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 awoken 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). Vernon’s 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 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 TheSleeping Beauty. He has choreographed for many IU Opera Theater productions, such as Faust and the world premiere of Vincent.
Music director of the Oviedo Philharmonic (OFIL) from 2011 to 2017, Marzio Conti received recognition and the acclaim of audiences and critics for his achievements in guiding the growth of the orchestra to new artistic heights, notably with OFIL’s recordings of the complete symphonic works of Saint-Saëns for Warner Classics. Conti has earned numerous awards and was named a juror for the arts prize of the prestigious Premios Asturias. Among his generation’s leading exponents of the flute, Conti performed with major orchestras and made numerous recordings through the mid-1990s, after which he devoted himself to conducting. A student of Piero Bellugi, Conti quickly received engagements as a permanent director of various Italian and foreign orchestras. He conducts both opera and the symphonic repertoire, and collaborates with leading international dance companies as well as major soloists. He has appeared as a guest conductor throughout Europe, at such notable venues as the Rome Opera, Theater Dortmund, and London’s Wigmore Hall. He has conducted numerous orchestras, including Orchestra Haydn, Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Korean National Symphony Orchestra, and Haifa Symphony Orchestra (Israel), to name a few. He has collaborated with a host of soloists, including Barbara Hendricks, Bryn Terfel, Misha Maisky, Midori, Lin Harrell, Sabine Meyer, and Jean-Pierre Rampal. Through recordings, broadcast media, and live performance, Conti has worked to develop the profile and quality of a number of institutions. Before his work with OFIL, he was principal conductor at the Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese (1998-2002), music director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Turin (2001-04), music director of the Teatro di Tradizione per l’Opera Italiana of Chieti (2003-08), and artistic director of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo (2004-10). When he stepped down as OFIL’s music director, the city of Oviedo awarded Conti the Gold Medal of the Auditorium Prince Felipe in recognition of his extraordinary contributions. Since 2014, he has collaborated as guest conductor and visiting professor with the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, and raised not two blocks from 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 Indiana University 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 has designed the scenery for the world premiere of Our Town (Ned Rorem), the American premieres 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
Aaron Bowersox is a Pennsylvania native and graduate of Indiana University, with a master’s degree in lighting design. He currently resides in New York City, where he works as a freelance lighting designer and photographer. His most recent designs include Chicago, Tuck Everlasting, La Cage aux Folles, Spring Awakening, Sweeney Todd, Sweet Charity, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater’s fall ballet, Connections.
Christian Claessens is lecturer in ballet at the IU Jacobs School of Music. He began his ballet training at the Conservatoire de la Monaie. In 1978, he came to New York on scholarship to the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre School. After graduating, he performed with the Kansas City Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. In 1984, he returned to Europe as a member of the Dutch National Ballet. As a soloist, Claessens toured internationally with Stars of the American Ballet, Stars of the New York City Ballet, Stars of the Hong Kong Ballet, and Kozlov and Friends. In 1991, he cofounded the Scarsdale Ballet Studio with Diana White. In 1999, he codirected the International Ballet Project with Valentina Kozlova and White, both of New York City Ballet. In 1998, he took over the directorship of the Purchase Youth Ballet. He was the director of La Leçon: Christian Claessens School of Ballet in Westchester, New York.
Sasha Janes is an associate professor in ballet at the IU Jacobs School of Music. He has danced professionally with West Australian Ballet, Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, and Dayton Ballet, performing principal roles in works by Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Marius Petipa, Septime Webre, Anthony Tudor, Dwight Rhoden, Alonzo King, Twyla Tharp, Alvin Ailey, and many others. He has served as both associate artistic director and resident choreographer of Charlotte Ballet. His choreographed works include Carmen, Dangerous Liaisons, We Danced Through Life, Last Lost Chance, Shelter, At First Sight, Loss, The Four Seasons, The Red Dress, Utopia, Playground Teasers, The Seed and the Soil, Chaconne, Queen, Sketches from Grace, and Rhapsodic Dances, which was performed as part of the Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America series in June 2013. The Washington Post called Janes “a choreographer to watch.” He was a participant in New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute and has been a guest choreographer for Richmond Ballet’s New Works Festival.
