ROBERT SHER-MACHHERNDL, a native of Vienna, Austria, has lead a distinguished career ranging from principal dancer, choreographer, master-teacher, to artistic director.
Born in the historic 2nd Municipal District of Vienna, Robert began his ballet training at age eight under the tutelage of Hely Scholtze. At age fourteen, he began dancing as an Eleve at the Vienna Volksoper. For four consecutive years, Robert passed the rigorous Impartial Board of Examiners’ Ballet Syllabus exams.
His professional career began at Theater an der Wien where he performed works by Hans Kresnik. In 1980, early in his professional life, he became a soloist with the Bavarian State Ballet under the direction of Edmund Gleede. By the age of twenty-one, Robert Sher-Machherndl was identified by the Suddeutsche Zeitung as “… a born danseur noble” and they, “… predestined him to be a danseur noble”.
He became partner to prima ballerina, Jolinda Menendez, of the American Ballet Theater. After their performance of Swan Lake by Sir Peter Wright, the Suddeutsche Zeitung reported, “Machherndl and Menendez surely a pair one will continue to see together in the National Theater”. His exceptional talent propelled him to the forefront of the dance world to master the repertoire of George Balanchine, John Cranko, and many others.
In 1985, Robert joined the Dutch National Ballet as a principal dancer. He was selected and coached by New York City Ballet’s ballerina, Karin von Aroldingen, to dance Diamonds and Violin Concerto by George Balanchine. Also, coached by Henny Jurriens to dance Apollo.
He worked closely with Rudi van Danzig dancing lead roles in his newly created work Swan Lake (world premiere) and in Danzig’s highly acclaimed Four Last Songs. He was selected by Hans van Manen to dance the lead role in Opening (world premiere).
In 1989, Robert returned to the Bavarian State Ballet as principal dancer under the direction of Konstanze Vernon. By now, Robert had developed a large classical repertoire and was established as an outstanding partner. He and prima ballerina, Evelyn Hart, of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet were featured in numerous high-profile galas, including an exclusive performance at the 1992 Munich Presidential Summit. In addition, Robert was featured in the film, ‘Moment of Light’, a documentary featuring Evelyn Hart. He was coached by prima ballerina, Olga Lepeshinskaya, of the Bolshoi Ballet to partner female gold medal winners at the International Ballet Competitions in Moscow, Munich, and Helsinki. Robert was a featured guest with the Bavarian State Ballet at the Lincoln Center in New York appearing on the cover of Dance Magazine Feb, 1993.
In 1991, Robert became co-director and assistant to artistic director, Peter Breuer, at the Salzburg Ballet. In 1993, he became a member of the Nederlands Dance Theater working with Jiri Kylian and participating on company tours to Japan.In 1994, he became assistant to the artistic director, Ed Wubbe, at Scapino Ballet Rotterdam with performances at the Joyce Theater in New York.
Onegin (John Cranko)
Romeo and Juliet (John Cranko)
Symphony in C (George Balanchine)
Serenade (George Balanchine)
Diamonds (George Balanchine)
Apollo (George Balanchine)
Violin Concerto (George Balanchine)
Agon (George Balanchine)
Concerto Barocco (George Balanchine)
La Valse (George Balanchine)
Divertimento No. 15 (George Balanchine)
Swan Lake (Sir Peter Wright)
Sleeping Beauty (Sir Peter Wright)
Giselle (Sir Peter Wright)
Swan Lake (Rudi van Danzig)
Four Last Songs (Rudi van Danzig)
Les Sylphide (Michel Fokine)
Le Spectre de la Rose (Michel Fokine)
Cinderella (Sir Frederick Ashton)
Hammerklavier (Hans van Manen)
Opening (Hans van Manen)
Trois Gnossiennes (Hans van Manen)
Grosse Fuge (Hans van Manen)
Bad Blood (Ulysses Dove)
Joseph’s Legend (John Neumeier)
Nuages (Jiri Kylian)
Before Nightfall (Nils Christie)
“As dance, that last duo for Joseph and his angel – a terrific performance from Kajdanski and Machherndl – turned out to be the most interesting of the evening …” San Francisco Chronicle
“Robert Machherndl seemed to have a flair for those extra touches that, as slight as they may be, add tremendously to heightening the emotions of an emotional story …” The China News
“Thousands of applause, cries of bravo, foot stomping. The audience in the National Theater, applauding until their hands are sore, want the dance pair to appear before the red velvet curtains again and again: Romeo, Robert Machherndl and his partner …” Munchener Merkur
“Machherndl is an ephebus of adolescent beauty, the ideal…beautiful, their pas de deux …” Suddeutsche
“Machherndl is spiritually less nuanced: he always pulls his role from deep inside. That is purer, more honest, and often more moving …” Munchener Merkur
“Machherndl and Menendez, surely a pair that one will continue to wish to see together in the National Theater” Suddeutsche Zeitung
“A dancer with lyrical radiance in excess …” Munchener Merkur
“Robert Machherndl, a born danseur noble, who already possesses amazing versatility of expression …” Suddeutsche Zeitung
“Robert Machherndl generated a ravishing, bored aristocratic noblesse with elegiac sliminess and, above all, a musical penetration of each gesture …” Orpheus
“Robert Machherndl, who, since his flight from the Bayerischen Staatsoper to the Niederlandischen National Ballet, has gained more character and more fullness in his dancing style …” Munchener Merkur
International Ballet Competition Moscow 1989: Gold Medal Partner
International Ballet Competition Munich 1990: Gold Medal Partner
International Ballet Competition Helsinki 1984: Gold Medal Partner
Partner to prima ballerina Evelyn Hart, Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Featured in film Moment of Light, Evelyn Hart
Partner to prima ballerina, Jolinda Menendez, American Ballet Theater
Guest with Bavarian State Ballet at Lincoln Center, New York City
Partner to prima ballerina Judith Turos, Bavarian State Ballet
Munich Presidential Summit Gala
US BASED CHOREOGRAPHER
In 1996, the United States government recognized Robert Sher-Machherndl’s professional accomplishments and awarded him the celebrated and highly sought after “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” status, allowing his permanent residence in the United States.
