Andrew Bartee, from Everett, WA, studied on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet. He was one of the first recipients of the Flemming Halby Dance Student Exchange with the Royal Danish Ballet School and a 2007 Princess Grace Award winner. Andrew joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2008. As a choreographer, he has created works for Pacific Northwest Ballet, PNBs Choreographers Showcase, the Seattle International Dance Festival, Ballet Tucsons Roots of Choreography Showcase, Whim WHim and Velocitys Fall Kick Off.
Emily Chessa grew up in Richmond, BC and began her professional dance training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School at age 15 where she received the Paddy Stone Scholarship for choreography and the Arnold Spohr Scholarship. After graduating in 2010, she danced in the graduate program at Arts Umbrella under the guidance of Artemis Gordon. As a Senior Dance Company member, Emily had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as James Kudelka, Lesley Telford, Wen Wei Wang, Aszure Barton and Gioconda Barbuto. She recently participated in Springboard Danse Montreal. Joining the company last year as an apprentice, she performed in works by Emily Molnar, William Forsythe, Medhi Walerski and Jacopo Godani. Emily is thrilled to be starting her 2nd season as a full company member.
A native of Edmonton Alberta, Darren Devaney attended the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts. He then received his BFA in dance performance from The Boston Conservatory where, among others, he performed works by Tudor, Limon, and Sokolow. During this time, he also attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Springboard Montreal, and Arts Umbrellas Summer Dance Intensive. Upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco to freelance as a member of Zhukov Dance Theater and Robert Moses Kin. In 2011, he was a guest artist with Ballet BC, performing both new creations and contemporary classics by choreographers Aszure Barton, Johan Inger, Emily Molnar, Medhi Walerski, Nicolo Fonte, Jacopo Godani and William Forsythe.
Vancouver-born Livona Ellis started dancing at the age of 11 at Arts Umbrella under the direction of Artemis Gordon, joining the Arts Umbrella Dance Company soon afterward. Livona has been fortunate to work with world-renowned artists Johan Inger, Medhi Valerski, and Jacopo Godani. Recently she was a part of Springboard Danse Montreal, Movement Invention Project, The Banff Professional Dance Program and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance Summer Program. This is her 5th season with Ballet BC.
Alexis Fletcher was born in Vancouver and raised in the Comox Valley where she received her early training before attending Arts Umbrellas Professional Training Program. Alexis was a member of the Arts Umbrellas student company and attended Springboard Danse Montreal. After graduating in 2005, she joined Ballet BC. Both with the company and independently, she has had the privilege of performing works by John Alleyne, Emily Molnar, Crystal Pite, José Navas, William Forsythe, Itzik Galili, Dominique Dumais, Nicolo Fonte, Wen Wei Wang, Serge Bennathan, Kevin ODay, Aszure Barton, Rob Kitsos, Sidra Bell, Medhi Walerski, Johan Inger and Gioconda Barbuto, among many others. Alexis is in her 10th season with Ballet BC.
Born in Vancouver, Scott Fowler trained at Arts Umbrella under the direction of Artemis Gordon, and attended summer intensive programs at American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet School and Jacobs Pillow. He performed in Alberta Ballets The Nutcracker, Ballet BCs Peter Pan and in the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Scott received a scholarship grant from the BC Arts Council in 2010. In 2011, he toured the Netherlands, performing at Codarts and worked with Noord Nederlandse Dans. Scott was invited in 2013 by James Kudelka to perform See#3 as a guest artist for Coleman, Lemieux & Compagnie. Scott has been privileged to work with choreographers Aszure Barton, Gioconda Barbuto, James Kudelka, Emily Molnar, Jacopo Godani, Wen Wei Wang, Medhi Walerski, Cayetano Soto and Lesley Telford. This is Scotts 1st season as a full company member.
