Choreographer and director Doug Varone works in dance, theater, opera, film, television and fashion. In 2007 he created three major pieces for his own Doug Varone and Dancers – the full-length multi-media Dense Terrain at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Victorious, commissioned by Bard’s SummerScape, and Beyond the Break commissioned by Wolf Trap. In October 2008 his new work Alchemy premiered, set to Steve Reich's Daniel Variations. Varone takes his inspiration from the Steve Reich score which juxtaposes text from the biblical book of Daniel and the words of Daniel Pearl, the American Jewish reporter kidnapped and murdered by Islamist extremists in Pakistan in 2002. Reichs music pays homage to all victims who, in the face of violence and cruelty, courageously reveal the dignity and beauty of humanity.
In 2010 Varone will premiere a work entitled "Chapters from a Broken Novel" with a new score composed by David van Tieghem. The work is inspired by quotes collected over the years, and will be performed as an evening length work, as well as in excerpted forms.
Varone was awarded a 2006 OBIE for his direction and choreography of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice at Lincoln Center for its American Songbook series. That same year, he created works for opera and theater, and many of his dances were staged around the nation by other companies. For New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Varone has choreographed new productions of Le sacre du printemps, Les Troyens, Salome, and the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Other opera choreography includes Die Walküre (Washington Opera); Il Viaggio a Reims (New York City Opera); and the American premieres of George Antheil’s Transatlantic, and Ricky Ian Gordon’s debut production of Grapes of Wrath (Minnesota Opera).
As a director and choreographer, he has staged Gluck’s Orfée et Eurydice and Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Colorado and Laurent Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick: The Elephant Man (for Minnesota Opera). Varone’s theater credits include choreography for Broadway, at Baltimore’s Center Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Princeton’s McCarter Theater, Music Theater Group, The Vineyard Theatre, and Via Theater. He choreographed and directed the Aquila Theatre Company’s The Invisible Man.
Choreography for television and fashion include the dance and underwater sequences of the The Planets (for A&E) and designer Geoffrey Beene’s couture runway shows in NYC. A collaboration with photographer Michael Thompson for W magazine was featured in its February 2004 issue.
Film credits include choreography for the Patrick Swayze film, One Last Dance. Varone has created works for the Limon Company, Dancemakers (Toronto, Canada), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Uppercut Danse (Denmark), An Creative (Japan), Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Colorado Ballet, and Ailey II, among others. Bern Ballet (Switzerland), Rambert Dance Company (London) and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will mount works in 07-08. His dances are regularly staged on college and university students.
Born and raised in Syosset, NY, Varone received his BFA from Purchase College where he was awarded the Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. Honors also include a Guggenheim Fellowship and two New York Dance and Performance Awards (Bessie Awards) for Sustained Achievement in Choreography and for his 2006 work Boats Leaving. His work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts since 1988.