "Goodnight", "Recur", "Flight" ,"Surface", amongst others, all of them premiered at Joyce Theater in New York City. In 2016, Joo created "CIRCULAR" for AILEY II Company, and has continued to create for Marymount Dance, Ailey School, Point Park Dance, Joffrey Ballet School, PCDC and more. In 2018 Joo world premiered "INTERMEZZO"(Pärt & Bach) for Wise Ballet Theater in Seoul, Korea. In 2017 and 2019 Jacob's Pillow invited Joo to create new work: "CANVAS" and "Dive & Fold" respectively, which where performed at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out stage. 


Terk Lewis. Originally from Mansfield, Ohio. Most recent credits include: In The Heights Film, Sc7nario Short Film, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (Peter Pan / Rock of Ages), Jesus Christ Superstar Live on NBC, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Commercial / Industrial Credits: Ed Sheeran, Buchanans Whiskey, Hyundai Genesis, Jesus Christ Superstar National Tour, Fujifilm, Gayletter Magazine, Enerskin USA, and Discount Dance Supply. Teaching Highlights: Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Joffrey Ballet School, Harlem School of The Arts, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Academy, New York City Dance Alliance. Training: BFA - Western Michigan University, Tony Calucci's Dance Extension, River North Chicago Dance, City Ballet of San Diego. @terklewis