A multi-faceted gem, Emeralds is the sparkling first section of the three-act ballet Jewels by the “father of American ballet,” George Balanchine. See it in its IU Ballet debut before you’re dazzled by Rubies at the Spring Ballet!
Feel the raw emotion of Dark Elegies, considered by many to be the greatest work by Antony Tudor. Set to Mahler’s engrossing “Kindertotenlieder,” this psychological ballet takes us from tenderness to devastation to rage.
The light-hearted finale will have you wondering “What’s in The Envelope? And why are all those creatures either after it or trying to get rid of it?” Delight in this humorous escapade featuring some of Rossini’s most fun and melodic music.
Oct. 3, 4 Musical Arts Center 8 PM
Oct. 4 Musical Arts Center 2 PM
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Music by Gabriel Fauré | Excerpts from Pelléas et Mélisande and Shylock Original Costume Design by Barbara Karinska Original Lighting Design by Ronald Bates
Premiere: April 13, 1967 | New York City Ballet New York State Theater, New York
Emeralds is the first act of the full-length abstract ballet Jewels. Despite having claimed that the ballet had nothing to do with actual jewels, Balanchine did evoke the color and glitter of jewels in the choreography and the patterns of the dance itself. For its 1967 premiere, Balanchine chose Violette Verdy to open the ballet alongside Mimi Paul, who was guest coach for her original role in this IU Ballet Theater production.
The performance of Emeralds, a Balanchine® Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique®.
Service standards established and provided by the Trust.
Choreography by Antony Tudor* Music by Gustav Mahler | Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children) Costume Design by Raymond Sovey after Nadia Benois
Premiere: February 19, 1937 | Ballet Rambert Duchess Theatre, London
Scene One | Laments of the Bereaved
Scene Two | The Resignation
Costumes Courtesy of New York Theatre Ballet Diana Byer, Founder & Artistic Director
Antony Tudor’s 1937 masterwork Dark Elegies is a deceptively powerful and emotionally restrained ballet. It is a landmark in the development of ballet technique and form as a vehicle for the portrayal of personal and subjective emotion. The choreographer depicts a spare, elegant, and communal ritual; we witness men and women in the process of mourning the death of the community’s children. Unmoored from a specific time and place, the ballet conveys the physical and psychic toll of unbearable grief and culminates in the group’s communal catharsis and resignation in the wake of unimaginable tragedy.
Choreography by David Parsons Music by Gioachino Rossini, “Arrangement of Overtures” Musical Arrangement by Charles Gouse Costume Design by Judy Wirkula Original Lighting Design by Howell Binkley
The Envelope was funded as a full production of the Dance Theater Workshop and the generous contributions of its dancers. The piece is a social commentary about loss of identity and individuality in quasi-efficient and highly ordered social structures such as a contemporary office environment. Whatever valuable content the envelope conceals, its delivery is a complex and convoluted journey fraught with questions of authority, accountability, risk, and reward.
Parsons Dance is an internationally renowned contemporary dance company under the artistic direction of David Parsons. Founded by David Parsons and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley, Parsons Dance is known for its upbeat, athletic ensemble work. The company has toured to more than 350 cities in 30 countries across five continents, including an annual season in its home community of New York City. Parsons Dance maintains a repertory of more than 70 works choreographed by David Parsons, including commissions from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Batsheva, Jacob’s Pillow, and the Spoleto Festival. Audiences have also seen Parsons Dance on PBS, Bravo, A&E, and the Discovery Channel. In addition to choreography and performance, Parsons Dance is committed to audience development and arts education for participants of all ages and all levels of artistic experience. Parsons Dance regularly offers outreach opportunities including post-show discussions, master classes, open rehearsals, and studio showcases. Parsons offers annual summer study programs for professional and pre-professional dancers that attract students to New York from across the United States and around the world.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet. He came to the United States in late 1933, at the age of 29, accepting the invitation of the young American arts patron Lincoln Kirstein (1907-96), whose great passions included the dream of creating a ballet company in America. At Balanchine’s behest, Kirstein was also prepared to support the formation of an American academy of ballet that would eventually rival the long-established schools of Europe.
This was the School of American Ballet, founded in 1934, the first product of the Balanchine-Kirstein collaboration. Several ballet companies directed by the two were created and dissolved in the years that followed, while Balanchine found other outlets for his choreography.Eventually, with a performance on October 11, 1948, New York City Ballet was born. Balanchine served as its ballet master and principal choreographer from 1948 until his death in 1983.
Balanchine’s more than 400 dance works include Serenade (1934), Concerto Barocco (1941), Le Palais de Cristal, later renamed Symphony in C (1947), Orpheus (1948), The Nutcracker (1954), Agon (1957), Symphony in Three Movements (1972), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972), Vienna Waltzes (1977), Ballo della Regina (1978), and Mozartiana (1981). His final ballet, a new version of Stravinsky’s Variations for Orchestra, was created in 1982.
He also choreographed for films, operas, revues, and musicals. Among his best-known dances for the stage is “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” originally created for Broadway’s On Your Toes (1936).The musical was later made into a movie.
A major artistic figure of the twentieth century, Balanchine revolutionized the look of classical ballet. Taking classicism as his base, he heightened, quickened, expanded, streamlined, and even inverted the fundamentals of the 400-year-old language of academic dance. This had an inestimable influence on the growth of dance in America. Although at first his style seemed particularly suited to the energy and speed of American dancers, especially those he trained, his ballets are now performed by all the major classical ballet companies throughout the world.
