Zak Ryan Schlegel is a performer with Shen Wei, educator at The Joffrey Ballet School, founding curator of cross-genre salon CONGRESS, and co-artistic director of AXIOM Dance Theatre. His work has been presented from The Juilliard School in NYC to Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA. He is the official recipient of the New Century Dance Project 2022 Choreography Award Grand Prize Honor, his film “In Beauty It Is Unfinished” is an official selection of The Athens International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and recently won the Knight Foundation award at the Miami Film Festival. The New York Times calls him “a star” & Wall Street Journal “eye-catching & effortless”.
Collaborative efforts include: evening-length experiential sound bath “Liminal” with Jonsi and Alex Somers of Sigur Ros, Mauro Astolfi’s Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Ryan Heffington, Yin Yue, Mandy Moore, Nina McNeely, Denna Thomsen, Kitty McNamee, Floria Sigismondi, Jean-Guilliame Weiss and Jennifer Backhaus. He received formative training from Rafael Bonachela at Sydney Dance Company, Danielle Agami, Lucas Crandall, participated in Gaga research with Ohad Naharin in Israel and holds a BFA from Chapman University. Zak can be seen in the upcoming feature film “Babylon” directed by Damien Chazelle starring Brad Pitt + Margot Robbie, HBO's “Euphoria” and The Weeknd’s “The Idol” starring Lily Rose Depp, both directed by Sam Levinson. He has worked with directors Edgar Wright, Melina Matsoukas, Floria Sigismondi, Amy Seimetz, Sebastian Strasser, Dugan O’Neal, Greko Sklavounos, Eliot Lee Hazel, WIFE, Lita Albuquerque and GMUNK.
Zak's extensive research of Eastern and Western movement traditions adjacent to the philosophical tenets of observation, logic and mathematics largely inform his technical vocabulary, arresting language and physical study of identity. Query is the primary motivation of understanding—where mortal repetition and shifting layers define dance as a series of cascading movement epiphanies.
Commercial collaborations include: The Weeknd, Sigur Ros, Britney Spears, Ry X, Lawrence Rothman, Years & Years, Peaches, MIKA, Ecko, Audrey Nula, Nova Wav, Fitz and the Tantrums, Japanese Breakfast, Lawrence Rothman, The Pierces, Sam Sparro, Vogue Italia, FLAUNT and OUT magazine, Lexus, Toyota, Ford, Squarespace, Amazon Prime, Sleep Number, Tedx, The Getty, Milk and FIDM in multiple genres and platforms from film/television, music videos, live stage performances, commercial campaigns and print editorials.