Born and raised in the Vancouver area, Connor Gnam completed his professional training at Arts Umbrella. He then spent a season working with Ballet Kelowna, before moving back to Vancouver to join Ballet BC. Personal highlights as a dancer with Ballet BC include performing works by great choreographers, including William Forsythe, Crystal Pite, Jorma Elo, Itzik Galili, George Balanchine, Gioconda Barbuto and Medhi Walerski, among others. Connor is excited to be in his 9th season with Ballet BC and thrilled to be working in one of the most beautiful places on earth. You can read Connors blog at inthewingsblog.com and follow him on Twitter @connorgnam.
Rachel Meyer grew up in Collinsville, Illinois, trained with St. Louis Ballet and received her BFA at the University of Utah. She trained at the Northwest Professional Dance Project and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, danced with Utah Regional Ballet and was a guest artist with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. From 2009-11, Rachel was a member of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater where she danced works by Dominic Walsh, Mauro Bigonzetti, Vaclav Kunès, Jiří Kylián, and Mats Ek. She was awarded a Princess Grace Award in 2010. In 2011, she danced at the Tate Modern in London with the Michael Clark Company. With Ballet BC, she has performed works by Emily Molnar, José Navas, Simone Orlando, Walter Matteini, Johan Inger, Robert Glumbek, William Forsythe, Nicolo Fonte, Jacopo Godani, Medhi Walerski and Aszure Barton. This is Rachels 4th season with Ballet BC.
Racheal Prince was raised in Wasaga Beach, Ontario and received her early training at the Quinte Ballet School under the direction of Brian Scott. She attended the School of Alberta Ballets Pre Professional Program with Murray and Nancy Kilgour and received the prestigious Ali Pourfarrokh scholarship. Racheal began her professional career with the Alberta Ballet Company where she danced for four years. She is now in her 7th season with Ballet BC. She has performed works by William Forsythe, Crystal Pite, Itzik Galili, and Lar Lubovitch among many others. Her performance highlights include Jorma Elos 1st Flash, Emily Molnars In Between Disappearing and Becoming, William Forsythes Herman Shmerman and Kevin ODays Face to Face. In her spare time, Racheal enjoys working on handmade items for her online store as well as biking around Vancouver with her boyfriend Peter. She is excited to be in her 8th season with Ballet BC.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Gilbert Small started his professional ballet training at the age of 10 at the Baltimore School for the Arts. He has studied at various summer programs, including Dance Theater of Harlem, Nutmeg Conservatory, Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theater and Springboard Danse Montreal. After graduating from the Baltimore School for the Arts, he continued his studies at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. While at Purchase, Gilbert was given the opportunity to study abroad at the Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He has also performed with Toronto based ProArte Danza. Prior to joining Ballet BC, Gilbert performed for New York-based Sidra Bell Dance New York. This is his 6th season with Ballet BC.
Peter Smida was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. A former tennis player, Peter studied on scholarship at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and graduated in 2007. He also attended summer programs and festivals in Banff and Prague. After working with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Ballet Victoria, Peter joined Ballet BC in 2008 and has since had the pleasure of performing works by Emily Molnar, Jorma Elo, Crystal Pite, Johan Inger and Medhi Walerski, as well as many others. In addition to his work at Ballet BC, Peter has also worked on independent projects with Donald Sales and has begun choreographing, showing his work at Dances for a Small Stage and the Shadbolt Centre for the Performing Arts. This is his 7th season with Ballet BC.
Christoph von Riedemann
Vancouver-born Christoph von Riedemann began his training at Arts Umbrella under Artemis Gordon and Lynn Sheppard. During his time there, Christoph worked with James Kudelka, Lesley Telford, Gioconda Barbuto, Crystal Pite, Walter Matteini, Francesca Carotti, Wen Wei Wang, Aszure Barton, Fernando Magadan and Stephen Stropshire. He recently performed Take Off by Fernando Magadan in the Nederlands Dans Theaters Switch14 Gala and apprenticed with Donald Sales and Cherice Barton for their 2012 project Leaving Grit. Christoph participated in the Banff Summer Dance Program, the Netherlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive and the Movement Invention Project in New York. He is thrilled to be joining Ballet BC this season.
