Scene and Heard Cast
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, traveling both internationally and nationally, including a two month tour of China. Samantha has danced in commercials, films, as well as the MTV Video Music Awards. Since moving to the Bay Area, Samantha has performed with Menlowe Ballet, Western Ballet, as well as guesting in numerous places. This is her first Spring season with the Oakland Ballet.
Darwin Black of Newark, New Jersey, started his dancing at the age of 16. He graduated from Newark Arts High School under the direction of Ronnie D. Carney and Kim Richardson. Darwin furthered his training under Nancy Turano with the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble. After a year of training at Alvin Ailey American Dance as a Fellowship Student under the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship, he began his professional career with the Miami Contemporary Dance Company, performing repertory by Ray Sullivan. Darwin later joined The Sacramento Ballet, performing ballets by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Trey McIntyre and Matthew Neenan, to name a few. After three years with The Sacramento Ballet, he joined Pascal Rioult Dance Theater, dancing and touring throughout the United States. Darwin danced as a freelance artist for Alaska Dance Theatre, Lustig Dance Theatre, Montgomery Ballet and Nimbus Dance Works, and he toured throughout Europe with Momix. Darwin later joined TU Dance under the leadership of Toni-Pierce Sands & Uri Sands. For four seasons Darwin danced World premiere works by Uri Sands, Francesca Harper, Kyle Abraham, Gioconda Barbuto, and Katrin Hall. Darwin is currently spreading his wings into Choreography. His first original work by the Saint Paul Ballet “OFF THE BASE” premiered at The Cowles Center March 2017. In October 2017 Darwin Premiered “N.L.I.F” (Never Live In Fear) for Minnesota Dance Theatre. This is Darwin’s first season with Oakland Ballet.
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.
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. He joined Dance Theatre of San Francisco in 2013 as a founding member. This is Christopher’s first season dancing with Oakland Ballet.
Ramona Kelley is from Berkeley, California 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 Forsythe 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 New York City. 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, she has also appeared with Lustig Dance Theatre, Chamber Dance Project, Ballet Neo, Menlowe Ballet, Milissa Payne Project, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Los Angeles Ballet, and BalletMet Columbus. Emily has had the pleasure of performing works by Graham Lustig, Bat Abbit, Amy Seiwert, Val Caniparoli, Betsy Erickson, Dennis Nahat, Robert Moses, Robert Dekkers, Janice Garrett & Charles Moulton, Ron Guidi, Molissa Fenley, and Jennifer Archibald. This is Emily’s eighth season with Oakland Ballet.
Sharon Kung was born in New York, and calls San Francisco and Hong Kong her home. She graduated from the University of California Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Economics. Her experience includes KAMBARA+DANCERS, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, and movement projects in Hong Kong. Her repertory includes works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Bob Fosse, José Limon, Robert Moses and Amy Seiwert. This is Sharon’s sixth 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.
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 third season with Oakland Ballet.
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 first season with Oakland Ballet, and she’s thrilled to be dancing with the company.