“Where Dancers Shine Beyond Their Usual Specialties”
–The New York Times
Damian Woetzel has taken on multiple roles in arts leadership since retiring from a 20-year career as Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. Since 2007, Woetzel has been Director of the Vail Dance Festival, which under his direction, has been widely-acclaimed for its innovation and growth as a nationally-recognized summer showcase for dance. In 2011, Woetzel was named the Director of Arts Programs for the Aspen Institute, where he creates programs aiming to further the value of the arts in society, focusing on education, economics, and cultural diplomacy. Woetzel is further active as a director and producer outside these roles.
Other recent projects include: Lil Buck @ Le Poisson Rouge, an award-winning show featuring Lil Buck, Yo-Yo Ma and an array of stellar musicians; an arts salute to Stephen Hawking at Lincoln Center; and the first performance of the White House Dance Series, which took place in the East Room of the White House and was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. Woetzel works with Yo-Yo Ma on his Silk Road Connect program in the New York City Public Schools, and on “Arts Strike” events which they have pioneered as a format for artists to engage in public service. In 2012, Woetzel co-produced the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to honoree Natalia Makarova, and for the 2014 Honors, he co-produced the salute to honoree Patricia McBride. In 2009, Woetzel became the founding director of the Jerome
Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program, which over a five-year period initiated grants to enable the production of 35 new dance works. In November 2015, Woetzel launched a multi-disciplinary new series entitled DEMO at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center.
Woetzel was a Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet from 1989 until his retirement from the stage in 2008. At NYCB, he danced virtually the entire leading male dancer repertory, and had works created for him by Jerome Robbins, Eliot Feld, Twyla Tharp, Susan Stroman, and Christopher Wheeldon among others. Woetzel also frequently performed as a guest star with companies including the Kirov Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, and starred in numerous television broadcasts and as the Cavalier in the Time Warner movie version of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Woetzel has also choreographed a number of ballets for NYCB and other companies.
Among his awards, in July 2012 Woetzel was honored with the inaugural Gene Kelly Legacy Award – an honor jointly created by the Dizzy Feet Foundation and the Estate of Gene Kelly in honor of the 100th anniversary of Kelly’s birth. Woetzel serves on the artists committee of the Kennedy Center Honors, the Knight Foundation’s National Arts Advisory Committee, and was a member of the Harvard University Task Force on the Arts. Woetzel holds an MPA degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In the fall of 2010, he was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School where he co-taught a course on performing arts and the law. In November 2009, President Obama appointed Woetzel to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities where he has worked on creating the Turnaround Arts Program, which now brings arts education to some of the nation’s most challenged school districts. In April 2015, Woetzel received the Harvard Arts Medal.
Memphis jooker Phyouture “Lil P” (Altavien Hart) made his Festival debut in 2016 with fellow jookers, Lil Buck, Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles and Keviorr “Tip Toe” Taylor in Dancing in the Streets and on the Dance for $20.16 program in the world premiere of WAIT.
Phyouture “Lil P” (pron. Future) returns as a 2018 Scholar-In-Residence, dancing with a variety of artists throughout the two weeks.
Naomi Funaki began learning tap dancing from Noboru Satou in Tokyo and is currently living in New York as an IISP student of Steps on Broadway. She has performed with Caleb Teicher & Company and in the debut show of Dorrance Dance’s second company, the first “Tap Family Reunion.” She is an alumna of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Tap Dance program (2017). She has worked for Dorrance Dance as an assistant, most recently for “Until the Real Thing Comes Along” at Joyce Theater.
Meet the Performers
Jared Angle trained at the Allegheny Ballet Academy, and received the Rudolf Nureyev Scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet in 1996 He joined New York City Ballet in 1998, and was awarded a Princess Grace Foundation USA Dance Fellowship in 2001. He is currently a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.
Isabella Boylston was trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory in Florida. She Joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 2006 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2014. She has also appeared as a guest star with the Mariinsky, The Royal Danish Ballet, and the National Ballet of China. Isabella was featured as the Artist-In-Residence for the 2016 Vail Dance Festival.
Leader of the dance style known as Jookin, which originated in Memphis, TN, Lil Buck gained mass acclaim for his YouTube collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma in The Swan directed by Damian Woetzel. Lil Buck appeared with Madonna in her 2012 Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show and he now performs with Madonna regularly. He made a guest appearance on The Colbert Report in 2013, and in 2017, Buck was featured in two nationally-televised commercials, one for Lexus (during Super Bowl LI) and the acclaimed Apple AirPods spot, which has since received millions more views on YouTube.
Misty Copeland began dancing at the age of 13, eventually studying under California ballet instructor Cindy Bradley. Copeland joined the studio company of American Ballet Theatre in 2000, becoming a soloist several years later and starring in an array of productions such as The Nutcracker and Firebird. In June 2015, Copeland became the first African-American appointed Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre.
