Company Dancers

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Season Dancers

Lawrence Chen Headshot
Lawrence Bio:
Lawrence Chen Headshot Lawrence Chen (he/him)  grew up in Southern California, studying ballet under the care of Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky from the age of thirteen. He went on to compete in the YAGP, placing in the Top 12 Pas De Deux in the New York Finals of 2014 as well as in the Top 3 soloist at regional venues for several years. At Pomona College, Lawrence obtained a BA in chemistry with mathematics, took on collegiate ballroom, and performed as a principal dancer for the Inland Pacific Ballet under the watchful eye of Victoria Koenig. Lawrence currently works at a biotech company, tutors high school STEM subjects, and performs with Oakland Ballet Company. At OBC, he has performed in Graham Lustig’s Luna Mexicana as the deer and The Nutcracker in the title role. Lawrence has also been featured in various works created by several choreographers, including Caili Quan, Megan and Shannon Kurashige, and Phil Chan, a co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface. This is Lawrence’s second season with the Oakland Ballet.

Lawrence Chen

Lizzie Devanney Headshot
Lizzie Bio:
Lizzie Devanney Headshot Lizzie Devanney (she/her) of Bel Air, Maryland, began her training with Dance Conservatory of Maryland and continued with University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA.) After graduating from high school in 2019, she was invited to join the professional division at Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB). She has attended summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet, and Next Generation Ballet. In 2020, she was selected for the Royal Danish Ballet – PNB Exchange Program and was one of 25 young dancers awarded a scholarship from the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet to support her continued training. Her repertoire includes Kent Stowell’s Cinderella, Ethan Steifel’s The Nutcracker, Helen Pickett’s Petal, Kingdom of the Shade’s from Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadére and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Concerto Barocco and Serenade. During the 2021-2022 season she danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and is very excited to join Oakland Ballet this season.

Lizzie Devanney

Karina Eimon Headshot
Karina Bio:
Karina Eimon Headshot Karina Eimon (she/her) is from the Bay Area and trained with Ayako School of Ballet. Under the tutelage of Ayako Takahashi, she placed in the top three of YAGP SF for five consecutive years. In 2014 during her senior year of high school, she was invited to compete in the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, where she was offered a trainee contract with Ballet Memphis. From there, she joined Milwaukee Ballet II then danced with Colorado Ballet. She joined Oakland Ballet in 2019 and has since performed works by Graham Lustig such as Jangala, Luna Mexicana, and Nutcracker. She is also a ballet teacher and certified GYROTONIC® instructor, and is very passionate about sharing her love of dance and movement.

Karina Eimon

 César Lino Headshot
César Bio:
Cesar Lino Headshot César Lino (he/him) was born in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, México. He graduated from the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC and has danced with San Jose Dance Theatre, New Jersey Ballet and several other dance companies in the USA. Some of his roles include Lysander in Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Prince in The Nutcracker and, more recently, the cover for Bernardo in Opera San Jose‘s production of West Side Story.

 César Lino

William Fowler Headshot
William Bio:
William Fowler Headshot William Brewton Fowler Jr. (he/him) is a freelance dancer from Augusta, GA who studied contemporary dance at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC. While at UNCSA, he had the honor of performing Twyla Tharp’s “Sweet Fields” for Sally Ride’s Tribute at the Kennedy Center. He also danced works by Maurya Kerr, José Limón, Grady Bowman, Bill T. Jones, Juel D. Lane, Susan Jaffe, Merce Cunningham, Ming-Lung Yang and Kimberly Bartosik. He’s spent six summers with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance directed by Heather Maloy. In San Francisco, he worked for Gregory Dawson’s company, DawsonDanceSF, and had the opportunity to co-choreograph a duet with Frankie Peterson for the Black Choreographers Festival. In New York, he performed for Summer Stage with Stephanie Batten Bland’s Company, SBB. He also worked with Gallim Dance under the direction of Andrea Miller. This will be William’s first season with Oakland Ballet.

William Fowler

Logan Martin Headshot
Logan Bio:
Logan Martin Headshot

Logan Martin (they/them), is a trans non-binary individual from Silverdale, WA. Logan trained at Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy (2011-2012) and has danced professionally with Pennsylvania Ballet (2010-2011) and Ballet West (2012-2017). In 2017 they stepped away from performing to honor themself and to focus on their mental health. They returned to dance in January 2022, performing as a guest artist with various companies and schools in the Salt Lake City area. Logan joined Oakland Ballet Company with excitement in Fall of 2022.