David Parsons (artistic director/co-founder/choreographer) has enjoyed a remarkable career as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director, and producer of dance. Parsons was born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City. He was a leading dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, where Taylor created many roles for him in works such as Arden Court, Last Look, and Roses. He received the Dance Masters of America’s 2011 Annual Award and the 2000 Dance Magazine Award, as well as the 2001 American Choreography Award for his work with AEROS, a production featuring the Romanian Gymnastic Federation broadcast on the Bravo Channel. Parsons has created more than 80 works for Parsons Dance. He has received commissions over the years from American Ballet Theatre (ABT), New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Spoleto Festival, and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, to name a few. His work has been performed by Paris Opera Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nederlands Danse Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Hubbard Street Dance, and Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, among many others. In its July 27, 2007, edition, The New York Times called Parsons “one of the great movers of modern dance.”
Antony Tudor, one of the giants of twentieth century choreography, began dancing professionally with Ballet Rambert in London. All of his early ballets, Cross garter’d (1931), Lysistrata (1932), and The Planets (1934) were created for that company.
In 1939, he was invited by Ballet Theatre to join its first season and to restage three of the works he was known for in London: Jardin aux Lilas, Dark Elegies, and Judgment of Paris. Since that time, Tudor has been represented in every American Ballet Theatre season. Gala Performance was added to the repertory in 194l, Pillar of Fire in 1942, Romeo and Juliet and Dim Lustre in 1943, Undertow in 1945, Shadow of the Wind in 1948, Nimbus in 1950, The Leaves Are Fading and Shadowplay in 1975, The Tiller in the Fields in 1979, and Little Improvisations in 1980.
Tudor performed in many of his own ballets as well as in works of other choreographers. In 1950, he gave up performing to become head of faculty of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School. He choreographed Offenbach in the Underworld in 1955 and set it for American Ballet Theatre the following year. In 1963, he choreographed Echoing of Trumpets for the Royal Swedish Ballet; it was staged for American Ballet Theatre in 1967.
In 1986, Tudor was presented with the Capezio Award and in May 1986, with the Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest cultural honor. In December of the same year, he was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor.
In 1951, Tudor joined the Juilliard School’s Dance Division as a founding faculty member, a position he held until 1971. He was appointed associate director of ABT in 1974, in which capacity he served until his appointment as choreographer emeritus in 1980, a position held until his death in 1987.
Michael Vernon started dancing at the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet in London before going on to study at the Royal Ballet School in London with such legendary teachers as Dame Ninette de Valois and Leonide Massine. He performed with the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera Ballet, and London Festival Ballet before coming to New York in 1976 to join the Eglevsky Ballet as ballet master and resident choreographer. He became artistic director of the Long Island-based company in 1989 and remained in that position until 1996.
Vernon choreographed numerous ballets for the Eglevsky Ballet, in addition to ballets for many other professional companies in the United States and worldwide, such as BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. Mikhail Baryshnikov commissioned him to choreograph the successful pas de deux In a Country Garden for American Ballet Theatre (ABT). His solo S’Wonderful was danced by ABT principal Cynthia Harvey in the presence of President and Mrs. Reagan and shown nationwide on CBS television. He served as the assistant choreographer on Ken Russell’s movie Valentino, starring Rudolph Nureyev and Leslie Caron.
Vernon taught at Steps on Broadway in New York City for many years, working with dancers from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and many other high-profile companies. He is an integral part of the Manhattan Dance Project, which brings New York-style master classes to all regions of the United States. He has been involved with the Ballet Program of the Chautauqua Institution since 1996 and is the artistic advisor for the Ballet School of Stamford. He is permanent guest teacher at the Manhattan Youth Ballet and has a long association with Ballet Hawaii.
Vernon has been a company teacher for American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has guest taught in companies all over the world, including West Australian Ballet, National Ballet of China, Hong Kong Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Berlin Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, and Norwegian National Ballet. He has been a guest teacher for The Juilliard School and taught for many years at The Ailey School. He recently joined the panel of judges for the Youth of America Grand Prix regional semi-finals. For the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is chair of the Ballet Department, Vernon has choreographed Endless Night, Jeux, Spectre de la Rose, and Cathedral, and has staged and provided additional choreography for the full-length classics Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. He has choreographed for many IU Opera Theater productions, such as Faust and the world premiere of Vincent.
Born in Friedrichshafen, Danko Drusko received his musical training in Germany. After completing his general music studies at the University of Music in Trossingen, he was recipient of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and was awarded a conducting prize and scholarship by the culture foundation at Lake Constance in Germany. Danko is currently working toward a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting degree at the Jacobs School of Music—where he is assistant conductor for IU Opera and Ballet Theater—studying under Arthur Fagen and David Effron. Previously, Drusko was a master’s student and assistant in orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music, studying under Neil Varon.
He was a semi-finalist at both the 2nd International Kalman Operetta Conducting Competition 2012 in Budapest and at the Jovens Maestros Young Conductors Competition 2013 with the Orchestra Metropolitana de Lisboa in Portugal. In December 2014, he will be competing at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Danko has conducted orchestras such as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Operetta Theater, Metropolitan Orchestra in Lisbon, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Guelph Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Amriswil, Jacobs School of Music Ad Hoc Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra at the University of Music Trossingen, Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, Eastman Sinfonietta, and OSSIA Contemporary Music Ensemble, as well as members of Saarländische Staatsorchester Saarbrücken and the Frankfurter Opern-und Museumsorchester. He was music director of Sound Exchange Orchestra, an outreach orchestra aiming to bring classical music to new audiences, and served as orchestral director of the musical theater company Curtain Call Productions in 2009-10.
In addition to his musical career, Danko completed his state examination in English literature and linguistics as well as basic studies in ethics and philosophy at the University of Konstanz, and worked as an international teaching assistant of the German Department at the University of Guelph in Canada.
