Brigel Gjoka, Albanian choreographer and dancer, boasts a career spanning over two decades. He received his training at the Tirana School of Ballet and the Rosella Hightower in France. Between 2006 and 2010, he danced with Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin, Staatstheater Mainz, and the Nederlands Dans Theater.
In January 2011, he joined The Forsythe Company, where he participated in William Forsythe’s new creations and performed a wide array of works from the American choreographer’s repertoire. In 2016, alongside Riley Watts, he performed Duo2015 from W. Forsythe in Life In Progress, Sylvie Guillem’s world tour farewell to the scene, and was honored with the Leonide Massine Dancer of the Year Contemporary Stage Award at Positano Premia la Danza (Italy). The same year, he performed the same piece in Paris Quartier D’été and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the Eighth Annual Anne d’Harnoncourt Symposium.
Brigel’s career reached a pinnacle in 2018 through his ongoing collaboration with master choreographer William Forsythe for over a decade, performing in Forsythe’s last creation, A Quiet Evening of Dance, at major venues worldwide, a performance that earned the prestigious FEDORA – Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet. Alongside Riley Watts, he served as a tutor at the Biennale of Venice Dance College 2023, where they staged DUO (2023 extended) from William Forsythe. Brigel will premiere Friends of Forsythe, a new project that unites choreographers and dancers from different choreographic fields, premiering in MKZ Karlsruhe and Abu Dhabi art fair 2023.
From 2014 to 2020, he served as the Artistic Director of Art Factory International Bologna, Italy, where he designed and led professional intensive training programs for young dancers. He established an international art platform to support choreographic research, organizing improvisation and dance workshops with internationally renowned choreographers and artists.
As a choreographer, he was commissioned by Sadler’s Wells London and PACT Zollverein Essen to co-create NEIGHBOURS in collaboration with Rauf “RubberLegz” Yasit. The piece premiered in Essen, Germany, in 2019 and continued its journey in 2021 performing at the Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, and was later developed into a full-length production in 2022, featuring musician Rusan Filiztek. This project was co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, Van Cleef & Arpels for Dance Reflections Festival London, Maison de la Danse Lyon, Biennale de la Danse de Lyon 2021/22, Sydney
Dance Festival, Julidans Amsterdam, and more. Since 2021, Brigel has been touring globally with NEIGHBOURS, gracing the stages of renowned theaters and dance festivals. Between 2013 and 2017, he received support from the Goethe Institute Germany as a sponsored choreographer and has also created for Maggio Fiorentino, Theater Vorpommen, Theater Passau & Hector Solari, NAPA International Theater Festival Karachi, Cannes Jeune Ballet, LeggereStrutture with the support of Tonino Lamborghini, Kwang Tung Dance Company. Brigel has demonstrated unwavering dedication to dance education. He has conducted international dance and choreography workshops at prestigious festivals, universities, and companies including Tokyo Ballet, Beijing Dance Festival, Royal Danish Summer School, Université De Lausanne, CND Paris-Lyon, Dias Da Dança Porto, Gibney Dance New York, Sydney Junior Dance Company, and many more.