Born in Delhi, India, Sanchit Babbar began his dance training in 2009 with Anthony Noa and Tino Sanchez at The Danceworx Academy of Performing Arts, New Delhi under the direction of Ashley Lobo. After being inspired by the choreographic genius Alvin Ailey, Sanchit attended the The Ailey School, the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT), on full scholarship under the direction of Tracy Inman. Sanchit has performed in Alvin Ailey’s signature work Revelations alongside the AAADT. Sanchit danced lead role in the ballet “1914” by Darshan Singh Bhuller, where he was remarked as “Spectacular” by Judith Jamison (Artistic Director Emerita of the AAADT). As a member of The Ailey Students Performance Group under the direction of Freddie Moore, Sanchit has also performed works of Alvin Ailey, Matthew Rushing, Hope Boykin, Ray Mercer, Jamar Roberts. Sanchit has also danced principal roles of Cavalier and Snow King as a guest artist with Western Colorado Dance Theater and American Liberty Ballet. Recently, Sanchit was featured as a guest artist for Ballett Vorpommern (Germany) in the ballet called Soul Of Ballet choreographed by Robert Glumbek and Sabra Johnson under the direction of Ralf Dornen. Sanchit is the recipient of the The Yass Family Scholarship, The Ada Brandon Scholarship, The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation Scholarship, and The Bob Fosse-Gwen Verdon Scholarship. Sanchit is thankful for his parents and teachers for their great support and trust. After his return to the USA, Sanchit is very excited to join Oakland Ballet for the 2017-2018 season.
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.
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. She also graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in Computing and Software Systems. Alice 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.
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.
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 Theater. This is her first season with Oakland Ballet.
Garth Grimball received his MFA in choreography and performance from Mills College where he performed original and repertory works by Merce Cunningham, Mel Wong, Molissa Fenley, Katie Faulkner, Sheldon Smith, Sonya Delwaide, and was the recipient of the Liatis Foundation Dance Scholarship award. He danced with Asheville Ballet for 5 seasons under the direction of Ann Dunn. He was the recipient of the ODC Pilot Program residency in 2016 and 2017. His graduate research will be presented this fall at the annual SDHS CORD conference and he currently performs with Dana Lawton Dances and Wax Poet(s). This is Garth’s second season with Oakland Ballet.
A native of Freehold, New Jersey, Tori Jahn received her training at American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School and was a trainee and apprentice with North Carolina Dance Theatre under the direction of Jean Pierre Bonnefoux. She has danced with North Carolina Dance Theatre, Lustig Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet, and ARC Dance where she has performed featured works by Graham Lustig, Bat Abbit, Edwaard Liang, Alex Ketley, Gerard Theoret, and Marie Chong. Tori is thrilled to be back at Oakland Ballet this 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.
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. She is very thrilled to be joining Oakland Ballet for the 2017 Nutcracker production, and excited to see what the future holds.
Frankie Lee Peterson III
Frankie Lee III received his BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts and has since then been a bi-coastal freelance dancer, performer, choreographer, faculty assistant, and dance instructor. His brand is “.fLEE dance” which stands for fleeked, loving, enlightened and educating. He has dance for dawsondancesf, dendy/donovan projects, Zest Collective, Emote Dance Theater, RAWdance SF, Rising Rhythm Project, Juxtashade, Man Dance Company, Gaspard & Dancers, and many more. This is Frankie’s first season with Oakland Ballet Company and he is excited!
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.
Nadhi is a bharatanatyam dancer and Artistic Director of Nava Dance Theatre, a bharatanatyam dance company based in San Francisco. Her work through Nava has been supported by CounterPulse Performing Diaspora, CA$H Grants, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Dancers’ Group, East Bay Community Fund and others. Her recent freelance work include both solo performance and collaborations with the Oakland Ballet, Randee Paufve (Oakland), Seeta Patel (London), Sujit Vaidya (Vancouver), as well as an upcoming cross-country collaboration with Sahasra Sambamoorthi (New York) and Rasika Kumar (San Jose). Nadhi received her foundational training from Gurus Smt. Sundara Swaminathan (Kala Vandana Dance Company, San Jose) and Smt. Padmini Chari (Nritya School of Dance, Houston.) As of 2012, she has continued training under Guru Sri. A. Lakshmanaswamy (Nrityalakshana, Chennai.) She returns to Chennai each year to perform in the Annual Music and Dance Festival.
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, and 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.