Doris Ressl: (2001: 13th MDF) Doris Ressl, artistic director of Ressl Dance! and choreographer, began her dance career in Chicago where she received a BA in Dance from Columbia College, was a member of 627 Performance Space, the Chicago Dance Medium, and an independent choreographer. After receiving an MFA from Smith College, she joined the University of Minnesota, Duluth Department of Theatre. Ressl teaches during the summer at the School of the Minnesota Ballet in Duluth. She just completed a one year teaching contract at Radford University in Radford, Virginia as Assistant Professor of Dance. A recipient of state and local grants, including a McKnight Choreographer's Fellowship and Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Artist's Fellowship, Ressl presents her work throughout Minnesota. In 1996 Ressl choreographed for the Minnesota Ballet's "Choreographer's Conference" and in 1999 for their "Seven Choreographers Plunge." In 1999, Doris was selected as a finalist for Artists & Communities: America Creates for the Millennium, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. (updated: May 2001)
Byron Richards: Byron
Andrew Rist: (1-21th MDF) Andrew is founder/artistic director of Ballet Minnesota and Minnesota Dance Festival. He likes to focus upon collaborations with composers as well as story ballets. The company, Ballet Minnesota, besides producing the Festival also produces the Youth Concert Sereies, Summer Tour and the annual Nutcracker. This year Andrew will present a children's story ballet: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". The musical score is by French composer Paul Dukas. The score was first performed in1897 at the Societe Nationale. (updated: May 2001)
Cheryl Rist: (1-21th MDF) Cheryl is director of the Classical Ballet Academy, official school of Ballet Minnesota. Each year Ballet Minnesota restages a Classic Ballet for the festival. Cheryl has been responsible for resetting these classics which include "Swan Lake", "Paquita", "Les Sylphides" on the festival. This year Cheryl chose to set the great classic "La Bayadere" which premiered in St Petersburg, Russia in 1877. The opening scene of Act II, which will be presently on the festival, is considered by many to be one of classical ballet's greatest choreographic moments (updated: May 2001)
* Photos taken at the Minnesota Dance Festival
Davis Robertson : (MDF18.2007.Giselle / MDF19.2008.Swan Lake) Davis was a principal dancer with Robert Joffrey Ballet. He has been a guest with Ballet Minnesota performing the principal role in Giselle, Swan Lake and Nutcracker. Presently Davis lives in New York and teaching for the Joffrey Ballet (updated: March 2009)
* Photos taken at the Minnesota Dance Festival
Dimitri Roudenov : (MDF8.1996.Swan Lake) Dimitri was a soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet. (updated: March 2009)
Peggy Seipp: (2003: 15th MDF, performed in Uri Sands 'Postcards' ) Peggy grew up training and performing with the MInnessota Dance Theatre where she remained for 24 years. In addition to training at MDT she studied with the School of American Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. With the Minnesota Dance Theater Peggy recieve critical acclaim for her Sugar Plum Fairy in Loyce Houlton's Nutcracker Fantasy and Glen Tetley's Mythical Hunters and Loyce Houlton's Romeo and Juliet Balcony pas de deux. She has performed works by Loyce Houlton, Wynn Fricke,Robert Hill, Stepane Andre and Uri Sands. She has performed in Europe with Stephane Andre's Moving In. Peggy has danced with James Sewell Ballet for 2 years. She holds a BA degree in Communications/Secondary Education from the Univesity of St Thomas. (updated: June 2003)
James Sewell: (2nd &15th MDFJames is artistic director/founder of the renowned James Sewell Dance Company based in Minneapolis, MN. James choreography is both technically demanding as well as artistically innovative with a good sense of humor added in on occasion. Formerly James was a principal dancer with the famous Elliot Feld Ballet Company.
Casandra Shore: (1998: 10th MDF) Casandra is the founder/artistic director of Jawaakir Dance Company based in Minneapolis, MN. She has studied Middle Eastern dance for over 20 years and is widely considered one of the premier performance artists in this dance art form.
