Announcing SDI 2018 Faculty

Our Summer Dance Intensive 2018 Senior and Junior Programs are packed with a wide range of talented, diverse faculty bringing unique perspectives and styles to this one of a kind program! We’re thrilled to announce this season’s lineup of faculty! Below, bios and headshots for each of the members of the team!

IVAYLO ALEXIEV

Senior Program
Ballet, Pas de deux, Men’s Classes

Alexiev, Ivaylo

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Ivaylo Alexiev was born in Varna, Bulgaria. He started his ballet training with the Vaganova Method at the National Ballet School in Sofia. Mr. Alexiev than earned a scholarship from “UNESCO” to join the prestigious Academy of Ballet in Monte Carlo directed by Madame Marika Besobrasova where he graduated with a Diploma for a professional ballet dancer.

From 2001-2004 Ivaylo was a member of Le Ballet de L’Opera National de Bordeaux, France where he danced for three seasons participating in every production and world tours with the company. In 2004 Mr. Alexiev moved to Germany and worked with several contemporary companies. For two seasons under the direction of James Sutherland, Ivaylo was a soloist with Pforzheim Ballett where he danced in several modern productions such as- Carmen, Pink Floyd, Swan Lake and others. Mr. Alexiev took part in many Dance Galas in Europe and has been invited as a guest artist in France, Germany, Russia, Malta, Japan, USA and others. His repertory includes ballets such as Raymonda, Divertimento #15, Symphony in D, The Prodigal Son, Suite en Blanc, Sleeping Beaty, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella and others. Ivaylo has worked with some of the biggest names in European ballet including Elisabeth Platel, Charles Jude, Irek Mukhamedov, Roland Vogel, Attilo Labis, Eva Evdokimova.

Ivaylo Alexiev speaks five languages and obtained a diploma in dance pedagogy and history of ballet from L’Academie de danse classique Princesse Grace de Monte Carlo.  In 2010 Mr. Alexiev moved to US joining Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer. In 2012 Ivaylo was invited to be a member of the faculty of Ballet Theatre of Boston. Part time faculty member at Boston Ballet School since 2014. North Atlantic Dance Theatre company coach since 2015. Ballet Master for Festival Ballet Providence from 2015-2017.
Faculty at Greater Boston School of Dance.

ASSAF BENCHETRIT

Senior Program
Ballet, Pas de deux, Variations

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Jenna McKerrow Wilson (as Sugar Plum Fairy) and Assaf Benchetrit (Prince) dance the Sugar Plum pas de deux from Act 2 of “The Nutcracker.”

Assaf Benchetrit began his dance and music studies at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. Upon graduation, he danced with the Jerusalem Dance Theater, the Panov Ballet, and later with The Israeli National Ballet Company. During his military service, Assaf received the “Remarkable Dancer” prize from the Israeli government which allowed him to continue dancing while serving. After completing his military service, he arrived to United States to dance with companies such as The Joffrey, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet.

Throughout his career, Assaf toured through England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and numerous other countries. He performed lead roles in the majority of renowned ballet productions such as Swan Lake as Siegfried, Don Quixote as Basilio, La Corsaire as Ali, La Bayadere as Solar, Coppelia as Franz, Sleeping Beauty as the Prince, the title-role in Petrushka, and a number of George Balanchine works including Apolloin the title-role, Donizetti Variations and the Nutcracker as Cavalier. Assaf holds a joint B.S in computer science and B.F.A in dance degrees with academic honors from Montclair State University, and an M.F.A degree with academic honors in dance from Hollins/ADF/Frankfurt. He was a faculty member at Columbia University (Barnard College), Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and Raritan Valley Community College, where he taught ballet, mens’ class, pas de deux, variations, and modern dance. He is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at UNH.

JENNIFER DAVIS

Senior Program
Physical Therapy

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Jennifer Davis (right) with Company Dancer Kristy DuBois

Jennifer has been practicing outpatient physical therapy on the East Side of Providence since 2004, she joined University Orthopedics at the Butler campus in the spring of 2016. A former professional ballet dancer, Jennifer specializes in Dance Injury Rehabilitation and prevention. Jennifer enjoyed 18 years of performing dance all over the United States, Europe and China before retiring as a soloist from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1996, she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Dance from Empire State College, S.U.N.Y and a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from The University of Rhode Island in 2001.

