Ballet Fantastique


 

 

 

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 one 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: Cindy in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet set in 1964 (with Shelley & Cal and the Agents of Unity, 2015 performances); Kalypso and Circe in The Odyssey: The Ballet (with live looping electric violinist Cullen Vance, premiere 2015); Christmas Future in American Christmas Carol (with Halie Loren & band, premiere 2014); 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 feisty 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 Marilyn in American Christmas Carol

Favorites: A very good glass of wine, yoga and strength training, real books

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: the Muse and Princess Nausicaa in The Odyssey: The Ballet (with live looping electric violinist Cullen Vance, premiere 2015); Marilyn in American Christmas Carol (with Halie Loren & band, premiere 2014); 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 + 2015 performances); 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.






Jim









Jim Gordon Ballard

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Midland, TX

College: Lane Community College

Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2013, favorite role Don Tomas de Romeo in ZORRO: The Ballet

Favorites: Cooking, scuba diving, exploring rivers and waterfalls

Jim's performance resume includes dozens of performances with the Shedd Institute of the Arts and Oregon Festival of American Music, including: Babes in Arms; South Pacific; Brigadoon; Kiss Me, Kate; White Christmas; Pal Joey; Girl Crazy; Sweet Charity; The King and I; Lady, Be Good; Singin' in the Rain; No, No, Nanette; The Music Man; Oh, Kay!; The Sound Of Music, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jim has also performed at Cottage Theatre, Very Little Theatre, Lane Community College, and at the University of Oregon. With Ballet Fantastique, Jim has performed the roles of: Fairy Godmother's Boy in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Shelley and Cal and the Agents of Unity, 2015 performances); Peisander in The Odyssey: The Ballet (with live looping electric violinist Cullen Vance, premiere 2015); Bob Cratchit in An American Christmas Carol (with Halie Loren and her jazz band, premiere 2014); Hegai, keeper of the women in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Choir, premiere 2014); and Don Tomas de Romeo in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013).


Amanda Kay Coleman









Amanda Kay Coleman

Photos: Jamie Jones

Hometown: Eugene, OR

Ballet Fantastique: 2012 season, now back! Favorite role CeCe in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet

Favorites: Yoga, Oregon Coast, ice cream

Pointe shoes: Gaynor Mindens

Amanda grew up in Eugene, training at the Eugene School of Ballet. As a student, she attended Regional Dance America Festivals both regionally and nationally. There, she was awarded the title “honor student” and consecutive scholarships to prestigious CRAFT of Choreography workshops. Amanda attended summer intensives on scholarship at prestigious schools such as Joffrey Ballet School NY, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Ballet Austin, and Portland Festival Ballet. At age 16, Amanda began her professional ballet career as an Apprentice with the Eugene Ballet Company. She spent two performance seasons with EBC, touring across the the Northwest performing Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Dracula, American in Paris, The Nutcracker, and original works by Toni Pimble and Gillmer Duran. Amanda first danced with Ballet Fantastique for the 2011 season, performing as the Macaw Bird in Northwest composer Charles Gurke's "Cincuenta Años de Soledad/50 Years of Solitude" in Ballet Fantastique's bossa/brasil (premiere 2011) and as CeCe in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (premiere 2011). Amanda then moved to Portland to study under the late John Magnus, where she performed roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, Snow Queen, and Arabian in The Nutcracker, Fairy Queen in Hansel and Gretel, and original choreography by Les Watanabe. Amanda presented her own production of contemporary choreographic works, Chiaroscuro, with Emily Schultz, Amelia Unsicker, Melissa St. Clair, and Lavinia Magliocco. Amanda danced as a company member with Moxie Contemporary Ballet under Artistic Director Gina Candland. She performed the soloist role La Lune in the holiday production of Noel, and in "Water Wheel," "Brain Crane," and "Monsters" in A La Mode. In addition, Amanda performed original pieces by internationally-recognized choreographers such as Michele Oliva, Jourdan Epstein, Emery LeCrone, Doug Baum, Marie Zvosec, and Drew Jacoby. Amanda is very excited to reunite with Ballet Fantastique.




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 and principal roles such as: Mercury in The Odyssey: The Ballet (with live looping electric violinist Cullen Vance, premiere 2015); Judy in American Christmas Carol (with Halie Loren & band, premiere 2014); 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 + 2015 performances); 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.



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: Antinuous in The Odyssey (with live looping electric violinist Cullen Vance, premiere 2015); Fred inAn American Christmas Carol (with Halie Loren and her live jazz band, premiere 2014); King Xerxes inThe 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 inPride & 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, Justin also supports BFan's technical crew as Ballet Fantastique's Lighting Designer.

Cari Koepplin

Cari Koepplin

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Idaho Falls, Idaho

College: University of Utah, B.F.A in Ballet cum laude with a dual emphasis in Performance and Teaching.