* Swan Lake photo (Dave Trayers) taken at Minnesota Dance Festival; others taken at BMN Fall Concert
Ted Southern : (2007 - 2008: 19 & 20th MDF) Ted performed the role of Rothbart in Ballet Minnesota's 4act 'Swan Lake'. Ted trained with Frank Bourman and danced for Loyce Houlton's Minnesota Dance Theatre, as well as many companies outside the Twin Cities. Currently a company member with Ballet of the Dolls, Ted most recently performed with Ballet Minnesota in Black Dog Cafe and Swan Lake (updated: March 2009)
David Stright: (1998: 9th - 12th MDF) David trained with the Andahazy Ballet. He has danced many classical ballets while dancing with Ballet Minnesota such as Les Sylphiles, the Nutcracker, Bournonville Dances, and Giselle. Most recently David performs with Lakeville City Ballet, MN and dances the role of Drosselmeyer in their Nutcracker. (updated: March 2009)
Deborah JinzaThayer (2003: 15th MDF: performed her own choreography)
Deborah Jinza Thayer has been performing and choreographing in multidisciplinary work for over ten years in New York City, Washington DC metro region, and Minneapolis. A native New Yorker, she graduated from John Hopkins University and received an MFA in Dance from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Since relocating to Minneapolis in 1997, she has been presenting her Movement Architecture which constructs imagery by blending dance and theater in strutured enviorments. She has twice been a semi-finalist for France's Renocntres choreographies internationales de Seine-Sait-Denis (Bagnolet). She currently teaches technique and composition at Zenon Dance Company and School in Minneapolis.
Erin Thompson: Erin
Lise Thurell: ( Kanopy Dance Company 1998: 10th MDF, 2006: 18MDF, 2009: 21MDF)
Bio taken from Kanopy Dance Company (Madison, Wisconsin) Bios 2009: Artistic Director KDC , Modern graham, Choreography, Repertory faculty
Ms Thurrell is Co-Director of Kanopy School for Contemporary Dance and Choreography. She was faculty at Academy of Russian Ballet, Denver, CO (‘01-04); Guest at Illinois State University, Normal, IL (‘05.); guest faculty Ballet Minnesota, (‘98 - to date); and visiting Professor, UN-Lincoln, NE ('92,'94.) She danced with the Martha Graham Company in NYC; in the International Spoleto Festivals in Italy and South Carolina ('91-'94); and with several companies in NYC (‘90-94.) She danced with Wendy Hambidge in Portland, OR (‘95); Connolly Dance and Smartdance in Madison. As Chair of Dance at the Idrætshøjskole, Oure, Denmark, she toured her choreography to Odense, Arhus, and Copenhagen (‘97.) Her choreography was presented in NYC (‘89-‘93) at The Field, Dance Space, Laban Center, and Goodson Theatre and throughout the Midwest. She holds a Certificate of Completion,Professional Trainee and Teaching Program, from Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance, NYC (’93) (3yr program); an MFA in Dance/minor in Asian Theatre from UW- Madison (‘87.) Training includes study with: Yuriko, Diane Gray, Carol Fried, Ethel Winter, Maggie Black, Zena Rommett, Hanya Holm, Nancy Hauser, Phyllis Lamhut, Lon Gordon, Vivian Tomlinson, Tibor Zana and Elizabeth Shiapetsky. She has shared awards with Kanopy Dance (‘96-to date) from: the Wisconsin Arts Board,CitiARTS Commission, Madison Civic Center Foundation, Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, Pleasant T Rowland Fdtn, Overture Fdtn and Madison Community Fdtn. She received Wisc Dance Council ’99 Choreography/Performance Award; nominated for the Bonnie Bird International Choreography Award (Laban Centre For Dance, London ‘97); UW Outstanding Alumni (‘98.); soloist for Nini Theilade's Ballet Schubert, Denmark (‘97); soloist in UW Alumni Concert, Hanya Holm's "Rat-a-Tat" (‘99.) (updated: April 2009)
* Photos are not from the Minnesota Dance Festival
Adam Stein : ( MDF11: 1999: Paquita / MDF7-10) Adam is a native of St Paul Minnesota. He began his trainning as a young boy at Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota. He moved to Pennnsylvania to continue his studies with the Pittsburg Ballet. Eventually Adam joined the North Carolina Dance Theater where he danced soloist and principal roles until a hip injury forced his retirement. (updated: April 2009)
* Photos taken at the Minnesota Dance Festival
Dmitri Tuboltsev: ( MDF16: 2004: Don Quixote / MDF17: 2005: Giselle ) Formerly with the Bolshoi & Kirov Ballet, Dmitri danced the leads in Ballet Minnesota's productions of Don Quixote & Giselle.
