Marianne Bassing grew up in Marin County California, training at Marin Dance Theatre. While training Marianne received full scholarship, and the 2nd Level award at NFAA. Marianne continued her training at the Joffrey Trainee program in Chicago. Marianne began her professional career as an apprentice with the Dresden Semper Opera, performing works by director, Aaron S. Watkins, and works by George Balanchine. She then moved to the Estonian National Ballet as a Corps De Ballet dancer under the directorship of Thomas Edur, where she performed works by Tiit Härm, Ronald Hynd, Gyula Harangozó, Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Ben Stevenson, as well as Thomas Edur. Marianne was given the opportunity to perform soloist roles in Thomas Edur and Jvgeni Neff’s La Bayadere, Wayne Mcgregor’s Symbiont(s), and Robert Binet’s Voces Intimae. This will be Marianne’s first season with Oakland Ballet and she is excited for this new opportunity.
Samantha Bell, from Orange County, California, trained with the Anaheim Ballet on full scholarship and joined their company in 2008. She won third place at Youth American Grand Prix and went on to the New York City finals. From 2010-2015, Samantha danced with the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara (SSB) where she performed soloist roles including the Autumn Fairy in Rodney Gustafson’s Cinderella and Bianca in Robert Sund’s Taming of the Shrew. She originated the lead role of Mrs. Medlock in Josie Walsh’s premiere of The Secret Garden. Samantha’s piece, titled Pistolero, became the first-ever dancer choreographed creation to be added to the company repertoire. She toured extensively with SSB, including a two month tour of China. Samantha has danced in television, film, as well as the MTV Video Music Awards. Samantha has performed with Menlowe Ballet, Western Ballet and most recently spent the summer dancing with ARC Dance in Seattle. While with ARC, Bell performed the lead in Paul Destrooper’s new ballet. This is her second season with Oakland Ballet Company.
DuRron Chambers began training with Gloria Mohr and Ballet San Jose School under the direction of Lise La Cour and Dennis Nahat. He graduated in 2008 with a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia under the direction of Susan Glazer, where he won the Choreography Award for his ballet, Mendelssohn Variations. DuRron has danced with Nashville Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theater, Peninsula Ballet Theater and Napoles Ballet and was a founding member of Dance Theater of San Francisco. For the past five years he danced with Bay Pointe Ballet under the direction of Bruce Steivel and is happy to return to Oakland Ballet for the 2018-2019 season.
Vincent Chavez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 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.
Erik Debono, a San Francisco native, took his studies at Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (SotA), and is currently in New York earning a BFA in Dance at Adelphi University working under Frank Augustyn, Orion Duckstein, Adelheid B. Strelick, and William Briscoe. He has dedicated his summers training at Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. His professional experience includes AVA Ballet, The Anata Project, and Gregory Dawson’s dawsondancesf. In 2017, his self-choreographed work titled Vulnus was presented at the Northeastern Conference of the American College Dance Association and was selected to be presented at their Gala Concert. In his Fall 2018 semester he studied abroad in the United Kingdom at the London Contemporary Dance School. He is ecstatic to return for his second season of Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker.
Landes Dixon is from Jacksonville, Florida and pre-professionally studied at LaVilla School of the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and Jordan College of the Arts. Landes graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance and is certified in Laban Notation. Landes attended The Martha Graham Summer and Winter Intensives, Bates Dance Festival, and Atlanta Ballet Summer Intensive. Post university, Landes has performed and collaborated with various repertory companies such as The Bruce Wood Dance Project, Steps Repertory Ensemble, Heidi Latsky Dance, Trainor Dance, Saltmarsh Dance, and BalletNext. Beyond concert repertory, Landes has performed for multiple Mary Kay Cosmetic International Conventions and commercials for Palmers Lotion. This is Landes’s second season working with Oakland Ballet Company.
Christopher Dunn has danced as a principal dancer with Reno Dance Company (RDC) productions in Reno, NV since 2002 – dancing classical and contemporary works. He also danced professionally on the Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line, and various productions throughout Nevada and California. He has taught jazz, tap, ballet and hip-hop at numerous schools, including the University of Nevada, Reno. In the Bay Area, Christopher has danced with Napoles Ballet and Peninsula Ballet and joined Dance Theatre of San Francisco in 2013 as a founding member. This is Christopher’s second season dancing with Oakland Ballet.
