Tina Anderson: (2000: 12th MDF: danced in a work by Risa Cohen)
Stephane Andre: (2003: 15th MDF) Stephane is a native of France. He completed his dance and music studies in 1987 at the Paris National Conservatory under the teaching of Attilio Labis and Roland Duflot. Mr Andre was awarded a scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School after participating in the Lausannes Competition. Stephane has been dancing throughout North America with companies such as Joffrey Ballet, Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theater. He has been dancing locally for seven years with companies such as Zenon, Ballet Of the Dolls, Minnesota Dance Theater and James Sewell Ballet. Mr Andre has worked with Bebe Miller, Mark Morris, James Kudelka and Hans Van Manen, among other renowned choreographers. He has been teaching ballet in the USA, Canada and Japan. Stephane is a certified Pilates instructor from Stott Toronto. Stephane performed in hisown work "T", a pas de deux (danced with Jennifer Hart) representing the Minnesota Dance Theater, on the Dance Festival. (updated: June 2003)
* Photos taken at Minnesota Dance Festival
Giary Ataly : (2003: 15th MDF) Trainned in Turkey, Giary was a member of American Ballet Theater. Giary has danced the Nutcracker, Coppelia and Italian Symphony with Ballet Minnesota. Italian Symphony was created on Giary by Andrew Rist on the 15th MDF. (updated: March 2009)
Chris Aiken: (1997: 9th MDF) Chris Aiken is one of the leading dance improvisation artists in America.
Andy "Andacne" Ausland ( Ten Foot Five Productions: MDF 17, April 2005 & MDF 16, April 2004) Andy and his brother Rick are excellent tap, or should I say, percussionists. They co-founded Ten Foot Five, which showcases the brothers dynamic rhythms at times and at others they are joined on stage by many other dancers to create an experience. They will tap on anything around as well as use drumsticks to continue the rhythm. These two are truly a daynamic dance duo.
Excerpt from the 10 Foot 5 MySpace: Vaudeville’s next generation, HERE and NOW. From the deep freeze of Minneapolis Minnesota’s sub-zero winter 10 Foot 5 Productions presents... “Buckets and Tap Shoes,” a company of musicians, percussionists and hoofers. Original music, improvisation and choreography derived from roots of funk, soul, jazz, classical, hip-hop, blues and rock. “Buckets and Tap Shoes” is a journey through rhythm, music & tap dance. Every show is a unique and organic entity. Part dance company, part band. All rhythm. The multi-talented cast of performers create music with 5-gallon paint buckets, metal cans, found objects, tap shoes, as well as traditional instruments including electric guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. 10 Foot 5 Productions continues to astound audiences from age 5 to 105 with mind-blowing rhythms, precision footwork and powerful groove-based music. Kicking down the 4th wall between audience and performer, “Buckets and Tap Shoes” makes their audience a part of the show. Worldwide audiences speak the universal language of rhythm and music. We need not speak in the same tongue to communicate. Since 1997, 10 Foot 5 has dripped oceans of sweat upon stages around the world including; New York NY, Los Angeles CA, St Louis MO, Denver CO, Washington DC, Sedona AZ, Kansas City MO, Columbia MD, Charleston SC, Rapid City SD, Madison WI, San Antonio TX, Dover DE, W. Hartford CT, Grundy VA, Summersville WV, Mechanicsburg PA and internationally in: Vienna-Austria, Quito and Guayaquil-Ecuador and Helsinki-Finland for the 3rd time in August of 2006. (updated: April 2009. photo off 10Foot5 MySpace)
Rick "Ritmyk" Ausland ( Ten Foot Five Productions: MDF 17, April 2005 & MDF 16, April 2004) Rick and his brother Andy are excellent tap, or should I say, percussionists. They co-founded Ten Foot Five, which showcases the brothers dynamic rhythms at times and at others they are joined on stage by many other dancers to create an experience. They will tap on anything around as well as use drumsticks to continue the rhythm. These two are truly a daynamic dance duo.