Carla Körbes is associate professor of ballet at the IU Jacobs School of Music. She was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began training at age five. In 1996, Peter Boal encouraged her to come to the United States to study at the School of American Ballet. She joined New York City Ballet as an apprentice in 1999 and was made a member of the corps de ballet in 2000. She was promoted to soloist in 2005 and joined Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) as a soloist later that year. She was promoted to principal dancer at PNB in 2006 and retired from the company in 2015. Körbes danced numerous ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon, William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, and Twyla Tharp, and performed classical works including Swan Lake, Giselle, and Don Quixote. Before joining the Jacobs School of Music faculty, she served as associate director of the L. A. Dance Project and taught at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. (Photo by Patrick Fraser)
Kyra Nichols is professor of ballet at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where she holds the Violette Verdy and Kathy Ziliak Anderson Chair in Ballet. Nichols began her early training with her mother, Sally Streets, a former member of New York City Ballet (NYCB). Nichols became an apprentice and then a member of the corps de ballet at NYCB in 1974 and was promoted to soloist in 1978. In 1979, George Balanchine promoted her to principal dancer, and she worked closely with both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She performed numerous leading roles in the NYCB repertoire, including Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto Number 2, Stars and Stripes, Liebeslieder Walzer, and Davidsbündlertänze. She has worked with an extensive list of choreographers, including William Forsythe, Susan Stroman, Christopher Wheeldon, Jacques D’Amboise, Robert La Fosse, and Robert Garland. She retired from New York City Ballet in June 2007, after 33 years with the company, as the longest-serving principal dancer in the company’s history. Immediately prior to joining the Jacobs School, she was ballet mistress at Pennsylvania Ballet.
Sarah Wroth is chair of the Ballet Department and associate professor of ballet at the IU Jacobs School of Music. She began her training at the Frederick School of Classical Ballet in Frederick, Maryland. In 2003, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Education from the Jacobs School of Music. That same year, she joined Boston Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. With the company, Wroth performed principal roles in works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Marius Petipa, Jerome Robbins, Helen Pickett, and Mikko Nissinen, and soloist roles in ballets by Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, and August Bournonville. She has performed with Boston Ballet internationally in Spain, England, South Korea, and Finland, and, in 2009, she was awarded the E. Virginia Williams Inspiration Award for her unwavering dedication to ballet and the Boston Ballet Company. Wroth earned a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University in 2015 and retired from Boston Ballet in May 2017.
Rebecca Janes is an adjunct faculty member at the Jacobs School of Music. After a professional career spanning 20 years, dancing principal roles by George Balanchine, Alonzo King, Dwight Rhoden, Nacho Duato, Marius Petipa, Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, Anthony Tudor, and Sasha Janes, she moved to Bloomington with her family. Before coming to Bloomington, she was part of the senior ballet faculty at Charlotte Ballet Academy. She has been teaching for nine years and is also on faculty at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.
Sophia Fatouros is the Pre-College Ballet Program director and on faculty in the Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department. She previously was dance director at the Harlem School of the Arts and program coordinator for the partnership of the Professional Performing Arts School and The Ailey School, a high school public magnet program. Fatouros is originally from Bloomington, Indiana, and has performed professionally in Europe and Canada as well as in the United States, with Dayton Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, and Ballet Hispanico. She has more than 25 years of experience teaching ballet to children and avocational adults in the New York City area, including Steps on Broadway, the 92nd Street Y, and 12 years at The Ailey School. She earned a B.A. in English with honors from Hunter College, City University of New York, and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Indiana University SPEA. (Photo by MaximillianTortoriello)
Irina Ter-Grigoryan earned her degrees of piano performance, pedagogy, and accompanist in the former Soviet Union. She was fortunate to start studying piano with L. Egorova, the author of the one of the best tutorial books for piano beginners. Among her teachers, she also studied with R. Atakishiev, the student of C. Igumnoff. She also studied many years with E. Kulesh, student of Henrich Neuhaus. Ter-Grigoryan is also a successful piano teacher, and several of her students have won international competitions. In 2013, she received an award from the University of Chicago as Outstanding Educator. 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 has been on the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department since 2000.
The dancers of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department dedicate this performance run to the life and memory of Rafaella Stroik.
Grace Armstrong is from Shoreline, Washington. She began dancing at age four, receiving her training from Olympic Ballet School under the direction of Mara Vinson and Oleg Gorboulev. There she performed roles from The Nutcracker, Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, and more. In 2014 and 2015, she competed in the Youth America Grand Prix and was awarded Top 12 in the semifinals. Last summer, she performed as a guest artist with Olympic Ballet Theatre in its Summer Gala. Armstrong is a junior at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management. She is also a recipient of the school’s Premier Young Artist Award. With IU Ballet Theater, she has performed in Giselle, Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie and La Source. Most recently, Armstrong performed in the “Odalisques Pas de Trois” from Le Corsaire, Sasha Janes’ Playground Teasers, and Sally Streets’ Chopin Pas de Deux.
