Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to dance. His work has been noted by critics for a unique movement language as well as a highly developed fusion of ideas, dance and design. Born in Brooklyn New York, Fonte started dancing at the age of 14. He studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York as well as at the San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet Schools while completing a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase. Upon graduation he danced with Peridance in NYC and later joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, dancing in the works of Balanchine, Tudor, Kudelka and Spaniard Nacho Duato. Fonte subsequently joined Duato's Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid and forged a strong identity in the Spanish company for seven years - for both his dancing and his choreography. En los Segundos Ocultos, (In Hidden Seconds), one of three ballets Fonte made for the Spanish company, was hailed as a breakthrough work of great impact with the poetic vision of a mature artist and indeed this ballet established his presence on the European dance scene.
In 2000 Fonte retired from performing to devote himself full-time to his choreographic career. Since that time he has created or staged his ballets for The Dutch National Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stuttgart Ballet, The Australian Ballet, The Göteborg Ballet, The Finnish National Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Washington Ballet, Ballett Mainz, Ballett Nürnberg, Ballet West, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, TANZ Ensemble Cathy Sharp, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet British Columbia and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal.
Fonte received a Choo San Goh award for his 2002 collaboration with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Almost Tango, of which R.M. Campbell of the Seattle Post- Intelligencer wrote, "Fonte is a thinker, an architect who creates the new rather than reinvent the old. He is a master of manipulating space and creating relationships". Almost Tango was also voted as one of Dance Europe's "Best Premiere's" when it was re-staged for The Australian Ballet in 2004. His subsequent creation for the company, The Possibility Space premiered in Melbourne in September of 2008.
From 2002 to 2006 Nicolo enjoyed an ongoing creative partnership with The Göteborg Ballet in Sweden, creating and staging numerous works that helped establish the company's distinct profile. While in Göteborg he created his first full-length ballet, based on the life of Tchaikovsky, which was widely acclaimed in the international press for Fonte's marriage of narrative skill and a contemporary choreographic language. Re: Tchaikovsky appeared on the "Best of 2005" lists of both Ballett-Tanz and Dance Europe. Fonte has also played an important role in the ongoing development of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as one of that company's most popular guest choreographers. To date he has created six highly successful works for ASFB that have toured throughout the US and overseas - Jack Anderson, writing in The New York Times called Fonte "a choreographer worth knowing" when the company presented Left Unsaid at The Joyce Theater in 2005. ASFB continues to invest in their relationship with Nicolo Fonte: their recent production of In Hidden Seconds was greeted with rapturous reviews and audience response. Nicolo returns for a seventh creation in Aspen in February 2011.
Fonte consistently works with some of the most dynamic companies on both sides of the Atlantic: since July of 2009 he has created new works for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and The Dutch National Ballet, a 4th creation for The Royal Ballet of Flanders, and has had work staged or revived for The Washington Ballet, The Finnish National Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theater.
I was really inspired by the energy and raw talent I saw in El Salvador. Working with Compañía Nacional de Danza, and especially with Artistic Director Karol Marenco, left me feeling a huge amount of respect for these hardworking dancers. It was a pleasure to create on them and the resulting work, "Codiciosos" felt like it really was a bridge that connected us in a wonderful way.
- Nicolo Fonte
Exchange With Compañíía Nacional de Danza de El Salvador (May 2011)