Excerpt from the 10 Foot 5 MySpace: Vaudeville’s next generation, HERE and NOW. From the deep freeze of Minneapolis Minnesota’s sub-zero winter 10 Foot 5 Productions presents... “Buckets and Tap Shoes,” a company of musicians, percussionists and hoofers. Original music, improvisation and choreography derived from roots of funk, soul, jazz, classical, hip-hop, blues and rock. “Buckets and Tap Shoes” is a journey through rhythm, music & tap dance. Every show is a unique and organic entity. Part dance company, part band. All rhythm. The multi-talented cast of performers create music with 5-gallon paint buckets, metal cans, found objects, tap shoes, as well as traditional instruments including electric guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. 10 Foot 5 Productions continues to astound audiences from age 5 to 105 with mind-blowing rhythms, precision footwork and powerful groove-based music. Kicking down the 4th wall between audience and performer, “Buckets and Tap Shoes” makes their audience a part of the show. Worldwide audiences speak the universal language of rhythm and music. We need not speak in the same tongue to communicate. Since 1997, 10 Foot 5 has dripped oceans of sweat upon stages around the world including; New York NY, Los Angeles CA, St Louis MO, Denver CO, Washington DC, Sedona AZ, Kansas City MO, Columbia MD, Charleston SC, Rapid City SD, Madison WI, San Antonio TX, Dover DE, W. Hartford CT, Grundy VA, Summersville WV, Mechanicsburg PA and internationally in: Vienna-Austria, Quito and Guayaquil-Ecuador and Helsinki-Finland for the 3rd time in August of 2006. (updated: April 2009)
Kirill Bak: (Ballet Minnesota: 2001: 11th - 13th MDF) Kirill is a graduate of the famous Vaganova Institute in St Petersbury, Russia. He has been a prinicipal dancer with the world famous Asif Eifman Ballet, has toured the world and presentlyis a principal dancer for Ballet Minnesota. His roles for Ballet Minnesota include the principal in "Paquita", "Play Us A Waltz", the "Egg", "Nutcracker" and "Bournonville Dances". Kirill'sstrong presence and classical technique make for a dynamic presence on stage. (updated: May 2001)
Jesse Bethke: (1993: 5th MDF; 1996: 8th MDF) Jesse is the artistic director of El Ballet Mexicano. Formerly with Ballet Folkloric in Mexico, he brings a stong sense of Mexican dance to Minnesota.
MaryAnn Bradley: (2003: 15th MDF: performed in Uri Sands "Postcards")
Following Bio from Zenon Dance Company Dancer Bios Page 2009: A native of Dayton, Ohio, Mary Ann Bradley, Company, joined Zenon in September 2005. She began her training at the Dayton Ballet School. She performed with local pre-professional companies Dance Theatre Dayton and Dayton Contemporary Dance II. She received her B.A. in Dance from Point Park University in 1997. Since her arrival in the Twin Cities, Mary Ann has performed with numerous companies and choreographers. Most notable are Dancing People Company, TU Dance, Minnesota Dance Theater, Ragamala Music and Dance, and ARENA Dances. She was a member of JAZZDANCE! by Danny Buraczeski for four years, two of which she acted as his assistant. Mary Ann is a 2001 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Dancers. She also received an honorable mention from the Minneapolis Star Tribune for 2005 Artist of the Year. (updated: April 2009)
Danny Burazcerki: (1992: 4th MDF) Danny is founder/artistic director of JazzDance. His choreography is sought after nationally and has been set on companies such as Boston Ballet. He has also appeared (with his company) at the famous Jacob's Pillow summer festival. Danny continues to lead the dance community in innovative choreography in the realm of jazz dance.
Michael Casper: (1997: 9th MDF) Michael, formerly with New Dance Ensemble, presented a solo titled "Top Gun".
Maria Cheng: (1988: 1st MDF) Maria has an ability to arrive the power of movement by directing our attention to the subtle beauty and expression behind it. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, she is now the director of dance.
