Photo by Karolina Kuras
Alysa Pires (pronounced ah-lee-sa pyres) is a Canadian choreographer who was born and raised on the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ people near Victoria, B.C. Her works have been performed by companies such as the New York City Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, Alberta Ballet, Ballet Kelowna, Ballet Edmonton, and more.
Most recently, Alysa became the first Canadian woman commissioned by New York City Ballet. Her first work for the company, Standard Deviation, premiered at the 2023 Spring Gala at Lincoln Center and was part of the company's tour to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Pires held the position of Choreographic Associate at the National Ballet of Canada from 2019-2022. She began working with the company as part of their Choreographic Workshop where she created her acclaimed work
In Between. Alysa then represented the company at the 13th International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize. She was appointed Choreographic Associate by Karen Kain in 2019.
Her next work for NBOC, Frenzied Order, was commissioned for the company’s YOU Dance programming in Fall 2019 and was invited to International DraftWorks 2020 at the Royal Opera House in London, England. Alysa created two films for the company’s 20/21 virtual season including a solo adaptation of In Between and in a state of vanishing. Pires made her mainstage debut with the National Ballet in March 2022 with Skyward.
Her first commission for Ballet Kelowna, MAMBO, was presented as part of the 2018 Fall for Dance North Festival in Toronto and the China Arts Expo in Beijing. Ballet Kelowna's 2018/2019 season included the company premieres of Pires' In Between and Spring. Alysa was then invited to create the company's first full-length commission. After a two year delay due to the pandemic, Macbeth had its world premiere in May 2022.
Alysa participated in New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute three times (Spring and Fall 2019, Summer 2021) and was one of the 2017 winners of Northwest Dance Project’s International Choreographic Competition.
She also creates under the umbrella of Alysa Pires Dance Projects, which made its critically acclaimed full-length debut with Exterminating Angel at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival.
Alysa is an Honours BFA graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University and was the recipient of the 2015 Jack McAllister Award, which recognizes alumni accomplishment.