Jennifer developed and implemented an Injury Prevention program for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre school and company where she worked closely with Physicians and Physical Therapists at the University of Pittsburgh Sports Medicine. Jennifer has treated the cast of “A Chorus Line” and “Hairspray” backstage at the Providence Performing Arts Center and has worked with countless student and professional dancers from local studios including Festival Ballet Providence. She has been certified in Pilates exercise training and utilizes Pilates equipment and principals in conjunction with manual therapy for physical therapy assessment and treatment. Currently Jennifer is involved in a certification program with North American Institute for Manual Orthopedic Therapy and has most recently been trained as an instructor in Pilates Suspension exercise with Pilates Academy International in New York City. She is a longtime member of International Association for Dance Medicine and Science and serves on the board of the Dance Alliance of Rhode Island. She is most proud of her daughter Olivia and loves to swim, dance and sail during her free time. In 2016 Jennifer became Festival Ballet Providence’s resident physical therapist.

KURT DOUGLAS

Senior Program
Modern (Limón)

Kurt Douglas

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Kurt Douglas joined the Boston Conservatory faculty in 2015 and is an instructor of technique, repertory, and pedagogy for modern dance. Kurt also serves as artistic director for the Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Summer Dance Intensive.

A graduate of New York’s LaGuardia High School of Music art and the performing Arts and originally from Guyana, Douglas earned a B.F.A. in dance from Boston Conservatory and an M.F.A. in dance from Hollins University.

After graduating from the Conservatory in 2001, he joined the Limón Dance Company, where he performed in many of Limón’s most influential works. He received a 2002 Princess Grace Award and was honored by an invitation to perform for the royal family of Monaco. In 2007, Douglas became the first African American to portray Iago in The Moor’s Pavane, José Limón’s most famous work. Douglas was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” in the January 2006 issue. He danced from 2002 to 2007 in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and joined Ballet Hispanico from 2005 to 2006 under the direction of Tina Ramirez. In 2009 he joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company during their 40th anniversary season, touring throughout the United States and Asia. In 2011 he began touring with the Tony Award-winning musical “A Chorus Line” throughout the United States, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. In 2017 Kurt was invited to perform for the Boston Conservatory’s 150 anniversary gala at Symphony Hall hosted by Alan Cummings. Some guest artist credits include Aszure Barton & Artists, Prometheus Dance Company, Thang Dao Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Dzul Dance, and the Sean Curran Dance Company.

Douglas remains invested in his teaching practices, conducting Limón Dance workshops in Boston, South Dakota, New York, Oregon,Texas, Pennsylvania, Haiti, France, England, Australia, and at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, Southern Methodist University, the Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Brockport, Skidmore College, Festival Ballet Providence and Boston Conservatory. Kurt is currently a reconstructor with the Limón Foundation. In 2017 Kurt re-stage Jose Limón’s “A Choreographic Offering” for the Limón Company’s 71st Anniversary season. Douglas continues to serve as faculty with the Limón for Kids Program and the Limón Institute in New York City, the official school of the Limón Dance Foundation.

KIRSTEN EVANS

Company Dancer

Senior Program
Ballet, Variations

Evans, Kirsten

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Originally from Massachusetts, Ms. Evans began training in the FBP School at age 11. She performed as a member of FBP’s Junior Company for 5 years before joining the main company as a trainee in 2010. Ms. Evans has attended summer intensives with Bolshoi Ballet Academy, The Nutmeg Conservatory, and was a member of the Jacob’s Pillow Summer Dance Festival in 2009. Ms. Evans was a two-time finalist in the Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition in New York City, where she was awarded several scholarships as well as a traineeship with Ballet West in Utah. Previous roles with FBP include Wendy in Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan, the title role in Winthrop Corey’s Cinderella, Pas de Trois, Big Swans, and Cygnets in Swan Lake, Princess Tsarevna in Mihailo Djuric’s The Firebird, the roles of Sugarplum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, Clara, Spanish, and Marzipan in The Nutcracker, and principal in Etudes, as well as principal roles in George Balanchine’s Apollo, Allegro Brilliante, Agon, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Kirsten has also been featured in contemporary works by Viktor Plotnikov, Dominic Walsh, Ilya Kozadayev, Joseph Morrissey, and others. Kirsten works as the PR and Communications Assistant for FBP and is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts/Journalism at Providence College. This is Ms. Evans’ eighth season with the company.

LINDSAY GUARINO

Senior Program
Jazz

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Lindsay Guarino is an educator, scholar and choreographer. In her current role at Salve Regina University, she is the director of the dance program and artistic director and founder of Extensions Dance Company. A native of Buffalo, NY, Lindsay has taught master classes and choreographed in a wide range of jazz styles at colleges, dance studios and festivals across the country. Her jazz research has been presented at conferences throughout the New England region and also in Chicago, Arizona, New York, and Texas. Lindsay reaches dance educators around the globe as a professor for the National Dance Education Organization’s nationally regarded Online Professional Development Institute, where she teaches Jazz Dance Theory and Practice. Her passion for preserving and elevating jazz dance led her to publish Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches in 2014; the textbook inspired a national conference in the summer of 2016 which Lindsay planned and hosted at Salve Regina. Her greatest professional accomplishment to date is the growth of the dance program at Salve Regina University and her work with Extensions Dance Company. Lindsay holds a BFA in dance from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and an MFA in dance from the University of Arizona.