Patricia Delgado is a former principal dancer with the Miami City Ballet. She is currently a freelance artist living in NYC. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida. With the Miami City Ballet, she performed many ballets by George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins as well as works by Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Anthony Tudor, Trey Mcyntire, Richard Alston, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett, Justin Peck and John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet. Her classical repertoire includes Swanhilda in Coppelia, and featured roles in Giselle and Don Quixote. She has danced at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and at Le Chatelet in Paris, France as well as all over the U.S, most recently at the Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Michelle Dorrance is a New York based tap dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher and director. A 2015 MacArthur Fellow, 2014 Alpert Award winner, 2013 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner, 2012 Princess Grace Award Winner, and both a 2015 and 2011 Bessie Award Winner, Michelle is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dorrance Dance. She is “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” (The New Yorker). She was the Festival’s Artist-In-Residence in 2017.
Joseph Gordon has trained at the Phoenix Dance Academy and the School of American Ballet in New York. He has been a member of New York City Ballet corps de ballet since 2012. In February 2017, Mr. Gordon was promoted to soloist.
English dancer, Francesca Hayward studied at The Royal Ballet School 2003–11 and graduated into the company during the 2010/11 Season. She was promoted to First Artist in 2013, Soloist in 2014, First Soloist in 2015 and Principal Dancer in 2016. After joining The Royal Ballet, Hayward represented the company at the 2012 International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize and won Best Emerging Artist (2014) and the Grishko Award For Best Female Dancer (2016) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Hayward made her Festival debut in the summer of 2017.
Carla Körbes was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began her ballet training at age five. In 1996 Korbes moved to New York to study at the School of American Ballet and in 1999, was the Mae. L. Wien Award recipient and became an apprentice with New York City Ballet. She was promoted to Soloist in 2005 and later that year joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a soloist. Körbes was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2006. She was the Festival’s 2015 Artist-In-Residence. June 7, 2015 marked Korbes’ last performance with PNB. Photo: Patrick Fraser
Misa Kuranaga trained at the Jinushi Kaoru Ballet School in Osaka, Japan, and the School of American Ballet. Formerly a member of the San Francisco Ballet, she Joined the Boston Ballet in 2003. In 2005 she was promoted to Second Soloist, later promoted to Soloist in 2007, and was promoted to Principal in 2009.
Lauren Lovette was born in Thousand Oaks, California and began studying ballet at the age of 11 at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, North Carolina. She attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, during the summers of 2004 and 2005 and enrolled at SAB as a full time student in 2006. In October 2009, Ms. Lovette became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. She was promoted to soloist in February 2013 and to principal dancer in June 2015. Lovette recently began choreographing dance and has had her works featured on stage with critical acclaim.
Roman Julian Mejia was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Studied ballet with his parents, Paul Mejia and Maria Terezia Balogh. At the age of fifteen, he entered the School of American Ballet. Now, at the age of seventeen, Roman starts his apprenticeship with New York City Ballet. Mejia made his Festival debut in the summer of 2017.
Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles
Bessie-Award winner, Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles was born in Memphis, TN and specializes in Jookin, a type of freestyle dance developed on the streets of Memphis. Ron has appeared in the feature films Footloose (2011), Frank and Cindy (2014) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip (2015). Ron has also starred in several commercials including Beats by Dre, Diet Pepsi (with Sofia Vergara), Kohl’s and Adidas Originals.
Born in Vail, Dario Natarelli began his dance training at the age of four and he began intensive training in tap at the age of seven with the Colorado Chapter of the St. Louis Hoofers Club. Soon after, he moved to New York. He was awarded a full scholarship to The School at Jacob’s Pillow in 2014 and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts Candidate through YoungArts in 2016. Most recently, he made his off-Broadway debut in Tappin’ Thru Life. Dario graduated LaGuardia Arts High School in New York City as a Drama major and now attends Penn State University as a Musical Theater major. Natarelli was the Festival’s 2016 Scholar-In-Residence.
Tiler Peck began her dance training at the age of seven, studying privately with former Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Alla Khaniashvili. At the age of 12, she entered the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. In February 2005 she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. She was promoted to Soloist in December 2006, and principal dancer in October 2009. She is the currently the spokesperson for Body Wrappers and was named to the 2014 Forbes 30 under 30. Peck was the Festival’s 2014 Artist-In-Residence and just celebrated her 10th year in Vail during the summer of 2017.
Unity Phelan began her dance training at the age of five at the Princeton Ballet School. During the summers of 2008 and 2009, Phelan attended the summer sessions at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, and enrolled as a full-time student in fall of 2009. She became an apprentice with NYCB in December 2012 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in November 2013. In February 2017, Ms. Phelan was promoted to soloist.
Calvin Royal III
Calvin Royal III began his formal dance training at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida at the age 14. He joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in September 2006. Royal joined ABT II (now the ABT Studio Company) as an apprentice in October 2010 and the corps de ballet in April 2011. In the spring of 2017 Calvin was promoted to a soloist with American Ballet Theatre.