Sandra Jennings was born in Boston and began her dance training in Framingham with June Paxman, who was a student of Lisa Gardener at Washington Ballet. The following year, Jennings began training with E. Virginia Williams at Boston Ballet. She also studied with teachers such as Harriet Hoctor, Shanna Bereska, Sidney Leonard, Margaret Gill, and her mother, Jacqueline Cronsberg. At Boston Ballet, she performed in many of the children’s roles in the company, including Clara in the second season of The Nutcracker. Jennings had the privilege of having the ballet Alice and Wonderland created for her by Virginia Williams. At the age of 13, Jennings received a Ford Foundation scholarship to study at The School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York.
During her three years at SAB, Jennings studied with teachers that included Diana Adams, Alexandra Danilova, Felia Dubrovska, Suki Schorer, and Stanley Williams, performing lead roles in ballets such as Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and new ballets by choreographer Richard Tanner. She also performed in many lecture demonstrations given by Suki Schorer that included a wide range of Balanchine ballets as well as new works by young choreographers.
In spring 1974, Jennings was asked by George Balanchine to join New York City Ballet, where she worked with him for the next nine years. During her tenure, she danced an enormous repertoire that included principal and soloist roles in many Balanchine and Jerome Robbins ballets. She also danced works by John Taras, Jacques d’Amboise, Sir Fredrick Ashton, and Peter Martins. In addition, she performed in concerts with Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Melissa Hayden, Helgi Tomasson, Violette Verdy, and Edward Villella. Additionally, she performed on television in Dance in America, Live from Lincoln Center, Live from Studio 8H, and Canadian Broadcast.
In 1985, Jennings began teaching for Robert Denvers and was the assistant to Jean Pierre Bonnefoux at Chautauqua Institute, where she began staging Balanchine’s ballets as a répétiteur for the Balanchine Trust. Since then, she has staged Balanchine’s works for companies in the United States as well as abroad. Jennings has staged Balanchine’sJewels for the Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet, most recently rehearsing Jewels for a live broadcast from the Bolshoi Theater. She has staged Balanchine’s full-length Midsummer Night’s Dream for Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Mariinsky Ballet.
Jennings has taught at many schools and companies throughout the world. She worked for Pennsylvania Ballet both as a company teacher and ballet mistress for nine years, and for San Francisco Ballet as company teacher and ballet mistress for four years. She is currently on faculty at Marin Ballet.
Previous Balanchine works she has staged for Indiana University Ballet Theater include Allegro Brillante, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Donizetti Variations, Four Temperaments, and Rubies. Jennings is thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on Emeralds with Violette Verdy and to have received the incredible gift of her detailed knowledge of the ballet.
Elizabeth Koeppen (associate artistic director / stager) was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Va., where she began her training with Judith Hatcher and Darlene Kelly. She continued her education at State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase, where she received her B.F.A. under the instruction of Gayle Young, Larry Clarke, Kevin Wynn, Rosanna Seravalli, and Betti-Jane Sills. Teaching credits for Parsons Dance include SUNY Purchase, The Juilliard School, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, 92nd Street Y, New Arts Festival, Baltimore School of the Arts, Peridance, and Dancespace. Koeppen has staged works by David Parsons for numerous companies, including the Milwaukee Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Repertory Dance Theater, New York City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Louisville Ballet, and Roland Petit’s Ballet National de Marseille. She joined Parsons Dance in 1989.
Donald Mahler was trained at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School by Margaret Craske and Antony Tudor. He joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1956, where he danced principal roles in many ballets, including Tudor’s Lilac Garden, Offenbach in the Underworld, as well as Walter Gore’s Winter Night and Andrée Howard’s Death and the Maiden. He also danced in other signature Tudor works, including Dark Elegies and Gala Performance. In 1961, Mahler joined the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and, under the directorship of Alicia Markova, was made a soloist, appearing in the first American performance of Tudor’s Echoing of Trumpets and Concerning Oracles. In addition, he assisted Tudor in staging Echoing of Trumpets for American Ballet Theatre.
Mahler became the ballet master for the Zurich Opera Ballet in 1975. In 1979, he returned to the Metropolitan Opera as ballet master and was later appointed director of the ballet. He choreographed seven operas, and he created a number of works for the Met Ballet’s touring company, including Cinderella and Peter and the Wolf, which were funded by a Ford Foundation Grant. His ballets Cinderella, Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, Salut d’Amour, Lisztiana, Coppelia, and other works reside in the repertories of New York Theatre Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Joffrey II, Ballet West, Ballet Mississippi, and several companies in Japan.
Since 1991, Mahler has been the senior répétiteur of Tudor’s works in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and China. He has restaged Tudor’s signature ballets, including Lilac Garden, Dark Elegies, Continuo, Echoing of Trumpets, Gala Performance, Offenbach in the Underworld, Pillar of Fire, and The Planets, for national and international companies as well as for universities and professional schools. These distinguished organizations include American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, José Limón Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Royal Winnepeg Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Ballet Du Rhin, Hong Kong Ballet, Southern Methodist University, The Juilliard School, and New Zealand School of Dance.