Katerina Eng grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and began her ballet training at the Contra Costa Ballet School under the direction of Zola Dishong and Richard Cammack. For three years, she attended the San Francisco Ballet School. From 2012 to 2014 she danced with the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. While there, she toured to London for an exchange program with the Royal Ballet School. Katerina recently graduated from The Juilliard School with a BFA in Dance. During her time in New York, she danced in works by Twyla Tharp, Aszure Barton, Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, Pam Tanowitz, Jessica Lang, Jerome Robbins, Richard Alston, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Paul Taylor, Larry Keigwin, August Bournonville, George Balanchine, and Alexei Ratmansky. Alongside dance, Katerina also has an interest in educational outreach and choreography. Her work has been shown in various venues in New York City, including White Wave Dance Festival and at the Peter Jay Sharp theater as a part of The Juilliard School’s 2018 Choreographic Honors.
A native Californian, Alexandra FitzGibbon began her ballet training with Shirley Winters in Fresno, California. She further received training at SUNY Purchase College, 2008-2009, and Butler University 2009-2012, where she earned her BFA in Dance Performance. Alexandra has spent summers at Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Ballet Austin, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and ABT. She has also attended workshops at Northwest Dance Project LAUNCH:9 (Portland, Oregon), and Post:Ballet (San Francisco, California). Alexandra has most recently worked with the San Francisco Opera, and previously with Dance Theatre of San Francisco, Milissa Payne Bradley, and Emote Dance Theatre. This is her second season with Oakland Ballet.
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 and went on to dance with the Tharp company creating new roles in addition to performing repertory works. She has danced leading roles with Oakland Ballet since 2013 and was honored with Dance Europe’s ‘Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer’ for her work in Mr. Lustig’s 2017 production of Consort. Ramona has also performed with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Claudia Schreier and Co, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Post:Ballet, Sidra Bell, and Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary Tour) among others. She has taught master classes in Tharp technique across the country and is on the summer ballet faculty at NYU’s Tisch Dance.
Seyong Kim, Assistant Professor of Dance at Western Michigan University, holds an MA in Dance Education from New York University and an MA and BA in Dance from Sung-Kyun-Kwan University in South Korea as well as a CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) from Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City.
Seyong is a member of ROKMC (Republic of Korea Marine Corps) and AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists). Also, Seyong is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum. He has taught in. New York University, Rutgers University, Randolph College, Peridance Capezio Center, Ballet Arts in New York City Center, Middlesex County College, Libera University in Italy, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, National High School Dance Festival, New Rochelle Arts High School, Seoul Arts High School, Hamilton Ballet Theater, and Charlottesville Ballet Company.
As a professional dancer, Seyong Kim was awarded First Prizes in both the Korean Dance Association Competition and Sung-Kyun-Kwan Dance Competition, and he has performed in diverse professional venues and cultures across Asia, Europe, and the United States. He has danced with Metropolitan Opera Ballet in Lincoln Center, Albania Opera Ballet Theatre, Korean National Ballet Theater, Arzid Modern Dance, Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Baltimore Ballet, Lustig Dance Theatre, Traverse City Dance Project, Neglia Ballet, Roxey Contemporary Ballet, and Oakland Ballet Company. In addition, his choreographic works have been performed at Landes Theater Coburg in Germany, Dance in ITALY Festival, Seoul Fringe Festival, Korea-Japan Dance Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, Central Virginia Ballet, Battery Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and Kit Modus. This is Seyong’s fourth 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 George Balanchine, Lucas Crandall, William Forsythe, Bob Fosse, Yayoi Kambara, José Limon, Graham Lustig, Dexandro “D” Montalvo, Robert Moses, Donald McKayle, and Amy Seiwert. Her experience includes Dance Theatre of San Francisco, Kambara+Dancers and freelance projects in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Morocco, and San Francisco. This is Sharon’s seventh season with Oakland Ballet Company.
Terra Liu is from Longmont, Colorado where she trained with Centennial State Ballet. She has spent summers dancing on scholarship with The Joffrey Ballet School, Milwaukee Ballet, Bodytraffic, and ODC in San Francisco. She attended University of Colorado Boulder for a year before joining State Street Ballet as a trainee. She was promoted to an apprentice the next year where she toured nationally with the company and danced original works by Gina Patterson, Autumn Eckman, William Soleau and Kassandra Taylor Newberry. Along with State Street Ballet, Terra has danced professionally with Owen/Cox Dance Group and Kambara + Dancers. She is very excited to be joining Oakland Ballet for her first season.
Jackie McConnell, from Salem, Oregon, trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and received her 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.
