Ballet Fantastique


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: The Spirit in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Choir, premiere 2014), The Moon Princess in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and international koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014); Juliana de Romeo, the prissy heartthrob in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013); the flippant Lydia Bennette in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, premiere 2013); Henriette, the fiesty writer in The Misadventures of Casanova (premiere 2013); Simone, the Adventurous Dreamer in Cirque de la Lune (with Betty and the Boy, Mood Area 52, and Troupe Carnivale, premiere 2011); the Dancing Diva and Motorcycle Girl in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Shelley and Cal and the Agents of Unity, premiere 2012); Scheherazade in Arabian Nights (premiere 2011); Rosie, the lead in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (including on Ballet Fantastique's Italy tour in 2013; original premiere 2011); Peter Rabbit in Tales of Beatrix Potter (premiere 2010); Marguerite, the siren in Love at the Cafe Terrace (with composer Jeremy DeKyle Schropp and orchestra; premiere 2009); Aviary in Carnival of the Animals (including with Eugene Symphony, premiere 2008); the Nymph from Rusalka in “Song to the Moon”; and the Lover in “La Vie en Rose” ( Visions d'Amour, premiere 2009).

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 contemporary chamber company, Ashley has performed many acclaimed soloist roles, including: Princess Cassandane in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Choir, premiere 2014), the Tennyo/Celestial Maiden and Princess Taema in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and international koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014); Isabel de Romeo, the tomboy in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013); Lizzy Bennette, the bold lead in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, premiere 2013); Angela Catterina Tosello, the priest's niece in The Misadventures of Casanova (premiere 2013); Chiara, the Alluring Lion Tamer in Cirque de la Lune (with Betty and the Boy, Mood Area 52, and Troupe Carnivale, premiere 2011); Stepsister Stasia in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Shelley and Cal and the Agents of Unity, premiere 2012); the Genie in "The Tale of the 7th Night," part of BFan's Arabian Nights (premiere 2011); Annie Oakley in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (including on Ballet Fantastique's Italy tour in 2013; original premiere 2011); the Fox in Tales of Beatrix Potter (premiere 2010); Wanda, the floozy in Love at the Cafe Terrace (with composer Jeremy DeKyle Schropp and orchestra; premiere 2009); Fossil in Carnival of the Animals (including with Eugene Symphony, premiere 2008); 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. 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.

Justin

Justin Shae Feimster

Photos: Woden Photography

Hometown: Vidalia, Georgia

College: BA, Theater Arts, Valdosta State University

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2011, favorite role Black Cloud in Tales from the Floating World

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 a number of leading roles, including: King Xerxes in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Choir, premiere 2014), Hidesato, the Samurai and the Bamboo Cutter in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and international koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014); Bernardo in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013); Charles Bingley in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, premiere 2013); Giovanni Bruni in The Misadventures of Casanova (premiere 2013); Romeo, the Charming Trickster in Cirque de la Lune (with Betty and the Boy, Mood Area 52, and Troupe Carnivale, premiere 2011); Motorcycle Boy in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Shelley and Cal and the Agents of Unity, premiere 2012); 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 (premiere 2011); Ollie in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (including on Ballet Fantastique's Italy tour in 2013; original premiere 2011); Farmer McGregor in Tales of Beatrix Potter: Tales for the Holidays (premiere 2011); Frederic in Pirates of Penzance (part of Ballet Fantastique’s "Pirates and Gypsies" on tour to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2011); “Magie Noire” with the LA-based band Incendio (including on the Seattle tour, 2012); From his professional production background, he also supports BFan's technical crew as BFan's Production Manager.






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 Esther in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet

Favorites: Macaroni, 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: Esther in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Choir, premiere 2014), Miyuki, the samurai's daughter in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and international koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014); Light in the Night in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013); Kitty Bennette, the raucous little sister in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, premiere 2013); Faustina, the famous opera singer in The Misadventures of Casanova (premiere 2013); Estrella, the Lonesome Diva in Cirque de la Lune (with Betty and the Boy, Mood Area 52, and Troupe Carnivale, premiere 2011); the Sunnydale Fairy Godmother in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Shelley and Cal and the Agents of Unity, premiere 2012); the Diamond Statue in Arabian Nights (premiere 2011); Cupid in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (including on Ballet Fantastique's Italy tour in 2013; original premiere 2011); Squirrel Nutkin in Tales of Beatrix Potter (premiere 2010); Chloe, the waitress in Love at the Cafe Terrace (with composer Jeremy DeKyle Schropp and orchestra; premiere 2009); and many others.