LETICIA GUERRERO

FBP Ballet Master

Senior & Junior Programs
Ballet, Pointe, Variations

Guerrero, Leticia
Leticia Guerrero and Davide Vittorino in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante. © The George Balanchine Trust.

A native of Venezuela, Ms. Guerrero received her early training at the Keyla Ermecheo Ballet School in Caracas. She has performed with numerous companies including Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas, Metropolitan Ballet of Caracas, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Michigan Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre and Cadence Dance Project. She has created leading roles in ballets in Gianni Dimarco’s El Amor Brujo, Schéhérazade and Azucar, Plotnikov’s Carmen, The Widow’s BroomLoof and Let Dime and Coma, De Bouteiller’s Romeo and Juliet and FBP’s 2006 premiere of Don Quixote. Other leading roles include Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Rubies, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tarantella, Who Cares?, Pelzig’s The Princess and the Pea, Swan Lake and Eldar Aliev’s A Thousand and One Nights. Ms. Guerrero also participated in the 2004 Venezuela Del Mundo Gala and was recognized for representing Venezuela internationally with high standards and “projection, dignity and beauty.” In addition Providence Mayor David Cicilline awarded a Citizens Citation for her “exceptional and wholehearted devotion for the art of dance.”

After her retirement from the stage in May 2012, she transitioned into her new role as Ballet Mistress with the Company, and as a faculty member with FBP School where she continues to pass on her knowledge to a new generation of dancers.

JEREMY RUTH HOWES

Senior Program
Modern (Graham)

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Jeremy Ruth is a professional dancer, choreographer and educator in the Boston area. She graduated from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Dance with a BFA in Dance Performance. While at Hartt she performed soloist roles in La Bayadere, Guernsey Fields, Martha Graham’s Steps in the Street and numerous other classical and contemporary works. She has danced professionally with Northern Ballet Theatre and Virginia Ballet Theatre dancing soloist roles in The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and George Balanchine’s Serenade. Currently she is a principal dancer with Anna Myer and Dancers creating roles in Myer’s original choreography. Jeremy Ruth is on faculty at Dean College teaching ballet and dance composition. She also has choreographed for the Dean College Dance Company for the past five years. She has created ten original works for the company. Jeremy Ruth teaches at Walker’s Dance in Lowell and this is her tenth year with Northeast School of Ballet. Jeremy Ruth is also currently pursuing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College.

ALEX LANTZ

Company Dancer

Senior & Junior Programs
Character, Men’s Class, Pas de Deux

Lantz Alex HS

Lantz, Alex

Alex Lantz began his dance training at age seven at the Rockford Dance Company in his home town of Rockford, Illinois and was accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division in 2006 at age 17. Mr. Lantz joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet company as an apprentice in 2010. He performed with the company in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Moulin Rouge – The Ballet, Dracula, Wonderland, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, Svengali and Giselle. Mr. Lantz also joined the company in 2010 on a three-city tour of Israel part of the RWB’s 70th Anniversary tour. Lantz joined Festival Ballet Providence in 2012. He has performed the roles of Spanish, Snow King and Sugarplum Cavalier in The Nutcraker, has been featured in Dominic Walsh’s Afternoon of the Faun, Ilya Kozadayev’s Moonlight Pas De Deux, and has also performed leading roles in Victor Plotnikov’s Orchis and Coma as well as principal roles in George Balanchine’s Agon and Tchaikovky Pas de Deux. Mr. Lantz also has performed a number of character roles including Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, The Witch in Hansel & Gretel, Kastchai in The Firebird, Smee in Jordan Morris’ Peter Pan and Herr Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker.

 

MARISSA MASSON

Junior Program
Jazz

 

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Marissa Masson is a New England based dancer and choreographer. As a student at Salve Regina University, she is minoring in dance and is currently a member of Extensions Dance Company, where she has had the opportunity to perform in pieces by artists such as Kat Pantos, Joe Celej, Joshua Blake Carter, John Lehrer, Rich Ashworth, Melanie George, Spencer Gavin Hering, and Kirsten Harvey.  She has performed at the American College Dance Association’s adjudicated concert in Potsdam, NY (2017) and presented her piece, “Weight of the World” in their adjudicated concert in Boston, MA (2018). This piece was also chosen to perform at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival (2017). This summer, it will perform again at The Southern Vermont Dance Festival. Marissa has performed in other events throughout the New England region, including Urbanity Dance’s Liberty Hotel New Year’s Eve Party. She has completed intensives with Pantos Project (2014, 2016, 2017) and the National Dance Education Organization’s Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice Conference in Newport, RI (2016), where she performed and was a student host.  She has also had the honor of being the rehearsal assistant for Jessica Pearson and Melanie George. In the summer and winter of 2017, she was the business operations and company intern for Urbanity Dance in Boston. She is currently the Operations Manager Intern for Pantos Project Dance.

