Ballet Fantastique


Company Dancers

Dancers

 

 

 

Hannah



























Hannah Joy Bontrager

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Eugene, OR

College: BA, Dance and BA, English Literature, Clark Honors College/University of Oregon (summa cum laude)

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2000, favorite role Scheherazade in Arabian Nights

Favorites: Almost any candy, almost any book, and Michael Kaiser’s Huffington Post arts admin blog

Pointe shoes: Grishko 2007s

Hannah studied the eight levels of the Vaganova Syllabus and Vaganova pedagogy with her mother, Donna Marisa Bontrager, while creating and performing works locally. In addition, she spent two summers at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. under Artistic Director Oleg Vinogradov (also Artistic Director of the Kirov Ballet in Russia), and was one of five students invited internationally to join renowned Kirov prima ballerina Mme. Alla Sizova’s advanced class. Hannah spent the 2002-2003 concert season in Denver, under St. Petersburg Vaganova Academy graduate Inessa Pakri-Plekhanova, while concurrently training and performing with the company’s apprentices. Hannah has performed professionally with the Ballet Fantastique chamber company since its inception, and has also appeared in soloist roles for a number of other companies across the country, including Manassas Ballet Theatre in the Washington, DC metro area (Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker, and the lead in Vivandière/Markitenka). As a dancer with the Ballet Fantastique chamber company, Hannah has earned rave critical reviews in soloist and principal roles, including: Scheherazade in Arabian Nights; Rosie, the lead in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet; the Dancing Diva and Motorcycle Girl in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet; “Tango Para Abel,” “Viheula,” and “Illumination” (with the LA-based band Incendio); Marguerite, the siren in Love at the Cafe Terrace; Aviary in Carnival of the Animals; the Nymph from Rusalka in “Song to the Moon”; the Lover in “La Vie en Rose”; and Peter Rabbit in Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Ashley


























Ashley Blake Bontrager

Photos: Woden Photography

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

College: BA, Journalism-Broadcasting, University of Oregon

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2000, favorite role Lizzy Bennette, the lead in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate)

Favorites: Cheese, cabernet sauvignon; BBC's Pride and Prejudice

Pointe shoes: Gaynor Mindens

Ashley began her training at Buffalo City Ballet and the Conservatory of Classical Dance, and graduated from The Academy of Ballet Fantastique in 2004. As one of the founding members of Ballet Fantastique's professional chamber company, Ashley has performed many acclaimed soloist roles, including: Lizzy Bennette in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet; Angela Cattarina Tosello, the priest's niece in The Misadventures of Casanova; Chiara, the Lion Tamer in Cirque de la Lune; Stepsister Stasia in Ballet Fantastique’s Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet; Annie Oakley in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet; Wanda, the floozy in Love at the Cafe Terrace (with composer Jeremy DeKyle Schropp); Fossil in Carnival of the Animals (with Eugene Symphony); the Fox in Tales of Beatrix Potter; Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; A Novel Experience (with the Oregon Mozart Players); and live with dozens of groups at home and on tour, including the LA-based band Incendio and the nationally-acclaimed Trio Voronezh. Ashley has appeared in Ballet Fantastique chamber company concerts touring in venues across the Northwest. In addition to her work with Ballet Fantastique, Ashley completed a Journalism-Broadcasting major at the University of Oregon in 2008 with specializations in both news and documentary.

Caitlin


























Caitlin Marie Christopher

Photos: Woden Photography

Hometown: Alpharetta, GA

College: BA with honors, Dance, University of Georgia (Lucy Lampkin Dance Scholarship)

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2012, favorite role Toypurnia in ZORRO: The Ballet

Favorites: Salsa dancing, dark chocolate with hazelnut mousse, sushi
NY Times Sunday arts section, Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessi

Pointe shoes: Mirella Academie

Caitlin fell in love with ballet at the age of twelve. After studying pre-professionally through high school at North Atlanta Dance Academy and attending summer programs including Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Boston Ballet, she pursued a degree in Dance at the University of Georgia. While at UGA, Caitlin danced as part of the University of Georgia Ballet Ensemble, becoming president of the group by her senior year. She was also featured in guest work, including Hubbard Street Dance Theatre’s “The 40s” and as a soloist in Kennett Oberly’s “Within/Without.” Caitlin also discovered her love of creating choreography at UGA. Some of her notable achievements in creation are her solo piece “Intoxicating Misery,” which received an honorable mention at the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, the trio “Unquiet Divide” (shown at ACDFA), and “NYC-SYR: Seat 24,” a 12-dancer ensemble piece nominated to be shown at ACDFA. With Ballet Fantastique, Caitlin has danced in soloist roles locally and on tour, including: Audrey in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet; Charlotte in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet; Queen Anne in The Misadventures of Casanova; and Noemie, the Bewitching Gypsy in Cirque de la Lune.

