Raleigh Dance Theatre to host the Regional Dance America/Southeastern Regional Ballet Association Festival in Durham, North Carolina.
RDT Artistic Director, Mary LeGere
RDT Associate Director, Megan Marvel
RDA/SERBA 2016 Festival Coordinator, Rebecca van Dorsten
April 27- April 30, 2016
Important links for the weekend!
Click Here to Check out the new SERBA 2016 Merchandise images
IMPORTANT upcoming deadlines:
January 15: Souvenir Program: Company Logo, Bio, and Photo
January 25: Adjudication Form for Adjudicator and Adjudication Information Form
February 15: Souvenir Program: Advertising contract and payment
Headquarters for the festival will be the Durham Marriott City Center, 201 Foster Street and the Durham Convention Center.
Classes and workshops will take place at the following sites:
- Newly renovated Durham Convention Center, 301 West Morgan Street,
- Recently restored Durham Armory, 212 Foster Street
- Durham Arts Council dance studios, 120 Morris Street.
Performances will be held at the historical Carolina Theatre, 309 West Morgan Street. Performances in Fletcher Hall are made possible in part by a grant from the Durham Arts Council‘s Fletcher Performing Arts Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation.
Hotels are located within walking distance of the festival venues and Durham’s vibrant restaurant and entertainment districts:
- Durham Marriott City Center, 201 Foster Street (on site)
- Aloft Durham Downtown, 345 Blackwell Street (0.3 mile, 6 minute walk) Brand new –opened spring 2015
- Residence Inn Durham Duke University, 1108 West Main Street (0.7 mile, 15 minute walk) brand new opened summer 2015
Adjudicator: Adjudicator, Leslie Crockett.
Confirmed Faculty to date:
Ballet: Lynn Glauber, Stephen Pier, Margaret Severin Hansen, Pablo Perez, Michael Vernon, Deborah Vogel, Robert Weiss, Deborah Wingert, Hong Yang
Jazz: Natalie Marrone, Casey Noblett, Kirstie Spadie
Modern: Renay Aumiller, Amy Chavasse, Leslie Jane Pessemier
Renay Aumiller has presented her dance works across the Midwest and Eastern United States as the Founder/Artistic Director of RAD | Renay Aumiller Dances. Aumiller received the Emerging Artist Grant through the Durham Arts Council and was a North Carolina Dance Alliance Choreography Fellow. She has performed professionally with numerous choreographers/companies including Gerri Houlihan, Renée Wadleigh, Tere O’Connor, Thread Meddle Outfit, and The Kearns Dance Project. Additionally, Aumiller toured Taiwan, Cambodia, and Italy with internationally acclaimed improvisation master, Kirstie Simson. Aumiller’s education includes earning a BA in Dance Studies from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, an MFA in Choreography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is a certified level 1 Franklin Method™ educator. Ms. Aumiller has enjoyed guest residencies at NC State University, Washington and Lee University, Meredith College, Appalachian State University, Iowa State University, Salem College, NC Governor’s School West, Enloe High School, NC Dance Project and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University and teaches at the ADF Studios in Durham, NC.
