Doug Varone

Choreographer
Background

Biography

photo: Patrick MacLeod

Award-winning choreographer and director, Doug Varone works in dance, theater, opera, film, and fashion. He is a passionate educator and articulate advocate for dance. By any measure, his work is extraordinary for its emotional range, kinetic breadth and the many arenas in which he works. His New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for close to three decades.

In the concert dance world, Varone has created a body of works globally.  Commissions include the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Company, Limón Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Rambert Dance Company (London), Martha Graham Dance Company, Dancemakers (Canada), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Bern Ballet (Switzerland) and An Creative (Japan), among others.  In addition, his dances have been staged on more than 75 college and university programs around the country.

In opera, Doug Varone is in demand as both a director and choreographer.  Among his four productions at The Metropolitan Opera are Salome with its Dance of the Seven Veils, the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, designed by David Hockney, and Hector Berloiz’s Les Troyens. He has staged multiple premieres and new productions for Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Washington Opera, New York City Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera, among others.  His numerous theater credits include choreography for Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theaters across the country.  His choreography for the musical Murder Ballad at Manhattan Theater Club earned him a Lortel Award nomination.  Film credits include choreography for the Patrick Swayze film, One Last Dance.  In 2008, Varone’s The Bottomland, set in the Mammoth Caves of Kentucky, was the subject of the PBS Dance in America: Wolf Trap’s Face of America. Last season he directed and choreographed MASTERVOICES production of Dido and Aeneas at NY’s City Center, starring Tony Award winners Kelli O’Hara and Victoria Clark, alongside the Company. Most recently, he staged Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize winning oratorio, Anthracite Fields featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Westminster Choir.

Varone received his BFA from Purchase College where he was awarded the President’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007.  Numerous honors and awards include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, an OBIE Award (Lincoln Center’s Orpheus and Euridice), the Jerome Robbins Fellowship at the Bogliasco Institute in Italy, and two individual Bessie Awards. In 2015, he was awarded both a Doris Duke Artist Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Guild.  Varone teaches workshops and master classes around the world for dancers, musicians and actors. He is currently on the faculty at Purchase College, teaching composition.