 

Logan Martin

Jazmine Quezada Headshot
Jazmine Bio:
Jazmine Quezada headshot Jazmine Quezada (she/her) 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. With the Oakland Ballet, she has performed the role of Luna in Luna Mexicana, and the Monkey Queen in Jangala.  This is Jazmine’s second season with the Oakland Ballet Company.

 

Jazmine Quezada

Lucas Sverdlen Headshot
Lucas Bio:
Lucas Sverdlen Headshot Lucas Sverdlen (he/him) grew up in New Jersey, starting his training with the New Jersey Ballet. He has attended the ABT, Bolshoi Ballet, and Martha Graham intensives. Upon moving to NYC for college, he continued to dance in various ballet and modern performances, with companies such as Dances Patrelle. He holds a BA in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College. As a theatre performer, he has sung at Brandy’s Piano Bar, The Duplex, and The Stonewall Inn. He is very excited to be joining the Oakland Ballet Company for his first season!

Lucas Sverdlen

Ashkey Thopiah Headshot
Ashley Bio:
Ashley Thopiah Headshot Ashley Thopiah (she/her) has a BFA in Dance Performance from Butler university. She began her dance training at the Christine Rich Studio Dance Academy. She has performed at Dance Chicago and has trained during the summer at State Street Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Ashley has performed corps, soloist, and principle roles in ballets Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Joining Oakland Ballet in 2019, she has performed Luna Mexicana, The Nutcracker, and Borderlines by Graham Lustig. As a choreographer, Ashley has created two works for Butler University’s dance department, Jyoti and Ekta. Using both modern dance and Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance, she expresses the two distinct but intertwined aspects of her identity. Both styles use motion and gesture to express emotion and illuminate the joining of two cultures. During the summer of 2018, Ekta was performed in the National Opera House in Warsaw, Poland, across Prague, Krakow, Poznan, and Bratislava.

Ashley Thopiah

Nicole Townsend Headshot
Nicole Bio:
Nicole Townsend Headshot Nicole Townsend (she/her) was born in San Jose, California. She began dancing at age 2 and at an early age she realized that her true love was ballet. She began her formal ballet training at Ballet San Jose at age 7 under the direction of Lise la Cour.  At age 15, she went on to extend her training for the next three and a half years at City Ballet School in San Francisco. There she danced many roles ranging from Le Corsaire Pas de trois to Spanish, Arabian and Mirliton leads in the Nutcracker as well as Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty. She moved away from home at age 18 to train with Marat Daukayev in Los Angeles and performed Paquita duets, variation and grand pas corps. Ms.Townsend was then awarded a scholarship to the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) 2019 summer intensive and was subsequently accepted into their Professional Division Program. While at Pacific Northwest Ballet she learned many Balanchine variations such as “Divertimento .15” and “Who Cares?” She also performed “the Nutcracker” with the Company and performed the roles of Spanish, Chinese, Grandma, Snow and Flowers. After Nicole’s first year as a Professional Division student she was awarded a full scholarship to Paris Opera Ballet 2020 summer intensive through PNB and then was  later a recipient of the American Friends of Paris Opera Ballet Scholarship Award in 2020. During the Covid quarantine, Nicole completed her second year with PNB over Zoom and then was accepted into Kansas City Ballet Second Company (KCBII)  where she performed in Devon Carney’s “The Nutcracker,” Michael Pink’s “Dracula” and  Septime Webre’s “Wizard of Oz.” She also performed numerous second company presentations and danced “Raymonda,” “Serenade” and Spanish Lead from the Nutcracker. After her time with Kansas City Ballet she was accepted to the Dutch National Summer Program in Amsterdam where she learned the Wedding Pas from Ernst Meisner and performed other pieces from “Sleeping Beauty.”. She is very excited to continue her ballet career as a member of Oakland Ballet  Company and eagerly anticipates the new challenges and new experiences this opportunity will present!

