Karole Armitage, director of the New York based Company, Armitage Gone! Dance founded in 2004, was rigorously trained in classical ballet. As a professional dancer she performed in Balanchine’s Grand Théâtre de Genève Company and in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Armitage, known as the punk ballerina, is renowned for pushing the boundaries to create works that blend dance, music and art drawing upon her technical knowledge of dance to blend virtuosity with conceptual ideas from the frontiers of movement research. She directed the Ballet of Florence Italy (1995-1998), the Biennale of Contemporary Dance in Venice (2004), served as resident choreographer for the Ballet de Lorraine in France (1999-2004) and created works for many companies including The Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Paris Opera Ballet, The Kansas City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. She collaborates frequently with composers and artists including Jeff Koons, Brice Marden, David Salle and Phillip Taaffe. She choreographed two Broadway productions (Passing Strange and Hair which awarded her a Tony nomination), videos for Madonna and Michael Jackson and several films for Merchant Ivory productions among others. Known for directing opera from the classical repertoire for important European Opera houses, she also choreographed The Cunning Little Vixen for the New York Philharmonic (2011), for a William Wegman dog (2012) and the Cirque du Soleil production Amaluna (2012). Armitage was awarded France’s most prestigious award in 2009, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.