Pianist Kevin Murphy is director of coaching and music administration for IU Opera Theater and professor of practice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In 2011, he was appointed director of the program for singers at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and 2013-14 marked his first season as artistic consultant for the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Previously, Murphy was director of music administration and casting advisor at New York City Opera and director of musical studies at the Opera National de Paris. He was the first pianist and vocal coach invited by James Levine into the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera, and from 1993 to 2006, Murphy was an assistant conductor at the Met. In his capacity as a member of the music staff, he played continuo harpsichord for many productions and toured Japan with the company. He also performed in Carnegie Hall with the Met Chamber ensemble and Met Orchestra and frequently played chamber music with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
In addition to his on- and off- stage partnership with soprano, Heidi Grant Murphy, Murphy has collaborated in concert and recital with artists such as Michelle DeYoung, Bejun Mehta, Gary Lakes, Kathleen Battle, Nathan Gunn, Elina Garanca, Matthew Polenzani, Cecilia Bartoli, Frederica von Stade, Placido Domingo, Paul Groves, Renee Fleming, Gerald Finley, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Pinchas Zuckerman. He is respected for his work as a private vocal coach and teacher and has taught at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute, Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood, and The Juilliard School. He assisted Seiji Ozawa in Japan in his Mozart/Da Ponte series and has been a guest opera coach at opera companies such as the Netherlands Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and the Ravinia Festival. In addition to playing and teaching, Murphy recently conducted and produced a staged concert performance of Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor at Indiana University and conducted the Schwabacher concerts at San Francisco Opera’s Merola program. He was on the podium for Emmanuel Chabrier’s L’Etoile at Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music with Robin Guarino directing. Other chamber music and concert appearances include La Jolla’s Summerfest, Music@Menlo, Vin et Musique Festival, Wigmore Hall, Suntory Hall, Spivey Hall, Edinburgh Festival, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, and Carnegie Hall. Murphy has appeared on The Tonight Show with Gary Lakes, Good Morning America with Cecilia Bartoli, and The Today Show with Renee Fleming and has recorded for the EMI, Centaur, Arabesque, and Koch labels. He is a frequent adjudicator for competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where he also has served as official accompanist on stage at the Met.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Murphy received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University and his Master of Music in Piano Accompanying from the Curtis Institute of Music. Murphy resides in Bloomington, Ind., with his wife and four children.
“Kevin Murphy is in the vanguard for Americans who have turned song accompaniment into an art. The pianism was so absorbing, the singer’s entry seemed like an intrusion. There can be no finer compliment.” – The San Francisco Examiner
A former principal dancer of New York City Ballet (NYCB) and American Ballet Theatre, Mimi Paul was born in 1943 in Washington, D.C. She trained at the school of the Washington Ballet. While still a student, she danced with the ballet troupe, where ballets were created especially for her by Mary Day and Heino Heiden.
In 1959, George Balanchine saw her dance and awarded her a scholarship to his School of American Ballet in Manhattan. In 1960, she joined New York City Ballet and quickly became one of her generation’s most widely admired and influential dancers. Known for her lyricism, mystery, and elegance, Paul synthesized her classical training with Balanchine’s neoclassical aesthetic.
“Mimi Paul was one of my big inspirations, a role model about movement,” Gelsey Kirkland recalled in Ballet Review in 2010. When NYCB visited London in 1965, Fernau Hall in Ballet Today called Paul “the most exciting young dancer to have reached these shores for years.”
At NYCB, Paul danced leading roles in Balanchine’s Apollo, Episodes, Symphony in C, Bourrée Fantasque, The Four Temperaments, Bugaku, Western Symphony, La Valse, Liebesleider Walzer, Serenade, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Divertimento No. 15, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition, she danced Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, in the 1964 company premiere of Antony Tudor’s Dim Lustre, and in Frederick Ashton’s Illuminations, which the company revived for her in 1967. At NYCB, Balanchine created roles for her in Don Quixote, Emeralds, and Valse Fantasie, and Jacques d’Amboise made the ballets Prologue and Quatuor for her.
In 1969, Paul danced as a guest with London Festival Ballet and joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT). At ABT, she danced the leads in the full-length classics Swan Lake and Giselle, in Paquita, Fokine’s Les Sylphides, Tudor’s Lilac Garden, and Massine’s Gaité Parisienne. She created roles in Alvin Ailey’s The River and Dennis Nahat’s Some Times and Momentum, and she danced in the company premiere of Eliot Feld’s Intermezzo. At ABT, she expanded her Balanchine repertory to include the virtuoso Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Sylvia pas de deux.
In 1973, she retired from performing and joined the dance faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, where she taught for a decade. During the following decade, she was largely absent from the dance world, raising two children.
Over the past two decades, Paul has staged Divertimento No. 15 for the Maggiodanza in Florence, Italy. She has coached at Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C., Indiana University, and Washington Ballet. In 2008, she taped coaching sessions for the Balanchine Foundation of the roles Balanchine created for her in Emeralds and Valse Fantasie.
Recently accepted to the D.M. Orchestral Conducting program at the Jacobs School of Music, Tal Samuel is currently studying with Arthur Fagen and David Effron, and serves as an assistant instructor and music director of the IU Campus Orchestra.
A native of Israel, Samuel made her Israeli conducting debut when she was 19 years old. A year later, she founded the Meitar Music Festival for string players, where she served as a music director and conductor of the festival’s orchestra.
In 2009, she won a grant for promising young conductors given by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra (HSO) Foundation and was invited to conduct her debut concert with the HSO.
Shortly after, Samuel received a conducting scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) and has been supported by the foundation since 2010. She was recently invited to participate in the Aviv Conducting Competitions sponsored by the AICF and the Israeli Ministry of Culture.
Her recent conducting engagements include orchestras such as the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonieta Bee’r-Sheva Symphony Orchestra, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Carter Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra (Ind.), Meitar Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, Buchmann-Mehta Symphony Orchestra, New Music Ensemble of Tel-Aviv University, and others.
Samuel grew up in Haifa, Israel. She studied piano in the Haifa Music Conservatory since the age of six and studied violin and viola in the Israeli Music Conservatory in Tel-Aviv, with the latter becoming her main instrument. As a violist, she has performed with various chamber groups and orchestras in Israel and abroad, and played under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Helmuth Rilling, and others.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel-Aviv University. In 2012, she moved to the United States and started pursuing a master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the Jacobs School of Music, graduating in May 2014.
