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The Company

KATHERINE GIESE, Executive/Artistic Director

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Katherine Giese graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Arts Management with a Theatre Emphasis and a Minor in Dance. She has worked with Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, the Joffrey Ballet Workshop, Northern Arizona University Orchestra, and the University of Incarnate Word Dance Department. Upon moving to Albuquerque in 1996, she began teaching, dancing, and choreographing with Ballet Repertory Theatre. Katherine has danced featured roles in Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), The Nutcracker (Snow Queen), Lumina by David Chavez (Fertility Pas de Deux), Casa de Bernarda Alba (Magdalena), Paquita (Soloist), the 1997 Bravo award-winning production of Cinderella (Stepmother), and the 2003 production of Cinderella (Stepsister). She has choreographed The Nutcracker and numerous one-act ballets and concert pieces for BRT, and has collaborated with other choreographers on Enchanted Tales of the Southwest and a children's version of Alice in Wonderland. Throughout her career at BRT, she has served in a number of roles, including principal dancer, resident choreographer, ballet school instructor for ages three to adult, Educational Outreach Director, Director of the Children's Division, Ballet Mistress, and Administrative Assistant. In 2004, Katherine became Executive/Artistic Director. During her tenure, she has broadened and enhanced the quality of ballet training, increased enrollment in BRT's academy and enhanced the quality of company productions, resulting in sold out performances for the last four seasons. With more shows performed to broader audiences, BRT has become the premier ballet company and ballet academy in Albuquerque. Katherine trained with Susan and Buddy Trevino, Maureen Price, Sharon Randolph, Jillana, Gretchen Warren, Alex Ossadnik, and Jayne Lee. Besides Ballet Repertory Theatre, she has performed with Bill Evans for New Mexico Ballet Company, Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Canyon Movement Company, and the Incarnate Word College Ballet Company. As a child, she performed with San Francisco Ballet in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and with the Berlin Ballet in La Sylphide featuring Rudolf Nureyev and Eva Evdokimova.



ALEX OSSADNIK, Artistic Advisor/Choreographer

Born and raised in the former East Germany, Alex Ossadnik trained for 8 years under government scholarship at the prestigious Palucca School in Dresden. He performed with the Ballet Theatre de Bordeaux in France and was a principal dancer with the German National Theatre Weimar. In 1995, Alex came to the United States to pursue his career as a choreographer and teacher. He has set numerous original ballets around the country; was founder and Ballet Director for the Santa Fe Festival Ballet (now Aspen Santa Fe Ballet); is Artistic Director for Ballet Pro Musica; and has served as an artistic advisor, resident choreographer, and Associate Artistic Director for Ballet Repertory Theatre. As a choreographer and director, Alex has worked with artists from New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alberta Ballet (Canada), Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the Colorado Ballet. Past choreographic works for Ballet Repertory Theatre include Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Orpheus, Carmen, Beauty and the Beast, La Mer, Tchaikovsky Suite, Act I of Giselle, The Sleeping BeautyCoppélia and Alice in Wonderland. Alex is currently ballet master of Ballet Idaho.

 


TRACY MENSCHING, Company Rehearsal Assistant 

Tracy has been an instructor with Ballet Repertory Theatre of NM since 1996 and performed in roles in the company for The Firebird, Triptych, and The Nutcracker.  She also danced with the New Mexico Ballet Company for many years, and was an original member of their Jr. Company.  She has danced lead roles in The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty for various ballet companies, plus A Christmas Carol, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Carmina Burana with NMBC under the direction of David Chavez.   Tracy also performed in over twenty Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Productions during the 1970’s 80 and 90’s, and toured with Summer Stock productions of “My Fair Lady” and “George M.”  She has been a guest artist for Ballet Lubbock, Texas Ballet in Houston, and the Asian American Ballet Company in Los Angeles, Ca. Her early training was here in Albuquerque with Suzanne Johnston, Cecelia Jaramillo, Bill Potenziani, David Chavez, Soili Avrola, and Leo Ahonen.  Tracy also attended the Southwest Ballet workshop with Bill Martin Viscount and the Joffery Ballet workshop with Robert Joffery and Diane Oreo.  She was lucky enough to study with many world renowned guest teachers in her dance career.


