© Lotje van der Bie
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Tess Voelker began with jazz and commercial dance. After moving to Philadelphia in 2009, she decided to start formal training in classical ballet at The Rock School for Dance Education and with Barbara Sandonato. She continued her training in Boston at Walnut Hill School for the Arts where she grew a passion for the contemporary style. After graduating in 2015, Tess studied as a trainee at Joffrey Ballet Chicago and on weekends spent her time training with a small contemporary company, Cocodaco, where she studied improv methods from the artistic director Ronn Stewart. She has gone on to win awards from both the YoungArts Foundation and Youth American Grand Prix. In 2016, she moved to Germany to start her professional career with Ballett Dortmund. Her career then took her to the Netherlands to join Netherlands Dans Theater 2 in 2017 and the main company in 2020. At NDT she has had the good fortune to work closely with Johan Inger, Marco Goecke, Ohad Naharin, Hans Van Manen, Paul Lightfoot, Marina Mascarell, Yoann Bourgeois, Sharon Eyal, Edward Clug and many other leading contemporary choreographers. Tess has also spent the last few years independently exploring her own artistry and movement. This exploration is what has led her into the world of choreography. She graciously thanks Aurélie Dupont and the Paris Opera for supporting her work and beginning her choreographic journey.
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