Shawn Stevens is originally from Houston, Texas. At age 14, she attended Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts under the direction of Sydelle Gomberg. She continued her training at the School of American Ballet. In 1982, she was chosen by George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet (NYCB). During her time with the company, she performed principal roles in Balanchine’s ballets, including Symphony in Three Movements, The Four Temperaments, and Symphony in C. She danced in the original cast and performed principal roles in Brahms/Handel, choreographed by Twyla Tharp and Jerome Robbins. Stevens has worked with many other choreographers, such as Peter Martins, William Forsythe, Edward Villella, Ib Andersen, and Joseph Duell. During the 10 years she performed with NYCB, she danced in the TV programs Live from Lincoln Center with NYCB and Dance in America. She has also appeared as a principal dancer with the New York City Opera in Cinderella. In 1991, Stevens joined Twyla Tharp Dance, where she performed for five years. With Tharp’s company, she performed repertoire works as well as new works as a principal. She was asked to dance in the “Cutting Up” tour with Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Stevens’ film credits include I’ll Do Anything and In the Upper Room, both choreographed by Tharp. Stevens was personally invited to perform in Tharp’s hit Broadway musical Movin’ Out. She has been teaching ballet at several schools, universities, and companies throughout the United States. She is approved by The George Balanchine Trust to restage Balanchine’s works and also stages works by Tharp through the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation.
Irina Ter-Grigoryan received her degrees of piano performance, pedagogy, and accompaniment in the former Soviet Union. She served as a faculty member at the Baku State Conservatory and as an accompanist for the Azerbaijan State Theater Opera and Ballet. She was selected from a small pool of musicians to accompany international and regional competitions representing the Soviet Union. During her time in the United States, Ter-Grigoryan has continued her work as an accompanist with the Temple Square Concert Series Recitals in Salt Lake City, Utah; the University of Utah; and Ballet West Co.; and as a collaborative pianist at DePauw University. She currently holds the position of accompanist and music director with the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department.
Violette Verdy was a leading ballerina of the twentieth century, principal dancer for the New York City Ballet for 20 years, and former artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet and Boston Ballet.
Verdy has performed with over 50 companies on such stages as the Paris Opera, La Scala, Bolshoi Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre, Metropolitan Opera, Convent Garden, David H. Koch Theater, and the White House (by invitation of President Ford). She was a principal dancer with Ballets des Champs-Elysées and Ballets de Paris (1945-1956), London Festival Ballet (1954-1955), Ballet Rambert (1957), American Ballet Theatre (1957-1958), and New York City Ballet (1958-1977). She performed in over 100 different ballets with works by more than 50 choreographers, including those of the classical canon: Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, and Coppélia. Ballets created especially for Verdy include Roland Petit’s Le Loup; George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Jewels (“Emeralds” section), La Source, Sonatine, Liebeslieder Waltzer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Episodes, The Figure in the Carpet, Electronics, Glinkiana, and Choral Variations on Bach’s “Vom Himmel Hoch”; Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, In the Night, and A Beethoven Pas de Deux; and Balanchine/Robbins’ Pulcinella.
Verdy has worked as a teacher and coach with over 150 professional companies and schools worldwide and has visited many more around the United States when she served as a scout for the Ford Foundation and the School of American Ballet. She has been on faculty with the Jacobs School of Music since 1996. The inaugural recipient of the Kathy Ziliak Anderson Chair in Ballet (2010), Verdy was also elevated to a Distinguished Professor (2005) and awarded the President’s Medal for Excellence (2013). She serves as principal guest teacher to the School of American Ballet, New York City, and as artistic advisor to the Académie Américaine de Danse de Paris. She has also been invited to teach at the Paris Opera Ballet for the last several summers.
Verdy has many firsts to her credit, including the first female to be artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet (1977-1980), the first non-Russian female to be invited to teach at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow since the Russian Revolution of 1917 (2004, 2005), and the first to hold a university faculty chair position solely for ballet.
Verdy has appeared on stage and film, and was featured on British, French, Canadian, and American television. Appearances include the title role in Ludwig Berger’s film Ballerina (1949) and Jacqueline Audry’s film Olivia (1950); Montherlant’s play Malatesta with Jean-Louis Barrault (1950); MGM’s film The Glass Slipper (1955); NBC’s Bell Telephone Hour, Dinah Shore Show, and The Mike Douglas Show; CBS’s Carol Burnett Show; CBC’s The Still Point and The Nutcracker (by Neumeier); BBC’s Music for You and Turned Out Proud; PBS’s tribute to George Balanchine, Dance in America, and American Masters’ Jerome Robbins – Something to Dance About; Dominique Delouche’s Comme les Oiseaux (2009) and Balanchine in Paris (2011); and the documentary Budding Stars of the Paris Opera Ballet (2013).
Verdy has published children’s literature, including Of Swans, Sugarplums and Satin Slippers: Ballet Stories for Children (1991) and Giselle: A Role for a Lifetime (1970). She has been the subject of two biographies: Ballerina: A Biography of Violette Verdy by Victoria Huckenpahler (1978) and Violette Verdy by Dominique Delouche and Florence Poudru (2008); and of three documentaries: Rebecca Eaton’s Violette: A Life in Dance (1982), Dominique Delouche’s Violette & Mr. B (2001), and the VAI documentary Violette Verdy: The Artist Teacher at Chautauqua Institution (2009). She was on the cover of the March 16, 1959, edition of LIFE magazine.