Marissa Arnold is a junior from Carmel, Indiana, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance at Jacobs with an Outside Field in Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management with Indiana University’s School of Public Health. Before she began at IUBT, she trained with the Indiana Ballet Conservatory in Carmel and The Margaret Barbieri Conservatory of The Sarasota Ballet. In her time at IU, Arnold has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), and Jerome Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs.
Haley Baker is a junior from Enola, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Psychology. She has been dancing since age three, beginning her ballet training at Pennsylvania Regional Ballet in 2010 under the direction of Sandra Carlino. While there, she studied under Victoria Silva, Laszlo Berdo, and Erin Stiefel-Inch. She also attended Ribbon Mill Ballet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with individual coaching from Leslie Hench. She has attended summer programs at Pennsylvania Ballet, Miami City Ballet, the USA/IBC Dance School, and Joffrey Ballet Chicago. In her time at Indiana University, Baker has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Valse-Fantaisie, and La Source, and Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet. Baker has received scholarships from Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and Regional Dance America and is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award from the Jacobs School of Music.
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 Jacobs with an Outside Field in Marketing at the Kelley School of Business. Her favorite ballets performed while attending the Jacobs School are Twyla Tharp’s Surfer at the River Styx, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, and Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet
Mason Bassett is a sophomore 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, Bassett 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 in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management. With IU Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater, he has performed in two pieces choreographed by Sasha Janes (You and I and Lascia la Spina, Cogli la Rosa), Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet, Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, and Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels.
Sophia Brodin, from Lansing, Michigan, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Exercise Science. She spent her senior year of high school training with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre before attending the Jacobs School of Music. While here, she has performed two works by Twyla Tharp, Surfer at the River Styx and As Time Goes By. Brodin has also performed in Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare and N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet, George Balanchine’s La Source, Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, and as a featured dancer in Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater’s Oklahoma!
Reece Conrad was born in Berkeley, California, and has lived in and around Berkeley his whole life. He is currently a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Physics. He has performed roles in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker and Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare. In addition to performing with IU Ballet Theater, he also performs with the Jacobs School of Music’s All-Campus Jazz Ensemble.
Anderson Da Silva is a 19-year-old sophomore from Tampa, Florida, where he received his ballet training at America’s Ballet School under directors Paula Nuñez and Osmany Montano. Da Silva has performed leading roles in The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Coppelia, and Diana and Acteon. At Indiana University, he has performed leading roles in Sasha Janes’ Sketches from Grace, Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, George Balanchine’s La Source, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker.
Liam Doherty, from Burtonsville, Maryland, trained at Maryland Youth Ballet in Silver Spring, Maryland, before coming to Bloomington to pursue a degree in ballet performance at the Jacobs School of Music. He is currently a junior. An active performer in IU Ballet Theater productions, he has performed the roles of Harlequin Doll and Nutcracker in previous productions of Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker and Trumpets in Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, as well as in the ensemble of Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet.
Claire Donovan is a junior from Louisville, Kentucky, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Psychology. She began her ballet training at age three with the Louisville Ballet School. In 2008, she began training under the direction of Kristen Wenrick at the Louisville Academy of Dance. Donovan then attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, under the direction of Susan Jaffe, for her junior and senior year of high school. At UNCSA, Donovan performed in an original work by Susan Jaffe, Donizetti Variations by George Balanchine, and the annual Nutcracker. At Jacobs, she has performed in an original work by Sasha Janes, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, Giselle, Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. She has attended summer programs at Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Lines Contemporary Ballet. Donovan is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award at the Jacobs School of Music
Alexis Eicher was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She began dancing at age four in a church dance ministry and began pre-professional ballet training during the sixth grade, at the New American Youth Ballet under the instruction of Beth McLeish. Eicher has participated in master classes with renowned 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. She has also performed repertoire choreographed by Michael Vernon, Mark Diamond, Eddy Ocampo, Jimmy Orrante, Melinda Howe, and many others. At IU, she has performed in Sasha Janes’ Sketches from Grace, Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. Eicher is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Psychology.