Born in Pennsylvania, Devon Teuscher began her dance training at the Champaign Urbana Ballet Academy and continued her training at the Vermont Ballet Theatre School. From 2002 to 2006 Teuscher attended American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive, and was a National Training Scholar from 2003 to 2006. In 2005, Teuscher relocated to New York to dance at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School on full scholarship. Teuscher joined the Studio Company in 2006. She joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in December 2007 and the corps de ballet in June 2008. Teuscher became a Soloist in August 2014 and was promoted to Principal in July 2017.
Melissa Toogood was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; has taught Cunningham Technique since 2007 and is a 2013 & 2015 Merce Cunningham Fellow. She began working with Rashaun & Silas in 2010 and Pam Tanowitz in 2006. She has performed with Stephen Petronio Company, Sally Silvers, Rosie Herrera, Kyle Abraham and others. Dance Magazine named her in their 25 to watch in 2014.
James Whiteside was born in Fairfield, Connecticut. He trained at the D’Valda & Sirico Dance and Music Center, as well as the Virginia School for the Arts. He joined Boston Ballet in 2002, and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2009. Whiteside joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in 2012, and was named Principal Dancer in 2013.
Portuguese dancer Marcelino Sambé is a Soloist of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet Upper School and graduated into the Company during the 2012/13 Season, promoted to First Artist in 2014 and Soloist in 2015. Sambé made his Festival debut in the summer of 2017.
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Michael Nicolas, cello
Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), the veteran string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents eclectic repertoire and gripping performances that continue to draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.”
Herman Cornejo was born in Villa Mercedes, San Luis province, Argentina, and began his ballet studies at the age of eight at Teatro Colón’s Instituto Superior de Arte, Buenos Aires. At fourteen he received a scholarship from the School of American Ballet, the dance school of New York City Ballet and on his return to Buenos Aires he joined Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino. In 1999 Herman joined American Ballet Theatre, New York, was promoted to Soloist in 2000 and was appointed Principal Dancer in 2003. Herman has participated in numerous galas and has performed as Principal Guest Dancer with Ballet del Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Boston Ballet, Compañía de Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, Corella Ballet Castilla y León, New York City Ballet and Sapporo Ballet.
Barton was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He attended Denver School of the Arts and The Academy of Colorado Ballet. After graduating from high school he transitioned to the dance department at The University of Arizona. He graduated a year early, cum laude, with a BFA in Dance. He then joined the Bad Boys of Ballet to tour Europe as Romeo in their new contemporary dance production of Romeo and Juliet. He currently resides in New York City as a freelance dancer, actor, and model. Barton has had the pleasure of working for Lar Lubovitch, Pontus Lidberg, Lindsay Nelko, Emily Schoen, The Muses of Motion and many more artists. He recently starred in the third installment of the Center Stage movie series Center Stage: Dance Camp.
Cory Stearns was born on Long Island, New York and began his classical training at Seiskaya Ballet with Mme. Valia Seiskaya. At fifteen, he participated in the Youth America Grand Prix and was offered a full scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London. During his training there, he performed in Madrid, Moscow, Milan and Germany. Upon graduating from the Royal Ballet School with honors, he received, for the second year, the Dame Ruth Railton Award for excellence in dance. Mr. Stearns joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (now ABT II) in September 2004, the main Company as an apprentice in January 2005 and as a member of the corps de ballet in January 2006. He was appointed a Soloist in January 2009 and a Principal Dancer in January 2011. Mr. Stearns won the 2009 Erik Bruhn Prize for best male dancer.
Miriam Miller is a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet. She was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and began her dance training in 2001 at University of Iowa Youth Ballet and School of Dance under the direction of Kathryn Smith. In 2006, she began studying with Sarah Barragan at City Ballet of Iowa. She attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in 2011 and 2012, enrolling as a full-time student during the 2012 winter term. Ms. Miller became an apprentice with NYCB in January 2015. While still an apprentice with NYCB, Miller performed the role of Titania in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as featured roles in Balanchine’s Harlequinade (Le Bonne Fée) and Peter Martins’ Swan Lake (Princess). She joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in January 2016.
Alicia Graf Mack
Alicia Graf Mack is a former lead dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also been a principal ballerina with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Alicia has danced as a guest performer with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Beyonce, John Legend, Andre 3000 and most recently, Alicia Keys on the 2013 Set the World on Fire World Tour. Mrs. Mack graduated magna cum laude with honors in History from Columbia University and holds a MA in Nonprofit Management from Washington University in St. Louis. Alicia has contributed to some of the most prestigious national magazines in her industry; Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine and Dance Spirit. Recently, she wrote the historic cover story, “Beyond Role Models” for Pointe Magazine’s June/July 2014 diversity issue featuring Ashley Murphy, Ebony Williams and Misty Copeland. She has also authored the foreword of American Dance: The Complete Illustrated History by Margaret Fuhrer. Mrs. Mack was named the Director of the Juilliard Dance Division in April 2018.
