Melissa Barak

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Melissa Barak
Melissa Barak September 2014 (cropped).jpg
Barak at the American Ballet Theatre's Annual Stars Under The Stars Benefit in September 2014
Melissa Gania Barak

(1979-08-09) August 9, 1979 (age 41)
Occupation Ballet dancer
Former groups Los Angeles Ballet
New York City Ballet

Melissa Barak (born August 9, 1979 in Los Angeles [1] ) is a choreographer and ballerina. Since 2006 she has danced with the Los Angeles Ballet and with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, formerly having danced for New York City Ballet.


Dance career

Barak began her studies in Santa Monica at Westside School of Ballet with Yvonne Mounsey, Rosemary Valaire, and Nader Hamed. She then moved to New York City in 1996 to attend City Ballet's affiliate, the School of American Ballet, where she originated a role in Christopher Wheeldon's Soiree Musicale in the 1998 Annual Workshop. She danced with City Ballet for nine years. [2]

She was named one of "25 to Watch" in 2002 by Dance Magazine . [3]

Originated corps roles

Choreographic career

Having danced with the New York City Ballet, Barak's work shows influence from George Balanchine. [2] [4] It was at the City Ballet that Barak's work was first noticed by Peter Martins when she was eighteen years old. He commissioned a piece from her for the School of American Ballet in 2001. [5] Barak founded the company Barak Ballet. [4]



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  1. State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995 (Sacramento, CA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics).
  2. 1 2 Bleiberg, Laura (May 23, 2010). "'Bugsy' Siegel goes to the ballet: The slain mobster is the unconventional hero of Melissa Barak's new dance piece, 'Call Me Ben.'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2012. Barak ... born 30 years ago
  3. "25 to watch in 2002". Dance Magazine. January 2002. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 22-year-old Melissa Barak
  4. 1 2 Looseleaf, Victoria (May 17, 2013). "Balanchine's Palm-Fringed Muse". New York Times. New York City, United States. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  5. Milzoff, Rebecca (February 15, 2009). "Prodigal Dancer: Melissa Barak returns to City Ballet, this time as choreographer". New York Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2012. Barak, 29