Eric Clavel : (2008: MDF20) Eric has danced with Ballet Minnesota as the Snow Prince in Nutcracker, and as the Pas de Trois and Spanish in Swan Lake. Eric studied with Dmitri Tuboltsev.
* First 2 photos (Jamie Young) taken at Kanopy Dance Company. Beethoven Photo (Dave Trayers) taken
at BMN Fall Concert 2008
Robert Cleary: ( 1998: 10th MDF / 2009: MDF21 ) Robert E. Cleary, Artistic Director KDC, faculty, choreographer, dancer, KDC ('95-date); formerly with Minnesota Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theater, trained under Frank Bourman, David Voss, Loyce Houlton, Bonnie Mathis, Mary Hinkson, Tisha Von Burpee, received his BA from Univ of Minnesota in Dance and History (’90). Cleary studied at the School of American Ballet; and the Susan Klein-Releasing Technique, NYC. He danced with Bebe Miller, Bill T Jones, Danny Ezralow, Paula Mann, Carolyn Brown and others. While on faculty at Oure Idrætshøjskole, Denmark, he toured his choreography to Arhus, Odense, and Copenhagen and danced as soloist in Nini Theilade's Ballet Schubert. He served as Guest Faculty at Southwest Texas State and Academy of Russian Ballet, Denver, CO ('01-03.) He annually performs in "The Nutcracker" for Ballet Minnesota, has danced with numerous companies in the Midwest including Wendy Hambidge. He has awards ('95-date) from WAB, CitiARTS, MAC, MCF, Pleasant T Rowland Fdtn, MCCF, and DCCAC. (updated: March 2009)
Risa Cohen: (2001: 13th MDF) Risa Cohen moved to New York City after graduating from Towson University in Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Neurological Psychology. She spent the next five years working with the Margolis Brown Company which relocated to Minneapolis in 1995. As an emerging choreographer, Ms. Cohen focuses on a movement-based vocabulary that combines powerful dramatic intentions with modern dance technique. Ms. Cohen founded Precipice Dance Theater in 1997 and since then has produced dances that address various issues reflecting humanity such as alienation, obsession and oppression. "Babble", which premiered at the Red Eye theater (1999), depicted her experiences of growing up with dyslexia. "Giselle", which also premiered at the Red Eye Theater (2000), examined the underlying impulses and deep obsessions embedded in the classic tale. The third concert,"Unraveled", presented at the Music Box Theater (2000), explored the struggle between feminisim and the Jewish patriarchal tradition. Ms Cohen has also presented works at the Walker Art Center, Southern Theater, and the Loring Playhouse.
In February 2001 Risa was commissioned by Ballet Minnesota to create a new work for the 5th annual Youth Concert Series. The dance, "Finlandia", is an abstract interpretation of the music. Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (considered by many as Finland's greatest composer): was the composer (1890) of this rich piece.
Presently Risa working on her own conert "Self Storage" which will be held at the Southern Theater in June. An excerpt from this new work will be premiered on the Minnesota Dance Festival. (updated: May 2001)
Sam Costa: (1996: 8th MDF) Formerly director of Ram Island Art Center in Maine, Sam relocated to Minnesota where he became associate director of Zenon Dance Company. After leaving that position he created 10,000 Dances and taught at Hamline University until his untimely death.
Suzanna DiPalma: Suzanna is the founder/artistic director of the acclaimed Zorongo Flamenco dance company. Her mastery of the art of flamenco dance combined with a sense of telling stories creates a dynamic blend of movement and music which is compelling to watch.
Following Bio from Zorongo Flamenco website: Susana di Palma is unparalleled both as a performer and choreographer and is respected and recognized internationally for her innovative flamenco/theatre works. Having spent a lifetime studying all aspects of the art of flamenco in Spain with maestros such as Enrique “El Cojo”, Carmen Mora, Manolete, Manolo Marin, Merche Esmeralda and “new generation” dancer, Rafaela Carrasco, and dancing in “tablaos” in Madrid, festivals throughout Spain, and in dance companies such as La Singla, Rafael de Cordoba and Maria Benitez ’ Estampa Flamenca, her performance and choreographic skills have, at their core, the essence of flamenco tradition. Although she is an accomplished and critically acclaimed flamenco soloist, her unique contributions to her art form are her provocative theatre/flamenco works that reflect and respond to our contemporary world.
