” [Huge Kudos] for choreographer Avital Asuleen, who managed to create moves authentic to the time period while original too.”
“Miss Shields (the dynamic Avital Asuleen), as a chanteuse in red satin, belting ‘You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.’ She’s accompanied by a chorus of kids in tuxedos and sequined chemises, like the cast of ‘Anything Goes.’ Their jazzy joy is infectious”
— Judith Newmark, St. Louis Today
I am a director, choreographer, and performer who loves to tell timeless stories through music and dance.
I believe in using the best of theatre’s past to inform its future.
I strive to make dance an integral part of musical theatre storytelling.
I work to create stronger, more multifaceted female characters on stage.
I know that my continued work as a performer enriches my work as a creator and collaborator.
Avital was honored to serve as associate choreographer to Lorin Latarro on Prospect Theater Company’s production of “Jasper in Deadland”. She was the original associate director of Theatreworks USA’s tour “Teacher From The Black Lagoon”, and the assistant director/choreographer of “Nymph Errant”, also with Prospect. Avital had the privilege of observing choreographer Randy Skinner on the Encores! City Center production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.
Also in NYC, Avital choreographed the regional premiere of “The Queen Bees” at Queens Theatre in the Park, and also choreographed the world premiere of “The Rat Pack Undead”, and a revival of “Rags” at The Connelly Theatre. Alongside composer Alden Terry, she created “Ephemera“, an evening of site specific piece of dance theatre with a completely original score. Her concert dance choreography has been seen at Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, Green Space Studios, and the 2016 Choreography Canvas.
Avital has directed and/or choreographed regional and educational productions all over the country. A few favorites include “Shrek”, “Tarzan” and “The Music Man” (Berkshire Theatre Group), “Gypsy” (White Plains Performing Arts Center Conservatory), “Anything Goes” (Stoneham Theatre Young Company), and “Steel Magnolias” (Gallery Players, and Jean’s Playhouse).
Avital created and currently serves as the director of The Choreography Lab, now in its eighth season at The New York Theatre Barn. The lab works to elevate and expand the use of dance in musical theatre, and is the only curated choreography platform where choreographers and writers collaborate to develop movement for new musicals during incubation.
Avital currently lives in Brooklyn, but has performed throughout the country, most notably as “Ms. Shields” on the national tour of “A Christmas Story”. In 2016, Avital made her Off-Broadway debut in the revival of the lost Marx Brothers musical “I’ll Say She Is”. Select regional performance credits include productions of “Backwards in High Heels”, “White Christmas” (Westchester Broadway Theatre), “42nd Street”, “Cabaret”, “The Drowsy Chaperone” (Surflight Theatre), and “No No Nanette” (Reagle Music Theatre). She holds a MA in History and BAs in Theatre and History from Brandeis University, spent several years on the faculty of Watertown Children’s Theatre, and currently teaches Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theatre classes at Mark Morris Dance Group, Brooklyn Center Stage, Align Brooklyn, and at schools all over NYC through Together in Dance. Avital recently completed the basic and beginner levels of the Nan Giordano Certification Program, and incorporates elements of the Giordano Jazz dance technique into her Jazz and theatre dance classes.
In 2018, Avital launched a new company, Combustion Collective. Combustion Collective is an interdisciplinary theater company with a focus on HOW we as artists create new work, and that pushes the boundaries of how dance, music, and text can come together to make art. The Collective’s first official production, The Floorshow, premiered in September of 2019 at Theatre 71 on the UWS. In 2020, The Collective began development on their second project, Tonight For The Tapir. The company recently released a draft version of the project as an audio play and plan to produce a live version of the show when it is safe to do so.
In her free time, Avital enjoys spending time with her husband and cat in Brooklyn, trying out new recipes, and posting on her blog, The Strategic Artist.
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