 

Nicole Townsend

Rebecca Huang Headshot
Rebecca Bio:
Rebecca Huang Headshot Rebecca Huang (she/her) is an Oakland native. She started her ballet training at the age of five years old with Patrica Hunter at the Redwood Heights Recreation Center in Oakland. At age seven years old, she performed her first Nutcracker at the Paramount Theatre with the Oakland Ballet Company as a drummer mouse. At age eight years old, Rebecca attended Oakland Ballet School under the guidance of Denise and Joral Schmalle, both former ballet dancers of the Oakland Ballet Company. At Oakland Ballet School, she performed pieces choreographed by Ronn Guidi such as “La Boutique Fantasque”, “Hansel and Gretel” and “The Secret Nutcracker”. At fourteen years old, she danced under the guidance of Abra Rudisill, former ballet mistress of Ronn Guidi and artistic director of Alameda Ballet Academy. At age fifteen years old, she received Russian Vaganova training and danced under the artistic director of Galina Alexandrova at City Ballet School in San Francisco. This will be Rebecca’s first season dancing with the Oakland Ballet Company as an apprentice!

Rebecca Huang – Apprentice

Joining us for The Nutcracker

Etrita Abdullahu Headshot
Etrita Bio:
Etrita Abdullahu Headshot Etrita Abdullahu (she/her), from Kosovo has danced professionally with the National Ballet of Kosovo for four years where she has performed Coppelia and La Sylphide, as well as modern and contemporary works such as Othello and Don Quixote Recomposed. After moving to New York, she performed with the Michael Mao Dance Company and took part in summer intensives with the American Ballet Theater and Joffrey Ballet School. She remained at the Joffrey Ballet School on scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, Theater, and Dance from the New Jersey City University. During her training at the Joffrey Ballet School, she performed leading roles of Spanish, the Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker as well as appearing in Spring Melody and Histoire d’Amour. Etrita has also performed with Illuminations Dance Company, Coleman School of Dance, Dance Works, and Delta Festival Ballet in New Orleans as the Flower Queen in The Nutcracker.

Etrita Abdullahu

Isabelle Glavin Headshot
Isabelle Bio:
Isabelle Glavin Headshot Isabelle Glavin (she/her) was born in Evanston, Illinois and began dancing at age three. She spent twelve years at Dance Center Evanston where she studied ballet, jazz, tap, and modern before joining the Joffrey Ballet Academy in 2014. She has studied at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Harid Conservatory, Houston Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet on full scholarship. Isabelle was sponsored to compete in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition, where she won a full scholarship to the summer program at Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined the graduating class of 2015, training under Raymond Smith, Vera Timashova, James Kudelka, Lindsay Fischer, and Sorella Englund. Some of her most notable roles are Dark Angel in Serenade, Six Swans from James Kudelka’s Swan Lake, La Cigarette in Suite En Blanc and Surge by Robert Binet. She has danced with Columbia Classical Ballet, Charleston Ballet, San Diego Opera, and San Diego Ballet, performing classical and contemporary works by John Neumeier, Stanton Welch AM, William Forsythe and Marius Petipa.

Isabelle Glavin

Karina Eimon Headshot
Jeremy Bio:
Jeremy Hanson Headshot Jeremy Hanson (he/him) is currently a Freelance Dancer, Choreographer & Cinematographer based in Kansas City, MO. He began dancing at age two at his mother’s studio, Stephanie’s School of Dance, where he trained in many dance styles. In 2015, Jeremy began training at the Center of Creative Arts in Saint Louis, MO. The following year he was invited to attend the summer and year round program at The HARID Conservatory. He enrolled in the Day Program at Kansas City Ballet School in 2017 where he danced with the company, performing the role Toto in The Wizard of Oz, choreographed by Septime Webre on the Bolshoi stage, Moscow, Russia. In the 2019-2020 season he joined Louisville Ballet where he created a work for the company titled Session I which was later commissioned to become a film. Jeremy has had the opportunity to be a part of several films including BTS by Micaela Taylor. He is currently working to refine his passion in both cinematography and choreography.

Jeremy Hanson

Lilit Hogtanian Headshot
Lilit Bio:
Lilit Hogtanian Headshot Lilit Hogtanian (she/her), a Los Angeles native, started her training with Yuri Grigoriev. At the age of 15, she was featured in the Los Angeles Times Face to Watch following her performances as Clara for Los Angeles Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. She was a semi-finalist in the Prix de Lausanne and won first place in the contemporary and classical category of the Youth American Grand Prix, Long Beach, Ca. Upon graduating from the Academie Princesse Grace on full scholarship, she went on to dance with the Slovak National Theatre, Ballet Memphis, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and State Street Ballet. She has performed soloist and principal roles in various classical and contemporary productions including Nikiya in La Bayadere, the Sylph in La Sylphide, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Nacho Duato’s Coming Together, Square Dance by George Balanchine, and Cupid and Kitri’s Friends in Don Quixote.

