Daniil Simkin stands as one of the most prominent figures in classical ballet, not just for his technical prowess as a dancer but also as a cultural innovator and creative director dedicated to pushing the boundaries of dance.

Born into a family of dancers in Novosibirsk, Soviet Union, Daniil’s early years were marked by a move to the West, settling eventually in Wiesbaden, Germany. His introduction to the stage came at the tender age of five, often performing alongside his father, Dmitrij Simkin, at the Hessisches Staatstheater.

From an early age, Daniil displayed a natural ability to captivate and communicate with audiences. His formal ballet training began at nine under the guidance of his mother, Olga Aleksandrova, who remained his sole teacher for the next decade. During this period, while balancing academic high school, Daniil competed in ten international ballet competitions, securing first place in nine of them.

Daniil’s professional journey began at the Vienna State Opera as a demi-soloist in 2006. Two years later, he joined the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York as a soloist, and by 2012, he had risen to the rank of Principal Dancer. At ABT, he excelled in both classical and contemporary roles, dancing in works by esteemed choreographers such as George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, Merce Cunningham, and collaborating with esteemed artists Alexei Ratmansky, Benjamin Millepied and Aszure Barton, among others.

Embracing the rise of social media early in his career, Daniil used different platforms to engage a global audience, making him one of the most recognizable names in ballet today and a role model for younger dancers. His ongoing endeavor to push the boundaries of ballet and dance, and to use communication with an engaged audience as the foundation for the experience of dance, is also reflected in his use of these platforms. On social media, Simkin finds another medium to make dance tangible and narratable.

His extensive touring with ABT and as a freelancer took him to stages across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 2018, Daniil joined Staatsballett Berlin as a Principal Dancer, expanding his repertoire while splitting his time between Berlin and New York.

Parallel to his dancing career, Daniil ventured into creative production in 2015, blending dance with cutting-edge technology to create immersive experiences. His project INTENSIO, developed in collaboration with the Joyce Theater in New York, toured across the USA and internationally, showcasing a convergence of classical ballet and contemporary dance. This production marked the beginning of Daniil’s exploration of multisensory and interdisciplinary performances.

In 2017, Daniil created Falls The Shadow, a site-specific dance installation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. This project utilized video mapping, live infrared body scans, and a balanced blend of ballet and contemporary dance, transforming the iconic rotunda of the Guggenheim into a dynamic canvas for movement and technology. The performance featured reactive and 3D-mapped video projections with costumes by Dior, leaving a lasting impression on the audience and setting a new standard for immersive dance experiences.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniil produced Diorama, a cinematic dance piece filmed in two distinct locations: Daniil performed on the empty stage of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, while his longtime dance partner Maria Kochetkova danced amidst the vast dunes of Skagen, Denmark. This film won the best screendance under 10 minutes at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival in 2022.

In 2021, Daniil founded Studio Simkin to consolidate his efforts into a production company focused on creating work that keeps dance relevant to modern audiences. The studio’s first major project, Cave: Convergence Part One, co-produced with the Martha Graham Dance Company and choreographed by Hofesh Shechter, blurred the lines between choreography and collective experience. The performance culminated in a rave-like communal dance, dissolving the boundaries between performers and audience, and emphasizing the unifying power of dance.

In 2024, Daniil released “one,” a cinematic dance experience showcased at Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center.

Through Studio Simkin, Daniil aims to translate his deep connection to dance into a reality that resonates beyond traditional theater spaces, making the art form accessible and relevant to contemporary society.