Amy Chavasse, choreographer, performer, educator, improviser, and Artistic Director of ChavasseDance&Performance is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. She’s also been guest artist/ faculty at Wayne State University, Bennington, Middlebury, Arizona State, UNC-Greensboro, and UNCSA. Her work has been presented throughout the U.S. including, Gowanus Art + Production, Dixon Place, Movement Research at Judson Church in New York. ChavasseDance premiered three works at Triskelion Presents in Brooklyn in June 2015, earning the comment- “Amy Chavasse is a continual surprise, solo or ensemble. Her dances are simultaneously absurd, smart and disturbing, and she chooses her collaborators well.” (Quinn Batson- OffOffOff). Her work has also been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Links Hall, Chicago, and other venues. Internationally, she has taught and her work has been presented in Cuba, Lithuania, Vienna, Colombia, Vancouver BC, Buenos Aires, the American Dance Festival/ Henan (China) and The Beijing Dance Festival. She premiered Low Winter Light, a duet for Donnell Oakley and Jessica Jolly at The Beijing Dance Festival in 2013. She regularly teaches at Duncan 3.0 in Rome, and at ResExtensa’s Instituto Vittoria in Giovinazzo, Italy. She has collaborated with Grupo Krapp in Buenos Aires and hosted two artists from China at The University of Michigan in January 2015. She worked with Tanz Tangente in Berlin in summer, 2015 and will return to teach and create a new work for the company in July 2016, along with performance dates in Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden. She danced in the companies of Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, Bill Young/ Colleen Thomas and Dancers, and others and in many independent projects in NYC and beyond. BFA- University of NC School of the Arts; MFA- University of Washington. www.chavassedanceandperformance.com
Lynn Glauber started her training in Buffalo, New York with Stella Applebaum. She continued her training with Kathleen Crofton at the Ballet Center of Buffalo, and moved onto a full scholarship at the Joffrey School in New York City training primarily with Ann Parson. After one year in New York, she was offered a contract with Maurice Bejart, moved to Brussels, Belgium, and at the age of 17, joined the Ballet of the Twentieth Century excelling to Principal Dancer shortly thereafter. She danced such roles as Romeo & Juliet, Magic Flute, Notre Faust, The Competition, Marteau Sans Maitre, Bhakti, Choreographic Offering, and Les Noces. Ms. Glauber performed these roles and many others while traveling through Europe, South America, Africa, Iran, Israel, Japan, Canada and Lebanon. Bejart also created several roles on Ms. Glauber including Seraphita, Dionysos, Pli Selon Pli, Baiser del la Fe, Nijinski, Farah, and The Competition.
She returned to New York where she joined the Joffrey Ballet as a Principal Dancer and continued training with Maggie Black and David Howard. While at the Joffrey Ballet she had the honor of dancing works by such notable choreographers as Anthony Tudor, Oscar Ariaz, Agnes DeMille, Glen Tetley, Robert Joffrey, Gerald Arpino, John Cranko and Sir Frederick Ashton. Her favorite roles included Romeo & Juliet (Oscar Ariaz), Suites Saint Seans, Wedding Bouquet, Cake Walk, Brouillards, Vivandiere and Kettantanz.
She also appeared in ballet galas, musical theater, movies, and made for television films in the United States and abroad. She concluded her dance career while accompanied by acclaimed dancers Cynthia Gregory and Donald Williams in a ballet creation by Francis Patrelle, to the music of Duke Ellington in New York City.
Her diverse background has led Ms. Glauber to an extensive teaching career. It has included: New Jersey School of Ballet, Elliot Feld’s Ballet Tech, Coupe Dance Studio, Connecticut Ballet Theater School, Ballet Hispanico, Eglevsky Ballet School, University of Bridgeport Arts Program, Dance Cavise, Ballet Academy East and Port Washington School of Dance. In addition to these schools, she has been invited to teach many guest workshops including Dance Masters of America, Nashville Tennessee Dance Festival, Dance Theater Workshop Summer Intensive at Hofstra University, Ballet Academy East Summer Intensive, Jacob’s Pillow Summer Intensive; and internationally Bat D’dor, Tel Aviv, Israel; Universal Ballet, Seoul, Korea; and The National Ballet of Prague, Czech Republic.
Ms. Glauber is currently on staff at The Ailey School, serving as Co-Chair of the Professional Ballet division, and also on staff at Marymount of Manhattan College.
Natalie Marrone-MFA, is a fusion choreographer blending Italian folk traditions and contemporary dance forms. Her work has been seen in film, national commercials, live television events, Dance Magazine and presented throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Her choreographic and ethnic dance research has been presented internationally by National Dance Education Organization, Congress On Research in Dance and the American Italian Historical Association. She has worked as a rehearsal assistant to Hubbard Street Dance founding director Mr. Lou Conte, and has enjoyed dancing in work by Ronald K. Brown, Jose Grecco, Stuart Pimsler Dance Theater, Alan Hineline, Susan Hadley and Tim Glenn. For her concert dance work, Ms. Marrone was the 2012 recipient of the NC Dance Alliance Choreographic Fellowship and her dance company The Dance Cure was invited to perform at the American Dance Festival in 2013. Most recently Marrone’s choreography was featured in a new film starring Annabella Sciorra, Diana DeGarmo and Natalie Knepp entitled ALTO which won the audience choice award in Tribecca’s VisionFest 2015. Thus far the film has also been seen at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival, San Francisco Frameline 39 Film Festival, New Filmmakers Film Festival New York, The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Hoboken International Film Festival, Barcelona Film Festival and Durham L&G Film Festival. Ms. Marrone currently resides in Chapel Hill with her family. She enjoys teaching a wide range of courses at both Duke and Elon Universities and has been the initiator of the Hip Hop dance curriculum at Elon University, Duke University and The Ohio State
Casey Noblett began dancing under the direction of her mother, Toni Noblett and Jacques d’Amboise in NYC. Her stage credits include performances at the White House and Kennedy Center for President Bill Clinton, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, and The Smithsonian Institute. She has performed internationally at Tokyo Disneyland, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and at the NBA’s Jam Session in Caracas, Venezuela as Captain of the Atlanta Hawks Dance Team. Her television credits include work with artists such as Gloria Estefan, Will Smith, and Chayanne, as well as performances on Extreme Home Makeover, MTV, CBS, and the Latin networks Univision and Telemundo. In 2011 and 2013 she was the choreographer and creative director for the America’s Junior Miss Scholarship Program.