By founding Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre in 1982, di Palma was able to find a vehicle for balancing her passionate love for Spain and flamenco with her urgent need to create theatrically compelling works that would address social/political concerns and, also, tantalize the imagination. Some of her multimedia works include: “La Virtud Negra” (1999), a flamenco murder mystery commissioned by the Walker Art Center; “Garden of Names” (1996) inspired by the novel of political torture “Imagining Argentina” (earning her the City Pages “Artist of the Year” award); “First, I Dream-Sor Juana” (1999), commissioned by St. Catherine’s Woman of Substance Series; “Encuentros”(2003), a gospel/flamenco collaboration with JD Steele; and “Tales of the Inquisition” (2005). She is currently working on a site-specific work, “La Romeria”, to premiere in the summer of 2006 in Minneapolis. Her puppet flamenco work for children, “Tra Tri Tri Tran Tran Toro”, which involves young audiences in a little Spanish bull’s difficulty adjusting as an immigrant to a Minnesota farm, was performed in numerous Twin Cities communities as part of Zorongo’s “Gypsy Caravan” in Summer 2006. In 2005, as part of the Women of Substance Series at The College of St. Catherine, she collaborated with Katha Dance Theatre in “Naari - The Women” with Rita Mustaphi and tap dancer Roxanne Butterfly. (updated: April 2009
Taylor Dreyling: (1998-2007 ) Taylor is a graduate of Classical Ballet Academy and has been a Ballet Minnesota member since 2001. She has appeared in many classics such as: 'La Bayadere", 'Paquita', "Don Quixote', 'Coppelia', 'Swan Lake' and 'Giselle'. She has also been featured in works by Andrew Rist such as 'Pachelbel Canon', 'Italian Symphony', and 'Black Dog Cafe'. Taylor has also received many scholarships including University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Ballet and Boston Ballet. (updated: July 2007)
Michael Engel: (1992: 4th MDF) Formerly a member of New Dance Ensemble, Michael in an independent choreographer.
Allan Fields: At the time of his appearance on MDF Alan was artistic director of Minnesoa Ballet located in Duluth, Minnesota. Since becoming director he expanded the school, changed the company name from Duluth Ballet to Minnesota Ballet and improved not only the company but its performance oppourtunities. Alan was formerly a dancer with the Cleveland / San Jose Ballet under the direction of Dennis Nahat. At persent, Allen has taken a leave of absence from Minnesota Ballet (updated: May 2007)
Ruthena Fink: (2007: 19th MDF) Ruthena performed with the Andahazy Ballet Borealis Company in Sleeping Beauty, Scherazade and Sernade. For two seasons, while studying with the Minnesota Dance Theater, she danced the roles of a snowflake and flower in their Nutcracker production. While dancing with Classical Ballet Academy, under the direction of Jo Savino, she performed in the ballets Giselle, Coppelia and Firebird. For the pas 23 years Ruthena has owned and operated the Grand Jete dancewear store in St Paul.
Wynne Fricke: (1996: 8th MDF) Wynne is a graduate of the Tische School of Arts in New York. After moving to Minneapolis, she joined Zenon Dance Company. She has a wonderful sense of design and movement which she brings to her works.
Andrea J Frenzel: (Zorongo Flamenco: 2003: 15th MDF)
Andrea found flamenco in 1993. Her background in dance and Spanish language unite in this art form. A Minneapolis native, Ms Frenzel has studied and worked under the guidance of internationally recognized flamenco choreographer Susana di Palma. She is a founding member of the Twin Cities based flamenco ensemble 'Majas', and has performed with Susana di Palma's Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre in "Kathak Flamenco: Negra" 2000, "Soul y Flamenco" 2001, and "Gernika" 2002. She also performs regularly with renowned Flamenco guitarist Michael Hauser and his groups Trio Flamenco, Cuadro Flamenco and Cuadro Folklorico.
