The story is set in Vienna in the middle of the nineteenth century. Herr Silberhaus and his wife, along with their children, Clara and Fritz, celebrate the holiday festivities with friends and family. During this Christmas Eve night, the guests and their children rejoice in the magical Christmas atmosphere that Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara’s godfather, brings to the Silberhaus home. He fills the festivities with magical entertainment, dancing dolls, and toys for the children. Herr Drosselmeyer has a special surprise for Clara, a Nutcracker doll. Overjoyed, Clara dances with her new Nutcracker, but her jealous brother, Fritz, damages the Nutcracker. Herr Drosselmeyer fixes it with his magic powers, and after one final dance, the guests leave.
That night, Clara falls into a deep sleep but is woken by giant mice that menace and threaten her. Herr Drosselmeyer protects her and helps her escape. She finds herself back in the living room where, to her amazement, the Christmas tree grows to giant size, and she is in the midst of a huge battle between an army of tin soldiers and the mice. The Nutcracker doll comes to life and duels with the King Mouse. The Nutcracker ultimately rescues Clara from the King Mouse, whom she distracts by throwing her slipper, thus saving herself from his clutches. Herr Drosselmeyer takes Clara on the first part of a magical journey, the first stop of which is the Land of Snow, presided over by the Snow Queen and her Cavalier.
Herr Drosselmeyer then takes Clara to the Land of Sweets, where she is met by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her court of angels. Clara recounts her story of battle with the King Mouse. As a reward, the Sugar Plum Fairy performs her famous dance for Clara and invites her to stay and watch while she is entertained by the many Divertissements who inhabit her kingdom.
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 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 the Norwegian National Ballet. He has been a guest teacher for The Juilliard School and taught for many years at The Ailey School. He has served on the panel of judges for the Youth of America Grand Prix regional semifinals. For Indiana University, 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. His production of The Nutcracker has become one of the best attended events at the Jacobs School of Music.
Carmon DeLeone is music director of Cincinnati Ballet and conductor laureate of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and the Middletown (Ohio) Symphony. At New York’s Carnegie Hall, he has served as conductor and host of the Family Concert Series with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has conducted frequent performances in Europe with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and has been named the Illinois Music Director of the Year. Under DeLeone’s leadership, the Illinois Philharmonic was twice named the Illinois Orchestra of the Year.
As a composer, he most recently premiered his Fanfare, Funk and Fandango (An American Dance Set). He has composed many original scores for the ballet, most recently his Princess & the Pea. His best known work, a full-length ballet in two acts, Peter Pan, is enjoying continued praise in major cities from coast to coast as well as overseas. DeLeone conducted the debut of Peter Pan in London during a 28-performance run with the Atlanta Ballet at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall. His list of ballet score creations also includes Frevo, Guernica, With Timbrel and Dance Praise His Name, and Ruth Page’s nationally televised production of Billy Sunday.
During his 12-year tenure as assistant, and later resident, conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, DeLeone served on its staff with music directors Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, Walter Susskind, and Erich Kunzel. He was also selected personally by Erich Leinsdorf to participate in an intensive master conducting seminar at Lincoln Center.
DeLeone’s diverse talents are demonstrated by the wide range of his musical interests. He is experienced in both the classics and jazz, whether leading his own Studio Big Band from the drum set or playing French horn in both idioms.
As adjunct assistant professor of opera and music theatre at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he conducted productions of Prince Igor, La Cenerentola, Gianni Schicchi, The Crucible, La Calisto (American premiere), and The Secret Marriage. At Indiana University, he conducted the world premiere and nationally televised production of John Eaton’s children’s opera, The Lion and Androcles.
DeLeone is very pleased to have made his New York conducting debut with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for its season-opening gala performance of Carmina Burana and Revelations at New York’s City Center. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and was immediately re-engaged to host and conduct all of the following year’s series of Family Concerts.
