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The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance

Jonathan Fredrickson BFA '06

JONATHAN FREDRICKSON was born in Corpus Christi, TX, where he was first introduced to dance by way of Ballet Folklorico. He later studied ballet at the Munro Ballet Studios, home to Corpus Christi Ballet. In 2006, he received a BFA in dance performance and choreography at California Institute of the Arts. During his time at CalArts, Mr. Fredrickson created new work for Corpus Christi Ballet, had the opportunity to have his choreographic work selected for the Taiwan Dance College Festival in Taipei, and was presented at many venues in Los Angeles, including the REDCAT Theatre, The Foundry, and The Tank. Upon graduation, his company, AUSTERLUND, made their debut at the Hong Kong Dance Festival in Hong Kong. Since moving to New York, he has worked with choreographers such as Ella Ben-Aharon , John Heigenbotham, and Ellen Cornfield. He is currently a member of the Limon Dance Company where he is enjoying roles such as Iago in the Moor’s Pavane and The Leader in The Traitor.  Since joining the company, he has danced in works by Jose Limon, Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow, Clay Taliaferro, Donald McKayle, Lar Lubovich, and Jiri Kylian. He has also been honored to have his work be performed side by side with Jose Limon’s in Limon Company programs. Mr. Fredrickson is excited that his work will be making its New York City premiere this November, finally!

What brought you to CalArts?

I knew that it is was important to me to be in atmosphere that is submerged in creativity. I enjoyed that CalArts was a place filled and solely occupied by artists. I thought that being around people who had similar far-off dreams would benefit me and inspire me. It did.

How has your CalArts education been relevent to your professional path?

I would not trade my experience I had at CalArts for anything! I discovered myself there. I do not believe I would be the artist I am today if I went somewhere else. I really did learn how to be professional before I entered the profession. I learned who I was as an artist. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses. I felt safe there and that is why I was able to grow!

What advise would you give to our current or perspective students?

Love what you are doing. Don't forget why you love it.

CalArts is unique in that it houses the Schools of Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater, as well as the Division of Library and Informational Resources under one roof. As a student, how did you engage with other members of the CalArts community and how did it influence your art making?

Collaborating with other artists was and still is very important to me. Making a connection and working with other artists was one of the main reasons why I went to CalArts. In some ways, I learned more from my collegues then in any other class. It is the students who are at CalArts, I believe, is why the school is so great. I gained the highest respect for those other artists and I carry that same respect to the artists I come across now.

How did the School of Dance fulfill your need to forge a career in dance?

I realize how great the privildege was to have the technique classes I had at CalArt after moving to New York. I really did get amazing training and I owe my professional career to the training.

How did the other curricular courses (composition, dance history, anatomy, etc.) inform you about the world of dance and how did it prepare you to move forward with your ideas and personal voice?

It was more than essential as a dancer! My upmost passion is creating dance and the composition classes were very valuable to me. I grew more than I could ever have imagined in those classes. Composition was also important because it taught us how to view dance. We became smart dance viewers. As artists, its important to know what we like and dislike but its even more imporant to know why.

CalArts has a strong mentoring system for each student. How did you find the guidance and support of your mentor as a student? Have you had the opportunity to mentor young artist in your career?

I was granted the honor of having Lydon Branaugh as my mentor. He has been one of the most supportive and influential beings I have ever ran across. I learned and gained alot from him up until he passed on my Senior year at CalArts. Now, I adopt the entire faculty as my mentors for they have all influenced and supported my path in many ways. I still keep in close contact with some of the faculty. And I never felt any hesitation to returning to them for words of guidance. I have not been given the formal opportunity to mentor another artist but I have been there for my fellow colegues and they for me. Its so important to me to have a strong supportive relationship with other artists.

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Photo Credit:

 Headshot: Photo by Roel Seeber

 Moor's Pavanne: Photo by Sally Cohen

 Choreography by Jose Limon

 Dances for Small Rooms: Choreography by  Ellen  Cornfield

 MANCC Residency: Choreography by  Colin Connor

 Goofsa: Choreography by Ella Ben-Aharon      


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