MARY ANN MAYER

Director, FBP School

Senior & Junior Programs
Ballet, Pointe, Variations

Mayer, Mary Ann HS

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Ms. Mayer has been affiliated with Festival Ballet Providence since 1976. As a founding member of Festival Ballet Providence, Ms. Mayer performed in many company productions while earning a BA from the University of Rhode Island. Following her performing career, she worked as stage manager for the company for several seasons before turning her focus to teaching and training young dancers. She attended several teaching programs at the National Ballet School of Canada, and in New York and Philadelphia with David Howard and Jurgen Schneider. From 1991 to 1996 she served as teacher, choreographer and Acting Director of Dance at the Performing Arts School of Worcester; returning to Festival Ballet Providence as a teacher in 1998.

In 2004, Ms. Mayer became Festival Ballet Providence’s School Director. Over the past several years the school has continued to grow under the guidance of Ms. Mayer and the artistic vision of Misha Djuric. Together they have taken the school to a place that boasts a distinguished international faculty, an outstanding young children’s program, a trainee program for the serious advanced level student, an extensive financial aid program, engaging summer programs, and an open enrollment feature that provides the community access to this art form through a variety of classes and workshops. Ms. Mayer’s students have gone on to dance with professional companies and to study at prestigious schools and universities throughout the country.

DINA MELLEY

FBP School Faculty

Junior Program
Modern

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Dina Ternullo Melley received a BFA in dance from the Boston Conservatory and received additional training from the Joffrey School in San Antonio and Gus Giordano in Chicago. Dina has performed master works by José Limón, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham and Donald McKayle and has toured and conducted workshops nationally and internationally with the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble. Dina has had the pleasure of both choreographing works for and performing with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theater, Of Moving Colors, the Louisiana State University College of Music and Dramatic Arts, the Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Desert Dance Theatre, andUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette’s State of LA Danse.Mrs. Melley was the choreographer for LSU Opera’s production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and has choreographed and performed for ASU’s season-opening Gala Concert. She has also performed withBaton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s Ballet for Children, AZDance Group, and Cadence Dance Project. Dina has been on faculty at Boston College, Regis College, Louisiana State University, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she was also the Artistic Director of the Dance Guild at UL Lafayette. She has also had the pleasure of working with our next generation of young dancers at numerous schools throughout the eastern, southern and southwestern United States. Mrs. Melley is excited to be living back in the Northeast with her husband and son and being apart of the Festival Ballet School faculty.

MARISSA PARMENTER

Director, Summer Dance Intensive

Senior & Junior Programs
Ballet, Pointe

Parmenter, Marissa HS

Parmenter, Marissa

Marissa Parmenter danced at Festival Ballet Providence from 2002-2006 and 2014-2017. Her most memorable FBP roles were Pingril, the witch in The Widow’s Broom, the Nurse and Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, Bernarda in House of Bernarda Alba and Saskia in For Saskia. In addition to FBP, she danced for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and BalletMet Columbus. In 2008, Ms. Parmenter was honored to participate in Paris’s prestigious L’Ete de la Danse with Les Grands Ballet. She has performed as a guest artist with many companies in the US including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Boston Ballet. Ms. Parmenter has been fortunate enough to create works with leading choreographers, Ohad Naharin, James Kudelka, Mauro Bigonzetti, Edwaard Liang, Dominic Walsh and Viktor Plotnikov. She has also had the pleasure of performing works by icons such as Christopher Wheeldon, Jiri Kylian, Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Alejandro Cerrudo.

Ms. Parmenter was on faculty at BalletMet Academy and Passe Dance Center. She has been a guest teacher for Rice University, Sam Houston University, University of Houston, and Wheaton College. Ms. Parmenter has been awarded the Sono Osato and the Caroline H. Newhouse grants for dancer higher education. Her choreography has been performed at Hollins University and Wheaton College.

Ms.Parmenter received her MFA from Hollins University in collaboration with the Forsythe Company in 2014. She is an Associate Professor at Boston Conservatory at Berkeley College. She is on faculty at FBP School as well as Company Manager, Director of FBP School’s Summer Dance Intensive and Development Director.