He is a proud recipient of Cincinnati’s prestigious Post-Corbett Award for excellence in the arts. He was named A Gentleman of Style and Substance by Cincinnati Magazine, and, most recently, was awarded the esteemed MacDowell Medal by the Cincinnati MacDowell Society.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, and raised not two blocks from the Indiana University campus, C. David Higgins started his theatrical studies at IU intent on becoming an actor/dancer before he discovered his love for scenic design. He studied with the famous C. Mario Cristini and became proficient in the Romantic-Realist style of scenic design and painting. After earning his master’s degree, he joined the staff of IU Opera Theater and worked there as master scenic artist from the time the Musical Arts Center opened in 1971 until his retirement in December 2011. He was appointed to the faculty in 1976 and served as chair of the Opera Studies Department and principal designer for Opera Theater. His design credits throughout the United States include the San Antonio Festival, Memphis Opera, Norfolk Opera, Louisville Opera, Detroit Symphony, Canton Ballet, and Sarasota Ballet as well as many other venues. His Indiana University productions have been seen throughout North America as rentals by major regional opera companies. His many international credits include the Icelandic National Theater; Ballet San Juan de Puerto Rico; Korean National Opera; Seoul City Opera; Korean National Ballet; Dorset Opera (England); Teatro la Paz de Belém, Brazil; and the Teatro National de São Paulo, Brazil. He hasdesigned the scenery for the world première of Our Town (Ned Rorem), the American premières of Jeppe (Sandström) and The Devils of Loudun (Penderecki), and the collegiate premieres of Nixon in China (Adams) and The Ghosts of Versailles (Corigliano) as well as many other operas and ballets. Known for his Italianate painting style, Opera News magazine has referred to Higgins as one of the finest American scenic artists today.
Originally from Chicago, Mitchell Ost is the lighting supervisor for the Jacobs School of Music. He recently relocated to Bloomington after living in New York City, where he was a resident designer at Joe’s Pub, the cabaret space at the Public Theater. In addition to his work in the New York opera, theater, and dance world, he has designed lighting and scenery on several continents. Ost is currently a resident designer for the M Ensemble Company in Miami, Florida. He also worked for several years in the lighting department at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island.
Mackenzie Allen is a senior in the Jacobs School of Music working toward a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance and is also in the Kelley School of Business, where she is studying accounting. Originally from Rockville, Maryland, she attended The Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Kee Juan Han. At Indiana University, she has performed in George Balanchine’s Swan Lake and Divertimento No. 15, Jerome Robbins’ NY Export: Opus Jazz, Sasha Janes’ Sketches from Grace, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. In IU Opera Theater’s production of Oklahoma!, she appeared as Dream Laurie in the ballet dream scene. In the summer of 2017, she danced with the Washington, D.C.,-based contemporary company Errant Movement, with which she toured to perform in Chicago and Detroit.
Anna Barnes was born in Los Angeles, California, and started her ballet training at age three at the Westside Ballet School in Santa Monica, run by the late Yvonne Mounsey. In 2015, Barnes graduated from Colburn Dance Academy, run by Jenifer Ringer and Benjamin Millepied. Barnes is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance at the Jacobs School with an Outside Field in Marketing at the Kelley School of Business. Her favorite ballets performed while attending Jacobs are Twyla Tharp’s Surfer at the River Styx, George Balanchine’s Serenade, and, most recently, Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.
Mason Bassett is a freshman at Indiana University from Bryan, Ohio. He started dancing at Bryan Community School of Dance, under the direction of Kimberly Shaffer, taking ballet, jazz, tap, and modern. He later trained with Nigel Burgoine at the Ballet Theatre of Toledo. For his senior year of high school, he attended Interlochen Arts Academy, studying with Joseph Morrissey. He has attended summer intensives at Interlochen Arts Camp (2014), Pennsylvania Ballet (2015), and The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory (2016). At the Jacobs School, Bassett is pursuing a Bachelor of Science inBallet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management. In IU Ballet Theater’s Fall Ballet, he performed in two pieces choreographed by Sasha Janes (You and I and Lascia la Spina, Cogli la Rosa) and in Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.