In 2000, he and Jenifer Sher established Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet in Boulder CO. Robert has created guest choreography for Finnish National Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Bavarian State Ballet, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Salzburg Ballet, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Santa Fe Dance Festival, Alonzo King Lines Ballet BFA | Training Program, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, Bowdoin College, Ballet Next, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University of Wyoming, Kuopio Dance Festival, Moving People Dance, American College Dance Festival, Colorado Ballet Training Program and more.
His choreography for Lemon Sponge Cake includes over 30 full-evening works. His choreography has been danced by renowned principal dancers to include Susan Jaffe ABT, Michele Wiles ABT, Misty Copeland ABT, Minna Tervamaki Finnish National Ballet, Valerie Madonia ABT/Joffrey Ballet and Simone Messmer ABT/San Francisco Ballet.
He’s been awarded 2010 Dance Person of the Year by The Denver Post, a four-time winner of the New York Ballet Builders’ Choreography Award, and featured on the MTV Emmy Award winning series, MADE.
Over the past eighteen years, Robert’s work has evolved into a platform for artistically addressing and reflecting to its audiences the relevant global and human rights issues that are affecting the world we are living in today.
In 2015 he received the first dance Public Art Commission from Denver Public Art, a department of Denver Arts & Venues, for his piece, White Mirror, a site-specific performance created for Babi Yar Park. This city park is a memorial to the 200,000 victims brutally murdered at Babi Yar Ravine, Ukraine, during WWII.
Subsequently, in 2016 the nearby city of Boulder sponsored a Dance Public Art Project through The Boulder Office of Arts + Culture, White Fields, to address outrage at gun violence and compassion for its victims.
His 2017 choreography Vertical Migration Experiment fearlessly takes inspiration from human migration, a topic central to the 21st century, expressing this current and tragic world phenomena through innovative and powerful movement language.
In 2019 created the first part of a trilogy, distinctively innovative Juliet, taking inspiration from human behavior and interaction in a fast paced digital age.
US AWARDS & RECOGNITION
2015 City of Denver Public Art Commission for Denver Public Art Collection
2010 Dance Person of the Year by Denver Post
2008 New York Ballet Builders Choreography Award
2007 New York Ballet Builders Choreography Award
2006 New York Ballet Builders Choreography Award
2004 New York Ballet Builders Choreography Award
1996 Alien of Extraordinary Ability by United States Government
SELECT RESIDENCIES AND WORKSHOPS
2019 Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London UK
2018 Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London UK
2018 Colorado Ballet Academy Pre-professional Division, Denver CO US
2017 University of Colorado at Boulder US
2017 University of Wyoming WY US
2017 Naropa University, Boulder CO US
2017 Colorado Ballet Academy Pre-professional Division, Denver CO US
2016 Colorado Ballet Academy Pre-professional Division, Denver CO US
2015 Colorado Ballet Academy Pre-professional Division, Denver CO US
2015 Bowdoin College at Maine US
2015 Lines Ballet BFA at Dominican University CA US
2015 Lines Ballet Training Program, San Francisco CA US
2014 Lines Ballet Training Program, San Francisco CA US
2013 Lines Ballet Training Program, San Francisco CA US
2012 Lines Ballet Training Program, San Francisco CA US
2011 Lines Ballet Training Program, San Francisco CA US
2014 Vienna State Ballet Academy, Austria
2010 Colorado College Dance Festival, US
2010 University of Wyoming WY US
2010 Kuopio Dance Festival, Finland
2009 International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference CO US
2009 Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, Denver CO US
2000 Dance Professor, Colorado State University US
1999 Dance Professor, Colorado State University US
1998 Dance Professor, Colorado State University US
1997 Dance Professor, Colorado State University US
“Austrian-born dancer and choreographer, Robert Sher-Machherndl, is everything an artist should be: a fiercely creative, self-confident individual who exploits familiar forms for his own devices. A visionary who forces us to look at the human body in strangely appealing new ways, and a dancer who makes the rigorous and punishing seem at once effortless and alien”
Dance Person of the Year | Denver Post
“Sher-Machherndl’s movement style, reminiscent of William Forsythe, seems to deliberately accentuate his length and angularity, which becomes striking in combination with his clear center and precise technique”
“Another stunner, RUSH, I had figured was the work of a Forsythe disciple, like maybe Helen Pickett, who loves to ricochet between deconstructed épaulement and the ballet vocabulary itself. Wrong again. It was made by Robert Sher-Machherndl for the Dominican University LINES Ballet BFA program. How did I feel? Like I discovered a new program and a new choreographer.”
“ Mr. Sher-Machherndl, a former principal dancer with the Dutch National Ballet and Bavarian State Ballet,
is a choreographer to watch for.”
The New York Times
“Decidedly contemporary style that is gaining increased national attention, and deservedly so. He is an obvious talent .”
“Funny, dark and provocative, Trust was a highlight of the program.” The New York Times