Alban Lendorf was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and received his training at the Royal Danish Ballet School. In 2006, he joined the Royal Danish Ballet as an apprentice and became a member of its corps de ballet in 2008. He was promoted to Soloist in 2010 and to Principal Dancer in 2011. In 2009, Lendorf won the Golden Ballet award and a D.A.N.C.E. Grant. He was awarded Young Male Dancer of the Year at Premio Positano “Leonide Massine” in 2011 and the “Dancer of the Year” prize at Reumert in 2012 and 2014. In 2013, he was awarded “Best Male Dancer” at Prix Benois de la Danse. Lendorf joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in August 2015.
Daniel J. Watts
Watts has appeared in eight Broadway shows including Hamilton, In The Heights and Memphis. Off Broadway he has starred in Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Death of the Last Black Man in the Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead” (Signature Theatre) and the world premiere of “Whorl Inside A Loop” (2nd Stage). He is currently appears as “Felony” in Tracy Morgan’s new comedy series The Last OG on TBS. BFA Graduate Elon University Music Theatre Program. 2011 Young Alumnus Award Recipient. For original work visit www.wattswords.com @dwattswords
Harrison Coll is a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet. He was born in Manhattan and began his dance training at the age of four in a creative dance class for boys. In 2003 he joined as a full time student at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, with instructors including Olga Kostritzky, Jock Soto, Andrei Kramarevsky, Sean Lavery, Peter Martins, and Darci Kistler. In November 2012, Mr. Coll became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in August 2013.
Preston Chamblee is a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet. He was born in Wendell, North Carolina and began his dance training at the age of 14 at the Raleigh School of Ballet under Mary Legere and Pablo Perez. He continued his training at the International Ballet Academy in Apex, North Carolina from 2010 to 2013. Mr. Chamblee studied at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, during the 2012 and 2013 summer courses, and enrolled as a full-time student in 2013. He was named an apprentice with NYCB in August 2014 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in February 2015.
Rashaun Mitchell is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2012 New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. With his ongoing collaborator, Silas Riener, he received a 2014 City Center Choreographic Fellowship, was selected for LMCC”s inaugural Extended Life Development Program, and was a Wellesley College Artist in Residence. Their work together has been presented by BAM, EMPAC, The Walker Art Center, MCA Chicago, SF Moma, MoMA PS1 and numerous other venues around the country.
Silas Riener is a choreographer, performer, and teacher living in working in NYC. A 2012 New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) winner for his solo performance of Merce Cunningham’s Split Sides, he was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2007 until its closure at the end of 2011. His choreography has been curated at the Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, CATCH, LMCC’s River to River Festival, MoMA PS1, the Walker Art Center, EMPAC, REDCAT, and On the Boards, often in collaboration with Rashaun Mitchell.
Babatunji was born in Portland, Oregon but raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. He received his formal dance training from Center Stage Dance Studio and the University of Hawaii in Hilo before moving to San Francisco to train at the LINES Ballet Training Program on full scholarship. Babatunji has performed works by diverse choreographers such as Sidra Bell, Amanda Miller, Gregory Dawson, and Maurya Kerr. He has performed overseas in Japan and China and danced with Philein/ZiRu productions, Maurya Kerr’s tinypistol, and Dawson|Wallace Dance Project. Babatunji joined LINES Ballet in 2013.
Robb Beresford was born and raised in Elmira, Ontario. He trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, is a graduate of The Quinte Ballet School of Canada, and has taken part in Festival Dance at the Banff Centre for four summers. Beresford has danced professionally with Ballet Kelowna, Vancouver’s Joe Ink, and Ballet Victoria. He joined LINES Ballet in 2013.
Adji Cissoko grew up in Munich, Germany where she trained at Ballet Academy Munich. Cissoko attended the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City on full scholarship, before joining the National Ballet of Canada in 2010. In 2012 she was awarded the Patron Award of Merit by the Patrons’ Council Committee of The National Ballet of Canada. Cissoko joined LINES Ballet in 2014.
Madeline DeVries grew up in Southern California studying at the Santa Clarita Ballet Academy. She continued her training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School and PNBS Professional Division program on full scholarship, spending summers with the Houston Ballet, The Rock School, PNB, and National Ballet of Canada. DeVries apprenticed with the Semperoper Ballet in Dresden, Germany in 2012, and in 2013 she danced with the Seattle based contemporary companies Whim W’Him and Coriolis. DeVries joined LINES Ballet in 2014.
Shuaib Elshassan from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, began his formal dance training at The Ailey School under the co-direction of Tracy Inman and Melanie Person on a full scholarship. Elhassan has also trained at intensives such as Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Elhassan was a member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet during their 2012- 2013 season. Additionally, Elhassan has performed with Life Dance Company, Zest Collective, Dance Iquail, and the Von Howard Project. Elhassan joined LINES Ballet in 2014.
