Graham Lustig’s “The Nutcracker”
Sam Beard was born in Austin, Texas and raised in southwest Missouri. He began his classical training at the Springfield Ballet and attended Kansas City Ballet. He later became a trainee with Southland Ballet Academy and took part in performances with Festival Ballet Theater in Fountain Valley, California. He studied and graduated from the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts High School in California. Sam is currently a senior in the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program based out of Dominican University of California, LINES Dance Center, and Marin Ballet.
Vincent Brewer, from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, trained with the Albany Berkshire Ballet and at Indiana University where he graduated with a B.S. in Ballet and Religious Studies in 2011 (honors). At Indiana University, Vincent danced the male leads in Valse Fantasie and Allegro Brilliante (Balanchine), Melancholic in The Four Temperaments (Balanchine) and in works by Ashton, Tudor, Nijinska, and Tharp. Vincent has danced with Eglevsky Ballet, performing Tarantella (Balanchine) and Flower Festival at Genzano (Bournonville), Tony Williams Ballet, performing Glinka Pas de Trois (Balanchine), with Dayton Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Festival Ballet Providence. He has performed works by Viktor Plotnikov and originated the role of Prince Ivan Tsarevitch in Lorraine Chapman’s Firebird. Vincent is excited to be dancing with Oakland Ballet this season.
Jesse Campbell received his dance training on scholarship both at the University of Arizona’s School of Dance and at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York where he was a member of the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. He graduated with a BA in Communication from the University of New Mexico and graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA, both Magna Cum Laude. Previously, Jesse has been a dancer with Ballet NY, Dayton Ballet, and Orlando Ballet and has appeared several times as a guest dancer in New Zealand. He has performed as a guest artist with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, and with the Santa Fe Opera. Since its inception, he was part of Alessandra Ferri’s The Piano Upstairs, which premiered at the Festival dei Due Mondi 56 in Spoleto, Italy. Additionally, he has been a member of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet since 2013. Jesse is excited to be joining Oakland Ballet this season.
Alice Cao is from Seattle, Washington, where she trained on scholarship at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She furthered her training with summer programs at American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet School of Canada, Ballet Austin, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. Alice graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in
Computing and Software Systems. She has performed professionally with Singapore Dance Theatre, American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Convergence Ballet Company, Company C Contemporary Ballet, and ARC Dance. Her repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Kent Stowell, Kirk Peterson, Bruce Wells, Patrick Corbin, and Edwaard Liang.
Alysia Chang was born in Berkeley, CA and grew up in the Bay Area. She trained at the Contra Costa Ballet School under Richard Cammack and Zola Dishong while spending summers at San Francisco Ballet School, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Alonzo King’s Lines Summer Training program. She moved to New York to train at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College performing works by Paul Taylor, George Balanchine and Helen Pickett. Alysia graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Arts Management. Alysia has since danced with Sacramento Ballet performing works by Yannis Adoniou, Lila York, George Balanchine, Melissa Barak, and Ron Cunningham. She has also performed with Sacramento Music Circus, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York and toured through China with Ziru Dance. Locally she has danced with Concept O4, Sarah Bush Dance Company and DawsonDanceSF. Alysia is excited to be appearing in her third season with Oakland Ballet.
Ava Chatterson from Flint, Michigan, began her training at the Flint School of Performing Arts. She is a graduate of Indiana University, with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Legal Studies. She also trained in the Graduate Program at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and appeared in many performances with the company. Since 2010, Ava has been a company dancer with the Sacramento Ballet. While there, she has performed leading roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Ron Cunningham, Ma Cong, Trey McIntyre, Edwaard Liang and Darrell Moultrie. Ava has also appeared with Texture Contemporary Ballet and Capital Dance Project. This is Ava’s first season with Oakland Ballet.
Vincent Chavez was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. His dance education has been generously funded and nurtured through full tuition scholarships from the following dance institutions: Dance Theater Southwest, Ballet Hispanico, Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. His professional experience includes New Mexico Ballet Company (2003-2007), Nevada Ballet Theatre (2007-2011), Robert Moses’ Kin (2012-Current) and Oakland Ballet Company (2013-current). Since Vincent joined OBC he has danced in works by Robert Moses, Molissa Fenley, Val Caniparoli, Janice Garrett/Charles Moulton and Graham Lustig. In addition to company life, Vincent works independently as a Bay Area Dance Artist, teaching, choreographing, collaborating with various projects and performing as a guest artist.