Sam Epstein is from Saratoga Springs, New York, where he trained at the National Museum of Dance School of the Arts. He began his formal training at the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Ballet under the direction of Daniel Ulbricht. Epstein is currently a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Choreography. He is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award and a member of the Hutton Honors College and Wells Scholars Program. At IU, he has performed the male principal in Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie, “Flowers Pas de Deux” in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, “Jazz Legato” in Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet, and the quintet in Twyla Tharp’s The One Hundreds. In spring 2018, he won the first-place JoAnn Athens Memorial Award in the Bloomington Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Ballet Competition. In the summer of 2018, he worked with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride at the Chautauqua Institution, where he performed Balanchine’s Serenade (Waltz Boy), Sasha Janes’ Ecstatic Orange, and Mark Diamond’s In the Interim. That summer, he also performed with Charlotte Ballet in Sasha Janes’ The Four Seasons (“Autumn” and “Winter”) and with Nashville Ballet in Balanchine’s Western Symphony. Epstein’s choreographic works have been performed at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and the Chautauqua Amphitheater (where his choreography for 10 dancers to Steve Reich’s Clapping Music won second place in the Choreographic Workshop)
Rachel Gehr is a junior at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Management. She grew up in Westfield, Indiana, where she began her ballet training at Central Indiana Academy of Dance under the instruction of Suzann DeLay and Michael Casey Clark. Gehr has attended summer programs at Ballet West, School of American Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet Chicago, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. With IU Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater, she has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Giselle, Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet, and Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie and La Source. Gehr is a recipient of the Carey Rose Winski memorial scholarship and the Jacobs Premier Young Artist Award
Julian Goodwin-Ferris, from Houston, Texas, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Music. Two years ago, 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. Between 2007 and 2009, he sang in the Children’s Chorus for Houston Grand Opera’s productions, and he sang a solo in 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. Adding to his repertoire of leading roles at Jacobs, he will perform the Cavalier in The Nutcracker with the San Luis Obispo Civic Ballet this December.
John Grohmann is a freshman from Louisville, Kentucky. Beginning dance at age 8 and ballet at age 14, he trained in ballet and contemporary at local studios in Louisville as well as at the Youth Performing Arts School. Afterward, he moved to Boston as a pre-professional student under Peter Stark and Margaret Tracey at the Boston Ballet School. His performances in Boston include the school’s choreographic festival as well as the student showing, Next Generation. He has attended the Next Generation Summer Intensive under Philip Neal, Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program, and Miami City Ballet Summer Intensive under Aranxta Ochoa, Francis Veyette, and Alexander Iziliaev.
Darren Hsu was born and raised in Rockville, Maryland, and began his training with the Maryland Youth Ballet when he was age seven. Based in Silver Spring, the Maryland Youth Ballet provides numerous performance opportunities for young dancers, offering training with Michelle Lees, Christopher Doyle, Rhodie Jorgenson, and other former professional dancers. Along with daily classes and rehearsals, the Maryland Youth Ballet encourages and supports its students’ training and exposure to other ballet programs. With this encouragement, Hsu briefly trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Orlando Ballet School, and the master class series at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Hsu is a senior pursuing a Ballet of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Informatics.
Camille Kellems is a senior 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 direction of Charles Maple. She has attended summer intensives with San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, and Boston Ballet. With IUBT, she has performed in Giselle, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Divertimento No. 15, and Valse-Fantaisie, Jerome Robbins’ FanFare, Twyla Tharp’s As Time Goes By, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker
Jared Kelly, from Suitland, Maryland, is a senior at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Marketing. He began formal ballet training at age nine with Dance Theatre of Harlem’s pre-professional residency program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., under the leadership of founder Arthur Mitchell. Shortly afterward, 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 former President and First Lady Obama. After middle school, Kelly trained under the direction of Norma Pera along with the dance faculty at the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA). At BSA, he performed numerous lead roles, such as The Preacher in Appalachian Spring by Martha Graham and The Prince in Barry Hughson’s The Nutcracker, as well as on the Lyric Opera House stage in Baltimore, Maryland. 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 Katherine Smith. In the past three years at Jacobs, Kelly has danced masterworks by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Mark Morris. Most recently, he performed the Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux by August Bournonville, Diversion of Angels by Martha Graham, and N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz by Jerome Robbins.
Mark Lambert is a junior at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Arts Administration. He began studying ballet at age 14 at Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, under Cameron Basden and Joseph Morrissey. There he performed principal roles in The Nutcracker, La Bayadère, and Peter and the Wolf, and numerous roles in Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, and New Works pieces. With Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater, he has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker as Snow Cavalier, Arabian, and Flowers, George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, Sasha Janes’ Saudade and Sketches from Grace, Twyla Tharp’s As Time Goes By, and Jerome Robbin’s Fanfare and N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz. Lambert was also a featured dancer in IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater’s West Side Story, choreographed by Sasha Janes.
