Alexander Burton was born in Vancouver and started studying dance at Arts Umbrella under the direction of Artemis Gordon. As a member of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company, Alexander danced works by many world renowned choreographers, including James Kudelka, Aszure Barton, Gioconda Barbuto and John Alleyne. In 2010, Alexander started an apprenticeship with Ballet BC and joined the company the following season. In the past four seasons, he has performed choreography by Emily Molnar, Johan Inger, William Forsythe, Walter Matteini and Crystal Pite, among others.
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 1st 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.
Before his career as a professional dancer, Dario Giuseppe Dinuzzis was performing as a juggler and flamespitter in southern Italy. After his dance studies, Dario joined the Astra Roma Ballet and the junior company of Balletto di Toscana in Florence. As a member of Aterballetto, he danced in works by Mauro Bigonzetti and Walter Matteini as well as the company repertoire. For Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, he danced in works by Kim Brandstrup, Stijn Celis, Shen Wei, Mats Ek, JeanCristophe Maillot, Ohad Naharin, and Jiri Kylian. Since joining Ballet BC, Dario has performed in works by Gioconda Barbuto, Aszure Burton, Serge Bennathan, Jorma Elo, Nicolo Fonte, Jacopo Godani, Johan Inger, Shawn Hounsell, Emily Molnar, José Navas, Kevin ODay, Medhi Walerski and Wen Wei Wang. As a choreographer, he presented works in Serata Carta Bianca with Aterballetto, part of Otello by Walter Matteini and for the Junior Arts Umbrella Company. He has also created for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Ballet BCs choreographic workshop and continues to create new works as an independent artist in Vancouver. This is his 4th year with Ballet BC. Dancing everyday reminds me of who I am.
Emilie Durville began dancing at the age of five in the north of France. At 10 years of age she entered the Conservatoire de Lille for one year before joining the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Danse de Marseille directed by Roland Petit where she spent eight years. In 2001, she joined Brussels Ballet and completed other freelance projects in Europe before joining La Compania de la Comunidad de Madrid in 2003 under the direction of Victor Ullate. From 2004 until 2013, she danced at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, performing works by Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Jiri Kilian, Mauro Bigonzetti, Christian Spuck, Nacho Duato, Jean-Christophe Maillot, George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon. She was part of a new creation, working with Stijn Celis, Didy Veldman, Shen Wei, Stephan Thoss and Peter Quanz. She also performed in The Nutcracker created by Fernanlt Nault, choreographed at the company workshop and participated in the Quartier danse festival in 2013.
Thibaut Eiferman was born in Paris, France. He received his classical training at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City and also attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, where he was led to push through new limits of physicality and expression. He was a member of Company E in Washington, D.C., where he performed the work of acclaimed Israeli choreographers Ohad Naharin and Sharon Eyal in both the US and Israel. He has participated in programs such as Jacobs Pillow, Springboard Danse Montréal, Gaga Intensive in Tel Aviv and Nederlands Dans Theatre Summer Intensive. He was a guest artist with Ballet BC last season and this year returns as a full company member.
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 4th 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 9th season with Ballet BC.
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 8th 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.
Born and raised in Calgary, Daniel Marshalsay trained at the School of Alberta Ballet and danced with Ballet Kelowna before joining Alberta Ballet. Three years later, he joined Ballet Arizona under the direction of Ib Anderson, dancing soloist and principal roles in works by many choreographers, including Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, Alejandro Cerrudo, Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, Robert Dekkers, Crystal Pite, Gioconda Barbuto and Emily Molnar. Daniel is looking forward to his 3rd season with Ballet BC, and continuing to build his artistry. He is thankful for the support and inspiration he gets from his wife and daughter.
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 3rd 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 start her 7th season with 7 exciting new creations.
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 5th 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 6th season with Ballet BC.
A Canadian born in Vallejo, California, Makaila Wallace started professional dance training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School at age 14 and attended the Bolshoi Ballet summer programs. She danced with the RWB as an apprentice before moving to Stockholm, Sweden to join the Royal Swedish Ballet. After three years, she returned to Canada and joined Ballet BC and is now entering her 11th season. Dancing nationally and internationally, her personal performance highlights have included works by choreographers Johan Inger, Aszure Barton, Crystal Pite, Serge Bennathan, Jorma Elo, Jiri Kylian and Medhi Walerski, among others. In 2009, she had the opportunity to work with Roberto Campanella and Robert Glumbek (ProArte Danza) and also taught at the Okanagan Summer Dance Intensive in Kelowna. Another memorable experience was dancing in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Makaila would like acknowledge her friends and family for the support she has felt over the last 11 years. Life is the dancer and we are the dance – E. Tolle
Ryan Genoe was born and raised on Vancouver Island, where he discovered dance at the age of 6. He moved to Vancouver at 17 and entered the Arts Umbrella professional training program under Artistic Director Artemis Gordon. There, Ryan had the great pleasure of working with such artists as James Kudelka, Lesley Telford, Gioconda Barbuto, Aszure Barton and Stephen Shropshire, to name a few. Ryan is thrilled to start his first season at Ballet BC as an apprentice.
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 Nutcracker, Ballet BCs Peter Pan and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Scott received a scholarship grant from 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, Nicolo Fonte, Helen Pickett and Lesley Telford. This is Scotts 2nd apprentice season with Ballet BC.
Taylor was born in Burlington, Ontario and began her professional dance training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School where she studied for five years, receiving the Jane McEvoy ODonnell Scholarship as well as the Peoples Choice Award for her choreography. Taylor moved to Vancouver to dance in the graduate program at Arts Umbrella. She has attended summer intensives at The National Ballet School of Canada, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and The Banff Professional Dance Program. Taylor has performed works by James Kudelka, Aszure Barton, Lesley Telford and Gioconda Barbuto, among others.
Alanna Sager grew up in Victoria where she received her early training at Pacific Dance Centre under the direction of Maureen Eastick. After graduating in 2011, she moved to Vancouver to complete her professional training at Arts Umbrellas Graduate program with Artemis Gordon. She has trained and attended dance intensives at The National Ballet School of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Aspirant program, The Banff Centres summer dance program and Arts Umbrella SDI. Alanna has worked with many great choreographers, including Aszure Barton, James Kudelka, Walter Matteini, Lesley Telford, Gioconda Barbuto, and Stephen Shropshire, among others.
Photos: Michael Slobodian