A native of Freehold, New Jersey, Tori Jahn received her training at American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School. Upon graduation, she was a trainee and apprentice with North Carolina Dance Theatre under the direction of Jean Pierre Bonnefoux. She has danced in summer programs at Princeton Ballet School, Richmond Ballet, and Boston Ballet. In 2012, she moved back to New Jersey and began dancing with Graham Lustig at LustigDanceTheatre where she performed featured roles in A Jazzy Nutcracker, Jangala, Six Pianos, Evening, and Stone of Hope. She has also performed with ARC Dance in Seattle, Washington and with Oakland Ballet in the spring of 2014. Tori is thrilled to be back dancing with Oakland Ballet this season.
Ramona Kelley is from Berkeley, CA where she began her training at Berkeley Ballet Theater. She went on to earn a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she performed in works by William Forsyth and Ronald K Brown. Ramona danced the principal role of ‘Betsy’ in the touring production of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away. She is a current member of Twyla Tharp Dance based in NYC. Ramona has also performed with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Sidra Bell, and the Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary Tour) among others. She is thrilled to be in the Bay Area dancing with Oakland Ballet for her third season.
Emily Kerr is a Bay Area native and received her training at Paciﬁc Ballet Academy and Boston Ballet School. In addition to Oakland Ballet Company, she has appeared with Menlowe Ballet, Milissa Payne Project, Mark Foehringer Dance Project | SF, Los Angeles Ballet, and BalletMet Columbus. Emily has had the pleasure of performing works by Graham Lustig, Amy Seiwert, Dennis Nahat, Ronn Guidi, Michael Lowe, Milissa Payne Bradley, Gerard Charles, and George Balanchine. This is Emilyʼs sixth season with Oakland Ballet.
Seyong Kim holds an MA in Dance Education from Steinhardt School at New York University as well as an MFA in Dance from Sung-Kyun-Kwan University in South Korea. He is an ABT (American Ballet Theatre) Certified Teacher and is currently studying in a CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) Yearlong Program through Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City. He has taught at New York University, Rutgers University, Middlesex County College, Libera University in Italy, New Rochelle Arts High School, Seoul Arts High School and Peridance Capezio Center. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Seyong was awarded the gold medal in both the Korea Dance Association Competition and Sung-Kyun-Kwan Dance Competition and has performed as a principal in many classical ballets and contemporary works. As a professional dancer, he has danced with Metropolitan Opera Ballet in Lincoln Center, Albania Opera Ballet Theatre, Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Staten Island Ballet, Baltimore Ballet, National Ballet Company, Traverse City Dance Project, Roxey Contemporary Ballet, and LustigDanceTheatre. In addition, his choreographic works have been performed at San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Dance in ITALY Festival, Seoul Fringe Festival, Korea-Japan Dance Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, and Republic of Korea Marine Corps. This is Seyong’s third season with Oakland Ballet.
Sharon Kung was born in New York, and currently resides in the Bay Area. She received her early training at the Jean M Wong School of Ballet in Hong Kong, and continued in the Bay Area before graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and BA in Economics. Her repertory includes works by Amy Seiwert, George Balanchine, Lucas Crandall, William Forsythe, Bob Fosse, Molly Lynch, Dexandro “D” Montalvo, Robert Moses, and Donald McKayle. Her experience includes Thodos Dance Chicago, Menlowe Ballet, Kambara+Dancers, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, and freelance projects in Amsterdam, Morocco, and San Francisco. Sharon returns for her fifth season with Oakland Ballet.
Born in Los Angeles, Richard Link was an undergraduate at Princeton University before deciding to pursue ballet. He received his pre-professional ballet training with South Bay Ballet, as well as dancing summers at Milwaukee Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. He began his professional career as a trainee with Kentucky Ballet Theatre. From there, he joined Nashville Ballet’s second company where he danced the past two seasons. His professional performance experience includes roles in Carmen, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter Pan, as well as featured roles in The Nutcracker, Anne Frank, Peter and the Wolf, Clowns and Others, and Degas and the Little Dancer. He is excited and honored to dance with Oakland Ballet this season.