James Gowan, from Phoenix, AZ, began dancing at the age of 16 at Tempe Dance Academy. He graduated with a BFA in Dance from Point Park University, where he worked under teachers and choreographers Kyle Abraham, Doug Bentz, Randy Duncan, Christopher Huggins, Keisha Lalama, Emery LeCrone, Garfield Lemonious and Peter Merz. James has danced as a company member with Texture Contemporary Ballet, River North Dance Chicago and DanceWorks Chicago. He has performed works by George Balanchine, Robert Battle, Frank Chavez, Christopher Gattelli, Dwight Rhoden, and Ashley Roland. James joined LINES Ballet in 2016.
Ilaria Guerra was born in Torino, Italy. At the age of five, she moved to Palos Verdes Estates, California where she trained in classical ballet at Lauridsen Ballet Center, performing with their pre-professional company, South Bay Ballet. Ilaria graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Arts Management in 2013. She joined dawsondancesf under the direction of Gregory Dawson in 2013. With dawsondancesf she had the opportunity to perform in New York, Denver, Southern California, and all over the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2016, Ilaria received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Ensemble Performance. Ilaria joined LINES Ballet in 2018.
Maya Harr grew up in Alexandria, Virginia where she studied ballet at The Washington School of Ballet under the tutelage of former LINES Ballet company dancer, Kristina Windom and award-winning choreographer Mimmo Miccolis. As a student, Maya was the recipient of the Mary Day Scholarship and was selected to participate in the Kennedy Center Master Class Series. Maya spent her summers with San Francisco Ballet, PNB, Ballet West, ABT and the Kirov Academy. After graduating from high school, Maya moved to the Bay Area to attend the LINES Ballet Summer Program and began her training in the LINES Ballet Training Program. Maya joined LINES Ballet in 2016.
Yujin Kim was born in Busan, South Korea, and studied Korean traditional dance for two years before beginning ballet lessons at age 12. She trained at the Young Ji Kim Ballet Studio, the Peniel International Arts School and the Pre-Korean National University of Arts, then attended Switzerland’s Department Tanz de Hochschule Musik und Theater on full scholarship. The winner of numerous competitions in South Korea, Kim was awarded a gold medal at the 2005 Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition. She has danced with Sun Hee Kim Ballet Company, National Opera Company of Korea and the Covenant Journey Musical Group. Kim joined LINES Ballet in 2011. In 2013, Kim was invited to perform at the Korea World Dance Stars Festival and selected for the cover of the dance magazine Momm.
Michael Montgomery of Long Beach, CA, trained at the Orange County High School of the Arts and studied at the Alvin Ailey School in the Certificate program. In 2011 he graduated from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University of California. Montgomery was awarded the American College Dance Festival Association’s best student performer award for the Southwest Region in 2008. In 2010, he joined LINES Ballet and was named a Shenson Performing Arts Fellow that same year. Montgomery was named to the list of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2013.
Kendall Teague was born and raised in the mountains of western North Carolina. He received training at the South Carolina Governor’s school for the Arts and Humanities, and has danced professionally for San Francisco Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet San Jose, and SFdanceworks.
Jeffrey Van Sciver
Jeffrey Van Sciver of Los Angeles, trained at the Juilliard School and the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University of California. He has danced with Southern California Ballet, Copious Dance Theater, Dawson/Wallace Dance Project, San Francisco Opera Corps de Ballet, and dawsondancesf, for which he received an Isadora Duncan Award nomination. Van Sciver is a Dizzy Feet Foundation scholarship recipient, Shenson Performing Arts Fellow, and received both the Princess Grace and Chris Hellman awards in dance. Van Sciver has performed works by Karen McDonald, Rennie Harris, Sandrine Cassini, Sidra Bell, Gregory P. Dawson, Nina Flagg, and most recently, Jose Navas at the Springboard Danse Montreal. He joined LINES Ballet in 2013.
Meredith Webster (Ballet Master) Meredith Webster grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, studying under Jean Wolfmeyer. She worked with Sonia Dawkins and Donald Byrd in Seattle, and earned a BS in Environmental Science from the UW before moving to San Francisco to work with LINES. In her nine seasons as a dancer with the company, Webster originated many central roles and received a Princess Grace Award. In 2014 she moved into the role of Ballet Master. Since then, she performed with Ledoh/Salt Farm, worked with the Maureen Whiting Company and co-created Empress Archer, an evening-length duet produced by The Cambrians of Chicago. Webster has served as a faculty member for all of the LINES programs, and as a guest teacher around the world. She has contributed as a writer to Dance Spirit and Conversations.
India Bradley, a native of Detroit, Michigan, began her dance training at the Link School of the Arts in Troy, MI learning ballet through the Cecchetti technique and other methods of dance, with teachers like Lauren Anderson, Caleb Mitchell & Steve Rooks. She continued training in the Vaganova method at The Academy of Russian Classical Ballet under Sergey Rayevskiy. India discovered her passion for the Balanchine aesthetic at Dance Theatre of Harlem where she trained under former New York City Ballet dancer Andrea Long-Naidu. India has recently completed training at the School of American Ballet under the direction of Kay Mazzo and was invited to begin her Apprenticeship with New York City Ballet August 2017.
