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Award-winning contemporary choreographer and dance filmmaker, master teacher from NYC

Ballet, contemporary, modern dance. International ballet competitions.

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Choreography is my life!

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David Fernandez: Choreographer based in New York.

David Fernandez: Award-winning contemporary choreographer and dance filmmaker, master teacher from NYC.

David is the visionary behind the choreography "Vitruvian Man," a captivating masterpiece that has garnered over a million views on YouTube. His artistic brilliance is evident in this creation, where he seamlessly merges classical aesthetics with contemporary elements, showcasing a distinctive and original approach to choreography.

David's well-known choreography, Five Variations on a Theme, was created for New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Joaquin De Luz. The work premiered as part of the acclaimed Kings of the Dance tour. Joaquin's commanding performance received standing ovations in NYC, LA, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. Other notable choreography commissions include pieces created for leading dancers of the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Kings of the Dance Tour, Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Youth America Grand Prix Gala Concert, and many others.  

Following his passion for teaching and creating, he will travel to Kenya to choreograph "Dance on a Dream," a dance film for Ghetto Classics Dance, Karachogo, in Nairobi. Ghetto Classics is the sole arts education organization in Korogocho. Based in the slum for the past 12 years, it provides music and dance education to over 500 children and youth.

Also, he will collaborate with Sing for Hope and travel to India to teach and choreograph at the Shanti Bhavan Nonprofit organization. Shanti Bhavan is a home & school in rural Tamil Nadu, India, for the region's most disadvantaged children. Shanti Bhavan is featured in Netflix's Daughters of Destiny.

David received his dance training at the Royal Academy of Dance in Mexico City. Under the direction of Tita Ortega, he moved to the United States after receiving a scholarship to Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. He graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Technique under the direction of Elisabeth Boitsov.

David's performance experience ranges from TV, movies, musicals, opera, and ballet. One of David's career highlights was performing with Mikhail Baryshnikov in the play "The Doctor and the Patient."

David is an award-winning dance-filmmaker: his latest dance-on-film accomplishments include the Los Angeles Olympus Film Festival Award for Best Public Service Announcement. David's award-winning short, Moving Though It — Phases of an Emergency Through Dance, uses a revolutionary approach of making a public service announcement through dance. Ideated and directed by David Fernandez, the NYC Emergency Management and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City commissioned and sponsored the project. 

Other film festival achievements include: 

  • White Shirt, Black Tie, Black Pants XXS, Director, and Choreographer. The short premiered at the Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center in 2012; 

  • Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear, Director and Choreographer. Premiered at the Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center in 2007;

  • Icarus APR, Director, and Choreographer. Premiered at the Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center in 2009.

David teaches dance and creates choreography for ballet companies and international summer programs.

Washington Ballet

New Jersey Ballet 

Carolina Ballet

I HeartDance NYC

American Repertory Ballet, Princeton

Opera Grand Rapids-Pirates of Penzance 

Harvard Ballet Company

Vassar College

Hamilton College

Columbia Repertory Ballet

Bedford Middle School 

Palermo Ballet Summer Intensive- Italy 

New Zealand School of Dance.

Academia de Danza Franck- México 

David is the Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Ohman Ballet. He was recently named Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer of Ghetto Classics Dance in Nairobi, Kenya.

This year, he will collaborate with Sing for Hope as a choreographer at Shanti Bhavan in Bangalore, India.

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Keep dancing!


Saturday 25 April, 3pm

US Embassy New Zealand
Proud to have supported this collaboration between David Fernandez Choreographer 🇺🇸 and the New Zealand School of Dance 🇳🇿. Be sure to check it out...
"This weekend we're delivering another #NZSDGrad2019 performance FREE to a small screen near you. Tune in for "Five Variations on a Theme" - a short but thrilling stand-alone work by David Fernandez Choreographer. David spent two weeks at Te Whaea in September 2019 coaching NZSD classical ballet students Rench Soriano and Dane Head for their performances of the piece."
When: Saturday 25 April, 3pm
Where: On the New Zealand School of Dance Facebook page or their YouTube Channel

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Moving Through It
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I have been commissioned to create a filmed dance for New York City Emergency Management.