Coral Martin is a Bay Area native who began her classical ballet training at Berkeley City Ballet with Grace Doty. Coral furthered her studies at Contra Costa Ballet School with Zola Dishong and Richard Cammack, at Oakland Ballet School with Ronn Guidi, and at the Ballet Studio San Francisco with Henry Berg. In addition, she attended intensive summer courses at San Francisco Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, American Ballet Theater, the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, among others. Since graduating Cum Laude from Harvard University with Highest Honors in Social Anthropology and Visual Art, Coral has enjoyed furthering her maturation as a dancer through freelancing opportunities and fellowships in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, New York City, and Paris. In addition to performing, Coral is also passionate about teaching dance to artists of all ages. This is Coral’s second season performing with Oakland Ballet.
Jackie McConnell, from Salem, Oregon, trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and received a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She danced with Nevada Ballet Theatre, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, based in New York City and toured with the Portland-based company, Bodyvox. In the Bay Area, she has danced with Company C Contemporary Ballet, Post: Ballet, Garrett and Moulton Productions, Menlowe Ballet and the San Francisco Opera. She currently dances with Diablo Ballet as well as Oakland Ballet.
Scott McMahan started his ballet training at Ballet Califia, in Sonoma County, when he was twenty years old. Under the tutelage of Shelly Scott and David McNaughton he trained intensely. Scott was thrown into performances, performing principal roles in many ballets including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Romeo and Juliet. Scott auditioned for the Hellen Cocraine Sonoma County Ballet Guild Scholarship competition and won first in the senior men’s division. He also received the award for most potential. After three years with Ballet Califia Scott left his home in Sonoma County and became a trainee at Nashville Ballet. After spending the summer and fall in Nashville he returned home to train with Shelly and David once again. He then went on to audition for the Oakland Ballet and could not be more excited to start his first fall season.
Colleen Soltys is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. She began her training with Boston Ballet under Anna-Marie Holmes. While at Boston Ballet School she took part in the summer program annually. She has performed Corps de Ballet roles with Boston Ballet and Colorado Ballet and was also a guest artist in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of THAIS. In 2008, she joined David Taylor Dance Theater. While with DTDT, her favorite roles have been Tom Ruud’s Mobile, James Wallace’s Medusa, and Clara and Snow Queen in David Taylor’s The Nutcracker. In 2011, David Taylor Dance Theater became the Dawson/Wallace Dance Project. Under the leadership of Gregory Dawson and James Wallace, she had the pleasure to perform soloist roles in Printemps Au Romantique, Big Skies Endless Mountains, and Come Undone. She is thrilled to perform in her third season with Oakland Ballet Company.
Katherine Stewart received her formal training at Professional Ballet School in Belmont, California. There she studied ballet with Carmela Zegarelli Peter and Zoltan Peter, as well as contemporary with Tanya Bello. In college she performed as a guest artist for Santa Barbara Festival Ballet and worked with independent choreographers in the Santa Barbara area. Since returning to the Bay Area, she has had the opportunity to perform with Menlowe Ballet and Oakland Ballet. She is very excited and honored to be back for her third Nutcracker with Oakland Ballet.
Megan Terry was born in Mission Viejo, California and began her ballet training at Saddleback Dance Center before moving to Tucson, Arizona in 2000. Megan was a member of Ballet Tucson from 2004-2012, under the direction of Mary-Beth Cabana. While dancing with Ballet Tucson, she graduated from The University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. In 2012, Megan moved to San Francisco where she danced for Menlowe Ballet, The Milissa Payne Project, and Oakland Ballet Company. She has performed in productions at the Orange County Performing Arts Center including Swan Lake with San Francisco Ballet, The Nutcracker with Moscow Classical Ballet, and Le Corsaire with American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Terry is happy to call Phoenix, Arizona her new home and is enjoying being a freelance dancer and happy to be returning to Oakland Ballet for her fourth season.
Evelyn Turner grew up and trained in Denver, Colorado primarily under the instruction of Nikoloz Makhateli. She also spent her junior year of high school training at the HARID conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. Ms. Turner joined the Colorado Ballet upon graduating from high school. While with the Colorado Ballet her repertoire included Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Lila York’s Celts, Michael Pink’s Peter Pan, Don Quixote, Dracula, Echoing of the Trumpets, Great Galloping Gottschalk and Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, among others. After five seasons with the Colorado Ballet, Ms. Turner relocated to California to dance with the Sacramento Ballet in 2012. There she performed many George Balanchine ballets including Who Cares?, Tarantella, Western Symphony and Rubies. She has also had the opportunity to dance lead roles in Ron Cunningham’s The Nutcracker and work with choreographers such as Ma Cong. She joined Oakland Ballet in the fall of 2015.