Georgia Dalton was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and began her ballet training with Columbus Youth Ballet at age three. From age five to eighteen, her ballet education included formal training with Dublin Dance Centre and Columbus City Ballet. She has attended summer intensive programs at American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Ballet Met. Dalton most recently performed Flower Festival in Genzano and Lascia la Spina, Cogli la Rosa with IU Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater. She is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award and is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Marketing.
A freshman at the Jacobs School of Music, Anderson Da Silva is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Exercise Science. He was born in Tampa, Florida, and received ballet training in Tampa at America’s Ballet School under directors Paula Nuñez and Osmany Montano. He has performed leading roles in The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Coppelia, and Diana & Acteon.
Alexis Eicher was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She began dancing at age four in a church dance ministry but did not begin pre-professional ballet training until the sixth grade, at the New American Youth Ballet under the instruction of Beth McLeish. Eicher has taken master classes with teachers from New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She spent seven weeks at the Chautauqua Summer Intensive, where she worked closely with Patricia McBride and performed in George Balanchine’s Rubies with the Charlotte Ballet. Eicher has also performed repertoire choreographed by Michael Vernon, Mark Diamond, Eddy Ocampo, Jimmy Orrante, Melinda Howe, and many others. During her time at IU, she has performed in Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz and Sasha Janes’ Sketches from Grace. She is currently a freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Psychology.
Sam Epstein is from Saratoga Springs, New York, where he trained at the National Museum of Dance. He began his formal training at the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Ballet under the direction of Daniel Ulbricht. He has received scholarships to summer programs at Ballet Academy East, Boston Ballet School, and American Ballet Theatre. Epstein is currently a freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. He is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award, a member of the Hutton Honors College, and a Wells Scholar. During his time at IU, he has performed the male principal role in George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie.
Julian Goodwin-Ferris was raised in Houston, Texas. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance, with an Outside Field in Music. Last year, he took a leave of absence from IU to dance with Ballet Austin for a season. While there, he traveled to China on tour for a month and performed solo roles in Stephen Mills’ The Nutcracker and Septime Webre’s Alice (in Wonderland), among other ballets. He started his training at the Houston Ballet Academy, where he danced for more than 10 years. In Houston, he performed numerous roles at the academy, including an adagio variation from The Sleeping Beauty, a solo from the Swan Lake hunt scene, and parts in Stanton Welch’s Brigade and Bournonville’s Napoli as well as multiple small roles with the company. In 2015, Goodwin-Ferris studied at the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz in Dresden, Germany, for a month. He has attended summer programs at the Royal Danish Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, and, most recently Jacob’s Pillow Dance. Between 2007 and 2009, he sang in the Children’s Chorus for Houston Grand Opera’s productions, and he sang a solo in The Village of Waltz for Hope Stone Dance Company in 2009 and 2010. He has performed roles in several Shakespeare plays, including Anthony in Julius Caesar, Oberon in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Feste in Twelfth Night. He will perform the Cavalier in The Nutcracker with the San Luis Obispo Civic Ballet this December.
Nicholas Gray is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Theatre and Drama. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he trained at the First Stage Theatre Academy for six years and the Milwaukee Ballet for three years. He then began training at The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory for his junior and senior years of high school. Gray has spent summers at the Pacific Northwest Ballet and at the Chautauqua Institution, where he performed George Balanchine’s Raymonda and Sasha Janes’ Playground Teasers, as well as the Coppélia Mazurka dance with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Gray’s IU Ballet Theatre appearances include August Bournonville’s Flower Festival in Genzano, Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export; Opus Jazz and Fanfare, Twyla Tharp’s As Time Goes By and Surfer at the River Styx, Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, and Paul Taylor’s Musical Offering. He has performed with IU Opera Theater in its productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and Handel’s Rodelinda. Last spring, Gray performed in the ensemble of IU Theatre’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone.