Verdy has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. Most notably, she was awarded two medals from the French Government—the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1971 and Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur in 2009. She holds honorary doctorates from Goucher College, Boston Conservatory, and Skidmore College. In 1992, Pont l’Abbé, France (Verdy’s hometown), named its new theatre auditorium in her honor. In 2000, she was the recipient of Chautauqua Institution’s Kay Logan’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2001, she was awarded the Gala XV Women of Distinction Award from Birmingham-Southern College and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ballet Teachers in Higher Education CORPS de Ballet, Inc. In 2003, The School of American Ballet awarded her its Artistic Achievements Award, and in 2007, she received the Ballet2000 Irène Lidova Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2009, The School of American Ballet honored Verdy with the Mae L. Wien Faculty Award for Distinguished Service, and in 2011, she received the Jerome Robbins Award.
Reuben Walker is a first-year doctoral student at the Jacobs School of Music. He has been seen on the Indiana University Opera Theater stage in the roles of Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore, Le Bailli in Werther, and Pandolfe in Cendrillon. In April 2014, he premiered the role of Captain Keeney in New Voices Opera’s premier of Ezra Donner’s Ile. The previous year, with New Voices Opera, he premiered the role of Richard Nixon in Chappell Kingsland’s Intoxication: America’s Love Affair with Oil. Walker spent the past year touring with IU’s outreach program Reimagining Opera for Kids, performing the dual role of El Duende and Payador in Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires. In summer 2013, he performed the role of Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Pacific Lutheran University’s Summer Opera Workshop. Walker has performed as soloist with the IU New Music Ensemble, performing Chappell Kingsland’s Dans l’espoir de ce jour, as well as with the Symphonic Choir, performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. He has performed numerous solo recitals in Western Washington, including complete performances of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin. Walker completed his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University, where he was a Presser Scholar. There he performed the title role in Don Giovanni, the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, and in Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder as concerto competition finalist.
A native of China, Guoping Wang trained at the Shanghai Dance Academy and in the graduate program at the Jacobs School of Music. He performed with the Shanghai Ballet Company, Ballet Chicago Company, Colorado Ballet, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and many other companies. He worked with the Shanghai Ballet Company for 11 years before coming to IU. Wang has performed in many countries, including Egypt, Turkey, Israel, England, Scotland, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and in many U.S. states. From 1995 to 2002, he performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has taught at Cincinnati Ballet Company and School, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Gus Giordano Dance Center, Joffrey Ballet Company Apprentice Program, Salt Creek Ballet of Chicago, North Shore School of Dance, Ballet Chicago, Butler University, Ping Academy of Dance Canada, Kaleidoscope Company Indiana, Alwin School of the Dance in New Mexico, Dance Interlochen Center for the Arts, Rochester Ballet Company in New York, and many other ballet schools. Among the many roles he has danced are Coppelia for Ballet Chicago and The Torch Bearer for the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, both in 1997. He received the Ruth Page Award for outstanding dance achievement. Wang has been on the faculty of the School of Ballet Chicago and is a teacher and coach for Indiana University Ballet Theater.
Aaron Anker was born in Portland, Ore., and began his dance training at the age of four in Ashland, Ore. Upon moving to Virginia, he began formal ballet training at age 10 under the direction of Lisa Snape Avery. He attended summer programs at The Rock School, Carolina Ballet, Chautauqua Institute, and Boston Ballet, and has trained under many prestigious teachers including Suzanne Farrell, Violette Verdy, Patricia McBride, and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. Anker has been featured in principal roles at Indiana University in George Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations and The Four Temperaments, Violette Verdy’s Variations for Eight, Nicolo Fonte’s Left Unsaid, Michael Vernon’s production of The Nutcracker, and in the role of Amore, a character created by director Tom Diamond in his production of the opera Xerxes. He has also performed roles in George Balanchine’s Western Symphony and August Bournonville’s Tarantella. He is currently a junior at the Jacobs School of Music studying ballet and biology.
Maura Bell, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management and a minor in French. She began her ballet training at Pittsburgh Youth Ballet under the artistic direction of Jean Gedeon and continued at Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh, where she studied with Steven and Lindsay Piper, Robert Steele, and Lindy Mandradjieff. There she had the opportunity to dance the role of Sugarplum Fairy partnered by Stephen Hanna, a principal dancer of New York City Ballet, and the principal role in George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht. With Indiana University Ballet Theater, Bell has been featured in August Bournonville’s Folktale pas de sept, as a principal in Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, and most recently, in Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations. Her summer studies include Chautauqua, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Ballet Chicago, working with Daniel Duell and Patricia Blair. Bell is a member of Founders Scholars at IU and the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, as well as a recipient of a Hutton Honors College academic scholarship.
Bella Calafiura began her ballet training at the age of three in Port Richey, Fla., under Gillian Davis, where she completed all the Royal Academy of Dance Grades and Vocational Syllabi with the mark of distinction. In 2009, she was a semi-finalist in the Geneè International Ballet Competition in Singapore. In high school, Calafiura went on to train at the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for Performing Arts under Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus. She spent her summers training at Houston Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and Paul Taylor Dance Company. This past summer, she was an intern at Broadway Dance Center and completed its Summer Professional Semester. Since being at IU, Calafiura has enjoyed dancing featured roles in Paul Taylor’s Company B, Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields, and Bournonville Suite. She is a recipient of the Ken C. Whitener Jr. Fund for Ballet Excellence and is working toward her outside field in arts management.
Andrew Copeland began ballet in 2001 and trained at Rowland School of Ballet in Kingwood, Texas, and Akiko Ballet Studio in Japan. He attended Ballet West for two years, Oklahoma City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Portland Festival for summer intensive with full scholarship. He is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Scholarship from the Jacobs School of Music as well as the United Airlines Scholarship. Copeland is a member of Hutton Honors College, Founders Scholars at IU, and Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. With IUBT, Copeland has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker as Arabian and in Paul Taylor’s Airs. He is currently a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Biochemistry.