TY PARMENTER

Company Dancer

Senior Program
Ballet, Pointe, Improv

Parmenter, Ty HS

Parmenter, Ty

Ty Parmenter returned to Festival Ballet Providence in 2014 after having been with the company from 2003-2006. His most memorable FBP roles were the Eunuch in Scherezade, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Faun in Afternoon of a Faun, and Principal Male in Rubies. He returned to FBP after having danced with Hubbard Street 2, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and BalletMet Columbus. He has performed as a guest artist with many companies in the US including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, New Choreographers Initiative, and Les Grands Ballet Canadiens. In 2006, he performed in the Mozart Sommer Festival in Wurzberg, Germany. Mr. Parmenter has been fortunate enough to create works with leading choreographers such as James Kudelka, Edwaard Liang, Dominic Walsh, Andrea Miller, Christian Spuck, Gabrielle Lamb and Viktor Plotnikov. He has also had the pleasure of performing works by Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Mauro Bigonzetti, Matthew Bourne, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Alejandro Cerrudo.

In 2012, Mr. Parmenter was awarded the Columbus Dances Fellowship from the Greater Columbus Arts Council for his piece There is Silence. He was on faculty at Passe Dance Center and has been a guest teacher at Rice University, Sam Houston University and the University of Houston. He is currently on faculty at FBP School as well as Digital Media Coordinator. Ty has choreographed four new works on the FBP company and seven new works for the FBP school.

RUKA WHITE

Senior Program
Modern (Horton)

Ruke WhiteHS

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Ruka Hatua-Saar was born in Aviano, Italy and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He received his training as a scholarship student with Miami City Ballet and was a a dancer in the training company. Upon graduating from the Dillard School of the Arts, he obtained a B.F.A and an M.F.A in Dance from Florida State University and Holllins University; respectively. He is an acclaimed national/ international dancer , having performed with companies such as: Dayton Contemporary; Philadanco; Armitage GONE!; and the Límon Dance Company. He has served as adjunct professor of dance at Wright State University; University of Dayton; Boston Conservatory; Tufts University and University of the Arts.

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Let’s Hear It For The Boys

Think ballet is just for girls? Think again!

For far too long, society has suggested that pursuing a passion for dance is off-limits to boys. It’s all pink tutus and pointe shoes, right? Well, the 17 male ballet students at the FBP School are busting that myth!

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Week after week, the growing number of male Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) School students are proving that ballet is for boys at every level. Starting from the youngest dancer to FBP School’s rising senior, these students are working every day on their coordination, strength, musicality, and stamina. With dedication and endurance, they are knocking down stereotypes about male dancers, demonstrating that ballet is for everyone. All you need is inspiration to move.

Leading the way are FBP’s 11 professional company men, who are busy lifting ladies up over their heads to show just how strong male ballet dancers really are:

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Also paving the path are these successful FBP School alumni….

Graduate Brandon McGuirk’s experience in the studios at FBP prepared him for his current role as a Company Dancer with Roxey Ballet Company in New Jersey. Brandon reflects fondly on his eight years in the FBP School, where he felt especially influenced by guidance from FBP’s company dancers.

FBP School Graduate Brandon McGuirk

“It was awesome being a part of the school, because a lot of the FBP company dancers did help me and teach me how to do steps the proper way. I always felt that Festival provided such an uplifting environment in which I was able to take class to the best of my abilities.” -Brandon McGuirk

Another FBP alum, Joseph Lynch, has taken what he learned from his seven years at the FBP School to his role as a dancer for Ballet West II in Salt Lake City, Utah. Joe also had some great things to say about his training in Providence.

FBP School Graduate Joseph Lynch

“FBP school opened the door to my future. It introduced me to a new world, that eventually became my life. Getting to work with the Company showed me that I wanted to make this my career, and they helped me get here.” -Joseph Lynch

 

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To get the inside scoop on this growing legacy, we talked to a few of our current students about their time in ballet class.

FBP School Student Cole Previti with teacher/Company Dancer Azamat Asangul

“Ballet makes me happy. I like it because I get to move my body,” one of our youngest dancers, six-year-old Cole Previti, said when asked what dancing means to him. 

But it’s not all about the physicality. Ballet student Jack MacDonald also finds a sense of mental balance through ballet.

FBP School Students with teacher Azamat Asangul (left), Student Jack MacDonald practicing his tendu (right)

“I like ballet class because of how they teach it. I think it helps me focus.” Jack said of his experience, adding, “It seems like there aren’t too many boys [men] in ballet.  But I think that’s cool.  It makes it special.”

 

And there you have it. So what are you waiting for? It’s never too late to join these boys and sign up for classes! For our current class schedule, curriculum, and all other school information, click here.


 

This post was written by Kirsten Evans. The author is in her eighth season as a Company Dancer with Festival Ballet Providence. She is also the Company PR & Communications Assistant, as well as the writer of a personal blog, Setting The Barre.

Books for the Ballet

This weekend, FBP School will be holding a special fundraiser at Barnes & Noble in Warwick. Funds raised will go toward the Christine Hennessey Scholarship Fund, a need-based tuition assistance program for the FBP School. The fundraiser runs 10:00am-7:00pm on Sunday May 7, 2017 and continues online through May 11, 2017; you must mention the fundraiser at checkout.

