The inspiration for Hindsight was Salvador Dali’s painting Swans Reflecting Elephants (1937). “When I saw the Dali painting for the first time, it was fascinating to see how two completely different animals were reflecting each other in perfect symmetry. I found it incredibly unique and mysterious,” says Ryoko Tanaka. “It inspired me to create a piece about two different types of reflections: self-reflection and literal reflection.”

“An opener guaranteed to impress, Hindsight is a powerhouse ensemble piece showcasing this company’s teamwork and go-for-broke energy.”

NJ Arts
One minute promo reel

Choreographer | Ryoko Tanaka


Ryoko Tanaka was born and raised in Wakayama Japan, where she began her training. In 2013, she was selected to be in the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program, where she performed in Michael Pink’s Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and Timothy O’ Donnell’s At World’s End as a soloist. In 2017, she joined the Trainee program at American Repertory Ballet and soon moved up to ARB2. In 2018, she was promoted to ARB. Since joining the company, Tanaka has performed the principal roles of Giselle in Giselle, Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Odette in Swan Lake (for Princeton Ballet School). She has also performed featured roles in Ethan Stiefel’s Wood Work and Overture, as well as Paul Taylor’s Airs, Trey McIntyre’s Blue Until June, Amy Seiwert’s World, Interrupted, Caili Quan’s Circadia, Ja Malik’s Moving to Bach and multiple other roles. She made her debut as a choreographer creating a new contemporary piece Saudade for ARB digital season in 2021.

Music | Ian Howells

Ian Howells is a pianist and composer in the New Jersey and New York City area. Exhibiting high energy and flair, his musical style derives from the sounds of straight-ahead jazz, Western European classical music, West African hand-drumming and 1990’s punk rock. These influences, combined with his love of improvisation, create a powerful and rhythmic sound, interspersed with spontaneously quirky idioms. In 2022, Howells received his first compositional commission for Ryoko Tanaka’s Hindsight, a contemporary dance work with original choreography set to his music written for piano and cello. On top of his compositional work, Howells is inspired by his passion for accompanying. He is on staff as a ballet and dance pianist at Princeton University, Rutgers University, Princeton Ballet School, Steps on Broadway and Ballet Academy East. His work at these institutions has led him to collaborate with the likes of Justin Peck, Sarah Lane, Nancy Bielski, Tina Fehlandt, Kathleen Moore, Ethan Stiefel, Gillian Murphy, and many more. Howells is also on staff at Rider University’s School for Performing Arts as a vocal coach for the musical theater program. There, he has worked with T. Oliver Reid, Kate Johnson, Amy Zorn, John Tedeschi, Mariann Cook, and the late Chic Walker, amongst others. Howells is a 2016 graduate of the John J. Cali School of music at Montclair State University, where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies.

Costume Design | Janessa Cornell Urwin

Janessa Cornell Urwin (Costume Designer) began her career as a ballet dancer before transitioning into costuming. She has designed costumes for numerous classical ballets and contemporary dance pieces for American Repertory Ballet, Stockton University Dance Program, Traverse City Dance Project, The Nutmeg Ballet, Rutgers University, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, and Nacre Dance Company, among others. She has worked with esteemed choreographers Kirk Peterson, Starr Foster, Riccardo De Nigris, Michael Nickerson-Rossi, and Meredith Rainey. Urwin also has a short film design credit and has designed for Athena Theatre Company. She holds a certificate in Costume Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Most recently she designed Ethan Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the costumes for Movin’ + Groovin’. Urwin is also ARB’s Wardrobe Supervisor.

Lighting Design | Jason Flamos

Jason Flamos (Lighting Designer) Credits include: (Mile Square Theatre) Pipeline, I and You, It’s a Wonderful Life, The 39 Steps, Betrayal; (Shakespeare Theater NJ) William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play; (10 Hairy Legs) Heist, Cruise Control, Brian, Quadrivium; (Thingamajig Theatre Company) The Pillowman, Cabaret, The Little Mermaid, A Few Good Men. Flamos was the Associate Lighting Design for the Off-Broadway productions of Clever Little Lies and The Other Josh Cohen at Westside Theater, F***ing A at Signature Theater, The Producers and Benny and Joon at Paper Mill Playhouse, and Rags at Goodspeed Opera. He was the lighting supervisor for 10 Hairy Legs and is the current lighting supervisor at American Repertory Ballet.

photo by Kyle Froman Photography

Video editing by Michelle Quiner

Running Time

20 minutes, 15 seconds

Number of performers

6 dancers

Tech Rider

Available upon request

Link to full performance video

Available upon request