To keep up with the current trends and techniques of her art, Ms Frenzel travels frequently to Madrid, Spain, where she studies Flamenco dance with renowned teachers such as Maria Magdalena, Yolanda Heredia, La China, Antonio Reyes, Domingo Ortega and Tomas de Madrid
Since joining the teaching staff of Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre and School in Minneapolis in 1999, Ms Frenzel has taught workshops and master classes around the Twin Cities and in Greater Minnesota. She is currently on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Dance Department.
(updated: April 2003)
Robert Gardner: Robert is Artistic director of Minnesota Ballet. Robert was formerly with the Joffrey and Cleveland Ballet. As choreogapher in residence for the Minnesota Ballet (Duluth, MN) he has created many new works for the company.
The following is an excerpt from the Minnesota Ballet website: "A native Virginian, Mr. Gardner began his studies with Mavis Ray of the Royal Ballet. After subsequent scholarships to the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York, he was asked to join the Joffrey II dancers. With Joffrey II, he toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Orient, performing ballets by Antony Tudor, Sir Frederick Ashton, Robert Joffrey, and Choo-San Goh. Mr. Gardner then danced with the Joffrey Ballet, touring both the east and west coasts. He then joined the Cleveland San Jose Ballet, where he danced soloist and principal roles in the works of George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Lar Lubovitch, David Lichine, José Limón, Léonide Massine, Dennis Nahat, and many others. For the Minnesota Ballet, Mr. Gardner has danced such principal roles as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake Act II and the embodiment of Love in Allen Fields’ The Passions, plus creating such memorable roles as a “playful, magical” Herr Drosselmeyer. (updated: March 2009)
Matthew Gasper: The following is an excerpt from the Gasper School of Dance website: Matthew Gasper has been dancing since the age of twelve with one of the top regional dance companies in the country. Under the direction of Kathy and Eddie Gasper, he honed his talents as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. At the early age of 18, he choreographed his first musical, Jesus Christ Superstar at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota. Immediately after high school, Matthew joined the Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company, the fifth largest company in the United States at the time. He quickly worked his way up from trainee to soloist, dancing principal roles including Nutcracker, Rodeo, Coople, Swan Lake, and Blue Suede Shoes – a ballet set to the music of Elvis Presley. In 1999, Matthew moved to New York City to work with dance legends like Luigi and Denis Nahat, and to begin his career in musical theatre quickly securing roles on- and off- Broadway, including Appleamondo’s Dream, Thorougly Modern Millie, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, and others. After suffering a knee injury in “Millie”, Matthew moved to Los Angeles, teaching and choreographing with regional dance and theatre companies in California. Currently Matthew lives in Fargo, ND as a Master Teacher at Gasper's School of Dance and Performing Arts. His goals are to continue to build on the reputation of the school and the dance company established by his parents Kathy and Eddie. (updated: March 2009)
Svetlana Gavrilova: (Ballet Minnesota: 2001: 11th - 13th MDF: she appeared in the classics La Bayadere, Paquita, Bournonville Dances and Andrew Rist's River Songs) Svetlana graduated from the famous Vaganova insitute in St Petersburg, Russia.. Her trainning was supervised by the famous Russian teachers Alle Sizova & Marina Vasilieva. Performing & touring the world with the Mussorsky Theater, she danced the lead roles of Giselle in "Giselle", and Esmerlda in "Esmerlda". Svetlana has danced roles with Ballet Minnesota in "Paquita", "Nutcracker", "La Bayadere" and "I'm From Minnesota" (updated: May 2001)
Lindsay Glesener: (Ressl Dance Company: 2001: 13th MDF) Lindsay Glesener danced with the Minnesota Ballet in Duluth from 1998 to 2000. She now lives in St. Paul where she attends Hamline University. Lindsay studied ballet from a very early age at the Minnesota Ballet along with modern and jazz. (updated: May 2001)
David Gordon: (1989: 1st MDF)
Allen Gregory: (MDF14-21) Allen recieved his trainning at Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota (official school of Ballet Minnesota). After graduating fromhis school in 2007, Allen was asked to joing Ballet Minnesota. His roles have included the nutcrcker prince in the'classic' Nutcracker', Hilarion in Giselle, and Chardaz & Mazurka in Swan Lake. He has performed in Italian Symphony, Black Dog Cafe and River Songs (featuring the songs of internationally acclaimed folksinger Charlie Maguire). Allen has also appeared as a guest artist with Continental Ballet (Minnesota) & Kanopy Dance Company (Madison, Wisconsin) (updated: March 2009)
Antone Gregory: (MDF15-21) Antone has worked with Ballet Minnesota bringing many character roles to life. He has danced in Coppelia, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Nutcracker, Black Dog Cafe and Giselle.
