Gioconda Barbuto is an internationally esteemed Italian-Canadian dancer and choreographer. She trained in the professional program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, The Banff Centre and under the tutelage of Gladys Forrester in Toronto, her native city. Dancing with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens for 16 years and with Nederlands Dans Theater III for eight, Gioconda was quickly recognized as a versatile and magnetic soloist. Her performances have highlighted Jiří Kylián’s dance films, Birth-Day and Car Men, Robert Wilson’s 2Lips and Dancers and Space, Margie Gillis’s M.Body.7 and most recently Joe Laughlin’s 4OUR.
In 1996, Gioconda was nominated for The Kennedy Center Fellowship and received The Banff Centre’s Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award. Since then, she has unflaggingly pursued her choreographic calling, creating detailed, dynamic friezes of full-bodied gesture marked by her innate musicality. Her oeuvre now totals over 50 works, among them solos, duets, group pieces and films. Internationally acclaimed dance companies such as Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet BC, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Alberta Ballet, Ballet Kelowna and many others have commissioned her choreography. As the 2015 McKnight International Choreographer Artist Fellow for TU Dance company in Minnesota, she created FOOTPRINT, called a “stark and poignant” work by the Star Tribune. Gioconda also recently obtained one of the choreographic positions for Oregon Ballet Theater’s Choreography XX competition, creating BRINGING OUTSIDE IN which was named “best in premiere” in Dance Europe Magazine and will be re-staged as part of its Director’s Choice for the 2018/2019 season.
In recent years, Gioconda has been extending her methods for moulding space and energy through her Movement Workshops. She is often invited to teach actors, circus artists, vocalists and dancers at academies and institutions worldwide, including The Juilliard School, Simon Fraser University and Harvard University. Gioconda has also been invited to choreograph for Alonzo King Lines Training Program and choreographs frequently for Arts Umbrella Dance in Vancouver, École supérieure de ballet du Québec, Dutch National Ballet Academy and École Nationale de Cirque in Montréal where she created and directed the graduating circus production, L’abri. Gioconda shares her creative life in Montreal with her husband, renowned dance photographer Michael Slobodian.