Jason Collins (Performer, Artistic Associate) is originally from Defreestville, New York. He joined Pam Tanowitz Dance as a performer in 2013 and began managing the company as artistic associate in 2016. He additionally performs with The Metropolitan Opera, Dylan Crossman, Ryan McNamara, David Parker, and Danielle Russo. Collins is also associate producer for Pavel Zuštiak/Palissimo Company and is cofounder of the collective, HEWMAN. He studied at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and holds a BFA from The Juilliard School.
Victor Lozano (Performer) is currently a member of Pam Tanowitz Dance, Brian Brooks Dance, and Madboots Dance. Victor has guested with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, the Kate Weare Company, and in workshops with Merce Cunningham Trust. He has studied and performed works by Twyla Tharp, Jose Limón, Fernando Melo, Camille A. Brown, and Kyle Abraham. Victor is a graduate of The Juilliard School (B.F.A.) and a fellow of the Juilliard Career Advancement Award (2016-18). Victor is originally from Houston, TX.
Eduardo Vilaro, a first generation Cuban-American, began as artistic director of Ballet Hispánico in August of 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. Mr. Vilaro has been part of the Ballet Hispánico family since 1985. As a dancer with the Ballet Hispánico Company, he performed throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe and assisted founder Tina Ramirez with the development of dance education residencies.
Chris Bloom is from Fredrick County, VA where he began dancing at the Blue Ridge Studio for the Performing Arts and the Vostrikov Academy of Ballet. Chris graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Ailey/Fordham B. F. A. Program in 2012. In 2011, he joined Parsons Dance as an apprentice and continued to perform with Parsons as a guest artist for two years while also dancing with Lydia Johnson Dance, Thang Dao Dance Company, VonUssar DanceWorks, 360° Dance Theatre and the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. Chris joined Ballet Hispanico in 2013.
Dandara Veiga was a scholarship student at The Ailey School in 2016/2017. She started her dance training at Projeto Social Primeiros Passos (Brazil), before training as a scholarship student at Escola de dança Ballerina (Brazil), Studio Margarita Fernandez (Argentina), Opus Ballet (Italy), and Annarella Academia Dr Ballet e Dança (Portugal). Dandara has participated in dance festivals all around the world and received scholarships with San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West. She has performed at events such as Vibe Competition (Montana/US), Assamblé International (Toronto/Canada), Harlem Arts Festival, and the Ailey Spirit Gala (New York/US). She has had the opportunity to work with names such as Charla Gen, Robert Battle, Caridad Martinez, Claudia Zaccari, Jean Emille, Ray Mercer, Raul Candal, and Melanie Futorian.
Eila Valls is originally from Spain and graduated from RCPD Mariemma (Madrid, Spain) in 2010. She is the winner of the “Virginia Valero” extraordinary award in Madrid and the first place winner of the international competition ” Certamen de Danza Ciutat de Barcelona”, through which she was awarded a full scholarship to the Peridance Certificate Program (NYC) and Joffrey Ballet (Chicago). Since she moved to New York in 2011, she’s had the privilege to work with Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, where she has performed repertory from choreographers such as Igal Perry, Dwight Rhoden, Ohad Naharin, and Sidra Bell, among others. She has also danced under the direction of Manuel Vignoulle, Brice Mousset and Yesid Lopez and has worked as a dancer/model for Adidas, Nike and Under Armour.
Gabrielle Sprauve was born in Queens, New York and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She is a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, where she earned her BFA in dance under the direction of Katie Langan. Gabrielle has performed works by Larry Keigwin, Alexandra Damiani, Norbert De La Cruz, Paul Taylor, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Adam Barruch, and Jo Strømgren. She has also performed at the American Dance Guild, the 92nd Street Y’s Fridays at Noon Series, and The Martha Graham Company’s University Partners Showcase. Gabrielle is honored and excited to be joining Ballet Hispánico in the upcoming season.
Jared Bogart is originally from Crystal River FL, and recently graduated with a BFA in Dance from Jacksonville University. He spent his early years training at his parents’ dance school in Crystal River, FL. He has trained during the summers at the Orlando Ballet School, Archcore40, Florida Dance Masters, and Florida Dance Festival. While in Jacksonville, Jared worked with artists such as Jennifer Muller, Robert Moses, Jennifer Archibald, and Stephanie Martinez. Jared is very excited to start his first season with Ballet Hispánico.