Click Here for the PDF Flyer | Click here for Online Shopping instructions

We asked company dancers and FBP School faculty to give us some recommendations, for aspiring dancers and lovers of dance.

We encourage you to stop by on Sunday, or shop online next week. It’s also the perfect time to get your Mother’s Day gifts!

Alan Alberto, Company Dancer

Basic Principles of Classical Ballet
By Agrippina Vaganova

This is a book that I purchased years ago, when I started ballet, as a reference to proper technique. I hope this is helpful and inspires.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/basic-principles-of-classical-ballet-agrippina-vaganova/1018887376?ean=9780486220369

 

Valerie Cookson-Botto,  Educational Outreach Coordinator

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina Young Readers Edition
By Misty Copeland

A great biography for young dancers. Recommend for grades 5-9.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/life-in-motion-misty-copeland/1123673642?ean=9781481479790

 

 

Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet
By Gail Grant

My go to dictionary for classical ballet technique. 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/technical-manual-and-dictionary-of-classical-ballet-gail-grant/1100927644?ean=9780486218434

 

 

 

Honk!: The Story of a Prima Swanerina
by Pamela Duncan Edwards, Henry Cole (Illustrator)

A perfect story for preK-3 dancers.  This story has become a beloved part of our outreach program.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/honk-pamela-duncan-edwards/1111741943?ean=9780786812981

Cinderella
by Sarah L. Thomson, Nicoletta Ceccoli (Illustrator), Charles Perrault (Text by)

A beautiful telling of the classic fairytale with the opulence of the high courts of France.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cinderella-sarah-l-thomson/1107756321?ean=9780761461708

 

 

Swan Lake (Vienna State Opera Ballet) DVD
Director: Truck Branss Cast: Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Natalya Makarova

Watching any and all of the grand ballets performed by the great dancers of all time is always inspiring and educational.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dvd-swan-lake-rudolf-nureyev/3627393?ean=0044007340448

 

Boyko Dossev, Company Dancer

Man of La Mancha

This is one is one of my all-time favorites. It inspired me when I was a kid, we had it on one of those old music discs, I grew up with it and I am who I am in part thanks to this.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/man-of-la-mancha/8846608?ean=0886919485622

Kirsten Evans, Company Dancer, SDI 2017 Faculty

The Widow’s Broom
By Chris Van Allsburg

Anything by Chris Van Allsburg (obvs), but I’ll definitely be pulling out my copy of The Widow’s Broom soon…

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/widows-broom-chris-van-allsburg/1101707141?ean=9780395640517

 

 

 

Peter and Wendy: Peter Pan, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up
By J. M. Barrie

Peter Pan has always been one of my favorites, and now it hold a special place on my bookshelf 😉

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/peter-and-wendy-j-m-barrie/1117501921?ean=9781468149821

 

 

Dylan Giles, Company Dancer, Marketing Director

Writing in the Dark, Dancing in the New Yorker
By Arlene Croce

Arlene Croce is arguably the single best writer on dance in the 20th Century. Her insights were at once poignant and arresting, training a penetrating eye unlike any other on a rapidly changing art form.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writing-in-the-dark-dancing-in-the-new-yorker-arlene-croce/1102895077?ean=9780813029139

 

Balanchine Variations
By Nancy Goldner

This is a great book about choreographic icon George Balanchine. It’s a biography of sorts, told through the lens of his works, from the earliest surviving work Apollo (his eighty fourth piece of choreography!) to the blockbuster Jewels and the jaw dropping Ballo Della Regina. A concise encapsulation of a prolific choreographer.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/balanchine-variations-nancy-goldner/1101627527?ean=9780813032269

 Debbi Leahy, FBP School Faculty

Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches
By Lindsay Guarino (Editor), Wendy Oliver (Editor)

“A must-read for all dancers as the invaluable historical references and in-depth coverage of the different jazz forms cannot be found in such detail in any other book on the market today.”

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jazz-dance-lindsay-guarino/1115445880?ean=9780813061290

 

 

An Evening with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (DVD)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs some of the works that have won them wide acclaim, including “Divining” and “The Stack-Up.” Music is provided by many artists, including Laura Nyro and Alice Coltrane.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dvd-an-evening-with-the-alvin-ailey-american-dance-theater-thomas-grimm/3875015?ean=0807280045390

 

Ailey Ascending: A Portrait in Motion
By Alvin Alley America Dance Theater, Andrew Eccles (Photographer), Anna Deavere Smith (Foreword by), Judith Jamison (Preface by)

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, this dazzling book includes both original black and white and full-color photographs by Andrew Eccles.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ailey-ascending-alvin-alley-america-dance-theater/1120080542?ean=9780811864800

Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey
by Alvin Ailey, A. Peter Bailey

This stunning autobiography relates the powerful story of one man’s painful search for identity despite a lifetime of remarkable achievement.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/revelations-alvin-ailey/1112961209?ean=9780806518619

Marissa Parmenter, Company Dancer, SDI Director, Interim Development Director

Dancing in the Wings
By Debbie Allen, Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)

Sassy worries that her too-large feet, too-long legs, and even her big mouth will keep her from her dream of becoming a star ballerina. So for now she’s just dancing in the wings, watching from behind the curtain, and hoping that one day it will be her turn to shimmer in the spotlight.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dancing-in-the-wings-debbie-allen/1100734286?ean=9780142501412

The True Memoirs of Little K: A Novel
By Adrienne Sharp

Exiled in Paris, the frail, elderly Mathilde Kschessinska sits down to write her memoirs. A lifetime ago, she was the vain, ambitious, impossibly charming prima ballerina assoluta of the tsar’s Russian Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-memoirs-of-little-k-adreinne-sharp/1100247224?ean=9780312610715

 

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
By Michaela DePrince, Elaine Deprince

The extraordinary memoir of an orphan who danced her way from war-torn Sierra Leone to ballet stardom, most recently appearing in Beyonce’s Lemonade and as a principal in a major American dance company.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taking-flight-michaela-deprince/1118138587?ean=9780385755146

 

The Black Dancing Body: A Geography From Coon to Cool
By B. Gottschild

What is the essence of black dance in America? To answer that question, Brenda Dixon Gottschild maps an unorthodox ‘geography’, the geography of the black dancing body, to show the central place black dance has in American culture.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-black-dancing-body-b-gottschild/1123546314?ean=9781403971210

Ty Parmenter, Company Dancer, FBP School Faculty

A Choreographer’s Handbook
By Jonathan Burrows

A Choreographer’s Handbook invites the reader to investigate how and why to make a dance performance.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/choreographers-handbook-jonathan-burrows/1100516695?ean=9780415555302

 

 

Brontorina

by James Howe, Randy Cecil (Illustrator)

My son Miles is always so happy when she gets her shoes.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brontorina-james-howe/1100832769?ean=9780763653231

 

Gwynn Root, Company Apprentice

The Saturdays
By Elizabeth Enright

This series was one of my favorites… I identified with the younger sister Randy, who was a tomboy and clumsy, and wanted to be a ballet dancer.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saturdays-elizabeth-enright/1102326775?ean=9780312375980

 

 

Eugenia Zinovieva, Company Dancer

Illustrated Ballet Stories
By DK Publishing, Introduction by Darcey Bussell (former Royal Ballet principal)

I loved this book when I was a kid.

 

 

 

 

 

FBP School Students in YAGP Competition – Results

This past weekend, several FBP School Students participated in the Boston Regional division of the Youth America Grand Prix competition. We are proud of the progress they made over the last several months, dedicating their time and energy to bring these solos and group numbers to the stage. Congratulations to all the participants!

Pre-competitive category

Vanessa Linden
Classical – Talisman
Contemporary – Original piece by Debbi Leahy

Junior category

Amanda Emby
Classical – Odalisque from Le Corsaire
Contemporary – Original piece by Debbi Leahy

Hansine Hernandez
Classical – Fairy Doll
Contemporary – Original piece by Debbi Leahy

Adam Littman Davis
Classical – Satanella
Contemporary – Original piece by Derrick Davis

Senior Category

Madison Couto
Classical – Swanhilda from Coppelia
Contemporary – Original piece by Debbi Leahy

Kathleen Toland
Classical – Variation from Paquita

Hannah Yelnosky
Classical – La Fille mal gardée
Contemporary – Original piece by Jaime DeRocker

ENSEMBLE

Contemporary Ensemble, Original piece by Derrick Davis: Amanda Emby, Abi Evangelista, Hansine Hernandez, Emma Laquinta, Adam Littman Davis, Audrey McCarthy, Anika Toprak, Chazanna Williams

Contemporary Ensemble, Original piece by Debbi Leahy: Brianna Cotter, Madison Couto, Adam Davis, Amanda Emby, Kathleen Toland, Hannah Yelnosky

Additionally, Mia Del Sesto was scheduled to participate but had to withdraw due to injury.

Also, our thanks to the faculty for rehearsing and coaching these variations and group pieces (and for sacrificing a bunch of Sundays in the process)!

