About Marla

Cape Cod, Mass. - Photo by Kathy Sharp FrisbeeMarla Bingham is a Mashpee Wampanoag born on Cape Cod, Massachusetts on the land of her Native American ancestors. Marla truly discovered her potential as a dancer at age 12 when she auditioned for George Balanchine's School of American Ballet and obtained a full scholarship at SAB's Summer Program.

Photo By Paula DaSilvaAfter graduating from high school, she obtained a two-year full scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She later performed with Pennsylvania Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Jennifer Muller & The Works, touring the World, performing in 14 different countries and touring the United States. She performed works by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Jerome Robbins, George Faison, Donald McKayle, Jennifer Muller and Louis Falco. Marla Bingham later performed in "King & I" with Yul Brynner on National Tour and on Broadway. In the late eighties, in Vienna-Austria, Marla became the Artistic Director of the Vereinigte Buhnen Wien's Musical Theater School (Tanz Gesang Studio). This prestigious school was part of a state-supported European theater company which was a successful producer of "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera", "Les Miserables" and "A Chorus Line" at the time. A few years later, in New York City, she became Director of Artist Development for Dick Scott Entertainment staging live performances and music videos for recording artists.

The Spirit of Pocahontas - Photo by Marla BinghamMarla has choreographed for the American Indian Dance Theatre, the Joffrey Concert Group and Mississippi Ballet, as well as Disneyland's "The Spirit of Pocahontas" and numerous music videos and TV commercials.

Ivan Naranjo - Firebird - Photo by Paul DaSilvaShe created her own troupe in 1996, the Marla Bingham Contemporary Ballet, based in Southern California. She was recently featured in Dance Spirit Magazine and Native People Magazine for the world premiere of Firebird, A Native American Vision, an original ballet she choreographed and performed with her company. Marla also perfomed on Public Television (KCET - Christmas Celebration) at the Los Angeles Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where she led her company in an excerpt of one of her signature pieces, Sanctuary.

Larrio Ekson and Marla Bingham rehearse Firebird - Photo by Bruno ArteroMarla's artistic vision is to use a wide range of cultural references in her ballet repertoire. Her repertoire is eclectic and it aims at reaching a large and diverse audience beyond the traditional boundaries of ballet. She has received the 2002 First American in the Arts award for outstanding achievement in dance. She was also named Native American Youth Educator of the Year 2000 by the Tri-County (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura) Native American UMC Circle of Life.

Marla is a certified GYROTONIC� instructor and Pilates Method Alliance Certified Instructor as well as a master teacher in Ballet, Modern and Jazz. Her technicity and talent have been recognized by American dance schools such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and the Joffrey School in New York as well as European organizations such as Cologne Summer Dance Academy (Germany) and Paris Centre (France). Her extensive dance technique enhances the range and quality of her GYROTONIC� and Pilates instruction.

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