Jennifer Hart: (1994: 6th MDF / Minnesota Dance Theater: 2003: 15th MDF) Jennifer studied at the Minnesota Dance Theater school and eventually joined the company. In 1994 Jennifer danced on the 6th Minnesota Dance Festival as the Woman in Picasso's "Seated Woman" in Andrew Rist's "At the Museum". She returned in 2003 representing the MInnesota Dance theater partnered by Stephen Andre on the Gala Evening.
(updated: March 2009)
Matthew Harrison: (Ressl Dance Company: 2001: 13th MDF) Matthew Harrison, a Minneapolis native, began his training at the Minnesota Dance Theatre. He danced with the Minnesota Ballet for five years dancing in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia, and contemporary works. Matthew has previously performed in "Dances on the Lakewalk" in pieces by Robert Gardner and Doris Ressl and was guest artist with Ballet Arts Springboard Division. (updated: May 2001)
Heide Hauser Jasmin: (1998: 10th MDF) Heidi is the artistic director of Nancy Hauser Dance Company located in Minneapolis, MN. The modern company, founded by Nancy Hauser (Heidi's mother) continues to produce an annual season of modern works. Heidi has also developed a cross cultural exchange progarm with the Osaka area of Japan. Heidi presented the solo "Chair Concerto" on the festival.
Christine Halberg : (2009: 21st MDF)
< Beyond Ballroom Dance Company > Christine Hallberg- has been a professional ballroom dance instructor and competitor for 10 years and has danced with BBDC for two seasons. She continues to compete on a national level both professionally and with her amateur students.. (updated: April 2009)
Julia Heggernes : (Performed in Coppelia, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Giselle & La Sylphide on MDF) A graduate from Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota, Julia has been a company dancer with Ballet Minnesota since 2006. Receiving scholarships to Boston Ballet;s summer programs, she attended Boston Ballet as a company trainee and performed as Snow and Flowers in the Nutcracker and danced in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, La Fille Mal Gardee, and many Balanchine works: Serenade, Allegra Brillante, Who Cares, La Valse, Divertimento 15 and Valse Fantastique. Julia has performed many roles in Ballet Minnesota's productions, such as Snow Queen and Columbine in The Classic Nutecracker, and performed in La Bayadere, Coppelia, Giselle, Swan Lake and Andrew Rist's original works: Black Dog Cafe, River Songs, Rite of Spring, Italian Symphony and Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Julia is on the faculty of Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota. ( update: April 2009)
Melanie Hughes: (Ballet Minnesota: 2001-03: 13-15th MDF) Melanie joined Ballet Minnesota in November 2000. She has trained at the Royal Ballet in England and the Australian Ballet in Australia. Melanie has danced with the Australian Ballet, Ballet West, Milwaukee Ballet and James Sewell Ballet. Since joining Ballet Minnesota, Melanie has danced the Rose in the Nutcracker, the lead in Paquita and performed in this year's Capital New Year. Melanie is also a guest artist with Precipice Dance Theater.
Russell Hunter : (2009: 21st MDF)
< Beyond Ballroom Dance Company > Russell is the newest member of BBDC joined the company in 2008. He teaches ballroom dance and competes in pro-am competitions with his students, who hold several championship titles.. (updated: April 2009)