SARAH MORRIS, Company Rehearsal Assistant
  

Trained as a second-generation Balanchine dancer, Sarah Morris joined the Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet in 1993.  Her repertoire included classic Balanchine ballets and original works by artistic director, Paul Mejia.  Among her favorite roles were soloist in Balanchine’s La Valse, Mother in Mejia’s Les Noces and Stepsister in Cinderella.  She later joined the Bruce Wood Dance company, a modern troupe heavily influenced by Twyla Tharp, Alvin Ailey, and Lar Lubovitch.  During her professional dance career and since, she has enjoyed teaching ballet classes, staging, rehearsing, and auditioning children of all ages for musical theater and dance productions in a variety of venues.  Sarah has taught all levels of ballet and choreographed numerous dance pieces in Texas, Idaho and now, New Mexico.  Along with over a quarter century of teaching experience, she has also directed a non-profit dance studio for low income families, coordinated an outreach program to children in public schools, created an authentic after school dance program, directed a youth dance ensemble and served on the Board of Idaho Dance Theatre.  She is excited to bring her experience and join the staff at Ballet Repertory Theatre!

 

COREY NAGEL, Jr Company Rehearsal Assistant  

Corey Nagel has her B.S. in Dance from Illinois State University and has been on the dance faculties for ISU, Loyola University Chicago, Harper College, Columbia College Chicago, and the University of Chicago.  Ms. Nagel had the opportunity to study with Gus Giordano, Lea Darwin, Patty Obey, Pirkoff Lawlor, Birute Barodicaite, Nana Shineflug, Rosemary Doolas, and Joel Hall while growing up around the Chicago area.  She is a co-founder of Dance for Life/Next Generation and the McLean County Dance Association and developed the children’s program for two prominent Chicago studios. Ms. Nagel has worked with dancers from all over the states, been guest choreographer for multiple high schools, and has served as an adjudicator for dance festivals, dance companies, and dance scholarships.  She is passionate about her art, thrives on building strong dancers, and loves sharing her knowledge of dance.

 


TOMAS TAFOYA, Jr 
Company Rehearsal Assistant 

Tomas Tafoya, a native of Albuquerque, grew up dancing at Sandra’s School of Dance where he danced on their nationally recognized competitive teams. The team’s highest achievement was being the only team in the state of New Mexico to rank in the top 50 by the Federation of Dance Competitions. Mr. Tafoya has been a guest teacher to numerous studios and schools in New Mexico, passing on his love and passion for dance. Between 2013-2015 Tomas traveled all over the world with The Silhouettes – runners up on America’s Got Talent Season 6 –, including a tour of Ireland, the Polish Academy Awards, and many more. In 2015 Tomas joined BRT as a company dancer and has performed lead roles in BRT’s productions of The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid, Coppélia, Alice in Wonderland, and their contemporary concerts. With BRT, Tomas is also an instructor, Jr. Company Rehearsal Assistant, and has choreographed. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Physical Therapy.


GIACOMO ZAFARANO, 
Rehearsal Assistant  

Giacomo Zafarano began performing at a young age with in-school music and drama programs. His ballet training began with the Ballet de Santa Fe Youth Company under the direction of Endelecia Prince. After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Linguistics, he performed professionally in Las Vegas and in commercial, industrial, and theatrical venues across the United States. Since joining BRT, he has danced featured roles in Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried), Romeo & Juliet and Other Games of the Heart (Romeo), Alice in Wonderland (Mad Hatter) and has performed in The Nutcracker, Seasons, Elementals, and Mythical Wonders. Giacomo is a licensed New Mexico real estate broker and continues to expand his intellectual, athletic, and artistic boundaries through the performing arts. Giacomo is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO.


The Dancers

CHRIS BORNET 

Christopher Bornet grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He started studying ballet at age ten with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet under the direction of Gisela Genschow and Sheila Rozann. Christopher trained on scholarship at numerous schools across the country including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has performed lead roles in various ballets such as Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. Christopher has been performing and teaching for Ballet Repertory Theatre since 2014. In addition, he has worked in sales, finance, and hospitality and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from UNM.

