Hometown: Boston, MA
Matthew Neenan began his dance training at the Boston Ballet School, along with instruction from noted teachers Nan C. Keating and Jacqueline Cronsberg. He later attended LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York. From 1994 to 2007, Matthew danced with Pennsylvania Ballet, where he performed numerous principal roles in the classical-contemporary and Balanchine repertoire. In 2007, he was named Pennsylvania Ballet’s choreographer in residence.
Matthew’s choreography has been featured and performed by companies across the country, including Pennsylvania Ballet (totaling 18 commissions), BalletX, the Washington Ballet, Ballet West, BalletMet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Milwaukee Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, OKC Ballet, Juilliard Dance, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, and Opera Philadelphia, among others.
Matthew has received numerous awards and grants for his choreography, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Dance Advance (funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts), the Choo San Goh Foundation, the Independence Foundation, and, in 2006, he received New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute Fellowship Initiative Award. His ballets Carmina Burana, As It’s Going, and 11:11 were performed by Pennsylvania Ballet at New York City Center in 2006 and 2007, and, in 2008, he received a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts—his fourth time doing so. In 2009, Matthew was the grand-prize winner of Sacramento Ballet’s Capital Choreography Competition as well as the first recipient of the Jerome Robbins NEW Program Fellowship for his work At the border for Pennsylvania Ballet.
Matthew also co-founded BalletX with fellow dancer and former Pennsylvania Ballet member Christine Cox. BalletX had its world premiere at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival in September 2005 and is now the resident dance company of the Wilma Theatre and considered to be one of the nation’s preeminent contemporary ballet companies. BalletX has toured and performed Matthew’s choreography in New York City at the Joyce Theater, NY City Center, the Skirball Center, Symphony Space, and Central Park SummerStage, as well as at the Vail International Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, the Cerritos Center, Laguna Dance Festival, Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis, and internationally in Cali, Colombia and Seoul, Korea. From 2010 to 2016, Matthew was a trustee member for DanceUSA.