Leticia Guerrero
Derrick Davis
Jaime DeRocker
Debbi Leahy
Mary Ann Mayer

All of our students placed in the high 80-90 percentiles. Additionally, here are some of the top finishers from the FBP School:

Adam Davis, 3rd Place (Junior Category) Classical and Contemporary
Vanessa Linden 3rd Place overall (Pre-competitive Category)
Contemporary Ensemble: Brianna Cotter, Madison Couto, Adam Davis, Amanda Emby, Kathleen Toland, Hannah Yelnosky invited to New York Finals

Here are a few shots from the weekend:

FBP School Students in Connecticut Classic Competition-Results

This past weekend, seven FBP School students traveled to Torrington, Connecticut to participate in the Connecticut Classic Scholarship competition. FBP Artistic Staff and FBP School faculty have been working with the students since October working to prepare the students for this competition and the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) competition that is held next weekend in Boston.

FBP School students Madison Couto, Hannah Yelnosky, Kathleen Toland

We are so very proud of each students’ accomplishments and hard work in the process. The following students each performed a classical variation and were judged by teachers from Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater and other artists:

Madison Couto – Swanhilda Variation from Coppelia
Amanda Emby
– Variation from Le Corsaire
Hansine Hernandez – Fairy Doll Variation
Vanessa Linden – Talisman Variation
Adam Littman Davis – Variation from Satenella
Kathleen Toland – Variation from Paquita
Hannah Yelnosky– Variation from La fille mal gardee

There were many noteworthy schools and talented students competing from around the region. All of FBP School’s students scored in the high 80-90 percentile, with the following students placing in the top 10.

Vanessa Linden- 3rd place – Youth Division
Adam Littman Davis – 5th place – Junior Division
Madison Couto – 6th place – Senior Division

Congratulations to all of our young and talented dancers! 

(L to R) Student Hannah Yelnosky, FBP School Director Mary Ann Mayer, FBP Ballet Mistress Leticia Guerrero, Students Madison Couto and Kathleen Toland

 

Next weekend these students will join a few other students for the YAGP regional competition in Boston. We will be sending more information regarding this event, in case you would like to livestream some of our dancers performances. If you would like to support our students come to the live event at the John Hancock Hall. Details to follow later this week!

A Magical Performance

Article by Ruth Davis. Video by Ty Parmenter. Photos by Jonathan D’Amico and Mary Ann Mayer.

There’s been a lot written about the how music, dance and theater have a powerful and therapeutic impact on people with disabilities. If there was ever a great example of this it was during a recent performance of an adaption of Mozart’s The Magic Flute performed on the stage of Trinity Repertory Company. This production included children with Down Syndrome who are part of FBP’s Adaptive Dance program together with children and adults from the Rhode Island chapter of Seven Hills Foundation. The production was written by Seven Hills’ Jonathan D’Amico with choreography by Mary Ann Mayer, FBP’s School Director. It was directed Trinity Rep’s education director Jordan Butterfield.

Photo by Mary Ann Mayer

Both FBP’s Adaptive Dance Program and Seven Hills RI have been recipients of grants by the John E. Fogarty Foundation. The Foundation, founded by Congressman Fogarty in 1964, grants organizations which improve the quality of life for Rhode Islanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mary Ann and Jonathan met at the Fogarty awards presentation last spring, and began discussing the possibility of collaborating.

FBP’s Adaptive Dance Program was established 10 years ago in partnership with Meeting Street. “The primary goal is for the children to experience the joy of dance and music,” said Mary Ann Mayer, the program’s director, adding, “but it also offers other important benefits. We see children who have improved their coordination, overall fitness, balance, self-esteem, self-expression, teamwork, rhythm, and musicality.” The success of the program is demonstrated by these children every Saturday morning during their weekly classes, and some have even been mainstreamed into other FBP School classes and even into the children’s cast of The Nutcracker and other FPB productions.

Seven Hills Rhode Island is an organization that supports more than 1,000 infants, children and their families, adults, and seniors with various disabilities and life challenges throughout the state. Jonathan began writing theater pieces for Seven Hills about five years ago. He said, “Most of our participants have significant challenges–social, developmental, intellectual or psychological–and we find that this program definitely helps them build social skills, self advocacy, self esteem, and interpersonal skills.” The program challenges the participants to do things they don’t necessarily know how to do or out of their comfort zone.

In The Magic Flute, the younger Adaptive Dance students played young birds of the forest and the older ones played temple guards. They charmed the audiences with their composure and precision. On stage, some participants are accompanied by other student “helpers,” their peers, who coach them and provide them with a sense of confidence. During one of the scenes in the show, one of the children faltered. Her helper entered the stage and gently knelt down next to her, reassured her, and brought her to join the other dancers during the curtain call. They got a resounding round of applause.

Jonathan D’Amico said, “I hope we can continue this wonderful collaboration. The level of preparation, the exquisite choreography and the final execution of by the dancers was extraordinary.”  He added, “Our parents and staff were so impressed. I hope they are inspired to see some of FBP’s performances–our goal has been to expose them to the arts.”

Ruth Davis manages Public Relations for Festival Ballet Providence.
ruthdavisassociates.com