Melissa Fernandez is from Miami, FL and received her early training from Mencia-Pikieris School of Dance and New World School of the Arts where she graduated summa cum laude in 2008. In 2012, Melissa went on to earn her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School. Melissa has attended programs at American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Netherlands Dans Theater 2011, among others. In 2008, Melissa was selected as a modern dance Finalist in the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) YoungARTS competition. She was also featured in the HBO series “Master Class.” Currently, Melissa is in her fifth season with Ballet Hispánico in New York City with whom she performs nationally and internationally as well as teaching workshops as part of their outreach initiatives. Melissa has also choreographed for and performed with the Peter London Global Dance Company in Miami, FL.
Lyvan Verdecia was born in Havana, Cuba. He graduated from the National Ballet School of Cuba in 2013 and joined the ranks of the National Ballet of Cuba through December 2014, where he developed as a dancer and choreographer. He has had the opportunity to participate in festivals and has won gold and bronze medals at international competitions. He has shared the stage with Carlos Acosta in his Tocororo and with Viengsay Valdes in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Celeste. In 2017, Verdecia was awarded a Princess Grace Award in Dance.
Shelby Colona is a 2013 graduate of The Ailey School’s Certificate Program. In 2011, she graduated from The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston, TX. Shelby has had further training with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Perry-Mansfield, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. She has performed works by Robert Battle, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Peter Chu, Nicholas Villeneuve, Billy Bell, Loni Landon, and has performed with companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lunge Dance Collective, and BHdos before joining Ballet Hispánico.
Antonio Mannino was born in Sicily, Italy, and began his ballet training at the age of seven. He has trained at dance schools throughout Europe, including Rome Opera House Ballet School, John Cranko School, and La Scala Theatre Ballet School. When Mannino moved to England, he trained with Northern Ballet and performed in the Company’s filming of the Tortoise & the Hare for the BBC. Soon after, he joined Sibiu Ballet Theater in Romania, where he performed soloist roles in Paquita and in The Fairy Doll, and in corps de ballet roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Giselle, and Anna Karenina. In 2017, he joined The Joffrey Ballet Studio Company in Chicago and performed works by August Bournonville, Gerald Arpino, Paul Taylor, and Brendan Fernandes.
Geena Pacereu is from Tarragona, Spain, where she trained at Artemis Dansa, and graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Dance Mariemma in Madrid. She has won numerous prizes at internationally renowned dance contests, such as Les Espoirs de la Danse and The National Confederation of Dance in France. Before graduating, Pacareu was accepted as a full-time trainee at Ajkun Ballet Theatre in New York City and was promoted to Company artist in 2012. A year later, she joined Parsons Dance under the direction of David Parsons, where she performed repertory from choreographers such as David Parsons, Robert Battle, Trey McIntyre, and taught all over United States, Europe, and Latin America. Pacareu has worked as a dancer/model for the 2015 W/F Studio collection of OYSHO, Voice of Insiders, and Lois Greenfield’s Breaking Bounds 2018 Calendar.
Jenna Marie began her dance training at Olga Kresin’s Ballet School in Philadelphia, PA and later attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. She trained at The Ailey School as a scholarship student and was a member of the dance company Eleone Connections. Ms. Marie has participated in a number of dance competitions including the Youth America Grand Prix (where she was featured in the documentary “First Position”), the Barcelona International Dance Competition, and the Tanzolymp Danz Festival. She was a member of Ailey II, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Zest Collective, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera, and MOMIX.
Laura Lopez was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where she began dancing at the age of three at Patricia Penenori Dance Center. She attended New World School of the Arts High School where she continued her dance training in ballet and modern. Lopez was a 2013 Young Arts finalist and was nominated as a Presidential Scholar. In April 2016, she graduated New World College, where she received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Florida. Lopez has danced professionally with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Ballet Hispánico’s BHdos. Throughout her dance career, she has attended summer programs at Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, Miami City Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and Jacob’s Pillow. Lopez has had the privilege of dancing the works of Eduardo Vilaro, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Robert Moses, and many more.
Omar Rivéra is originally from Los Angeles, California. After moving to Dallas, Texas, Rivéra trained at Prodigy Dance & Performing Arts Centre under the direction of Camille Billelo. In addition to training at Prodigy, he graduated from the prestigious Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts (HSPVA) under the direction of Lily Cabatu Weiss, and was a part of HSPVA’s dance ensembles Repertoire Dance Company I & II, where he performed a variety of works choreographed by national leading artists including Robert Battle and Desmond Richardson. Soon after, Rivéra attended the University of Arizona-School of Dance, under the direction of Jory L. Hancock on scholarship, and graduated with a BFA in Dance in 2018. Throughout his years at the University of Arizona, Rivéra was one of eight men selected to perform at The Joyce Theater for the José Limón International Dance Festival, and danced works by guest artists including Christopher Wheeldon’s The American, Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Boiling Point, and Bella Lewitzky’s Meta4, among others.