Anna Grunewald was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her training at a small performing arts school and moved on to the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh from the fourth grade through her senior year of high school. There she danced under the instruction of Steven and Lindsay Piper and Lindy Mandradjieff. In previous summers, Grunewald has studied at the Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, Boston Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, Ballet West, and Chautauqua. She is currently a junior at the Jacobs School pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management. During her time at Indiana University, she has performed in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Serenade, and Divertimento No.15, as well as in Giselle, Bournonville’s Flower Festival in Genzano, and Sasha Janes’ Lascia la Spina, Cogli la Rosa.
Antonio Houck was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, and began dancing at the age of nine at Colorado Conservatory of Dance. He has attended intensive programs at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Orlando Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance. This is his third year at the Jacobs School, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Public and Environmental Policy. He has appeared in N.Y Export: Opus Jazz, Musical Offering, Giselle, Saudade, and Sasha Janes’ Sketches from Grace.
Kristin Howard is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Business and a Minor in Business Marketing. Growing up in California, she began her ballet studies at age eight under the instruction of Stuart Carroll and Sharon Newton at Capitol Ballet Center in Sacramento. There she performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, Giselle, Swan Lake, Les Patineurs, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Coppelia. She has attended summer intensive programs at The School of American Ballet in New York and Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle on scholarship, as well as interning at Joffrey Ballet School in San Francisco in 2016. At Indiana University, she has performed in George Balanchine’s Swan Lake, Concerto Barocco, Elegie, and Divertimento No. 15, as well as in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, featured as the Snow Queen. Howard is a recipient of the Jacobs School of Music Premier Young Artist Scholarship, the Academic Excellence Scholarship, and the Founders Scholar Award. After her graduation this December, she will be pursuing a professional career in business with a focus on the arts.
Darren Hsu was born and raised in Rockville, Maryland, and began his training with the Maryland Youth Ballet when he was seven years old. There he studied with Michelle Lees, Christopher Doyle, Rhodie Jorgenson, and other former professional dancers. With their encouragement, Hsu briefly trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Orlando Ballet School, and the master class series held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He is currently a junior at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Informatics.
Camille Kellems is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management. She was born and raised in Newport Beach, California, and began dancing at age three at Classical Dance Center. Her pre-professional ballet training began at Ballet Pacific, which transitioned to the Maple Conservatory under the direction of Charles Maple. She has attended summer intensives with San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The School of American Ballet, and Boston Ballet. At IU, she has performed in Giselle, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Divertimento No. 15, and Valse-Fantasie; Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare; Twyla Tharp’s As Time Goes By; and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker.
Jared Alexander Kelly is a junior from Suitland, Maryland. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Marketing. While in elementary school, he participated in the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Pre-Professional Residency Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., under the leadership of world-renowned dancer and founder Arthur Mitchell. Kelly began more intensive training at The Washington School of Ballet (TWSB) with Kee Juan Han and Katrina Toews. With TWSB, he performed at the White House for President Obama and the First Lady. After middle school, Kelly trained under the direction of Norma Pera and the dance faculty at the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA). He performed numerous lead roles on the Lyric Opera House stage while at BSA, including The Preacher in Appalachian Spring by Martha Graham and The Nutcracker Prince in Barry Hughson’s The Nutcracker. While attending the Baltimore School for the Arts, he became a founding member of Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble, performing modern, African, and contemporary pieces under the artistic direction of D.C. dance legend Katherine Smith. At Indiana University, he has danced in Balanchine’s Divertimento No.15 and Serenade. He has also performed principal roles in Twyla Tharp’s Surfer at the River Styx and As Time Goes By. Most recently, he performed the Flower Festival Pas de Deux by August Bournonville, Hallelujah from Sketches from Grace by Sasha Janes, and N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz by Jerome Robbins.
