Jodie is a thirty-year veteran in the professional dance field and has substantiated a remarkably wide-ranging career as an innovative choreographer, director, educator, producer and dancer. She is internationally recognized as a leader in the dance world with her choreographic work for professional companies, the creation of the California-based non-profit organization Laguna Dance Festival and directing educational programs at the university level.
Ms. Gates is Vice Dean and Director of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. In this role she hopes to shape the next generation of extraordinary artists and curious thinkers in the dance field. The USC Kaufman School of Dance will be opening their doors to the first BFA freshman class in the fall of of 2015.
Jodie is founder and artistic director of the award winning Laguna Dance Festival based in southern California. This non-profit organization was founded in 2005 and serves the community by offering diverse educational opportunities and presents performances at venues throughout Laguna Beach.
She has established herself among the elite in neo classical dance choreography. Characterized by vivid articulation of balletic vocabulary and rich musicality her work has been called “visually compelling, powerful, beautiful,” Philadelphia Inquirer, and praised for “showing considerable skill at construction, moving dancers seamlessly on and off stage” New York Times. Recognized by American Ballet Theatre for her choreographic excellence after being named the Altria/ABT Fellow, a recent recipient of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works (NEW) Program for her ballet Embellish created for Colorado Ballet, and honored by the American Association of University Women for her achievement in the arts, all of these achievements are merits representing the scope and breathe of her work within the art form.
She has worked as rehearsal director for the Joffrey Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet and has been an invited guest teacher for professional dance companies such as the Frankfurt Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Scottish Ballet among others. Jodie continues to teach master classes, conduct lectures, and stage the ballets of William Forsythe around the world.
She has danced as a principal ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and as an international guest artist. She has recently choreographed ballets for Ballet West, Staatsballett Berlin in Germany, Colorado Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, American Ballet Theatre II, CorbinDances, BalletX, The Juilliard School, Washington Ballet, Company C Contemporary Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and several other companies nationally. She is also responsible for teaching, staging and producing William Forsythe’s ballets world-wide including productions at Paris Opera Ballet, Scottish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Zurich Opera Ballet, Teatro La Scala, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
Her professional dance career began in 1981 with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City under the artistic direction of Robert Joffrey. In 1995, she joined The Pennsylvania Ballet as a principal ballerina performing title roles in numerous full-length classical ballets. She then danced for five years with William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany until 2004. Ms. Gates has toured internationally as a choreographer, master teacher and artist throughout North and South America, Mexico, Russia, Asia, Australia and Europe. She has been featured as a dancer in two television programs from the PBS Great Performance series and can be seen on video in Billboards, the Joffrey Ballet’s rock-ballet by the musical artist Prince. Jodie has also appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno, a special presentation at the White House, and has been featured at several international festivals and in numerous television events.
“On its own, Le Baiser Inevitable, the new ballet Jodie Gates choreographed for BalletX, is visually compelling, powerful, beautiful.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Virtuosity is out of bounds…as the Berlin dancers went through its enigmatic rites, it assumed a sort of poetic quality that I wonder how Tudor might have reacted to it.” – Dance View Times
“…[Gates] shows considerable skill at construction, moving dancers seamlessly on and off the stage, and creating little narratives within the work.” – The New York Times
“A Taste of Sweet Velvet” is an exhilarating piece of no-holds-barred virtuoso dance. Jodie Gates’ choreography radiates Beethoven’s destiny with heavenly inspiration – a star-crossed reminder of the pleasures brought about by the enthralling of movement we call dance, and the riches of the company called ABT II.” – Nevada News
“[‘Courting the Invisible’] is an interesting piece and encouraged a physicality, notably in the six soloists, that was almost hypnotic to watch. They moved seamlessly through their interactions with each other and through the three hanging curtains, which make up the set, intermittently join by a strong corps de ballet…” – Dance Europe, August
“[Jodie Gates’] appears as a calligraphic work between score and movement. An abstract work, of course, but its emotional expressiveness would seem to place it on ‘intermediary’ ground, because of the sensory excitement it provokes.” – Ballet 2000
“The charismatic and ultra-flexible Rubinald Rofino Pronk, along with Perry, Ebony Haswell, and Clifford C. Williams, gave a dynamic performance of Jodie Gates’ enigmatic ‘Barely Silent.’” – The Boston Globe