Justin

























Justin Shae Feimster

Photos: Woden Photography

Hometown: Vidalia, Georgia

College: BA, Theater Arts, Valdosta State University

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2011, favorite role Zeyn Alasnam in Arabian Nights

Favorites: Lord of the Rings, Miyazaki movies, scuba diving, hiking

Justin is from south Georgia, where he graduated with a BA in Theatre Production from Valdosta State University in 2009 while attending dance classes and performing with Dance Arts, Inc. While in Valdosta, Justin performed for several Nutcracker seasons, dancing several variations and the role of the Nutcracker Prince, and also appearing in a touring production of Gaite Parisienne. With Ballet Fantastique, Justin has performed the roles of Charles Bingley in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet; Giovanni Bruni in The Misadventures of Casanova; Romeo, the charming trickster in Cirque de la Lune; Shah Zaman (“The Tale of Scheherazade and the King”), Zeyn Alasnam (“The Tale of Zeyn Alasnam and the Diamond Statue”), and Rashid (“The Tale of Zummurud”) in Arabian Nights; Ollie in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (including on the Italy tour); Farmer McGregor in Tales of Beatrix Potter; Frederic in Pirates of Penzance (part of Ballet Fantastique’s Pirates and Gypsies on tour to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival); “Magie Noire” with the LA-based band Incendio (including on the Seattle tour); and a Fairy Godmother’s Boy and Motorcycle Boy in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (including on the Portland tour). From his professional production background, he also supports BFan's technical crew.

Leanne


























Leanne Michelle Mizzoni

Photos: Woden Photography

Hometown: Burke, VA

College: BFA, Dance/Pedagogy, The Hartt School/University of Hartford (cum laude)

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2009, favorite role the Diamond Statue in Arabian Nights

Favorites: Mint chocolate chip ice cream, gummy bears, West Side Story

Pointe shoes: Grishko 2007s

Leanne started her training under Susan Blazy at the Metropolitan Ballet School. She later studied at Virginia Ballet, where she trained under former Ballets Russes dancers Oleg Tupine and Tania Rousseau. Leanne continued her training at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, where she graduated cum laude with a BFA in Dance Pedagogy. There, Leanne trained under Peggy Lyman, Peter O’Brian, Alla Nikitina, and Hilda Morales. She performed with American Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. Leanne also attended summer programs at the Joffrey Ballet and Virginia School of the Arts. Leanne was a company dancer for four years with Manassas Ballet Theatre, performing many soloist roles including Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Michaela in Carmen. Since joining Ballet Fantastique, Leanne has appeared locally and on tour in soloist roles such as: Kitty in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet; Faustina in The Misadventures of Casanova; Estrella, the Lonesome Diva in Cirque de la Lune; Sunnydale Fairy Godmother in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet; Diamond in Arabian Nights; Cupid in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet; Squirrel Nutkin in Tales of Beatrix Potter; Chloe in Love at the Cafe Terrace (with composer Jeremy DeKyle Schropp); and many others.

Lydia Rakov

Lydia Rakov

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Montclair, NJ

School: BA, Ballet & Jazz, Point Park University

Ballet Fantastique: First Season Favorites: Dogs, films, skipping in the woods, techno music

Pointe shoes: Russian Pointe Sapfir

Lydia trained with Elaine Kudo at Theatre Arts Dance America. She has spent summers studying with American Ballet Theatre, American Academy of Ballet, The Juilliard School, and The Bolshoi Ballet, as well as a spending a year with the Rochester City Ballet. She graduated from the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University with a degree in both ballet and jazz, under the direction of Jason McDole, Dana Arey, Kiesha Lalama, Susan Stowe and Doug Benz. Lydia also danced with Pittsburgh’s freejazz company The Pillow Project, where she created and performed the role of The Green Swan, which distorted the lines between classical and contemporary ballet. Lydia has also performed other soloist roles including the Dew Drop in the Lake Erie Ballet’s Nutcracker and as a soloist in the national 2013 ACDFA competition. In addition, she danced the role of the lead ballerina in the 2013 film Roses Are Red, which was submitted to the LA Film Festival. Lydia also appeared in the October 2013 issue of Dance Spirit magazine. This is Lydia’s first BFan season.

