MALASHOCK DANCE WELCOMES NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR,
CHRISTOPHER KAUI MORGAN
Former Company Member to Take the Helm January 2024
SEPTEMBER 1, 2023 – San Diego, CA, – Malashock Dance is thrilled to announce the appointment of Christopher Kaui Morgan as its new Artistic Director. Christopher brings an impressive wealth of experience as a creator, administrator, curator, and educator, making him a visionary leader poised to steer the company into an exciting new era.
As the new Artistic Director, Christopher Kaui Morgan will bring Malashock Dance into the future while honoring the extraordinary legacy of founder John Malashock. He aims to advance the art of dance in San Diego, presenting ambitious and relevant works to local audiences, while simultaneously expanding the company’s reach within the national and international dance scenes.
“I’m extremely proud of the way our Board and staff have managed the challenging process of securing new artistic leadership and have worked over the last two years to transition Malashock Dance from a singular “person-centered” organization to a fully “mission-centered” organization that will thrive under new leadership,” explained Board Chair John Alexander. “The selection of Christopher promises to serve our community and the company well.”
Christopher will begin full time in January 2024, when John Malashock will transition to the position of Founding Artistic Director, where he will remain on the Board and involved in various aspects of Company productions and community engagement. His husband, Stage Director Kyle Lang, will be joining him in San Diego and will be directing Don Giovanni at San Diego Opera in February. They plan to reside in South Park.
A Distinguished Career in Dance and Arts Administration
Christopher Kaui Morgan is no stranger to the world of Malashock Dance, having begun his dance career as a company member from 1995 to 1998. Since then, his journey as a choreographer, arts administrator, curator, and educator has been marked by exceptional accomplishments. He founded the renowned dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists in 2011 and gained national recognition when Dance Magazine featured him as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States the same year.
His diverse choreographic works, which artfully integrate dance, storytelling, original music, and multimedia design to explore identity and social and cultural issues, have been showcased in an impressive 22 countries across 5 continents. Christopher’s dedication to the arts extends beyond the stage, as evidenced by his vital role as Vice President of Programming at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, where he curates captivating music, dance, and theater performances, oversees the Schaefer International Gallery, and leads an arts education program that benefits thousands of Hawai’i youth, adults, and educators.
In addition, Christopher served as the Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place in Washington, DC, from 2017 to 2021, skillfully steering the organization through challenging times and prioritizing support for artists and teachers. His commitment to promoting cultural integrity, inclusivity, and diverse representation has been acknowledged through his nomination by President Joseph R. Biden for the National Council on the Arts, for which he secured a six-year term in March 2022.
“After beginning my dance career 28 years ago at Malashock Dance & Company, it is an incredible honor to return to the organization in a leadership capacity. John’s artistry and leadership has resonated throughout my career. It is a thrilling opportunity to sustain John’s work while bringing a fresh perspective from the array of experiences I’ve had since I last lived in San Diego. I look forward to learning more about the current San Diego arts community and supporting the growth and deepening of the arts ecology in San Diego and beyond,” says Morgan.
Carrying Forward the Malashock Dance Legacy
Under the guidance of John Malashock since 1988, Malashock Dance has flourished into one of California’s premier dance companies, gaining accolades both domestically and internationally. John’s collaborative spirit has led to remarkable productions in partnership with esteemed organizations such as La Jolla Playhouse, the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Music Society, San Diego Museum of Art, Art of Elan, UCSD-TV, KPBS, and the San Diego Opera, which staged his production of THE PEARL FISHERS in fifteen cities throughout North America. His dance films have earned six Emmy Awards and aired on over 30 PBS affiliate stations nationwide. John was a company dancer with Twyla Tharp’s company in New York from 1979 to 1984.
“I’m honored to pass the torch to someone with Christopher’s skill, passion and commitment to creativity, diversity, and community,“ said John Malashock. “With his passion, warmth, and inspiring manner, I know he is exactly the right person to lead us forward with a new artistic vision. It’s been a great ride and now It’s time for the company to embark on this new journey, embracing fresh perspectives and innovative visions to enrich the cultural landscape of San Diego and beyond.”
Molly Puryear will remain in her position as Executive Director, a post she has held for eight years. She has been with the organization since 2006.
Exciting New Goals and Future Aspirations
Christopher Kaui Morgan’s appointment comes with a set of exciting new goals for Malashock Dance. He envisions expanding the artistic horizons of the company, inviting and nurturing more choreographic voices to create diverse and captivating works. Under his leadership, Malashock Dance will continue to push boundaries, inspire audiences, and advocate for the transformative power of dance through its Company, School, and Community outreach programs.
Join Us in Welcoming Christopher Kaui Morgan
Malashock Dance invites its supporters, patrons, and the entire San Diego community to join them in welcoming Christopher Kaui Morgan as the new Artistic Director on October 22.
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Toni Robin, TRPR Public Relations
About Malashock Dance
Malashock Dance, founded by John Malashock in 1988, is one of California’s foremost dance companies known for its innovation, creativity, and commitment to educational and artistic excellence in the field of dance. With a rich history of successful collaborations, nationally recognized education programs, a thriving community at its dance school in ARTS DISTRICT:Liberty Station, and a legacy of world-class performances, Malashock Dance continues to inspire audiences and enrich the community through the transformative power of dance. The mission of Malashock Dance is to illuminate the power of dance as an invaluable part of the human experience. It is a gathering place for artists to create new work, engage with the community, and provide unique educational opportunities. We believe dance belongs to everyone.
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Photos by Ken Jacques Photography LINK