Brianna VandeVelde: (Ballet Minnesota: 2001: 6th - 13th MDF) Brie is a graduate of the Classical Ballet Academy. She has been dancing with Ballet Minnesotafor 3 years. Her roles include Columbine & Rose in the Nutcracker; soloisst in Paquita, LesSylphides, La Bayadere and Swan Lake. She has also danced lead roles in Play Us A Waltz, The "Egg" (a rockballet), and Flower Festival from Genzano pas de deux. (updated: May 2001)
Juan Carlos Díaz Vélez, Principal Dancer KDC, Ballet faculty
Juan Carlos Díaz Vélez: (Kanopy Dance Company, Madison, Wisconsin: 2009: 21MDF)
Bio taken from Kanopy Dance Company (Madison, Wisconsin) Bios 2009:
Mr. Velez began his dance training in Guadalajara, Mexico under Carmen Sandoval and Alex Zybin at the Victoria Ballet and Guadalajara Ballet schools. He also studied at the San Francisco and Pacific Northwest ballet schools. Mr. Díaz Vélez initially danced with the American Festival Ballet and then as a soloist with Spokane Ballet. Juan Carlos joined Eugene Ballet Company in 1989 and then left briefly to join Charleston Ballet Theatre where he performed leading roles in Nutcracker, Dracula and other contemporary works by resident choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr. Juan Carlos returned to the Eugene Ballet Company in 1992 and performed with EBC and Ballet Idaho as a principal dancer until 1996, when he returned to school to pursue a career in physics. While attending school, Juan Carlos briefly performed with Idaho Dance Theater, Boise State University's resident company. (updated: April 2009)
Erin Warn: (1989-1996, 2003-2007: ) Erin is currently a company member with Ballet Minnesota and a graduate of Classical Ballet Academy in St Paul. She has danced soloist roles in the classical ballets: Nutcracker, Giselle, Swan Lake and in original works such as Black Dog Cafe and Pachelbel Canon by Andrew Rist, 'Solsstice' by Sallyann Mulcahy and 'Gloria' by Maryann Johnson. (updated: July 2007)
Michael Yonkers: (1991: 3rd MDF) Michael danced with the Nancy Hauser dance company before becoming an independent choreographer. He has an excellent sense of the use of minimal movement which is his forte.
Kathy Young: (1997: 9th MDF) Starting dance trainning late, Kathy sense of line, musicallity and form allowed her to progress quickly. After dancing with JazzDance, she formed her own company. Her movement is musical, daring and intriguing.
Partial listing for MDF 17 (not yet represented: Ballet Minnesota, Beyond Ballroom, St Paul City Ball
Rita Mustaphi...............Katha Dance Theater......"Shahi Mehfil the Royal Concert "........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Debjani Chakraborty.....Katha Dance Theater......"Shahi Mehfil the Royal Concert".........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Swati Deo....................Katha Dance Theater......."Shahi Mehfil the Royal Concert "........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Pooja Khanna..............Katha Dance Theater......"Shahi Mehfil the Royal Concert "........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Sarika Prabhu..............Katha Dance Theater......."Shahi Mehfil the Royal Concert "........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Asha Sharma...............Katha Dance Theater......."Shahi Mehfil the Royal Concert "........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Sharon Varosh.............Katha Dance Theater......."Shahi Mehfil the Royal Concert "........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Sara Dejores...................Keane Sense Of Rhythmn.........."Flight"........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Shawn Glidden................Keane Sense Of Rhythmn.........."Flight"........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Cathy Keane Wind..........Keane Sense Of Rhythmn.........."Flight"........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Ellen Keane....................Keane Sense Of Rhythmn.........."Flight"........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Sandy Likely....................Keane Sense Of Rhythmn.........."Flight"........(MDF 17, April 2005)
Rachel Brenk................MaCalester College Dance Program........"House of Broken Wings".......(MDF 17, April 2005)
Cara DeLavallade.........MaCalester College Dance Program........"House of Broken Wings".......(MDF 17, April 2005)
Emily Gras....................MaCalester College Dance Program........"House of Broken Wings".......(MDF 17, April 2005)
Monica Thomas............MaCalester College Dance Program........"House of Broken Wings".......(MDF 17, April 2005)