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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!

 

The Dancers

ZAIDA ALLEN

Zaida began her ballet training at the age of four in Raleigh, North Carolina. She moved to Albuquerque in 2013 and danced with Fishback Studio of the Dance for one year, New Mexico Ballet Company for two years, and Ballet Repertory Theatre for six years in total. During her time as a member of NMBC’s junior company, she performed in their productions of the Nutcracker, The Wizard of Oz, and Aladdin. She has also performed in BRT’s productions of the Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Zaida is graduating with an associate degree in English this spring and is hoping to pursue a career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.



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, the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  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, Food for Thought…A Feast in Dance, and Contemporary Innovations.  This is Hannah's ninth season as a member of the company.  In 2019, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and has since been working locally for an engineering firm.



MEGAN KRIER

Megan Krier was born in Albuquerque, NM and began dancing at Ballet Repertory Theater when she was 4 years old. She has performed in BRT’s productions of The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Coppélia, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has also attended Ballet West’s summer intensive and performed in The Nutcracker with New Mexico Ballet Company. 



OLANIKE ONIMOLE
, Jr Company Rehearsal Assistant  

As a native of New Mexico, Olanike began her dancing career at BRT at five years old. With BRT, she has performed in many productions including The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 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. Besides a member of the company she is also a Jr. Company Rehearsal Assistant and instructor for Ballet Repertory Theatre. 




ERIKA RAY 

Erika Ray began her ballet training at the age of five with Fishback Studio of the Dance in Albuquerque, where she also studied tap and jazz. In 2008, she began dancing with Ballet Repertory Theatre and since joining has danced principle and soloist roles in The Nutcracker (Clara, Sugar Plum, Dew Drop and Snow Queen) Swan Lake (Odette) Wizard of OZ (Glinda), Alice in Wonderland (Alice) and The Sleeping Beauty (Green Fairy). Other works with BRT include Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella, Mythical Wonders, Literally Dance and more. This is Erika’s eighth season as a member of the company. Erika graduated from UNM with her bachelor’s in Exercise Science in May 2016 and graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in May 2019 where she now works as a Physical Therapist in outpatient orthopedics.


TOMAS TAFOYA

Tomas Tafoya, a native of Albuquerque, has been dancing for over 20 years. He grew up dancing at Sandra’s School of Dance on their nationally recognized competitive teams. The team’s highest accolade was being the only team in the state of New Mexico to rank in the top 50 by the Federation of Dance Competitions. In addition, 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 around the world with The Silhouettes – runners up on America’s Got Talent Season 6 –, including a tour of Ireland, the Polish Academy Awards, and Mexico’s Festival de Las Almas (Festival of the Souls). 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. Tomas is also an instructor, Jr. Company Rehearsal Assistant, and has choreographed. He graduated from UNM with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (2018), a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (2021), and hopes to soon sit for the exam to become a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist with the hopes of integrating dance and physical therapy. 


 
GIACOMO ZAFARANO

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.

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