Founder / Director

ICE Founder

Ralph Gomez
Ralph Gomez, a humanitarian, activist, and theater director, made significant contributions to the City of Paterson from 1973 to 1986, while working with under-served, inner city teenagers at the Inner City Ensemble Theatre & Dance Company (ICE).   Gomez was born in Newark, NJ and grew up in Lakewood, N.J. He received a bachelor’s degree in Theater from William Paterson College and a Master’s Degree in social work from Rutgers University.  Although ICE had grassroots beginnings, Ralph Gomez, a committed artistic staff and Boards-of-Directors worked tirelessly, which garnered the Company local, regional and national praise as a model arts program.

To celebrate the life and memory of Ralph Gomez, please visit his Tribute Site.



Artistic Director

Silver Photo Session June 2016 004
Nicholas Rodriguez began his training with Ralph Gomez at the ICE.  He  graduated from the Juilliard School of Music with a BFA in Dance.  Rodriguez performed with Ballet Hispanico, Molissa Fenley, and other NYC companies, but most extensively with his own company, Dance Compass, which he co-founded with Sharon Stephens, a former ICE administrator and teacher.  During his twelve years with Dance Compass, based in Montclair, NJ, Rodriguez created more than fifty works—the majority of which premiered in NJ.  Additionally, he received three Choreographer’s Fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts, and he set original choreography on the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, Garden State Ballet and American Repertory Ballet, among others.  Rodriguez’ works have been presented at the Theater of the Riverside Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia, where he conducted his Fulbright residencies, and across the U.S.