ARTISTS


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SUMMER 2017 FEATURED ARTISTS
FEATURED SOLOISTS:  Kristine Butler, MeganAnna Griffin, Kennedy Hill, Elijah Laurant, Miki Orihara (Guest Artist), Jacob Regan, Camille Schmoeker, and Roberto Villanueva.
  

KRISTINE BUTLER received her early dance training at Royal Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, NY. She went on to train at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and at Charlotte Ballet as an apprentice. She has attended NYSSSA, Boston Ballet, CPYB, Charlotte Ballet, and Gaga summer intensives. After spending one season in Charlotte Ballet II, Kristine was in the corps of San Francisco Ballet, where she performed in Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia, and Onegin. Kristine has danced internationally at Kuntz am Spreeknie Festival and with the Romanian National Ballet.

MEGANANNA GRIFFIN, began her training in Ayden, North Carolina, where she twirled baton competitively for fifteen years. After competing at the Junior Olympics in Seattle, Washington for Rhythmic Gymnastics, she began her ballet training at Greenville Civic Ballet in Greenville, North Carolina. She’s worked with many choreographers such as Igal Perry, Sidra Bell, Michele Oliva, and Emily Schoen. MeganAnna is a current graduate of East Carolina University where she received a BFA in Dance Performance.


KENNEDY HILL began her training at Katura Dance Academy in Greenville, North Carolina. She is currently enrolled at East Carolina University’s School of Theatre and Dance as a dance education major where she trains in ballet, jazz and modern. Kennedy will graduate from ECU next May with a BFA in dance education and plans on working as a professional teaching artist and dancer.  Kennedy has completed summer training at Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, California and has recently been accepted under scholarship into the professional division of the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive in New York City. She has worked with choreographers Teal Darkenwald, Kristin Sudeikis, Tiffany Rea-Fischer, and Julia Erhstrand and has performed works by Debbie Allen, Eartha Robinson, Tommi Galaska, David Ingram and Danielle Sheather.
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ELIJAH LAURANT was born and raised in southern California, and began his training at Zenieth Performing Arts Center in Long Beach under the Director Nyiki Swain and Janette McGhee. After graduating from a dance program at El Camino Real High School, he attended El Camino College to become a dance Major. He then joined FDA and Pony Box Dance Theater as CoDirector and dancer in 2011. Elijah was afforded a full scholarship in 2012 by Diane Lauridsen to dance with South Bay Ballet as a company member and student. He moved to New York City to further his dance career at The Ailey school on full scholarship from 2014-2016. Elijah Laurant has worked with numerous choreographers such as Kim Borogra, Matthew Rushing, Wendi Baity, award winning Tiffany Billings, Christopher Rudd, and Roberto Villanueva. He is currently working with Joshua Beamish, JMTW and Helen Simoneau.

MIKI ORIHARA
 (Guest Artist) is best known for her work as a principal dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Company, which she joined in 1987. In 2010, she earned the prestigious Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Dance. In addition to performing the Graham repertory, she has worked closely with the renowned Japanese-American dancer, choreographer and director, Yuriko, preserving her unique approach to Graham Technique. Orihara has performed in the Broadway production of The King and I, with the Elisa Monte, Dance Troupe, PierGroupDance, Lotuslotus, Twyla Tharp, Martha Clarke, Anne Bogart and Robert Wilson. She has presented her own choreography in New York and in Tokyo as a guest artist for Japan’s New National Theater. She is a sought-after teacher and coach working with the Kirov Ballet, Japan’s New National Theater Ballet School, the Ailey School, New York University, The Hartt School, L’ete de la Danse (Paris) and is Dance Director for Mishmash*Miki Orihara.  She is on a faculty at the Graham School, The Hartt School (University of Hartford) and Barnard College (Columbia University). Mishmash*Miki Orihara launched in 2013. As a dance director, Miki created two music videos which released in June 2014.  She produced a benefit concert "Dancing for JAPAN 2014" as a curator, and produced her first solo concert "Resonance" at the La MaMa theater in New York in May 2014.

JACOB REGAN began his study of movement with martial art capoeira. This fostered a desire of movement that led him to finish high school at Northwest School of the Arts, where he studied ballet and modern dance.  Jacob received his BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from East Carolina University, with a minor in Philosophy. Jacob has studied intensively with Doug Varone and Dancers for two consecutive summers in 2013 and 2014.  He has performed professionally with Urbanity Dance and Prometheus Dance in Boston, MA; and has worked extensively with Contract Improvisation Boston in facilitating weekly classes and jams.