Filming: Visual Mercenary

Script: Emily Benedek

Sponsor: NYC Emergency Management Department

Director: David Fernandez

Christopher Grant, New York City Ballet.
Dona Wiley, Cello Pointe Soloist
Morgan Stinnett, Cello Pointe Soloist
Miku Kawamura, Brooklyn Ballet
Paunika Jones, Brooklyn Ballet
Traci Finch, Susan Farrell Ballet
Shannon Maynor, Eglevsky Ballet
Charlotte Barrato, Westport’s Academy of Dance (Student)
Julian Wanderer, School of American Ballet (Student)


Our piece examines the phases a community goes through in the face of an emergency, which in this piece is represented by an oncoming hurricane. The dance will follow the phases that our partner, the NYC Emergency Management Department, and others in the emergency management field refer to as the “disaster life cycle.”










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Status: In Pre-production

For a while, I have been sketching out a pas de deux for my one of my favorite Jane Austen characters, Elizabeth Bennet, and her paramour Mr. Darcy. But something always kept the work from gelling. Now, suddenly, I realized what was wrong. I love Austen’s characters, but it’s Jane herself who really who has held my attention and admiration all this time. And finally, I understood what my project wanted to be. Today I announce that I am choreographing a work about my four favorite Austen heroines, each dancing solos that reflect the complex, independent people that they are. And in the final segment, I will join them up with their creator Jane! It will be delightful to see how they all dance with each other. We will feature music from Jane Austen’s songbook collection, as well as pieces from her favorite composers. I will choreograph with a classical ballet vocabulary, but I will also add a form popular in Austen’s day: Regency Dancing. Collaborating with Emily Benedek as literary and artistic advisor, together we will make a full classical ballet that will bring the best-known Austen women to life, as they dance with their creator.


Dance On Camera short film

A short film with dancer Emilie Kristen Gerrity
Music Andy Stott
Status: On production

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A documentary short film

A documentary about the collaboration with Peter Wiley, Nikki Cho, Aks La Cour and Lloyd Night.
Status: In production

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Dance on camera short film

A film with Claire Deane, music by Mozart.
Status: Background Video editing

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Read All About It


Music: Elioth Goldenthal

Choreography: David Fernandez

The Raven is a 15-minute classical ballet d'action based on the famous Edgar Allan Poe poem choreographed by David Fernandez. 

Featuring Charles Askegard, New York City Ballet Principal as The Narrator

Joaquin de Luz, New York City Ballet Principal as The Raven

Veronika Part, American Ballet Theatre Principal as Lenore. 

Filmed by Ariel and Yaniv Schulman

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Music: Kronos Quartet

Choreography: David Fernandez

Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear is a contemporary ballet choreographed by David Fernandez. 


Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theater Principal

Luciana Paris, American Ballet Theater Soloist

Rachel Piskin, New York City Ballet Corps De Ballet 

Ana Sophia Scheller, New York City Ballet Principal

Daniel Ulbricht, New York City Ballet Principal. 

Filmed by Ariel and Yaniv Schulman with Andrew Barchilon

Home: In the Press


Music: Pink Floyd


Ask La Cour, Principal New York City Ballet (Icarus)

Frank Dellapolla, Ballet Met (Debtalus)

The role of Icarus was created for and danced by New York City Ballet soloist Ask La Cour. My thanks to him and Frank Dellapolla for bringing this legend to life.

Icarus APR was filmed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center in New York in July, 2008. 

Icarus APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is a solo work based on a modern interpretation of the legend of Icarus set to the music of Pink Floyd's "Money." In my version, Icarus' wings are made of credit cards and his flight towards the sun and subsequent fall symbolize his descent into debt. It's a fun and thoughtful piece that takes on a troubling trend in American life--one that seems particularly relevant today. - David Fernandez

Home: In the Press


Music: Bach  Violin Concerto in E major - I - Allegro

Choreography: David Fernandez

A choreography set to one of my favorite Bach’s creations. Lots of music to dance. 

The opening section, the three sections in the middle, and a musical break to land back to the beginning. It’s a journey that follows Bach’s musical mastery, with a wink.


Luciana Paris;

Georgia St. Onge Lathrop;

Natalie Anne Lambelet Palacios;

Filmed by Visual Mercenary;

At Mark Morris Studios March 22, 2010;

Home: In the Press



A choreography portrait by David Fernandez starring the Deane Sisters Noura, Claire, and Grace.


Choreography: David Fernandez

Grace Dean

Claire Dean

Nuora Deane

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Music: Bach, J.S.: Orchestral Suite No. 2 / Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 / Bach, C.P.E.: Flute Concerto in G

Choreography: David Fernandez


A Ballet Films behind-the-scenes look at 16 aspiring young dancers exploring an opportunity uncommon for this age group - the chance to collaborate and perform a contemporary ballet work from an up and coming choreographer with dancers from four different schools. This short-format documentary gives the viewer a chance to see how these young dancers are brought together, how they feel about being selected and how the common goal of opportunity prevails over the typical rehearsal/performance process for this age group. The piece also features commentary from notable personalities within the dance world.