Casey has been featured in Dance Studio Life Magazine with her mother and brother Cassidy and in the published book Full Bloom. She, with Robert Gosnell, has collaborated on multiple projects with the artist Annie-Rose in Nashville, TN and the Rye Band in Atlanta, GA. She has been a guest artist for Rosie O’Donnell’s Theater Kids, Broadway Dance Center and is a permanent guest faculty member for the University of NC School of the Arts where she is the co-director for their new summer program, The Commercial Dance Intensive.
Casey has been a master teacher and national judge for many competition companies. She is the owner and director of the in-studio convention company N-House Productions and teaches and choreographs at studios, festivals, and universities across the US year-round. After 11 amazing years in Atlanta, Casey is back in NC and lives in Raleigh.
Pablo Javier Perez, born in Uruguay, graduated with the highest honors from the National School of Dance. In 1994 he won a silver medal at an international dance competition in Brazil. Mr. Perez has also danced with The Teatro de Colon de Buenos Aires. Mr. Perez joined Carolina Ballet in its first season. His roles include Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, Puck and Oberon in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hilarion in Giselle, Renfield in Dracula, and principal roles in the Balanchine ballets Tarantella, Square Dance, Four Temperaments, Fancy Free, Steadfast Tin Soldier, Rubies, Valse Fantaisie. He has had several principal roles choreographed on him, including Weiss’ Adagio, Joker in Masque of the Red Death, Peter in Peter & the Wolf. In 2001, he was invited by the First Lady of Uruguay to participate in a national tour of Uruguay.
Leslie Jane Pessemier, a nationally recognized, New York based choreographer and teacher for over thirty-five years, is originally from Tacoma, Washington. She was chosen as one of seven international finalists for the Boston Ballet’s Choreographic Competition, and has created ballets for professional and regional companies throughout the country, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Joffrey II Company, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and Baltimore Ballet, as well as having works presented in China and in Austria’s YoungTanzsommer Dance Festival. Ms. Pessemier’s achievements in dance have made her the recipient of many awards and grants including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City, Pennsylvania State and Washington State Arts Councils, a Jerome Foundation Grant, a four-time fellow to the Carlisle National Choreography Project, the Leona Norman Award, and four Monticello College Foundation Choreographic Scholarships. Five of her ballets have been placed on the National Choreography Plan. Ms. Pessemier has been Associate Director of the Baltimore Ballet, Resident Choreographer and Ballet Mistress for Pennsylvania Ballet Theatre, four-time Director of the National Choreography Conference, and Adjudicator for seven Regional Dance America Festivals and three Regional American College Dance Festivals. Ms. Pessemier has been on the faculty of the International Ballet School for the VI U.S.A. International Ballet Competition and her ballets have been chosen to represent Regional Dance America in two U.S.A. International Ballet Competitions. This summer will mark her fifteenth year as Director of Choreography for the Glenda Brown National Choreography Project in Kansas City.