Austin Dowdy was born in Tampa, Fla. He began his formal training at the age of 14 with Orlando Ballet School directed by Peter Stark, where he achieved many classical titles at the Youth America Grand Prix. Two years later, he moved to New York and studied under Darla Hoover at Ballet Academy East. During his time at Ballet Academy East, he danced George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Raymonda Variations, among original works by Daniel Ulbricht and Jonathan Stafford, principals of New York City Ballet. Additional studies include the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Orlando Ballet School, each on full scholarship. Since coming to Indiana University, Dowdy has danced featured roles such as Waltz of the Flowers, Trepak, Chinese, and Harlequin Doll divertissements in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, as well as the Melancholic theme in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments in addition to various supporting corps de ballet roles.
Tyler Dowdy is a sophomore at Indiana University. Originally from Tampa, Fla., he began formal Training at Next Generation Ballet under the direction of Peter Stark. While at Next Generation Ballet, he appeared in Swan Lake, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker. Since coming to IU, Dowdy has performed in The Nutcracker as the Nutcracker as well as Trepak and Chinese. He also has danced George Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations.
Rachel Duvall is a senior at Indiana University. She is from Mission Hills, Kan. and trained at the Kansas City Ballet School, where she was an apprentice with the Kansas City Ballet for its 2010-11 season. She has attended summer programs with The School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. While at Indiana University, Duvall has performed in Concerto Barrocco, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Appalachian Springs, The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, and Divertimento No. 15. She is also studying business while at IU.
Ellie Edwards is currently a senior majoring in ballet with a second field of study in chemistry. Her training began at age eight with the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education. She joined the pre-professional division there at age 13 and graduated from the premier level as a senior. She has attended several summer programs, including Chautauqua, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and one of her own design with Dora Manela.
Colin Ellis is a sophomore from McHenry, Ill. He began his classical training at age five with the Judith Svalander School of Ballet on full scholarship. He has attended summer intensive programs with American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York City, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet Chicago, all on merit scholarships. Ellis was in the corps de ballet in the 2010 movie Life Lessons. He was awarded third place at the 2012 Carey Rose Winski Dance Scholarship Competition and is a recipient of the 2013 Woodstock Fine Arts Scholarship. In 2014, he won third place in the NSAL Classical Ballet competition. During his time with IUBT, Ellis has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker and Paul Taylor’s Airs. A recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award at the Jacobs School of Music, he is currently pursuing a Bachelor in Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management.
Bethany Green is a junior in the ballet department at the Jacobs School of Music. Starting at the age of three, she trained at Southold Dance Theater in South Bend, Ind., under the direction of Erica Fischbach. While at Southold, Green danced in many full-length ballets as well as original choreography, performing roles such as Myrtha in Giselle and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She has competed in Youth America Grand Prix both as a soloist and in ensembles, placing in the top 10 as a classical and contemporary soloist and advancing to the New York finals. Green has attended summer intensives with American Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet, and has also trained under such esteemed instructors as Kimmary Williams, Jacob Rice, Anna Reznik, and Alexei Kremnev. She spent this past summer in Barcelona, Spain, interning as a dancer and administrative assistant with Centro de Danza Maxime d’Harroche. In her time at IU, she has had the privilege of performing in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and Western Symphony, as well as the Kingdom of the Shades from Marius Petipa’s La Bayadere.
Rebecca Green is originally from Bakersfield, Calif., and is currently a junior attending Indiana University. She began her training at Civic Dance Center under the direction of Cindy Trueblood and attended summer programs including State Street Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, Boston Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet. Since joining IUBT, Green has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, and George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, The Four Temperaments, and Divertimento No. 15. Green is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Marketing and a Minor in Art History.
Cara Hansvick is a sophomore at Indiana University who was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to study ballet and arts administration. She grew up in Evanston, Ill., and began dancing at Dance Center Evanston under the training of Bea Rashid. She studied in the Cecchetti Technique and passed the first six grades of the method. She attended annual workshops and was awarded a full merit scholarship to the center’s summer program in 2008. She also attended the Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive in 2010 and received a partial scholarship to the Point Park University Summer Intensive in 2012. Hansvick was asked to be an apprentice with the Elements Contemporary Ballet in Chicago and was given the opportunity to perform with this professional company her senior year. She had the privilege to work with Chicago dance professionals such as Stacy Joy Keller, Mike Gosney, Victoria Barlow, Ron de Jesus, and many more. She was a member of the Evanston Dance Ensemble and danced leading roles in her junior and senior years.
Alexandra Hartnett is a junior from Malvern, Pa. She began her training on scholarship in The Rock School for Dance Education’s Professional Development program, working with distinguished ballerina and coach Mariaelena Ruiz. During the summers, Hartnett continued her training at The School of American Ballet (2008-09) and on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet (2010), Boston Ballet (2011-12), and Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York (2013). She was a second round top-12 finalist in the 1st Annual Boston International Ballet Competition (2011). In 2011, Hartnett was honored to be an award recipient of the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts: YoungArts & Presidential Scholars Program. Upon graduation from high school, she danced as a company artist with Ballet Arizona for the 2011-12 season before coming to IU, where she is studying ballet performance and informatics. She is a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship from the Jacobs School of Music and is also a member of the Hutton Honors College, Founders Scholars, IU Dance Marathon Marketing Committee, and Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity for Women. Since being at IU, Hartnett has performed in Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Violette Verdy’s Variations for Eight, and principal roles in Marius Petipa’s La Bayadere and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Divertimento No. 15, and Western Symphony.
