JENNY FITZPATRICK | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Jenny Fitzpatrick is the Founder and Artistic Director of Blackbird Dance Theatre (Blackbird) in Lexington, Kentucky, which she launched in 2013 with her original, dance theatre production of The Great Gray. The motto of Blackbird Dance Theatre is Fly.Create.Collaborate.
Blackbird is not only a comprehensive school of dance for children and adults; it’s an artistic haven. Students and company members train in diverse styles of dance and acting principles, but also have the opportunity to train in many creative disciplines, including visual arts, music composition, vocal performance, play writing, choreography, directing, costume design, production and scenic design, and stage combat.
Blackbird aims to foster growth within each of its company members’ unique skill sets, allowing them to hone their craft and train in technique, while pursuing the creative endeavors that most challenge and inspire them. Since its inception, Blackbird has produced 22 dance theatre productions and 5 musicals/musical reviews. Six of these productions are full length, original works created by Jenny, including The Great Gray, The Broken Queen, Robando, Ugly v. 1-6, Blackbird Dance Theatre Spring Concert 2018, and Metamorphoses/Providence. Another six are adaptations of other works for dance theatre including Neon Jungle (The Jungle Book), Cyrcus (The Tempest), Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, and This is Madness (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There). Jenny has served as director and choreographer for all of these productions, as well as costume designer and playwright. Jenny also served as a principle dancer in The Great Gray, The Broken Queen, Robando, Ugly v. 4, Metamorphoses, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, and Providence. Additionally, Blackbird’s musical theatre productions include Cats, The Wiz, Aladdin Jr., and two Fosse style cabarets, all conceived and directed by Jenny.
When not crafting works for the stage in Lexington, Jenny has been delighted to take Blackbird Dance Theatre on tour in the Central Kentucky area. In 2018 Blackbird’s Company performed The Broken Queen in Somerset and Scottsville, Kentucky, for school and public audiences. Additionally, a Master Class was offered in Somerset.
Jenny also devotes time to pursue her passion for capturing dance theatre projects on film, working behind and in front of the camera. In 2017, she collaborated with Roya Ramezankhani and Melissa Ajayi to create a 20-minute film in which she also appears as the principle dancer, Prologue and How Things Came to Be, a companion piece to the stage production of The Broken Queen. Later that year, she collaborated again with Roya Ramezankhani, as well as Duane Lundy and Tom Willis, to create 11 music videos for the pieces of music Duane and his new venture, Choreo, created for the stage production of The Broken Queen. Released in 2018-2019, the music videos are available on Spotify and iTunes.
Providence is Jenny’s most recent work, which she was thrilled to write, direct, choreograph, costume and produce for film during the summer of 2019. This is Jenny’s first, full-length work created specifically for film. Providence is the culmination of three years of planning and studying, drawing on themes, music, and characters from a past Blackbird production, Metamorphoses, and a new, short work conceived and choreographed by Jenny, Joan of Arc, which premiered at Blackbird’s new works festival, Bricolage, in March 2019.
In 2019, Jenny also appeared in the premiere of Passerby, a new work by Melissa Ajayi, performed at the Tridea Dance Festival in Tiffin, Ohio.
Prior to founding Blackbird, Jenny taught dance and theatre, directed, choreographed and performed in Lexington and surrounding areas. From 2009-2012, Jenny served as Education Director and Associate Producer at Woodford Theatre in Versailles, Kentucky. While at Woodford, Jenny served in numerous roles across multiple productions, including producer, director, costume designer, and choreographer. Highlights include: Footloose (choreographer), Oklahoma! (choreographer), Once on this Island, Jr. (director/choreographer), How to Eat Like a Child (director/choreographer), Once Upon a Mattress (producer/choreographer), Into the Woods (choreographer), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (choreographer), 1776 (producer/choreographer), and, Scrooge: The Musical (producer/choreographer).
Jenny has also has a long history (2011-2016) with the Kentucky Conservatory Theatre (Lexington) including: Rocky Horror Picture Show (choreographer/ensemble), Legally Blonde: The Musical (director/choreographer), A Chorus Line (choreographer/Cassie), Little Shop of Horrors (director/choreographer), Cabaret (choreographer/Sally Bowles), Jesus Christ Superstar (choreographer).
Jenny worked as a guest instructor at Transylvania University in 2013, teaching contemporary and ballet. More recently, she has choreographed several touring shows for Lexington Children’s Theater, including Duck for President (spring 2016), Fancy Nancy (fall 2016), Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly (2017), and Elephant and Piggie’s We are in a Play (2018). Jenny has also enjoyed choreographing main stage productions at Eastern Kentucky University such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show (2017) and Once Upon a Mattress (2019).
Jenny began her studies in dance at a young age in Scottsville, Kentucky, training in ballet, tap, and jazz with Kathy Wise-Leonard at Dance Images of Bowling Green, Kentucky. She received her B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Kentucky in 2006, where she performed in seven main stage productions. While attending college, Jenny was cast in several productions around the city including Paragon Music Theatre’s productions of State Fair (Jeanie) and Damn Yankees (dancer) and Lexington Shakespeare Festival’s Cyrano de Bergerac (Roxanne) and Much Ado about Nothing (Beatrice).
After college, Jenny teamed up with the Broadway Bound program in its first year, serving in the roles of choreographer and instructor of musical theatre and dance. In 2007, Jenny moved to Los Angeles, California, where she worked as a dance professional, taught at the Burbank School of Ballet, and choreographed and directed for the National Enrichment Teacher’s Association.
Jenny draws upon her deep experience and expertise in dance and theatre to help nurture her students’ education, creativity and talent in the classroom, on the stage and in life. Jenny resides in Lexington, Kentucky, with her son, Mac, an accomplished dancer, actor, athlete and student.