Stephen Pier has performed throughout the world with the Royal Danish Ballet, the Hamburg Ballet, the José Limón Company and as a guest artist. He is noted for the vast range of his artistic experience which includes the works of Petipa, Bournonville, Balanchine, Cranko, Kylian, Limón, and Neumeier. He created roles in original works for choreographers John Neumeier, Maurice Béjart, Kim Brandstrup, Laura Dean and many others. Critically acclaimed as “highly defined, a tour de force”, “ a dancer of tremendous taste and insight”, and “one of the most gifted dancers on the modern dance scene today.” Mr Pier became internationally known as a teacher and coach of Classical and Contemporary Ballet, as well as works by Limón. He taught for the Royal Danish Ballet’s company and school while serving as ballet master from 1990-1996. He served on the faculty of the Juilliard School from 1996-2010, Alvin Ailey School, Martha Graham Center, Regional Dance America, New York International Ballet Competition and for many notable companies in Europe, America and Asia including Company Wayne McGregor, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Atlanta Ballet, Bat Dor, Introdans, Scapino Ballet, New National Theater Tokyo, and New York International Ballet Competition. His students have danced in companies around the world including, The Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Forsythe Company, Netherlands Dance Theater, Martha Graham Company, Lar Lubovitch, José Limón Dance Co., Mark Morris Dance Group, Doug Varone and Dancers, Cullberg Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and Bat Sheva.
In 2004 Mr. Pier founded PierGroupDance to explore and collaborate with dancers and artists in various art forms. He has created over 50 works for the concert stage, opera, theater, and film. His work has been presented by The Hamburg Ballet (Ger.), Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Danish Theater, Royal Danish Opera, Bat Dor (Israel), The New National Theater (Japan), the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, The Di Capo Opera Company (NYC), Nilas Martins Dance Company, and the Dance on Film Festival at Lincoln Center. In 1998 he was selected to be part of Jacob’s Pillow Choreographer’s Project. He co-founded and directed the emerging choreographer’s workshop, “Danses”, at the Royal Danish Ballet 1990-1996
Stephen was named director of Visions and Voices: Altria/ABT Women’s Choreography Project at American Ballet Theater the Artistic Director in September 2008 and directed Juilliard’s innovative Mentoring Program from 2007 – 2010. In October of 2009, Mr Pier was recruited for the position of Director of the Dance Division at The Hartt School, University of Hartford
For more information, visit Mr. Pier’s website http://www.piergrp.org/.
Margaret Severin-Hansen began her training at the Huntington School of Ballet on Long Island, NY. She was accepted into the School of American Ballet in 1993 and trained there until being taken into Carolina Ballet in 1998. She spent six weeks training with the Royal Danish ballet in 1997 before joining Carolina ballet as a founding member and also danced with The Royal Ballet of Flanders in 2013. As well as dancing she is also the Assistant Director of Triangle Academy of Dance in Cary, NC.
At Carolina Ballet, Ms.Severin-Hansen has danced the majority of the ballets in the repertoire. She began as an apprentice and quickly rose to the rank of principal dancer in the fall of 2002. Artistic Director Robert Weiss and guest choreographers (including Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Christopher Wheeldon, Damian Woetzel, Richard Tanner, and Donald Malher) have created ballets on Ms. Severin-Hansen and she has been singled out repeatedly for her artistry and technical merit.
Ms. Severin-Hansen’s principal roles have included Giselle, Juliet, Princess Aurora, Swanhilda, The Sylph (La Sylphide), Firebird, The Little Mermaid, Carmen, Cinderella, Odette/Odile and The Sugar Plum Fairy. She has also danced many Balanchine ballets. Some to note are Rubies, Allegro Brilliant, Square Dance, Valse Fantasie, Who Cares?, Apollo, Agon, Concerto Barocco, Divertemento #15, Donizetti Variations, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tarantella to name a few.
In January of 2009, Ms. Severin-Hansen was one of eight graduates of the School of American Ballet personally invited by Peter Martins to perform with New York City Ballet dancers in the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the school.
Kirstie Spadie: Artistic Director and cofounder of North Carolina Dance Institute, received a Bachelors’ of Fine Art from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with the Chancellors Award for Excellence. Kirstie was coached by Agnes de Mille as the Lead Cowgirl in Rodeo and played Ado Annie in Oklahoma. Kirstie studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre on scholarship and attended Jacobs Pillow.
She performed and toured nationally and internationally with musical theatre productions, most notably as the White Cat, Victoria, in Cats. Kirstie performed in West Side Story in the US, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich, and Glasgow, Scotland. She served as the Assistant Director for the original Jerome Robbins choreography for West Side Story. Kirstie has been in numerous national television commercials and was last seen as the dancing red dress in the Subway national television commercial.