 

 



JACOB EDINGTON 

Jacob was born in Las Cruces, NM, and raised in Huntsville, AL. He began dancing after being awed by the strength and control of the male dancers in The Nutcracker. His first instructor, Jayson Pescasio, instilled in him a passion for excellence and a firm grasp of the power of effort. Jacob has studied Balanchine, Cecchetti, and Vaganova technique, modern, and tap, in addition to ballroom dance. During the 2017-18 season, he performed as a member of the Jr. Company for the Huntsville Ballet Company under the artistic direction of Philip Otto. He has danced in Billy the Kid; Philip Otto’s Phantom of the Opera, the Ballet; The Nutcracker; and Cinderella. During the summer of 2018, Jacob attended five weeks of Summer Intensive at Nashville Ballet, where he studied with Jeffrey Rogers, Jared Redick, Maniya Barredo, and Jon Upleger. This is his first season with Ballet Repertory Theatre.


CALLIE EPPICH 

Callie Eppich began dancing at the age of 6 with Dance force in Rockwall Texas.  She trained in Jazz, Lyrical, and musical theatre. She began her formal ballet training at the age of 13 at Ballet Repertory Theatre.  Since being here she has performed in Katherine Giese’s The Nutcracker, Alex Ossadnik’s Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, Coppélia, and Like Water for Chocolate as well as numerous contemporary pieces under various choreographers.  Callie also has trained under Dr. Virginia Wilmerding at the Public Academy for Performing Arts. This is her second season with the company.





KELSEY GORELICK-BARROWS 

Kelsey Gorelick-Barrows was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has been dancing since age 2. She trained for 20 years under Patricia Dickinson-Wells with Dance Theatre Southwest. Kelsey has also trained at various ballet schools around the country such as Kansas City Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and attended The Julliard School in NYC in 2007. Kelsey was a member of New Mexico Ballet Company from 1998-2009, performing in their productions of The Nutcracker, Dracula, Coppélia, and George Balanchine's Serenade and Concerto Borocco. In 2012 Kelsey joined Festival Ballet Albuquerque where she was featured in roles such as Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy in Nutcracker In the Land of Enchantment, Lucy Westenra in Dracula: A Love Story, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Lead Soloist in George Balanchine's Serenade. Ms. Gorelick-Barrows is also a choreographer and had her choreography featured in the Regional Dance America Southwest Festival in 2014 and 2015. Kelsey is currently pursuing her cosmetology certification as well as a beauty industry certification from FIT in New York. Kelsey is married and has two children. 



HANNAH GREIG

Hannah Greig started her ballet training at age nine at Fishback Studio of the Dance, where she also studied tap and jazz. She has been training with Ballet Repertory Theatre since 2010 and has performed featured roles such as the Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker and the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland.  Additional BRT credits include The Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Coppélia, and contemporary shows Favorites!, Voices in Motion, Three-Quarter Time, and Food for Thought…A Feast in Dance.  This is Hannah's fifth season as a member of the company.  Hannah will be graduating in May of 2019 with her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.

 



EMMA HEUERTZ

Emma began her ballet training at the age of three with Ballet Repertory Theatre. Emma has attended summer intensives at Walnut Hill School for the Arts; New Mexico Ballet Company; Modas Dance; Orlando Ballet School; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City on a full merit scholarship. She has performed with BRT in their productions of The Nutcracker (as Princess Clara, Snow Queen, Dew Drop Fairy, and other assorted roles), Beauty & the Beast (as Beauty), Coppélia (as Coppélia), Alice in Wonderland (as the Red Queen), Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, and many more. After a brief leave of absence to study in the Netherlands, this will be Emma’s sixth season as a member of the company. Emma is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Design with a concentration in Landscape Architecture at The University of New Mexico.

