Inspiration. Experience. Connection.

Meet the 2019 RDA NCI Directors

Regional Dance America presents Peter Chu as the Director of Choreography and Jake Kelberman as the Director of Music for the 2019 NCI. These amazing professionals demonstrate vibrant energy in their work and are excited to bring that energy to the NCI choreographers and dancers.

Peter Chu
Director of Choreography

Born in the Bronx, NY, & raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Peter began his training as a competitive gymnast, later nurturing his artistry at Dussich Dance Studio. Upon graduation from The Juilliard School, he performed with BJM Danse, EZdanza, Aszure Barton & Artists, Kidd Pivot, & in Celine Dion’s Vegas spectacular, A New Day. Peter can be seen as the lead in Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts music video.


In 2008, Peter formed a Las Vegas project based dance company, chuthis., which showcases the work of Chu & his collaborators. chuthis. also provides movement education programs which foster technical & artistic development.


Chu has been an honoured recipient of choreographic awards & commissions, including the Hector Zaraspe Prize, A.C.E. Capezio Award, & Hubbard Street Dance International Commission Project. He was also named a Blodgett Distinguished Artist by Harvard University for 2018. Additionally, Chu has served as the Rehearsal Director for Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and as a Guest Rehearsal Director for NDT1.


Chu has created works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, Charlotte Ballet, Charlotte Ballet II, Orlando Ballet Theatre, Giordano Dance Chicago, SYTYCD, Naomi Stikeman’s Çaturn, Houston MET Dance, New Dialect, SALT Contemporary Dance, Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive, Springboard Danse Montreal, Harvard Univeristy, Point Park University, & The Juilliard School, among others.


This season, Chu looks forward to premiering new creations for Staatstheater Augsburg, Germany, and HSPro. He will also be working on a creation with his own company, chuthis.

Jake Kelberman
Director of Music
Jake Kelberman is a guitarist, composer, and educator from Philadelphia who has performed at venues around the world including Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center in New York, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He has performed in the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Montreux, Switzerland and has been a finalist in both the Wilson Center Jazz Guitar Competition in Milwaukee and the “Keep an Eye” Jazz Competition in Amsterdam.


Jake has performed and recorded with artists including Wycliffe Gordon, Ulysses Owens Jr., Jim Snidero, Gerald Veasley, Walt Weiskopf, Deana Martin, Justin Faulkner, and Larry McKenna. A frequent collaborator with dancers, he performs for swing and blues dances with groups such as Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five and Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders and has collaborated with choreographer Peter Chu, composing new music for works which have been performed by The Juilliard School and the Charlotte Ballet.


Jake has worked as a teaching artist with universities and organizations including the EMESP Tom Jobim School in Sao Paolo, Brazil, The National Youth Orchestra of Belize, West Virginia Wesleyan University, the Philadelphia Community Arts Network, and the West Park Cultural Center in Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance and Political Science from Temple University and is completing a masters’ degree in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School under the direction of Wynton Marsalis.

Choreographers: Want to work with these amazing directors?

RDA Dancers: Ready to sign up for an amazing experience?

Non-RDA Dancers: Apply online before you register!

Need more details? Check out the NCI page for additional information.