Stella Abrera, of South Pasadena, California, began her studies with Philip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young at Le Studio in Pasadena. She continued her studies with Lorna Diamond and Patricia Hoffman at the West Coast Ballet Theatre in San Diego. She also spent three years studying the Royal Academy of Dancing method with Joan and Monica Halliday at the Halliday Dance Centre in Sydney, Australia. Abrera joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996 and was appointed a Soloist in 2001. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in August 2015.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Hee Seo began her ballet training in her hometown at the Sun-hwa Arts Middle School. She was awarded a three-year full scholarship to continue her training at the Kirov Ballet Academy in Washington, D. C. In 2003, Seo won a scholarship to train at the John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart. She is the recipient of the 2003 Prix de Lausanne Award and the 2003 Grand Prix at the Youth American Grand Prix in New York. Seo joined the ABT Studio Company in 2004 and the main Company as an apprentice in May 2005 and the corps de ballet in March 2006. Seo was appointed a Soloist in August 2010 and a Principal Dancer in July 2012.
Thomas Forster was born in 1986 in London, England and began his ballet training at the age of 8 with the Royal Ballet School Associate Programme. At age 11 he commenced full-time dance training with Elmhurst School of Dance and then joined the Upper School of the Royal Ballet School in 2002. Forster’s performing experience includes principal roles in The Royal Ballet School performances on stage at the Royal Opera House and on The Royal Ballet School’s graduation tour to Japan and New York in 2005. He has also performed with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet. Forster joined ABT’s Studio Company in August 2005, the main Company, as an apprentice, in January 2007 and the corps de ballet in December 2007. He was appointed a Soloist in August 2015.
Joseph Gorak began his classical ballet training with North Central School of Ballet in Texas. In 2004, Gorak trained at the Orlando Ballet School and, in 2005, joined Orlando Ballet, under the direction of Fernando Bujones. Gorak won the silver medal in the senior men’s division at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition, the gold medal in the senior men’s division at the 2005 YAGP Finals, the silver medal from the National YoungArts Foundation, and the Grand Prix Award at the 2006 YAGP Finals. Gorak joined ABT II (now ABT’s Studio Company) in 2006 and was named an apprentice with American Ballet Theatre in January 2009. He became a member of the corps de ballet in January 2010 and was appointed a Soloist in 2014.
Raised in State College, Pennsylvania, Arron Scott started his training at the Ballet Theatre of Central Pennsylvania at nine. He has danced on full scholarships at American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the School of American Ballet summer programs as well as being 2002-2003 ABT National Training Scholar. He trained for two years at the School of American Ballet where he was awarded the Rudolf Nureyev Scholarship. Scott joined ABT’s Studio Company in September 2003 and the main Company as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2004.
Cassandra Trenary, a native of Georgia, began training at Lawrenceville School of Ballet. She joined the school’s company, Southern Ballet Theatre, in 2006 under the direction of Phyllis Allen. She performed various contemporary works with SBT in addition to full-length ballets. She received additional training at Southeast Regional Ballet Association conventions and Brookwood High School’s Dance department. Trenary trained at American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive programs as a National Training Scholar and went on to join the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in 2009. In 2011, she was invited to join ABT II (now ABT’s Studio Company) on their European tour. In April 2011 Trenary was offered an apprenticeship with ABT and, in November of that year, a corps de ballet contract. She was promoted to Soloist in August 2015.
Joo Won Ahn
Joo Won Ahn is originally from Wonju, Korea and began his formal training in 2006 at Y.J. Ballet People Academy and Sun Hwa Art School. In 2012, he became a student at Korea National University of Arts in Seoul where his performance credits include Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, Raymonda, La Bayadère and Don Quixote. Ahn won the Silver Medal at the Korean International Ballet Competition and 3rd Prize at the 2012 Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria. Ahn was invited to join the ABT Studio Company in 2013 after winning the Gold Medal at Youth America Grand Prix in New York City. Ahn joined ABT as an apprentice in January 2014 and the corps de ballet in June 2014.
Aran Bell was born in Bethesda, Maryland. He began studying ballet at age four, receiving the majority of his early training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and with Denys Ganio in Rome, Italy. He has performed in galas throughout Europe and the United States. Bell was featured in the 2011 film First Position: A Ballet Documentary. Bell joined the ABT Studio Company in September 2014, joined the main Company as an apprentice in May 2016 and became a member of the corps de ballet in March 2017.
Born in Wyckoff, New Jersey, Tyler Maloney started his training at a young age in different styles of dance including jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop and later ballet at the local YMCA. At the age of 11, Maloney went to American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive and was accepted into the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, where he trained for the next 4 years. Maloney joined ABT’s Studio Company in 2013, joined the main Company as an apprentice in December 2015 and became a member of the corps de ballet in April 2016.
Jose Sebastian, a native of New York City, started his dance training at age 8 with the School of American Ballet and continued training there for nearly 10 years. His performance experience includes Scenes de Ballet choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini by Benjamin Millepied and Square Dance and Western Symphony choreographed by George Balanchine, among others. Sebastian joined ABT’s Studio Company in 2006 and American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in January 2009 and became a member of the corps de ballet in January 2010.