Ballet Fantastique: 2016-17 is Cari's first season with Ballet Fantastique

Favorites: Coffee, traveling, and any time spent under trees

Carolin Koepplin began her training at the Idaho Falls School of Ballet under director Deborah Bean and Mariko Kim-Downs. As a member of the Idaho Falls based Ballo Capesso performing ensemble she performed “The Swan” in the Carnival of The Animals, and the Dragonfly in "Bugs and Ballet" among others for the community and for local students as part of outreach programs. Her dance education continued at the prestigious University of Utah Department of Ballet where she earned a B.F.A in Ballet cum laude with a dual emphasis in Performance and Teaching. At the University of Utah, Ms. Koepplin performed extensively with Utah Ballet under the directorship of Regina Zarhina and Jay Kim. In addition to making her mark in numerous Ballet Showcases and Ballet Ensemble performances, Carolin danced featured roles in La Vivandiere, "Four Little Swans" in Swan Lake, "Russian" in The Nutcracker 2nd Act, and premieres by Professor Maureen Laird, Eldon Johnson, and Dr. Jung Sik Roh. Ms. Koepplin was also a member of the Character Dance Ensemble and was featured in an excerpt from La Fille Mal Gardee on tour in San Jose, Costa Rica. Since graduation, Ms. Koepplin spent two seasons with Central West Ballet where she quickly advanced to soloist. Carolin's favorite roles include Moyne in Giselle, Jewel Doll, Spanish Coffee Lead, Chinese Tea Lead, and Waltz of the Flowers Pas de Duex in The Nutcracker, Cousin "Eva" in Rene Daveluy's premiere ofThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and "the Chick" in "Ol' MacDonald" and "Sway" for Rat Pack in Revue. She has also performed George Balanchine's Serenade as a guest with Ballet Idaho. Now, Ms. Koepplin is thrilled to be joining Ballet Fantastique.

Gustavo Ramirez

Gustavo Ramirez

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Cali, Colombia

College: Colombian Institute of Classical Ballet, B.A.: Classical Ballet

Ballet Fantastique: 2016-17 is Gustavo's first season with Ballet Fantastique

Favorites: family, ice cream, the beach

Gustavo joins Ballet Fantastique from his work as a soloist with Gelsey Kirkland Ballet in New York. Gustavo originally began his training in Cali, Colombia at the prestigious Colombian Institute for Classical Ballet (Incolballet). During his eight years at this prestigious school, Gustavo’s studies included extensive work in ballet, modern, folklore and character dance. He obtained dance degrees from ballet-centered secondary and higher-level institutions, where he was educated by ballet masters Gloria Castro, Helena Cala, Maria del Carmen Hechavarria, and Rolando Candia as well as teachers from the National Ballet of Cuba. At the age of 17, Gustavo joined the company of Instituto Colombiano de Ballet Clasico (Incolballet), under ballet masters Gaetano Petrosinio, Flávio Salazar, and Juan Carlos Peñuela. He then moved to New York to complete his ballet training at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy (GKA) as a full scholarship student; he also holds scholarships to international summer programs, including American Academy of Ballet and Nashville Ballet. After graduating from GKA, Gustavo danced soloist and principal roles in the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, including Faust, Paquita, Wedding Procession, Nutcracker, and Les Sylphides. Gustavo also has experience as a supernumerary with both American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House and with Mikhailovsky Ballet Theater at the David H. Koch Theater. Gustavo looks forward to his first season with Ballet Fantastique.

Natanael Monteiro

Natanael Monteiro

Photos: Stephanie Urso

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Education: Miami City Ballet School

Ballet Fantastique: 2016-17 is Natanel's first season with Ballet Fantastique

Favorites: Brazilian folk dance, travel, the mountains

Natanael originally hails from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was a company member for two years with Companhia de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro (2013 and 2014 seasons). In Brazil, Natanael also performed with the Casa da Rua do Amor as an actor and a dancer in 2010-2014; as part of the Casa da Rua do Amor project, Natanael performed in a number of outreach events for underprivileged community members in Rio de Janeiro, including many performances and two films: O Lixo Atuando em Mim and Terra Doce Agua. He holds a graduation certificate from both Centro de Arte e Dança, where he was a full scholarship student, and Miami City Ballet School’s Pre-Professional Program, where he was also a full scholarship student. Natanael’s performance experience includes soloist and principal roles at Companhia de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro and Centro de Arte e Dança in a range of classical and contemporary works, including The Awakening of Flora, Elements and Sleeping Beauty, and ensemble and demi-soloist roles with Miami City Ballet School, including Paquita, Giselle and Coppelia, and ensemble roles in Who Cares? and Miami Heat

Natanael is excited to be joining Ballet Fantastique because of its commitment to new work.