Natalie Nguyen, a Senior at IU, was born and raised in Orange County, California. There, her early ballet training began with Michelle Hamilton and Norma Hamilton. She later continued her studies at Maple Conservatory of Dance in Southern California where she performed in ballets such as Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie, Coppelia, Nutcracker, Cinderella, and excerpts from Raymonda and Swan Lake. Nguyen has been offered scholarships to summer programs such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Washington Ballet, and Ballet Austin; she has attended programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Nguyen has participated in competitions including Youth America Grand Prix several years and the Prix de Lausanne in 2010. At IU, Nguyen is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Applied Health Sciences and a minor in Psychology.
Lily Overmyer was born in China and raised in Manhattan. While in New York, she started dance at the age of eight and attended the School of American Ballet from 2002 to 2007. Once realizing her passion for dance, she transferred to Ballet Academy East to study under Darla Hoover from 2007 to 2013, where she had featured roles in Sleeping Beauty Prolog, Offenbach Waltz, and Walpurgisnacht Ballet. She has also trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Boston Ballet School, and Miami City Ballet. Overmyer is currently a sophomore at the Jacobs School of Music.
Allison Perhach, a junior from Leesburg, Va., began her serious ballet training at the Loudoun School of Ballet under Maureen Miller and Sharon Mercke. There she performed roles such as Odette/Odile, Sugar Plum Fairy, and Aurora as well as a variety of contemporary work. At Indiana University, she has performed in Bournonville’s Tarantella; Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, Divertimento No. 15, and Donizetti; and as a featured dancer in Paul Taylor’s Airs as well as in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. A member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and a Jacobs School of Music Premier Young Artist scholarship recipient, Perhach is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management.
Matthew Rusk was born in Tucson, Ariz., and trained at the Tucson Regional Ballet and the Ruth Page School of Dance before moving to Houston, where he graduated from the High School for the Performing Visual Arts with honors in dance. He also trained at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, where he performed in The Nutcracker and Stanton Welch’s Studies. Over the past several years, Rusk has attended summer programs at Ballet Chicago, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Boston Ballet School. Now a junior at IU, he has performed the Snow Cavalier, Arabian, and Drosselmeyer in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker and Phlegmatic in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Rusk is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist scholarship from the Jacobs School of Music.
IImani Idell Sailers is a native of Chicago, Ill. At the age of three, she began her dance training at the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center under the direction of Homer Hans Bryant. Some of her dance highlights to date include dancing at the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2010 Inaugural White House Dance Series, performing in Memoria (1979) with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and performing as Wili in Giselle Act II with José Carreño and Julie Kent. Sailers has competed in several dance competitions, including the Youth America Grand Prix and the Carey Rose Winski Dance Scholarship Competition. She has performed variations and roles such as Odile from Swan Lake, Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker, and Kitri from Don Quixote. While at IU, she won first prize in the 2014 ballet competition for the National Society of Arts and Letters–Bloomington Chapter. Sailers has spent her summers attending workshops and dance intensive programs at her home studio as well as at The School at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Hartt School, English National Ballet USA, José Carreño Dance Festival, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress. As a sophomore at IU, Sailers is a Hudson & Hollands Scholar and a member of the Hutton Honors College. She is also a National Achievement Scholar through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Political Science and a minor in French.
Kenneth Shelby is a 21-year-old junior at Indiana University working toward his bachelor’s in ballet degree. He first gained his passion for dance while in his former dance group, Anointed Praise, at church, watching his older sister and cousin, Allicia Gonzalez and Alexys Cobb. Then in fourth and fifth grade, he attended Perkins Elementary, where he first gained his ballet training, with some influences of tap and jazz. Afterward, he went to John Hopkins Middle School in the magnet program for dance; for three years, he studied in the Vaganova method of ballet and character. At Gibbs High School, Shelby attended the magnet program Pinellas County Center for the Arts, studying in the Vaganova method and the Horton Technique. In those four years, he worked with several great artists, such as Ferdinand De Jesus, Erik Wagner, Helen French, Christopher Fleming, Amy Raymond, and Carmen Rozestraten.
Emily Smith is a sophomore from Gurnee, Ill., and received her early training at Dancenter North. She spent five summers attending intensive programs at Miami City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. At Indiana University, she has performed in La Bayadère and Michael Vernon’s production of The Nutcracker. Smith is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Biology. She is a recipient of the Music Faculty Award from the Jacobs School of Music, in addition to being a member of Hutton Honors College, Founders Scholars at Indiana University, and Alpha Phi.
Raffaella Stroik is a sophomore studying Italian as her outside field at Indiana University. She trained in South Bend, Ind., at Southold Dance Theater under the direction of Erica Fischbach. There she was fortunate enough to dance leading roles such as the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Swanhilde in Coppelia. She has participated in the Youth America Grand Prix and has attended the New York City Finals as a soloist. Stroik has attended American Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive in New York City, Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program, and Ballet West’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship. She also trained with Fabrice Herrault and Sofiane Sylve this past summer.
Katie Zimmerman is a junior from Chester Springs, Pa. She began training under the direction of Lisa Slagle and Thomas Nicholson at the Ballet Academy of Texas. After moving to Pennsylvania, she continued her training at Chester Valley Dance Academy and at the International Ballet Theater with Alexander Boitsov. Zimmerman has attended summer intensives including the Joffrey Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, The Rock School, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. In 2011 and 2012, she competed and placed in the Youth American Grand Prix regionals in Philadelphia and continued on to the New York finals. At IU, Zimmerman has been featured in Violette Verdy’s Variations for Eight, George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker as Arabian. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Business.