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The Festival welcomes Alonzo King LINES Ballet in a free family-friendly show on the extraordinary stage of the Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park. Alonzo King’s visionary choreography, brought to life by the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers, is renowned for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity. Also, performing will be the Celebrate The Beat All Stars.
All seating is free for this event.
Meet the Performers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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