Kirstie has taught thousands of children and adults throughout North Carolina. Students experience a positive and high-energy environment with respect towards traditions and discipline of dance. Kirstie trained with the National Dance Institute Teacher Training Program in NYC and believes highly in their teaching methodologies that dance can promote confidence, discipline, enrich children’s lives and spark their artistic dreams for the future. Kirstie was appointed by National Dance Institute founder, Jacques d’Amboise, as the Artistic Director for North Carolina Arts In Action from 2005-07. This unique dance program brings dance education into elementary schools and fosters an early appreciation for the performing arts. As the founding NCAIA Artistic Director, she conceived, choreographed and directed Moving to the Masters and Got Jazz!.
Kirstie is active in the triangle community with teaching master classes at St. Mary’s, Wakefield High Drama Department, Enloe High Dance Department, Wake County Day of Dance and choreography for Cardinal Gibbons, St. Mary’s and Duke University’s Momentum Dance Ensemble. Her choreography has been presented at the NC Children’s Dance Festival, the NC Educators Ball, NBC-17 Tree of Lights television special, ABC TV Winterfest, and WCPSS Annual Pieces of Gold and contemporary choreography for the 2009 Youth Grand Prix Ballet Competition. Kirstie is an annual guest faculty instructor for Carolina Ballet’s Summer Intensives. In 2003, Kirstie was awarded Community Dance Educator of the Year by the Dance Association for North Carolina Educators (DANCE). Kirstie stays engaged in current dance trends by actively taking Master Classes at UNC-CH, ADF, and Steps on Broadway in NYC with Fabrice Harrault, Larry Kegwin and Gaga Workshops with Batsheva Dance Company. Kirstie is a proud alumna and advocate for UNCSA. She grooms talented students to attend summer sessions and high school and college acceptance to this prestigious NC arts conservatory. Kirstie assisted with the UNC School of the Arts 2007 production of West Side Story. Kirstie was appointed by former Chancellor John Mauceri to the UNC School of the Arts Board of Trustees, Honorary Ex Officio. Kirstie was featured in the book Career Ideas for Kids who like Music and Dance and most recently, Firestarters: 100 Job Profiles to Inspire Young Women.
Kirstie is enjoying her 17th year of private studio teaching. She places the highest value on the personal connections between students and parents. She presently guides the young dancers at North Carolina Dance Institute (NCDI) with the mission of changing the face of dance studio training from recital based/competitions to an educational and physically active platform. The unique model of NCDI as a non-recital/non-competition studio allows Kirstie and the NCDI professional faculty to focus exclusively on the valuable class practicum of anatomical awareness, pure technique, historical perspectives and more in-depth exploration of the choreographic range of dance. Kirstie is driven to provide a positive playing field for young dancers to become self-realized in an art form that takes years of dedication and hard work to achieve success.
Connect with Kirstie at www.ncdanceinstitute.com or Facebook: NC Dance Institute
Born in Belleville, Illinois, Ms. Spizzo trained at the San Francisco Ballet School, the NC School of the Arts (now UNCSA), and at the School of American Ballet in New York. Upon graduation, she joined the National Ballet of Washington (DC), and the Ballet Repertory Company (NY), ultimately joining American Ballet Theatre in 1975. A soloist with ABT, Spizzo appeared in numerous Live From Lincoln Center and Dance in America telecasts, as well as the Herbert Ross films “The Turning Point” and “Dancers,” and in Baryshnikov’s “Nutcracker” and “Don Quixote” video films. Spizzo was a Principal dancer with Ballet Arizona from 1988-1990, and with the Nureyev & Friends North American tour in 1990. She performed in the Broadway company of “Phantom of the Opera” from 1990-2000. Also during that time, Spizzo was an adjunct professor at both NYU and SUNY/Purchase. In 1996, she served as Artistic Coordinator of ABT’s inaugural Summer Intensive Program, and has remained a principal teacher in all subsequent ABT Summer Intensives (NYC, NC, and Austin, TX). She is certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum.
In 2000, Spizzo joined the dance faculty at UNCSA, where she worked for 10 years, receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. She taught in the School of the Arts’ Preparatory Dance Program for several years, and is now an adjunct professor of dance at UNCSA. She is also on faculty at the Dancers’ Edge dance studio in Kernersville.
Christine is actively engaged as a Guest teacher and stager of classical ballet repertoire at various schools throughout North Carolina, and in New York, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Puerto Rico. Spizzo is the owner and co-founder, along with Mark McCullough, of Studio Elevé
Michael Vernon started dancing at the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet in London before going on to study at the Royal Ballet School in London with such legendary teachers as Dame Ninette de Valois and Leonide Massine. He performed with the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera Ballet, and the London Festival Ballet before coming to New York in 1976 to join the Eglevsky Ballet as ballet master and resident choreographer. He became artistic director of the Long Island-based company in 1989 and remained in that position until 1996.