CAMILLE SCHMOEKER is a French-American performance artist focused on the execution and choreography of contemporary tap dance and contemporary dance. Having begun her training at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) in St. Louis, Missouri, she further enriched her knowledge in practice and theory acquiring her BFA at the University of Paris VIII. While in Paris, Camille had the pleasure of working with tap dance choreographer Jelly Germain Ngono and performed in a number of various productions in Paris and around France. She is currently establishing herself in NYC working in theater with The Family Repertory Company and collaborating with artists of multiple genres.

ROBERTO VILLANUEVA, born in the Philippines, is the Executive & Artistic Director and Founder of BalaSole Dance Company. He trained at the Ailey School, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, and University at Buffalo where he received his BA in Dance Performance. Additionally, he currently served as an Education and Community Engagement Administrator for the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem. Acclaimed nationally and internationally for his technical abilities as a dance artist, Roberto has been hailed "for the deftness and technical control of his dancing" (The New York Times). He has been described as "a poetic dancer" (New York Magazine), "powerhouse dancer" (New York Daily News), "breathtaking" (Swiss Newspaper La Liberté), "an extraordinarily gifted dancer" (Attitude Magazine), "a small powerhouse" (The Village Voice), "a mentor with a mission" (Back Stage New York), and "an experienced performer" (TheaterScene.net). Roberto has performed, conducted dance residencies, judged dance competitions, and taught master classes in U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has worked with renowned choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Kevin Wynn, Milton Myers, and Eleo Pomare. He has performed with dance companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, Steeledance, Marie-Christine Giordano Dance, Pick of the Crop Dance, and Buffalo City Ballet. Roberto has been commissioned to teach/choreograph for various institutions including the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, University at Buffalo, East Carolina University, Glendale Community College, University of the Philippines and Ballet Philippines. He currently serves as Director of Dance and Adjunct Professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. (For Roberto's full biography, visit BalaSole's "STAFF" page.)

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SUMMER 2017 FEATURED EMERGING/RE-EMERGING ARTISTS

EMERGING/RE-EMERGING ARTISTS:  Claire Babilonia, Haley Lindquist, Brigitte Manga, Lauren Settembrino, and Mayu Shirai

CLAIRE BABILONIA is from Leesburg, VA and began dancing at age three. Claire studied modern, ballet, pointe, jazz, and contemporary. She also trained with the Loudoun Ballet Company under Maureen Miller. In May 2012, Claire received a BA in Dance from Cornell University under the direction of Byron Suber. Claire currently performs with Megan Doyle and the Community Dance Project.

HALEY LINDQUIST received her BFA in Dance with an emphasis in Contemporary Dance at Lindenwood University. She has been dancing since the age of four and has trained extensively in the Cecchetti Ballet Method—passing four levels of examinations. Haley has also received many acknowledgments for her choreographic work. “I’m Okay” was chosen for reproduction in the 2014 Faculty Fall Concert and “The Spotlight Theory” represented Lindenwood at the 2016 American College Dance Association Central Region Conference. While in college, Haley worked with Christina Jane Robson (Bill T. Jones), Joy Davis (Countertechnique), Nejla Yatkin (NY2 Dance), and Kelli Hermes (Leverage Dance Theater). Exploring new territories, she has ventured in other outside studies with David Dorfman (David Dorfman Dance), Nick Pupillo (Visceral Dance) and Paula David (Big Muddy Dance Company) allowing her to travel to New York, Chicago, Connecticut and a study abroad in Paris.

BRIGITTE MANGA was born and raised in New York City. She is a student at Radford University studying History and Dance, where has studied under Danah Bella, Ji-Eun Lee, Deborah McLaughlin, Amy Vankirk, Inessa Plekhanova, Aleksey Plekhanov, and Katie Wells. Brigitte was a high level competitive gymnast until her senior year of high school and began dancing at the age of fourteen. As a high school student, Brigitte attended Talent Unlimited High school where she studied the techniques of Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and George Balanchine. Brigitte has had the opportunity to work with guest artists’ Natalie Marrone and Kyle Abraham at Radford University. Recently she had the opportunity to perform at the 100th Anniversary ceremony for NASA Langley Research Center.

LAUREN SETTEMBRINO was born and raised in central New Jersey. Under the direction of George Warren, Mickey Defranco and Benjamin Briones, she studied ballet, modern, tap, hip hop and bboying, acting, and voice. She has spent her summers training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and in Quebec City with Victor Quijada and RUBBERBANDance Group. Lauren recently earned her BFA in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and also completed a second major in English. She has performed works by Stefanie Batten Bland, Ori Flomin, Elizabeth Coker and Giada Ferrone. Lauren has also performed in Crystal Pite’s Polaris at New York City Center as a part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, and has worked closely with Larry Keigwin on the creation of a new work as a guest artist with Keigwin + Company.

