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 Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland. Alex is currently ballet master of Ballet Idaho.
Click here for more information on Mr. Ossadnik.
SHANNON BELL, Jr Company Rehearsal Assistant
A New Mexico Native, Shannon Bell graduated with a major in Dance from Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA. She performed and choreographed for two years with the Northeastern Dance Theatre in Boston before moving to Albuquerque to study dance at the University of New Mexico where she received her degree. During this time Shannon performed as a soloist with Albuquerque Ballet Company before joining New Mexico Ballet Company under direction of David Chavez. In 1998, Shannon joined Ballet Repertory Theater where she has performed as a soloist in Casa de Bernarda Alba, MacBeth, Lumina, and The Nutcracker as well as serving as Ballet Mistress from 2000 through 2002. After a seven year hiatus, Shannon returned to BRT in 2010.
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.
Ruth Bieber-Stanley began her dance education at age five with Celia Dale at the Hayden School of Ballet. Since 2008, she has been training at Ballet Repertory Theatre. She also has studied jazz and African dance. Ruth has performed in BRT productions of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, The Sleeping Beauty, The Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, Tchaikovsky and Shakespeare, and Favorites. Ruth has participated in the Joffrey School's contemporary ballet program in San Francisco. This is her third season as a member of the company.
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, and Favorites!. This is Hannah's second season as a member of the company. Hannah is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.
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 and other assorted roles), Beauty & the Beast (as Beauty), Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, The Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, and Carmen. This is Emma’s fourth season as a member of the company. Emma is currently pursuing a BAEPD in Environmental Planning and Design with a concentration on Landscape Architecture at UNM.
Michael Hill first began taking ballet as a child at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, and then at the Ithaca Ballet upstate. In 2011, he began his pre-professional training at the Next Generation Ballet in Tampa, where he stayed for two years, performing in the Youth American Grand Prix, Alonzo Kings Lines Workshop, as well as several ballets and operas, including guesting work for the Tampa Bay Ballet. Michael then spent one year training at the Orlando Ballet, and after graduating from high school, moved to Salt Lake City to begin pursuing a career with Ballet West, where he is currently a trainee.
A native New Mexican, Kestrel began dancing at the age of six at Hayden School of Ballet in Albuquerque. She has been studying at Ballet Repertory Theatre since mid-2010 and has also attended several of their summer intensive programs. Kestrel has performed in numerous productions of BRT’s The Nutcracker as well as Wizard of Oz, Carmen, Swan Lake, Beauty & the Beast, and Favorites!. This is her third season as a member of the company.
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, Seasons, Elementals, 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.
Selah Oliver was born and raised in Miami Florida. She began her dance training at Miami Youth Ballet (formerly Mencia-Pikieris School of Dance) in Miami, Florida. She has been in performances of the Nutcracker, Paquita, Giselle, Le Corsaire, Coppelia, and Carnival in Vience. Along with choreography by Yanis Pikieris, Marielena Mencia, Jennifer Archibald, Sidra Bell, and Layla Amis. She has competed in Youth America Grand Prix achieving top 10, and top 10 at America Dance Competition in Tampa Florida. Performed in the Gala at Youth America Grand Prix in Tampa FL. She's Spent Summers at Miami City Ballet, Modas Dance, and Modas Dance Repertory, and Miami Youth Ballet. This is her first season with BRT. She is very thankful and inspired by all the artists and excited for this season.
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
, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
, Alice in Wonderland
, Sleeping Beauty
, Swan Lake
, and Carmina Burana
. After graduating high school she trained for a year at the Joffrey Ballet in New York City, then attended Santa Fe University of Art and Design on scholarship, and she is now a Dance Major at University of New Mexico. This is Victoria’s second season dancing with BRT and is very thankful to be a part of upcoming beautiful productions by the company.
India began dancing at a very young age at Movement Studios in Corrales where she trained in many dance styles including Hula, Tahitian dance, Philippine dance, hip hop, and breakdancing. She has traveled to and performed with her family in Tahiti, Brazil, the Philippines, and across the United States. She began her formal ballet training at the age of eight and went on to study with Celia Dale in 2012, soon after, joining Ballet Repertory Theatre. India has attended intensives with Joffrey Texas and has also spent numerous summers at BRT’s intensive. BRT Credits include Kathrine Giese’s The Nutcracker and Alex Ossadnik’s Swan Lake and Beauty and the Beast. This is India’s first season as a member of the company.
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.
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.