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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.

 

The Dancers

CHRIS BORNET 

Chris 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. After receiving his Associates Degree at age sixteen from Santa Fe Community College, he trained 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 in various ballets such as Swan Lake, Beauty and the Beast, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from UNM and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in dance. 


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.  After leaving dance for 5 years 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 The Little Mermaid, and Coppélia.  Callie has also supplemented her training with many summers at BRT’s intensive.

  


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 in The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, The Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, Beauty & the Beast, Favorites!, The Little Mermaid, Voices in Motion, Coppélia, and Three-Quarter Time. This is Hannah's fourth season as a member of the company.  Hannah is currently pursuing 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; 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, Dew Drop Fairy, and other assorted roles), Beauty & the Beast (as Beauty), Coppélia (as Coppélia), Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, The Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, and Carmen. This is Emma’s fifth season as a member of the company. Emma is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Design with a concentration on Landscape Architecture at The University of New Mexico.

 

CALEB MARTINEZ

Caleb Martinez is from Albuquerque, NM and discovered his passion for dancing when he was 16 years old. He has trained in Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, and Ballet. He previously was a featured dancer for 2 seasons on “Dance, Dance, Dance, It’s a Teen Thing…”, and has performed with the Cibola High School Varsity Dance Team and New Mexico Ballet Company. This is Caleb’s third season with Ballet Repertory Theatre and his BRT performances include: The Nutcracker, Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Favorites!

 


 
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.


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), and The Sleeping Beauty (Green Fairy). Other works with BRT include Beauty & the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Mythical Wonders, Literally Dance and more. This is Erika’s seventh season as a member of the company. Erika graduated from UNM with her bachelor's in Exercise Science in May 2016 and is now in her second year pursuing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from UNM.  



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 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 and began her formal ballet  training with Ballet Repertory Theatre. She has attended the Modas dance intensive and has performed in BRT’s production of Coppélia. This will be her first 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. 


 

 
VICTORIA STINES

Victoria, growing up as a Military child, has lived and danced in many states. Her training started in Honolulu, Hawaii at Leeward dance school at the age of four, followed by Spring City Ballet CO., Ballet Repertory Theatre NM., Chamber Ballet/I Dance VA., Children’s Center for Dance Education IN., and Ballet Society CO. She has attended summer intensives at South Carolina Ballet Conservatory, Richmond Ballet, Ballet Society, Jillana’s Summer Intensive, and Ballet West. Victoria has performed in The Nutcracker, Giselle, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alice in Wonderland, Paquita, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Carmina Burana. After graduating high school she trained for a year at the Joffrey Ballet in New York City and then she attended Santa Fe University of Art and Design on scholarship as a Dance major before transferring to UNM. This is Victoria’s fourth season dancing with BRT. 





TOMAS TAFOYA

Tomas Tafoya, a native of Albuquerque, is a returning company member to BRT and is currently pursuing his bachelor degree in Exercise Science at UNM. Tomas 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. Recently, he has traveled all over the world with The Silhouettes – runners up on America’s Got Talent Season 6 –. With The Silhouettes, Tomas has performed in a tour of Ireland, the Polish Academy Awards, Nick@Nite’s “See Dad Run”, and many more.  For BRT, Tomas teaches, is a Jr. Company Rehearsal Assistant, and has choreographed. As a company dancer, he has performed in BRT’s productions of The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid, and their contemporary concert Voices In Motion

 


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. This is her first season as a member of the company and is also an instructor at Ballet Repertory Theatre. 




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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