MAYU SHIRAI, a dancer and choreographer from Japan, started street dancing when she was 16 years old. She has received prizes for performing in various dance battles. She also studied ballet, modern dance, musical theater and contemporary dance. While training in dance, she applied to peace studies and international politics in Ritsumeikan University (RU), Kyoto. She traveled to India and Philippine to conduct dance workshops about cultural exchange. Thereafter, she received a sponsorship from Ritsumeikan University to build Mingle Theater, a student artist organization, where she carried out a project of cultural exchange between foreign students and Japanese students through artworks. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in International Law from Ritsumeikan University, she moved to NYC to study contemporary dance, modern dance, and other various dance styles. She has been studying the Graham technique at the Martha Graham School.

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COMPANY MEMBERS/ROSTER

Harriet Ado*, Emily Aiken, Amanda Allyne, Lauren Alpert, Katherine Alvarado, Musashi Alvarez, Nika Antuanette, Laura Assante, Nadine Azoulay, Hailey Bates*, Davonna Batt, Tovah-Marie Bembridge*, Loganne Bond, Paulina Bracone, Sara Braun, Caroline Brethenoux, Jonathan Breton, Steven E. Brown, Will Brown, Briana Butler, Nicole Calabrese*, Vanessa Calderon, Aliyah Caldwell*,Chloe Cappo, Ashley Carter, Caitlyn Casson, Angelica Cassimiro, Jessica Cipriano, Janina Clark, Lea Clay*, Anastasia Coates, Megan Cubides, Durell Comedy, Trashina Conner, Courtney Cook, Emily Craver, Bridget Cronin, Anna Cuffari*, Misei Daimaru, Ann Dale, Teal Darkenwald, Fredrick Davis**, Kianí del Valle, Rockshana Desances, Laurie Déziel, Anthony Diep*, Jasmine Domfort, Kara Edwards, Jenny Efremova, Sarah Ewing, Nuria Martin Fandos, Odman Felix, Stephanie Flackman, Liz Fleche, Marie-Christine Giordano, Gierre Godley, Ezra Goh*, Alvaro Gonzalez, Shannon Grant, Aaron Gregory, Seth Grier, Rebecca Gual, Julia Halpin, Carly Harper, DaJuan Harris, Kyla Healey*, Marion Helfenstein, Martha Hernandez, Laurel Higa*, Christa Hines, Monica Hogan, Erica Holloway, Hunter Frederick Houde, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Yuki Ishiguro, Sunday Jackson, Alexandra Jacob, Marie Janicek, Emily Jeffries, Kudzaishe Jeti, Steven Jeudy, Alexandria Johnson, Alexis Julian, Nami Kaigaishi**, Elliott Keller, Kate Kenyon, Allison Kimmel, Melanie Kimmel*, Alan Khoutakoun, Katie Kilbourn, Alison Krauss, Nikole LaChioma, Roberto Lara, Elijah Laurant, Shawn Lawrence*, Ren Xin Lee, Vira Lee*, Courtney Liu, Devon Lodge, Joey Lorraine, Geneva Manley, Brigitte Madera, Jacqueline Maitner*, Vanessa Martínez de Baños, Anna Massey, Brittany McNair, Raven McRae, Kali McSweeney, Morgana Mellett, Betheny Merola, Peter Mills, Gina Montalto*, Maxine Montilus, Cailin Murtha, Laura Neese*, Andrew Nemr, Lauren Nettles, Daisuke Omiya, Emily Pacilio, Matt Pardo, Delphina Parentiv, Leslie Parker, Sandra Passirani, Gabriella Perez*, Ashley Peters*, Francesco Pireddu, Juan Michael Porter II, Lauren Putty, Christen Quattlebaum, Nicole Restani, Ricardo Mateo Rique-Sanchez, Carolina Rivera, Nicole Roberts*, Jennifer Roit, Sarah Roncone, Allyson Ross, Kendra Ross, Michael Ryan, Cesar Salinas, Andrea Samonilova, Alexzandra Sarmiento, Camille Schmoeker, Richard Scandola, Danielle Sheather, Erin Shimberg, Saeed Siamak, Ellen Sickenberger, Michelle Siegel, Yvanhova Silva, Tracy Singer, Jessica Smith, Maya Smith, Sasha Smith*, Jesse Springer, Megan Starnes, Angelica Stiskin, Hayley Swinburne, Ellena Takos, Anne-Marie Talmadge, Ashley Taylor, Karina Teran, Zoe Thomas*, William Tomaskovic, Milagros Torchetti, Xavier Townsend, Ursula Verduzco, Roberto Villanueva, Oshini Wanigasekera, Malik Warlick, Charly Wenzel, Leslie Williams, Katie Winder, Daphne Yang, Richard Yé, Mark Brett Young, Nathan Young, Samsam Yung, Tiffany Zondorak*.

*Participated in BalaSole Dance Company's Emerging & Re-Emerging Artist Program
** Guest Soloists

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