Kyra Muttilainen is a graduating junior from Richmond, Vermont, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. She began her training at age 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, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Chautauqua Institution, and Jacob’s Pillow. At IU, she has performed in Giselle, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, George Balanchine’s Valse- Fantaisie, George Balanchine’s La Source, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker. Muttilainen is a recipient of the Jacobs School’s Premier Young Artist Award.
Ginabel Peterson Padilla is a senior at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Law and Public Policy. She began her ballet training at age six at Wissahickon Dance Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She later attended the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., under Mariana Labanova and Elena Tenchikova, and Miami City Ballet School under Geta Constantinescu, Maria Torija, and Maribel Modrono. While at the Kirov Academy, Peterson performed in Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty, and August Bournonville’s La Sylphide. At Miami City Ballet, Peterson performed in George Balanchine’s Western Symphony in addition to works by Maribel Modrono and Gerard Ebitz. She also attended the San Francisco Ballet School’s 2014 summer intensive. While at the Jacobs School of Music, Peterson has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s Elegies, Serenade,and Divertimento No. 15, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare and New York Export: Opus Jazz, Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and Sasha Janes’ Saudade.
Andrew Playford, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a sophomore ballet major hoping to pursue an outside field related to global and international studies. He has appeared in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance). Playford is also studying voice and bassoon as a Jacobs School of Music student.
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 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, Chautauqua Institution, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Rossi is a sophomore on scholarship pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. While at IU, he has choreographed for the outreach initiative Occupy Peoples Park. This fall, Rossi appeared in Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), and he previously performed in George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantasie as well as Jacobs school of Music Opera Theater’s production of Don Giovanni.
Rachel Schultz is a junior 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 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, Southold Dance Theater under Erica Fischbach, and, in 2016, she graduated from Indiana Ballet Conservatory under the direction of Alyona Yakovleva-Randall. She also studied privately with Allen Fields, Ellen Huston, and Tatiana Pali. 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 for the Bloomington chapter and won a grant. During her time at IU, she has danced in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, Giselle, and as the soloist in Balanchine’s La Source
Brandon Silverman started dancing at age five and immediately fell in love with ballet. He studied at the pre-professional level under Marcia Dale Weary for three years. While at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, he performed in Lazlo Berdo’s Carnival of the Animals and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and originated one of the demi-soloist roles in Alan Hineline’s Brio. In 2016, he joined Pennsylvania Regional Ballet, where he performed in its production of The Nutcracker as the Harlequin, Snow King, and Arabian Prince. During the 2017-18 season, Silverman was a finalist in the Kennedy Center Master Series Program and received a full scholarship to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s 2019 Summer Intensive from the 2018 Regional Dance America Northeast Festival. He is a freshman double majoring in ballet performance and finance.
Lauren Smolka, a senior from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, began dancing ballet at age three. Her passion for ballet began to develop at age 13, when she was admitted into the pre-professional division at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT). She performed in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s company production of The Nutcracker as a Snowflake and a Flower alongside company members. In PBT school performances, she performed in David Lichine’s Graduation Ball and Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère. Smolka has also performed in works by George Balanchine, including Snowflakes, Raymonda Variations, Concerto Barocco, Elegies, Divertimento No. 15, La Source, and Valse-Fantaisie. In addition, she has performed in Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels and Mark Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet. One of her most memorable performances is dancing the role of the Oboe in Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare at IU. She has attended summer intensive programs at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.
Caroline Tonks is a junior at the Jacobs School of Music pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. She grew up in Huntington, New York, where she trained at the Lynch School of Ballet under the direction of Karen Lynch, Elizabeth Aymong, and Ian Thatcher. Tonks has attended summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet Met, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Sarasota Ballet, Ballet West, and the Art Of program in Madrid and Zürich. At IU, she has performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, Giselle, George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantasie and La Source, Mark Morris’s Sandpaper, Sasha Janes’ Playground Teasers, and the third Odalisque variation from Le Corsaire. She is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award from the Jacobs School of Music.
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, Sandpaper Ballet, and N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz. She has been involved with the IU Pre-College Ballet Program, both in teaching and choreographic roles. This year, Wilkins also became involved with community outreach through the Ballet Department, helping to establish the Bloomington Ballet Ensemble to share further performance opportunities with the Bloomington community.
Alexandra Willson was born and raised in Newport Beach, California. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Marketing. She has danced in IU Ballet Theater productions of Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker and Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.
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 in 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 senior, Young is a 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 Jacobs, Kelley, and the Hutton Honors College.