Melissa Barak

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Melissa Barak
Melissa Barak September 2014 (cropped).jpg
Barak at the American Ballet Theatre's Annual Stars Under The Stars Benefit in September 2014
Born Melissa Gania Barak
(1979-08-09) August 9, 1979 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Ballet dancer
Former groups Los Angeles Ballet
New York City Ballet

Melissa Barak (born August 9, 1979 in Los Angeles[1]) is a choreographer and ballerina. Since 2006 she has danced with the Los Angeles Ballet and with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, formerly having danced for New York City Ballet.

Dance career[edit]

Barak began her studies in Santa Monica at Westside School of Ballet with Yvonne Mounsey, Rosemary Valaire, and Nader Hamed. She then moved to New York City in 1996 to attend City Ballet's affiliate, the School of American Ballet, where she originated a role in Christopher Wheeldon's Soiree Musicale in the 1998 Annual Workshop. She danced with City Ballet for nine years.[2]

She was named one of "25 to Watch" in 2002 by Dance Magazine.[3]

Featured roles[edit]

Originated corps roles[edit]

Choreographic career[edit]

Having danced with the New York City Ballet, Barak's work shows influence from George Balanchine.[2][4] It was at the City Ballet that Barak's work was first noticed by Peter Martins when she was eighteen years old. He commissioned a piece from her for the School of American Ballet in 2001.[5] Barak founded the company Barak Ballet.[4]