A Midsummer Night’s Dream
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.
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.
Patience Gordon, a Bay Area native, began her dance training at Ballet Petit. Over 12 years, she had the privilege of performing lead roles in well-known ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and La Bayadere. She has additionally spent summers training with the Oakland Ballet Company, Ballet Arizona, and at the Bartholin International Ballet Seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark. Patience danced as part of Ballet Arizona’s inaugural studio company in 2014, professionally with Menlowe Ballet since 2015 and enjoys teaching and choreographing around the Bay Area. This is her third appearance with Oakland Ballet Company.
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 danced with LustigDanceTheatre, Menlowe Ballet, Milissa Payne Project, Chamber Dance Project, Ballet Neo, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, LA Ballet, and BalletMet Columbus. Emily has had the pleasure of performing works by Graham Lustig, Bat Abbit, Amy Seiwert, Dennis Nahat, Robert Moses, Michael Lowe, Jennifer Archibald, and Gerard Charles. This is Emily’s seventh season with OBC.
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, Yayoi Kambara, 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 is returning for her sixth season with Oakland Ballet Company.
Felipe Leon was born in Bogota, Colombia and trained on full scholarship at Ballet Academy East in New York City. He performed with Compania Colombiana de Danza, in Bogota and has danced soloist and principal roles in works by Maurice Berjart, Wendy Whelan, Matthew Neenan, Margo Sappington, Robert Dekkers, Sally Street, Sean Kelly, Lisa de Ribere, Claudia Schreire and Alan Hineline. Mr. Leon’s repertoire includes works created for him, as well as Coppelia, Alice in Wonderland, Raymonda, Airs the Ballet, and The Nutcracker. Mr. Leon currently works with Diablo Ballet. This is his first season with Oakland Ballet Company.
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.
Domenico Luciano was born in Naples, Italy and graduated from Royal Teatro di San Carlo Ballet School in Naples in 1999. In the same year, Mr. Luciano was invited to join the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany. After dancing with several companies in Europe including Europadance in France, Maggio Danza in Florence, Teatro Dell’Opera in Rome and Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, in 2004 Mr. Luciano joined Tulsa Ballet as a Demi-Soloist. In 2005, he joined Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in Houston as Principal Dancer. His repertoire includes many of the classical principal leads such as Romeo, Paris, and Benvolio in both Sir Kenneth MacMillan and John Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet; Romeo and Paris in Amedeo Amodio’s Romeo & Juliet with Eleonora Abbagnato, Etoile with Paris Opera Ballet; Solor in La Bayadere, The Prince in The Nutcracker, and Albrecht in Giselle, all by Derek Dean; In the Night by Jerome Robbins; Onegin in John Cranko’s Onegin; Roland Petit’s Ma Pavlova with international ballerina Lucia Lacarra; and Don Jose with the National Ballet of China in Carmen. Mr. Luciano also excels in his contemporary repertoire, which includes George Balanchine’s La Valse; Nacho Duato’s Jardi Tancat and Without Words; and Orfeo in Carole Armitage’s Orfeo and Eurydice. With Dominic Walsh Dance Theater he performed Matz Ek’s Pas de Dans, Jirí Kylián’s Double You and 27’52’’, and the role of the White Swan in the White Swan pas de deux from Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Le Spectre de la Rose, Desire in Sleeping Beauty, Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, The Firebird with Paris Opera Ballet Étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot. As an international Principal Guest Artist, Mr. Luciano danced in production with Tulsa Ballet, Ballet Quad Cities, The Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Atlanta Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, National Ballet of China and The New National Theater in Tokyo. Mr. Luciano is also invited to various national and International Galas and Dance Festivals. In 2003, he received the Leonide Massine award in Positano, Italy as Best Male Dancer of the Year. In October 2008, the Houston Press named Luciano as “Best Dancer.” He was also named in Pointe Magazine “Standouts: Our 12 favorite performances of 2009” and in 2010 he received the “Young Talent Award” in Florence, Italy at DANZAINFIERA. He joined Colorado Ballet as a soloist in 2013 and was promoted to principal in 2014. This is Domenico’s first appearance with Oakland Ballet Company.
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.
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.
Lydia McRae was born and raised in Kernersville, North Carolina and trained at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). After graduating from UNCSA, Lydia continued her studies with the Richmond Ballet where she spent two years as a trainee before being promoted to apprentice. In 2013, Lydia joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet where she danced in Dwight Rhoden’s Moon Over Jupiter. She is now in her second season with Ballet Memphis where she has performed works by Jennifer Archibald, Mark Godden, and Gabrielle Lamb. Lydia danced with the Oakland Ballet during the 2014-15 season and is excited to be performing again with OBC.
Kaori Ogasawara was born in Japan and she studied ballet with her grandmother, Kazue Ogasawara, and Takao Hisamitsu. In 1993, she came to the United States to train at the Boston Ballet School and later danced at Boston Ballet before joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1999 with her husband, Christopher Rendall-Jackson. She was promoted to soloist in 2004. After joining PBT, she performed many featured roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy and Marie in Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker, Myrtha in Giselle, Mercedes in Don Quixote, Svetlana in Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, and Queen of Hearts in Derek Dean’s Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland. She also had many opportunities to dance George Balanchine’s ballets including the Russian Lead Girl in Serenade, Sylvia Grand Pas de duex, Theme and Variation, Divertimento No. 15, and Who Cares?. Kaori has also performed in contemporary ballets by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Dwight Rhoden, and Jean-Christophe Maillot. She is currently working with Berkeley Ballet Theater, Shawl Anderson Dance Center, Oakland Ballet Company, ODC, and New Ballet Ensemble in Memphis as a guest teacher and choreographer. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, Emiya and Hana.
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 been performing with Menlowe Ballet and Oakland Ballet.
Hailing from Maysville, Kentucky, Calvin Thomas received his foundational training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet. He has supplemented his studies at Boston Ballet School, The School of American Ballet, Ballet Austin Academy, & The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Performing with the Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Austin, Company C Contemporary Ballet and NY Theatre Ballet are among some of the highlights of his career. His repertoire includes works by Thang Dao, Gregory Dawson, Yuri Zhukov, and Maurice Causey among others. When not dancing he still enjoys time in the studio sharing knowledge and teaching the next generation of dancers. He has been on faculty with the Contra Costa Ballet Centre for over three years. Calvin is excited and blessed to take the stage with Oakland Ballet Company.