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Jalen Daniels

Kai Richardson

Nia Davis

Taliya Kyle

Joffrey Ballet School

Lilah Schwartz 

Angela Rapp

Brooke Dervish

Emma Nathanson

Scarsdale Ballet

Mary Waters

Nora Massie

Sophie Massie

Julia Davis

Westport’s Academy of Dance

Tess Davis

Katherine Flug

Amanda Kenner

Mae Logan

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Music: Paul Hartnoll

Featuring: Cillian Murphy

Director/Dancer: David Fernandez

Camera: Melinda Prom

Shot in Iphone 6 Plus and 7 Plus

Stabilizer Hyperlapse by Instagram

IPhone Time Lapse and Slow Motion capabilities

Edited in IMovie


A years slave of the clock breaks the rules.

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Featuring New York City Principal Dancers, Ana Sophia Scheller and Joaquin de Luz

Directed by David Fernandez

Videography: Visual Mercenary

Edited: David Fernandez


A video shoot at the Alvin Ailey Theater with two superstars of ballet. 

Principal Dancers at the New York City Ballet.

Anna Sophia Scheller (Medora)

Joaquin De Luz (Ali, the Slave)

Our aim was to give a closer, and a private look at this magnificent Pas de Deux.

No audience and just go for it! As always it was a pleasure to work with the two of them.

All we have to do is say action and they did the rest. 

We all were there lookin (filming)in a state of awe. :)



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David Fernandez’s Choreography Process

When I'm commissioned to create a piece, the most difficult thing is to find the right music. With CelloPointe as an example, this was not the case, because the vast repertoire the company offered me was full of great pieces. So that left me with the difficulty of choosing just one, and that is a good problem to have.

I have chosen Haydn’s Divertimento in D Major for Cello Trio because I loved the different dynamics of each of the four movements. It will also be a trio for Shannon, Dona and Chihwan, so it makes sense to have the three dancers represented by the trio of cellos.
With the music and cast settled - elements I call the pieces of my “playground” - I start the incubation process.


I play the music over and over, to the point of almost memorizing the full divertimento. This process helps me get to know the music, counting it from beginning to end and writing down all the counts.

Once the music is on paper, I start to divide the sections of the music - the introduction, development, repeat, a bridge, change of tempo, finale. Any movement that starts to pop into my head, I write down. This also starts to tell me who is going to be dancing what part. For example, this sounds like something Shannon would love to do; this part sounds perfect for Chihwan; this allegro section will make Dona look great; this sounds like everyone is all together; here comes the canon; or it’s time for crazy eights.

When the process of finalizing the sections is done, I'm ready to go into the studio.

Setting the piece

I'm time-driven. That means that I have to finish sections in times that I set myself to finish a piece or a section. No cleaning, just get to the end. While choreographing, I do short runs to give me a sense of how the piece is going, and it also helps the dancer get the benefits of running the piece again and again. Without stopping, without cleaning, let's just get to know the piece together and, at the same time, finish it quickly.


Then there’s the review. Here is where the real work happens, where what I like stays, and what I think or feel could be improved is changed. I'm very open to the dancers’ input; by this time, they are connected to the piece that the suggestions are always on point. I have never rejected a suggestion from a dancer.

Then, after the piece is set and done, I do runs to check for memory, to see if the dancers have a hesitation about what's next.


Once this is done, we go for stamina - to start and finish the piece with lots of energy. In order to do that, we talk about when to push the power and when to coast during the piece.

And finally, interpretation.

When a dancer knows the piece and can do it like it is nothing, then the mind is free to play with the piece, and here is where the audience gets really engaged. They get to see the dancer hang on to that arabesque a little longer, or to hurry up this section to get to the next section, or to choose what instrument they want to hear, and to release the emotion on the right time with the music, to truly show us the music through their body. And they can give us a look and say, “Did you see that?” At this point, all that I do is sit and let them be. I just hope the audience sees or feels that we have worked hard to carefully put a piece together, and our aim is to present it to them as a gift.

About what inspires me: very simply, the music and the dancers.

The music makes me think of something, but the dancer’s unique qualities have the last word of what I will do at that moment when we stand right there, shoulder to shoulder at the studio.

“Choreography is simpler than you think. Just go and do, and don't think so much about it. Just make something interesting.”
-George Balanchine

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Jumping Dancer


I am always creating, help is always appreciated.


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“Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well”

Lord Chesterfield

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