Aszure Barton, dancer, choreographer (born at Edmonton). Aszure Barton began tap dance classes at age 3 and soon added ballet, highland, musical theatre, jazz and modern dance to her training. She attended Ward School of Dance, Cathy Hauptman School of Dance, Sandra Gray School of Dance, Alberta Ballet School, Edmonton School of Ballet, Brian Foley Dance Studio, ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET and the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany.
When at age 14 she attended the NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL OF CANADA (NBS) in Toronto, her passion for creation was already evident. She helped originate the Stephen Godfrey Choreographic Showcase, where senior NBS students develop their choreographic skills. Once graduated, she was given an apprenticeship with the school’s prestigious parent company, the NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA (NBC). At 18 she received a CANADA COUNCIL grant to study contemporary choreography in Europe for a year.
Following this she danced as a guest artist with LES BALLETS JAZZ (now BJM) de Montréal and in 1999 she began visiting New York City to work with independent creators and pursue her choreographic passions. After her strong classical training in Canada, Aszure Barton’s career took off when she moved to New York City in 2000, quickly becoming distinguished for her quirky, rhythmic and strongly physical choreography.
In 2002 Aszure Barton founded dance company Aszure Barton & Artists in New York with her sisters Cherice and Charissa Barton, also professional dancers. She continued to dance for other artists, notably Wendy Osserman. A chance encounter with Mikhail Baryshnikov in 2003, while she was on tour in Nebraska with Ruth Davidson Hahn and Company, led to a working relationship that has helped to develop her artistic voice and her opportunities. In 2005 he offered her the first artistic residency at his newly opened Baryshnikov Arts Center and in 2006 she was commissioned to create a new work for Baryshnikov, which led to his “Hell’s Kitchen” dance tour in 2006 and 2007.
Aszure Barton has also created works for Fang-Yi Sheu, Ekaterina Shipulina of the Bolshoi Ballet, NBC, American Ballet Theatre, American Ballet Theater II, Houston Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Sydney Dance Company, BALLET BRITISH COLUMBIA and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She has choreographed for dance programs such as Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, The Laban Institute (UK), the Juilliard School, the National Ballet School of Canada, Steps Repertory Ensemble (NY) and Arts Umbrella Dance Company in BC.
Resident choreographer from 2005-08 at BJM, she created 2 extraordinary and lighthearted works for them: Les Chambres de Jacques (2006) and Jack in the Box (2008). Residencies at the Banff Centre in Alberta supported the creation of 2 works: Busk II in 2009 and Awáa: Project XII in 2012.
Her works have toured to Europe, Argentina, Brazil, Asia, Africa, Canada and the US. Numerous film and installation projects include collaborations with filmmakers Kevin Freeman (Freemaniac Productions), John Price and Daniel Conrad. On the Sundance TV channel her work was featured on the Iconoclasts series episode with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alice Water.
In 2009 Aszure Barton was proclaimed the official Ambassador of Contemporary Choreography in Alberta, by the City of Edmonton. In 2012 she won the Banff Centre’s prestigious Koerner Award for Choreography and the Canadian Association of New York Foundation Arts & Letters Award.