Zak Ryan Schlegel

Joffrey Ballet School

Zak Ryan Schlegel is a performer with Shen Wei, educator at The Joffrey Ballet School, founder of bi-monthly dance salon CONGRESS, and co-artistic director of AXIOM Dance Theatre. He is a three-time Outstanding Choreographer of the Youth America Grand Prix, New York Times calls him “a star” and Wall Street Journal “eye-catching & effortless”. His choreographic work has been presented from The Juilliard School in NYC to Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA. His extensive research of Eastern and Western movement traditions adjacent to the philosophical tenets of observation and questioning largely inform his technical vocabulary, arresting language and physical study of identity.

In 2020 Zak returned to the US from company membership of Italy’s Spellbound Contemporary Ballet led by Mauro Astolfi. Zak creates an evening length, experiential sound bath “Liminal” with Jonsi and Alex Somers of Sigur Ros, has collaborated with Floria Sigismondi and danced the works of Jean-Guilliame Weiss, Ryan Heffington, Yin Yue, WIFE, Kitty McNamee, Nina McNeely, Josie Walsh and Jennifer Backhaus. He received formative training from Rafael Bonachela at Sydney Dance Company, Danielle Agami, Lucas Crandall, has participated in Gaga research with Ohad Naharin in Tel Aviv, Israel and holds a BFA from Chapman University.

Zak can be seen in video, print and television with Britney Spears, Sigur Ros, Vogue Italia, MIKA, Fitz and the Tantrums, Years & Years, Sam Sparro, The Pierces, Japanese Breakfast, Lexus, Prius, Sleep Number, FLAUNT and OUT Magazine.

Zak practices the act of query as the primary motivation of understanding—where mortal repetition and shifting layers become the central geometry of being.