Martha Tornay

Posted On 06 October 2021 | Posted By Kathryn Contessa

Martha Tornay has over 3 decades of intensive classical ballet studies with dance masters such as Mme. Gabriela Darvash, Gretchen Ward Warren and Robert Brassel. She has performed as a soloist with regional and international ballet and modern companies including Newport News Ballet (Virginia), Israel Ballet (Tel Aviv), and The Robert Kovich Company (NYC) to name a few. After a rewarding career as a professional dancer, she founded East Village Dance Project (EVDP) in New York City in 1997. The program has been recognized for its innovative approach to dance education, and for offering preprofessional classes to all, regardless of financial means. Ms. Tornay’s primary contribution at EVDP had been teaching beginning through advanced Ballet, Pointe, Variations and Repertory for dancers ages 10-21. Through a partnership with GOH Productions and Bonnie Sue Stein, EVDP students have performed at La MaMa Experimental Theater, Pace University, NYU Skirball Center, Abrons Arts Center, Vanaver Caravan Dance Festival, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors and alongside the acclaimed modern dance company, Keigwin + Company. EVDP’s Teen Company, a pre-professional performance troupe, have been honored to perform works by guest choreographers including Kathryn Alter, Dante Brown, Ellen Cornfield, Molly Lieber, Amanda Loulaki, Nicole Wolcott and more. In addition to directing East Village Dance Project, she has been an adjunct professor at New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing for 18 years. She has also had the honor of being on faculty at Bates Dance Festival Young Dancers Workshop annually since 2001. The experience of collaboratively designing a syllabus with the high performing international faculty at Bates has been a strong influence on her teaching methods today. Combining her diverse dance education background with studies of anatomy, she brings an understanding of how to apply ballet technique to contemporary and classical dancers with sensitivity to anatomical needs within the structure of a classical ballet class. Ms. Tornay moved to Connecticut in October of 2020 after being offered a position as a professor of ballet at Connecticut College. Since settling into her home in Norwich, she has become a volunteer at the Norwich Arts Center and has begun dance classes for youth at the Norwich Recreation Department. We are thrilled to welcome her to our faculty for the 2001-2002 season!