I am Brent Whitney, the Executive and Artistic Director of The Traverse City Dance Project, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit professional dance company based in my hometown of Traverse City, MI. I founded the TCDP in 2012, alongside my friend and Co-Artistic Director, Jennifer McQuiston Lott.
As luck would have it, Jen and I moved to New York in the same month to continue our dance careers, and we were one another’s first new friend. After realizing we shared a similar vision and desire to expand the reach of dance, we decided to form the only professional dance company in Traverse City.
Over the past 7 seasons we’ve engaged professional dancers, choreographers, musicians, and composers from around the country to participate in our summer series of performances and programs for the community. We strive to turn the creative process inside-out by inviting the local community to engage with us through workshops, open rehearsals, and innovative performances.
The TCDP has collaborated with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Parallel 45 Theatre, and the Glen Arbor Arts Center. We have performed at the City Opera House, Milliken Auditorium, Northport Community Arts, Corson Auditorium at Interlochen, the Dune Climb, and the Corner Loft in Northern Michigan. This past season we had our East Coast debut beginning in New York City, where we performed for a sold-out audience at Triskelion Arts Center in Brooklyn, followed by performances at Music Mountain Theatre in Lambertville, NJ. Over the past 7 seasons we have presented 24 dance works and featured 14 choreographers including Mauro de Candia (Director Theater Osnabruck in Germany), Gerald Arpino (Founder of The Joffrey Ballet), John Utans (international freelance choreographer, Hong Kong), Jodie Gates (Vice Dean & Director of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance), and celebrated choreographer Karole Armitage. Dancers have hailed from Ballet Memphis, Milwaukee Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Ballet NY, Suzane Farrel Ballet, Gibney Dance, Armitage Gone!, The Juilliard School, James Sewell Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, California Ballet, Konverdans, Rioult Dance, and USC Kaufman School of Dance.