Nicholas Bradley Gray

Apprentice since 2018

Nicholas Gray is a recent graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ballet with an Outside Field in Theatre and Drama. He grew up in Milwaukee, WI, studying at the First Stage Theatre Academy from 2006-2013 and beginning his classical ballet training at the Milwaukee Ballet School in 2010. Nicholas then moved to Torrington, CT in 2013 to continue his classical training with the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory. He spent summers at Pacific Northwest Ballet (2014, 2015), Chautauqua Institution (2017), and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (2018). In his three years at IU Nicholas performed in works by world-renowned choreographers including Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, and Paul Taylor, and studied under ballet legends such as Violette Verdy, Kyra Nichols, Carla Korbes, and Michael Vernon. He had the privilege of performing in featured roles with the IU Opera Theatre and the IU Department of Theatre and Drama. Nicholas is looking forward to an exciting first year with the Grand Rapids Ballet.

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Whom do you most admire and why?

This is an insanely huge question for me to answer as I feel like there are so many people throughout history and in my immediate life that have been incredibly admirable. After much consideration I felt compelled to pick Mahatma Gandhi. His groundbreaking movement of nonviolent civil disobedience is exactly what I feel our world needs as a catalyst for change. He fought peacefully to free his people and also was an outspoken vegetarian, believing animals to be our equals on earth and promoting a lifestyle in which we do not harm other living creatures.

What excites you creatively?

The opportunity to be one hundred percent myself. I am a uniquely individual person and dancer and I love finding and exploring new ways to express myself through movement. I love to make a creative statement with my dancing, saying “This is me.”

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?  

I would love to be the head chef at my own restaurant someday. As a vegetarian I love exploring healthy and innovative ways to fuel my body while experimenting with daring flavor combinations. As a dancer I obviously like creating something exciting and stimulating for others and I feel as though a chef plays a similar part to his respective audience.

What is the best piece of dance advice you’ve ever received?

At the stage door to the Nederlander Theatre in New York City, one of the cast members in Newsies told me to experiment and study as many dance styles as possible in order to be the most versatile and marketable you can be. Through my college career I have taken this advice to heart and I truly believe that my studies have made me a more well-rounded dancer than were I to have solely focused on ballet.

What are your favorite roles? 

  • • N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, choreography by Jerome Robbins (2017)
  • • As Time Goes By, choreography by Twyla Tharp (2016)
  • Sandpaper Ballet, choreography by Mark Morris (2018)
  • Diversion of Angels (Red Man), choreography by Martha Graham (2018)
  • • Flower Festival in Genzano, choreography by Auguste Bournonville (2017)
  • • Trumpet, Fanfare, choreography by Jerome Robbins (2017)
  • Raymonda Variations, choreography by George Balanchine (2017)
  • Surfer at the River Styx, choreography by Twyla Tharp (2015)
  • Musical Offering, choreography by Paul Taylor (2015)