Vancouver-born Kirsten Wicklund studied at Goh Ballet Academy under Choo Chiat and Lin Yee Goh. She toured China with Canadas Youth Ballet Company, performing principal roles in Giselle, Don Quixote and other classics. Kirsten received scholarships at American Ballet Theatre, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet, PNB, and Washington Ballet as well as a Vancouver Foundation Arts Study Award and the Vancouver Ballet Societys Memorial Scholarship. In 2007, she won an artistry award at the Youth America Grand Prix in NY and was the only Canadian in the Top 12 Women. She has danced with Washington Ballet, participated in Alonzo Kings choreographic workshop, created works for Dances for a Small Stage and collaborated with LUNGE Dance Collective. Most recently, she toured with Rasta Thomas Rock the Ballet, dancing the principal female role for the company of male ballet stars.
Tara Williamson, originally from Richmond, BC, trained at the Richmond Academy of Dance. She danced with Alberta Ballet performing roles such as Juliet in Jean Grande-Maîtres Romeo and Juliet, Carabosse in Kirk Petersons Sleeping Beauty and Choleric in Balanchines Four Temperaments. After 8 years at Alberta Ballet, she worked with Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. The contemporary repertoire included works by Cayetano Soto, Barak Marshall and Wen Wei Wang. She is thrilled to be home in Vancouver and working with Emily Molnar at Ballet BC.
Born in Trois-Rivières, Nicholas Bellefleur trained at École supérieure de ballet du Québec under the direction of Anik Bissonnette. He attended the Forsythe-based summer course ART Of in Berlin and performed some of the repertoire of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal at Springboard Danse Montreal. Nicholas has been seen on national televisions IIs dansent avec Nico Archambault in 2011. He has worked with great artists such as Andrea Boardman, Edgar Zendejas, James Gregg, Kathryn Bennetts, Gioconda Barbuto, Steve Coutereel, Cathryn Croft and Lisa Davies.
Born in Halifax, Zoe Michalik won a scholarship from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust before starting her training at the National Ballet School at age 11. Zoe has worked with choreographers such as Aszure Barton, Robert Binet and Peggy Baker, and danced with The National Ballet of Canada in their production of Nutcracker by James Kudelka. In 2012 she participated in an exchange with the Royal Danish Ballet School, and was part of Assemblée Internationale 2013 hosted by the NBS, which included professional schools from around the world coming together to collaborate, choreograph and perform. In 2014, Zoe received a Peter Dwyer Scholarship through the Canada Council for the Arts.
Keigo Nozaki was born in Japan, training with Kae Izumi and later with Dolores Kirkwood. He began his professional training at Canadas Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in 2008 and on graduation in 2011 Keigo joined RWBs Aspirant program. In 2012/2013, he worked with Nordharzer Städtebundtheater in Germany under the direction of Jaroslav Jurasz, dancing the lead in Amadeus. In 2013/2014, Keigo joined Noism2 under Jo Kanamori in Niigata, Japan and performed choreography by Kanamori and Yuki Yamada. He has also danced in summer intensives with the RWB School and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Maya Tenzer grew up in Vancouver and began dancing at Arts Umbrella at age ten. Under the direction of Artemis Gordon and Lynn Sheppard, she worked with choreographers James Kudelka, Crystal Pite, Gioconda Barbuto, Lesley Telford, Aszure Barton, Walter Matteini and Iratxe Ansa, among others. Maya attended summer intensives at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and in 2013 apprenticed with Justine Chambers in the creation of her work Sphinx. In 2014, she toured Europe with the Arts Umbrella Dance Company, performing in Fernando Magadans work alongside Netherlands Dans Theater dancers as a part of their Switch program. Maya is thrilled to be an apprentice this season with Ballet BC.
Photos: Michael Slobodian