 

VIVIEN JONES

Vivien began her interest in dance and music at the age of three and has trained continuously with Ballet Repertory Theatre since that time. She has also trained at Fishback Studio of the Dance and with Megan Berlint-Nicko.  She has attended four of BRT's summer intensives and performed with BRT in many productions of The Nutcracker, as well as Food for Thought, Coppélia, and The Little Mermaid.  As a pianist, Vivien has accompanied Quintessence Choral Artists of the Southwest and NM Philharmonic's Young Musician Initiative. This is her first season dancing in BRT's company.









KATHERINE LILJESTRAND

Katherine Liljestrand studied with Ballet Repertory Theatre since the age of three. She has attended summer intensives with American Ballet Theatre, Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, the Walnut Hill School, and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. Katherine has danced principle roles in BRT’s Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), Beauty & the Beast (Beauty), The Nutcracker (Dew Drop Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy), The Little Mermaid (the Prince’s Fiancée), and Alex Ossadnik’s Romeo & Juliet (Peace). She has performed in numerous other BRT productions, including Swan Lake, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Mythical Wonders, Literally Dance, and many more. After eight seasons with BRT, Katherine moved to Washington, D.C. where she is currently a freelance dancer. She has worked with several choreographers and groups in the D.C. metro area, performing such roles as Sugarplum Fairy and Paquita. Most recently, Katherine performed at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Moveius Contemporary Ballet’s  Rite of Spring, Crash of Fall. Katherine holds bachelor degrees in Biology and English from the University of New Mexico and will be receiving her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center this upcoming May. She is thrilled to get the opportunity to dance once again with BRT.


GONZALO MONGE

bio and picture coming soon



 
EDWARD MONTOYA 

Edward Montoya was born & raised in Northern NM. Edward began training in dance at age 19 with Gwen Mills at the Santa Fe Community College. He has studied dance at the Santa Fe Community College, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Ballet Repertory Theatre (BRT). Edward has performed lead and featured roles in BRT’s productions of The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake, Coppelia, SeasonsElementals, Cinderella, and Alive. Edward is also currently performing and training with Soirèe Entertainment. Edward continues to work toward improving his performance in technical skill, athletic ability and artistic interpretation. In addition to dance Edward is an accomplished costume designer and has designed costumes for BRT and Soirèe Entertainment.



OLANIKE ONIMOLE 

As a native of New Mexico, Olanike began her dancing career at BRT at five years old. With BRT, she has performed in The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, Pasion, and Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare. She recently graduated with a degree in Exercise Science from Anderson University in Indiana, and plans to continue her education to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. After a four-year hiatus from dance, Olanike is excited to return to BRT’s company.




MICAYLA RENFRO

Micayla began her dance training at the age of three with Bodyarts Dance Studio on Guam. There she studied ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and character and was also a part of their traveling show group. In 2016 she competed with the show group at the West Coast Dance Explosion in Las Vegas and shortly after moved to New Mexico where she began her formal ballet training with Ballet Repertory Theatre. She has attended the Modas dance intensive and has performed in BRT's productions of Coppélia, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Food for Thought. This is her second season with the company.



JULIA SALVO

Julia began her ballet training at the age of three with Ballet Repertory Theatre and has also attended several of BRT's summer intensive programs. Julia has performed in numerous productions of BRT's The Nutcracker as well as Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, Coppélia, and Three-Quarter Time. She has also danced in Diner en Blanc at the Hispanic Cultural Center with members of BRT. Julia studies art and has had her artwork published on the cover of New Mexico Kids. 


 


ASHLEY TORREZ

Ashley Torrez was first introduced to the art of ballet while in third grade, where she was awarded a full scholarship to train at Ballet Repertory Theatre as part of their City Dance Program. As a young dancer she performed for BRT in The Nutcracker, Manuel Flores’s Coppélia, and as Thumbelina in Celia Dale’s Tales of Hans Christian Anderson. Although Ashley’s life shifted away from ballet and along the way she became a pharmacy technician and a mother of two, she came back to BRT and reignited her passion for dance in 2014. Since returning she has danced in The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid, and as a Twin in Alice in Wonderland. This is her second season as a member of the company and is also an instructor at Ballet Repertory Theatre. 



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