Lydia Rakov

Lydia Rakov

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Montclair, NJ

School: BA, Ballet & Jazz, Point Park University

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2013, favorite role Zeresh in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet with the UO Gospel Singers (premiere 2014 at the Hult) Favorites: Dogs, movies, hiking, and rock hopping

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. Lydia has performed soloist roles with the Lake Erie Ballet’s Nutcracker and in the national 2013 ACDFA competition. Lydia also appeared in the October 2013 issue of Dance Spirit magazine. Since joining Ballet Fantastique in 2013, Lydia has performed in roles including the Gypsy Amalia in ZORRO: The Ballet (with Incendio and violinist Kim Angelis, premiere 2013), the Bamboo Cutter's Wife in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014), and Zeresh in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Singers, premiere 2014).

Fabio Simoes

Fábio Filipe Simões

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Montijo, Portugal

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

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2013, favorite role Thunder God in Tales from the Floating World and Diego de la Vega/Zorro in ZORRO: The Ballet 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. With Ballet Fantastique, Fabio has danced the roles of: the Emperor, Hakuryô (the Fisherman), the Centipede, and the Thunder God in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and international koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014); Gaspard, the Proud Ringmaster in Cirque de la Lune; Russian in Ballet Fantastique's jazz version of The Nutcracker (2013); and Alejandro de la Vega and Diego de la Vega/Zorro in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013), many of which he has played an active role in choreographing.

Krislyn


























Krislyn Ann Willes

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: Princess Amitis in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Choir, premiere 2014), the Rain Goddess in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and international koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014); White Owl, the visionary leader in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013); Caroline Bingley, the snob in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, premiere 2013); Lucia, the beauty in The Misadventures of Casanova (premiere 2013); Yvette, the Aspiring Starlet in Cirque de la Lune (with Betty and the Boy, Mood Area 52, and Troupe Carnivale, premiere 2011); Stepsister Drizz in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Shelley and Cal and the Agents of Unity, premiere 2012); Princess Zummurud in Arabian Nights (premiere 2011); Phebe in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (including on Ballet Fantastique's Italy tour in 2013; original premiere 2011); Mrs. Fisher in Beatrix Potter: Tales for the Holidays (premiere 2011); Desperation in the “Red Violin Suite” (with violinist Matt Fuller); and “Dime Amor” (with Jessie Marquez and her band).

Jocelyn









Jocelyn Lee Wright

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: IBloomsburg, PA

College: BA, Classical Ballet, Pointe Park University (summa cum laude)

Ballet Fantastique: First season

Favorites: Avocados, hiking, exploring the earth, daydreaming, black coffee, and good huggers

Pointe shoes: Gaynor Mindens

Jocelyn received her training from Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. During her time at CPYB, Jocelyn had the privilege of studying with master teachers Lazslo Berdo and Leslie Hench. At the age of 14, Jocelyn was blessed to be introduced to Erin Stiefel, former Principal Dancer with Zurich Ballet, and Director of Stiefel Steps Classical Ballet Academy. Erin became Jocelyn’s sole mentor throughout the remainder of her training, guiding her through the critical years leading up to becoming a professional. During the summers, Jocelyn attended training intensives at Steps on Broadway, Boston Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Atlanta Ballet. Immediately after graduating from high school, Jocelyn signed a contract with Atlanta Ballet, under the direction of John McFall. Dancing as a fellowship dancer with the company, Jocelyn had the opportunity to perform ballets such as Pinocchio, The Magic Flute, The Nutcracker and Cinderella. Jocelyn then received her bachelors degree from Point Park University, graduating magna cum laude. Point Park exposed Jocelyn to myriad different dance styles; and while there, Jocelyn performed works by Gina Patterson, Val Caniparoli, Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Jessica Lang, Cooper Verona, Nicolas Petrov, Garfield Lemonious, Peter Merz, and Keisha Lalama White. After completing her degree, Jocelyn moved to New York City and began freelancing with The Eglevsky Ballet, under the direction of Lazslo Berdo. Jocelyn now joins Ballet Fantastique as a company dancer, and is thrilled to immerse herself in this chapter of her career on the West Coast.