Fabio Simoes

Fabio Simoes

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Montijo, Portugal

School: The National Conservatory Dance School (EDCN) and Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (PARTS)

Ballet Fantastique: First Season Favorites: Hawaii Five-O series, street hip-hop, guitars, old cars, fast cars, sunset

Fabio was born in Portugal, where he began training in the prestigious Escola de Danca do Conservatorio Nacional, graduating at the age of 18 with both a high school diploma and a Certificate of Dance Formation—a high honor. During his years at the Conservatorio, he performed in numerous soloist classical ballet roles and studied extensively in the Russian Vaganova Syllabus. From 2004–2006, Fabio was invited to dance in the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker with the National Ballet Company of Portugal. He danced the ballet Swan Lake beside one of the most famous dancers in the world, Carlos Acosta. In 2008–09, Fabio continued his studies at the contemporary ballet training school P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels, Belgium, where he was awarded the Calouste Gulbenkian scholarship and worked with such choreographic greats as the legendary William Forsythe. Fabio then joined the KamuSuna Ballet Company in Lisbon, Portugal, under the direction of César Augusto Moniz. There until 2011, Fabio performed in myriad company repertoire, dancing soloist roles in the critically acclaimed ballet Love The Earth, which toured internationally. In 2011, Fabio branched out from his contemporary ballet and Vaganova foundations and founded one of the youngest and newest Breakdance Crews in Portugal, and was invited to dance as a Bboy in DMC Portugal 2011—the National Championship of DJs. Vortice Dance Company, under the direction of Cláudia Martins and Rafael Carriço, invited Fabio to perform in the national premiere of their contemporary full-length narrative ballet Drácula (a co-production with the Macedonian Opera & Ballet). With Vortice, Fabio performed soloist roles in Bolzano, Italy, at the closing of an international festival entitled Impossible Loves. He also performed in Drácula as a soloist in other countries across the European Union and in Cadiz, Spain, at the opening of the national Danza en Cádiz Festival 2012. He also became the assistant of the directors and the coach of the company. In 2012, Fabio joined the cast of dancers of the multi-national celebration opening the European Capital of Culture—Guimarães. In the piece “Os Nossos Afetos,” Fabio danced a solo in front of 3,000 people—this was a solo he choreographed himself, and a performance that was broadcast live all over the world. In 2012, out of intense competition from 76 leading choreographers from around the world, Fabio was selected to represent Portugal at the XVI International Festival Choreographic Miniatures in Belgrade, Serbia. There, he earned an almost unprecedented double honor—1st Place as well as the Best Performer award with his self-choreographed solo “R3ACTION.” Also in 2012, Fabio danced a key role in Vortice’s new ballet Your Majesties, which had its world premiere to audience acclaim at the XVII International Ballet Festival of Miami. Recently, Fabio had the great honor of being an invited guest dancer in the Croatian National Ballet – Hnk Rijeka, Croatia, to perform in the Rijeka Summers Nights Festival.

Krislyn


























Krislyn Ann Wessel

Photos: Woden Photography

Hometown: Idaho Falls, ID

College: BA, Dance (Ballet emphasis), Brigham Young University

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2010, favorite role Drizz in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet

Favorites: Peanut butter ice cream, Life is Beautiful (Italian version), seafood, cinnamon bear candies

Pointe shoes: Bloch Alpha

Krislyn, a native of Idaho Falls, trained at The Ballet Society. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Dance (Ballet), performing extensively with the Ballet Showcase Company, and earning a departmental dance scholarship. Krislyn spent summers performing with Burklyn Ballet Theater in Vermont and training at Kaatsbaan under Martine Van Hamel. After BYU, Krislyn moved to New York City to perform with Ajkun Ballet Theatre. With Ajkun, she toured New York and was invited to join with the National Opera Ballet of Tirana to perform Spartacus and Raymonda in Albania. Krislyn then spent a season with Columbia City Ballet, performing original works by Artistic Director William Starrett, including Dracula, Cleopatra, Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. With Ballet Fantastique, Krislyn has performed many soloist roles locally and on tour, including: Caroline Bingley in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet; Lucia in The Misadventures of Casanova; Yvette, the Aspiring Starlet in Cirque de la Lune; Stepsister “Drizz” in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet; Zummurud in Arabian Nights; Desperation in the “Red Violin Suite” (with violinist Matt Fuller); Phebe in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet; and “Dime Amor” (with Jessie Marquez and her band).