Constanza Murphy trained at The North Star Ballet in Fairbanks, Alaska before attending the University of Utah. She has danced with several classical and contemporary companies throughout the country, including Ballet San Antonio, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, and Bay Pointe Ballet. Her career has been highlighted by roles such as Tinkerbell, Lucy, and Swanhilda, as well as opportunities to dance in works created by Amy Seiwert and Renaud Doucet. She last danced with Oakland Ballet Company in 2013 and is very happy to return for her second season.
An Atlanta native, Thom Panto started dancing at age 11 and began his training with the New Mexico Ballet Company under the direction of Patricia Dickinson. After attending and graduating from the School of American Ballet, he moved to Los Angeles and received a degree in Business: Merchandise Marketing from University of California, Los Angeles with a minor in fashion design from the Fashion Institute. While in Los Angeles, he trained and studied with Marat Daukayev of the Kirov Ballet. Thom joined the Atlanta Ballet in 2007. After eight seasons performing principal and featured roles he joined the Kansas City Ballet as principal for two seasons. His repertoire includes principal roles in John McFall’s Jupiter, Tealia, Firebird, and THREE, The Nutcracker, Christopher Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa, Helen Pickett’s Petal & Camino Real, Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes, Dark Angel in Balanchine’s Serenade, Principal Man in Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, Paris in Ballet De Monte Carlo’s Romeo et Juliette, American Ballet Theatre’s Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas, Principal Man in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and The Royal Ballet Wayne McGregor’s Eden/Eden. This is Thom’s second Nutcracker season with Oakland Ballet Company.
Nina Pearlman was born in Los Angeles, California where she began her dance training at Los Angeles Ballet Academy, under the direction of Andrea Paris. In 2009, Nina relocated to the Bay Area to attend the Alonzo King Lines Ballet BFA program at Dominican University, and graduated in 2013 with a BFA in dance. Throughout her career, she has performed with Dawson Wallace Dance Project (Denver, Colorado), Soulskin Dance, Milissa Payne Project, Marika Brussels, and most recently as a corp de ballet member with Bay Pointe Ballet. Apart from dancing, Nina is a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® teacher and has a regular practice in both San Francisco and Marin County. This is Nina’s second season with Oakland Ballet, and she is thrilled to be returning for 2018-2019.
Brandon Perez, born and raised in San Mateo, California, started his dance training at Tiffany’s Dance Academy in South San Francisco – learning many different styles of dance under Jessi Rodriguez, Claire Calalo Berry, and Hannah Varga, and tap and musicality with Loree Kenagy. As his focused shifted more towards ballet, he began training at The Academy of Ballet in San Francisco working with Zory Karah, Richard Gibson, and Connolly Strombeck. Brandon is an advocate for bullying prevention and depression awareness and shares his story freely in the hope that he can help others through any trouble and heartbreak they may be experiencing. This is Brandon’s first season with Oakland Ballet.
Frankie Lee Peterson III
Frankie Lee Peterson III graduated from the University of North Carolina school of the Arts. He is also a former student of the American Dance Festival, The Pulse on Tour, The Merce Cunningham Trust, The Dance Company Experience & Springboard Danse Montreal. Frankie is currently a bi-coastal freelance dancer, performer, choreographer, faculty assistant & teacher/dance instructor. His brand is, “.fLEE dance”; fleeked, loving, enlightened & educating. He has taught classes, workshops, and choreographed for the Alonzo King Lines Ballet Dance Center Training Program, Dance Mission’s Dance Brigade, RAE Studios, SF MOMA, and many more. He has worked with several companies, including dawsondancesf, Emote Dance Theater, RAW Dance SF, Rising Rhythm Project SF, Juxtashade, Man Dance Company, House of Prolific, and Rae Agency. This will be Frankie’s second season with Oakland Ballet Company.
Jazmine Quezada is from Ventura County, California where she began her ballet training at age 11 with Ventura County Ballet and was the first to receive the Ron Noblin Full Scholarship Award with Ventura County Ballet. Jazmine attended American Ballet Theater’s New York summer intensive in 2011 and was accepted to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT that same year. She then attended the Joffrey Chicago International summer dance intensive on full scholarship and in 2016 she moved to San Francisco to continue her training on scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School. Jazmine has performed San Francisco Ballet productions such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and the 2018 Gala, and danced the lead role of Grace in Helgi Tomasson’s Meisten Mozart. This is Jazmine’s first 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 fifth season with Oakland Ballet.