Francisco Gella

"I invite dancers (and the audience) to look inward; to allow emotion back into their structured lives, to look at themselves by provoking insight through introspection, and to honestly express themselves, without self-doubt or fear of other’s criticism."

Francisco Gella’s distinguished twenty-five year career as a compelling dancer, award-winning choreographer, and widely-recognized dance educator, began when he took his first formal dance class during his freshman year at the age of nineteen. His innovative choreography and highly effective teaching methods are sought after by professional companies, universities, arts high schools conservatories, and studios across North America and around the globe. In addition to teaching dancers and students, Francisco is frequently invited to train other teachers in effective pedagogical method with a proven holistic approach – focusing on the intersection of technical, artistic, psychological and spiritual dimensions of dancers. 

A 1996 graduate with a BA in dance from the University of Washington, Francisco is a past company member with the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO); Repertory Dance Theater; and Ballet Pacifica. He has been a guest performer with Spectrum Dance Theater; Chamber Dance Company; Seattle Opera; Pennsylvania Ballet; California Ballet; Laguna Dance Festival; and National Choreographers Initiative. In 1998, Francisco performed as a principal soloist at the Closing Ceremonies in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics in Japan and was featured in a PBS Dance in America Special in Daniel Ezralow’s holiday satirical work entitled the X-mas Philes.

Francisco’s choreographic commissions include Repertory Dance Theatre, Ballet Pacifica, California Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet’s Shut-Up and Dance Production, PHILADANCO’s Danco on Danco program, Laguna Dance Festival, Tucson Regional Ballet, University of Utah Ballet Ensemble, Brigham Young University Contemporary Ensemble, University of Washington Faculty Concert, Irvine Valley College, Ballet East, DANCO/II, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Orange County School for the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.  His commission ‘Between the Lines’, set on PHILADANCO (The Philadelphia Dance Company), premiered at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in April, at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, and was selected by PHILADANCO’S Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown as the company’s sole performance at the opening to the Democratic National Convention in 2016.  In the spring of 2019, Francisco was invited to be the resident artist at the Palm Springs Dance Festival where his new work ‘Particles’ had its world premier. In the spring of 2020, Francisco was invited back to the festival in Palm Springs to premiere another original work and was commissioned to create a new work with Ballet Idaho.

Among the recognition he has received includes numerous choreography awards at the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition including Outstanding Choreographer, and the Outstanding Choreography Award at the National Regional Dance America Conference in 2007.  In 2013, Francisco premiered ‘Concentric Harmonies’ at Celebrate Dance in Los Angeles, a work that went on to receive the Grand Prize at the McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival in 2014. In 2014 and 2015, his work ‘Solstice’, performed by the Phoenix Ballet had its world premier at the 60th Anniversary Gala of the Beijing Dance Academy and its European premiere at Poland’s prestigious Lodz International Ballet Festival. In May 2016, his work ‘Souvenirs de Mouvement’ was selected as a featured performance at the nationally recognized Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing & Visual Arts’ annual ‘Flying Horse Gala’. In 2018, Francisco's work 'Timelapse', performed by the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, was selected for the gala performance at the National High School Dance Festival.  

Francisco is the founding co-artistic director of his new professional company Zeitgeist Dance Theatre launched in January of 2020. He is also the founding artistic director of NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance and COLABO Youth Dance Collective (2008-2015). As Chief Creative Officer of Francisco Gella Dance Works, he has created numerous educational programs; Ballet+ (beyond technique) workshops, the Preprofessional Dancer Institute, New Year’s Training Camp, Seattle Dance Advance, the New Century Dance Project (a youth dance festival for choreography and performance), The Ballet Company Intensive co-presented with Ballet Idaho, and the College Dance and Career Prep program  Additionally, Francisco is the lead ballet and modern faculty member for the 24 Seven Dance Convention and founding director of ARIA Ballet Intensive produced by Break The Floor. Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, Francisco now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.