Abigail Kulwicki grew up in Hudson, Ohio, and began her ballet training under the instruction of Mia Klinger in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. As a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, she performed lead and featured roles in original ballets choreographed by Francis Patrelle, Tom Gold, Laszlo Berdo, and other well-known choreographers. At 15, she moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to continue her training and complete her high school studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. There Kulwicki was featured in Polovtsian Dances, an original piece choreographed by Dean Susan Jaffe, as well as in numerous Balanchine ballets, such as La Source and Sleeping Beauty. She has attended summer intensives at Boston Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy, and Washington Ballet. During her time at Indiana University, she has performed in Emeralds, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Swan Lake. She is a senior pursing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Elementary Education.
Sterling Manka is a junior from Fishers, Indiana, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. He began dancing age eight at the Jordan Academy of Dance at Butler University and graduated from Indiana Ballet Conservatory, where he trained with Sergey Sergiev. Manka also trained privately under Marek Cholewa and Rosanna Ruffo, professors of dance at Butler. He placed in the top 12 in the Ensembles category at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York City for his performance in Sergey Sergiev’s Amélie. Additionally, he attended the 2015 Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in New York City, where he won a scholarship to spend a month training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia, and an invitation to train at the academy year round. Recently, he choreographed the contemporary solo Wake for histwin sister (and apprentice with American National Ballet), Hanna Manka, for the 2016 Varna International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. While at IU, he has performed in George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 and The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Twyla Tharp’s As Time Goes By, Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, and IU Opera and Ballet Theater’s collaborative production of Oklahoma! Manka is a member of the Hutton Honors College.
Ryan McCreary is a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Psychology. She first fell in love with ballet during her years at Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet under the direction of Oliver Arana, Susie Payne, Stephanie Roig, and Tricia Sundbeck. During this time, McCreary performed roles in Don Quixote, Paquita, The Nutcracker, and more. She placed fourth in the World Ballet Competition in 2012 and in the top 12 at Youth America Grand Prix, New York. She received the silver award at YoungArts in Miami, Florida, where she was also invited to participate in the Presidential Scholar program. She has attended summer intensives such as The School of American Ballet and Chautauqua. While at Chautauqua, she performed with Charlotte Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and in a special performance alongside some of Chautauqua’s finest alumni. Since coming to the Jacobs School of Music, McCreary has performed lead roles in works choreographed by Paul Taylor, George Balanchine, Michael Vernon, and Sasha Janes.
Claudia Rhett grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and trained with Harding Academy School of Dance beginning at age three. During her time there, she studied several styles of dance and served as an assistant teacher for younger classes. She has attended summer intensives at The School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and, most recently, Chautauqua. Currently a sophomore at the Jacobs School, Rhett is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Business and teaches in the Pre-College Ballet Program. While at IU, she has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Giselle as staged by Eve Lawson, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie, and Sasha Janes’ Sketches from Grace.
Kyra Muttilainen is a sophomore from Richmond, Vermont, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. She began her training at the age of five at Vermont Ballet Theater under the direction of Alex and Kirsten Nagiba. She has attended summer intensives with the Bolshoi Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ellison Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. In her time with IU Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater, she has performed in Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie, Giselle, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. Muttilainen is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award.
Prior to attending the Jacobs School of Music, Anna Peabody spent four years as a student at the Baltimore School for the Arts in Baltimore, Maryland, under the instruction of Norma Pera and Anton Wilson. During her time there, Peabody performed lead roles in Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, George Balanchine’s Serenade, and Barry Hughson’s The Nutcracker, as well as in multiple other works choreographed by Christopher d’Amboise. Peabody has attended summer intensives with Boston Ballet School and Ballet Austin. Most recently, she spent her summer at the Chautauqua Institution studying under Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, where she performed with the Charlotte Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Currently in her third year at IU, she has performed in Paul Taylor’s Musical Offering, Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Sasha Janes’ Saudade and Sketches from Grace, and Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Elementary Education.