Lilit Hogtanian

ArVejon Jones Headshot
ArVejon Bio:
ArVejon Jones Headshot ArVejon Jones (he/him) is a Bay Area freelance dance artist and educator. Originally from Los Angeles, CA he received his BA in Dance from San Francisco State University and has performed with Copious Dance Theater, Robert Moses Kin, PUSH Dance, SOULSKIN Dance, ODC Dance/ SF, Concept o4, Sean Dorsey Dance, Prometheus Dance Theater, Jean Appolon Expressions, Kambara+, Garrett+Moulton Productions among others. He has taught for multiple institutions including San Francisco State University, BodyVox, Boston Ballet, LINES/ SF Dance Center, and various private dance studios.

ArVejon Jones

Elkey Love Headshot
Elkey Bio:
Elkey Love Headshot Elkey Love (he/him) hails from Queens, NY, and started dancing at the age of 19 at Miami Dade College. He continued his training at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, and attended summer programs with Dance Theater of Harlem and American Dance Festival as a scholarship student. Elkey graduated with his BFA in dance from New World School of the Arts. He has appeared with the Oakland Ballet in Graham Lustig’s Borderlines and as Spanish in Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker.

Elkey Love

Katya Mayer Headshot
Natalie Bio:
Katya Mayer Headshot Katya Mayer (she/her) began her training at Tulsa Ballet under the directorship of Moscelyn Larkin and continued her training throughout the country under teachers such as Linda Copp, Ruth Mayer, Rebecca Wright, and Sharon Randolph and through summer programs with American Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, and Harid Conservatory. Since graduating from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Mathematics, she has performed with Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and Kansas City Ballet. Locally Katya has danced with Menlowe Ballet, Bay Pointe Ballet, Western Ballet, and the Oakland Ballet, and worked as a freelance dancer with numerous Bay Area choreographers.

Katya Mayer

Natalie Palmgren Headshot
Natalie Bio:
Natalie Palmgren (she/her) was born and raised in Sonoma Valley. She started dancing at the age of four at Sonoma Conservatory of Dance. In 2016, she began attending Marin Dance Theater where she studied under Margaret Swarthout and Joanna Berman. As a dance major at UC Irvine, she studied with many luminaries of the dance world such as Lar Lubovitch and Tong Wang. and performed and choreographed numerous department shows before graduating in 2022 with BFA degrees in Dance Performance and Dance Choreography. She is excited to be performing with Ballet Red and the Oakland Ballet this season.

Natalie Palmgren

Darby Perrin Headshot
Darby Bio:
Darby Perrin Headshot Darby Perrin (she/her) was born in Napa, California and started dancing at age 5. She trained at the Marin Dance Theatre under such noted teachers as Margaret Swarthout, Lynn Cox, Dawn Caccamo Perrin, Joanna Berman, Pierre Francois Vilanoba, Jo Ellen Arntz, and Andrea Basile. Performance highlights include original choreography by Andrea Basile, excerpts from Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, and La Bayadere, as well as demi-soloist roles in excerpts from Giselle and guesting opportunities in Marin Dance Theatre’s Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop. Darby is on the faculty of Marin Dance Theatre and Legacy Dance Collective and currently attends Napa Valley College studying psychology. Having a passion for the art form, she enjoys working with students and strives to share that love of dance with them and audiences alike. This is her first performance with the Oakland Ballet.

Darby Perrin

Alice Wells Headshot
Alice Bio:
Alice Wells Headshot

Alice Wells (she/her) from Morgantown, WV, began her dance training at Morgantown Dance Studio. She also trained at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, BalletMet and the Atlanta Ballet. She has danced with the Louisville Ballet, Bowen-McCauley Dance, and the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Recently, Alice has relocated to the Bay Area and has performed with Garrett+Moulton Productions and Alyssa Mitchel. She is also currently a student of the LEAP Program at St. Mary’s College of California and an instructor at West Coast Dance Conservatory.

Alice Wells