Andrew Rossi was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began his formal dance training at age 14 with the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh under the direction of Steven and Lindsay Piper and with the Dance Conservatory of Pittsburgh under the direction of Danielle Pavlik and Mariah McLeod. His summers were spent dancing at the Point Park University Summer Dance Intensive, the Chautauqua Institution, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Rossi is a freshman on scholarship at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. While at IU, he has choreographed for the outreach initiative Occupy People’s Park. Last fall, Rossi performed in IU Opera Theater’s production of Don Giovanni and George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantasie with IU Ballet Theater.
Rachel Schultz is a sophomore at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management. She began her ballet training at age eight in Crystal Lake, Illinois, at the Judith Svalander School of Ballet. She has studied at many different ballet schools, including Omaha Theater Ballet School under the direction of Robin Welch, Ruth Page Center for the Arts under the direction of Doloris Lipinski and Victor Alexander, and Southold Dance Theater under Erica Fischbach. In 2016, she graduated from the Indiana Ballet Conservatory under the direction of Alyona Yakovleva-Randall. She also studied privately with Allen Fields, Ellen Huston, and Tatiana Pali. Also in 2016, Schultz won second place in the senior classical division at Youth America Grand Prix in Indianapolis. This past spring, she competed in the National Society of Arts and Letters dance competition for the Bloomington chapter and was awarded a grant. During her freshman year, she danced in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, and Giselle.
Lauren Smolka is a junior from Greensburg, Pennsylvania. She began dancing at the age of three and developed her passion for ballet at the age of thirteen, when she was admitted into the pre-professional division at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT). She performed in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker as a Snowflake and a Flower alongside company members. In the PBT school performances, she performed in David Lichine’s Graduation Ball and Marius Petipa’s La Bayadere. Smolka has also performed in works choreographed by George Balanchine, including Snowflakes, Raymonda Variations, Concerto Barocco, Elegies, Divertimento No. 15, and Valse-Fantaisie. One of her most memorable performances was dancing the role of the Oboe in Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare with IU Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater. She has attended summer intensive programs at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre, New York.
Anna Lisa Wilkins was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Italian as well as a Bachelor of Science in Finance. She hopes to dance with a professional ballet company after graduation. At the Jacobs School of Music, she has been involved with many of the opera and ballet performances, either as a dancer in the ballets or working for the costume department for the operas. Her repertoire at IU includes Concerto Barocco, The Nutcracker, Divertimento No. 15, Fanfare, Flower Festival in Genzano, and NY Export: Opus Jazz. She has been involved with the Pre-College Ballet Program, both in teaching and choreographic roles. This year, Wilkins also became involved with community outreach through the ballet department.
Gillian Worek is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Psychology. She grew up in Florence, New Jersey, where she studied ballet under the direction of Julie Caprio at the Hamilton Ballet Theatre. Worek has performed with IU Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater in Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare and George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie, Divertimento No.15, and Swan Lake (Act III), as well as Giselle (Act II) and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. This past summer, she attended the Boca Ballet Theater Advanced Summer Intensive, where she performed Balanchine’s La Source.
Sarah Young was born in Bloomington, Indiana, where she began her ballet training in the Pre-College Ballet Program at the Jacobs School of Music. By the time she was in high school, she had attended summer intensives at The School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Houston Ballet. She continued her training under Peter Boal at the Professional Division Program at Pacific Northwest Ballet, where she danced alongside the professional company in numerous roles, including in George Balanchine’s Diamonds, Alexi Ratmansky’s Don Quixote, and Kent Stowell’s The Nutcracker. A junior at Indiana University, Young is double-major pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance at Jacobs and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing at the Kelley School of Business. She remains an active participant in Kelley, Jacobs, and the Hutton Honors College.