Vernon choreographed numerous ballets for the Eglevsky Ballet, in addition to ballets for many other professional companies in the United States and worldwide, such as BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. Mikhail Baryshnikov commissioned him to choreograph the successful pas de deux In a Country Garden for American Ballet Theatre (ABT). His solo S’Wonderful was danced by ABT principal Cynthia Harvey in the presence of President and Mrs. Reagan and shown nationwide on CBS television. He also served as the assistant choreographer on Ken Russell’s movie Valentino, starring Rudolph Nureyev and Leslie Caron.
Vernon taught at Steps on Broadway in New York City for many years, working with dancers from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and many other high-profile companies. He is an integral part of the Manhattan Dance Project, which brings New York-style master classes to all regions of the United States. He has been involved with the Ballet Program of the Chautauqua Institution since 1996 and is the artistic advisor for the Ballet School of Stamford. He is permanent guest teacher at the Manhattan Youth Ballet and has a long association with Ballet Hawaii.
Vernon has been a company teacher for American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has guest taught in companies all over the world, including West Australian Ballet, National Ballet of China, Hong Kong Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Berlin Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, and the Norwegian National Ballet. He has been a guest teacher for The Juilliard School and taught for many years at The Ailey School. He recently joined the panel of judges for the Youth of America Grand Prix regional semi-finals. For Indiana University, where he serves as the Artistic Director and Chair of the Ballet Department, Vernon has choreographed Endless Night, Jeux, Spectre de la Rose, Cathedral and has staged and provided additional choreography for the full-length classics Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. He has choreographed for many IU Opera Theater productions, such as Faust and the world premiere of Vincent. His production of The Nutcracker has become one of the best attended events of the Jacobs School of Music.
Deborah Vogel: Author, academic and co-founder of the Center for Dance Medicine in NYC, Deborah Vogel has been involved in the medical field since 1978 helping dancers to athletes and musicians maximize their potential while minimizing injuries. Her articles can be found in Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine. Deborah has multiple books and products on improving technique such as Tune Up Your Turnout and Essential Anatomy: A Multimedia Course, which can be found online at thebodyseries.com. She uses her expertise and knowledge to educate teachers and dancers to enhance their technique using sound anatomical principles as well as optimizing performance in class and on stage. Deborah is on faculty at Oberlin College, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Texas Christian University.
Robert Weiss (Founding Artistic Director/CEO Carolina Ballet) began his career as a professional dancer at the age of 17, when he joined the New York City Ballet at the request of George Balanchine. He remained with the company for 17 years, rising to the rank of principal dancer. During this time he performed principal roles in over 40 ballets, some of which were created for him by both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. His career took him next to Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, where he served as Artistic Director for eight years.
As a choreographer, Mr. Weiss has created over 40 ballets, including commissions by Pennsylvania Ballet, American Ballet Theatre (for Kirkland and Baryshnikov), the New York City Ballet, Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th Century, The Caramoor Festival, the Palm Beach Festival, Stars of American Ballet, and Philadanco Dance Company, among others. He is a recipient of two fellowships for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In May 1997, Mr. Weiss was invited to become the founding Artistic Director of Carolina Ballet. Mr. Weiss has received great critical and audience response for his Carolina Ballet world premieres including Romeo and Juliet, Messiah, Stravinsky’s Clowns (Jeu de Cartes, Petruschka and Pulchinella), Carmen, Nutcracker, The Kreutzer Sonata, Firebird (which has been presented by Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center in the nation’s capital), Swan Lake, Cinderella and Peter and the Wolf, and a new Sleeping Beauty after Petipa to end the tenth anniversary season in 2008. In 2009 Mr. Weiss created a new Beauty and the Beast to a commissioned score from Karl Moraski.
Other ballets he has created on the company include Grosse Fuge; Des Images, based on the paintings and sculpture of Edgar Degas; Reflection, an homage to his mentor George Balanchine during the centennial celebration of his birth; and Symposium to Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade inspired by the writings of Plato; Petit Ballet Romantique to selections from Leo Delibes’ ballet scores in October 2005; and Tempest Fantasy in February 2006 to the Pulitzer Prize winning score of Paul Moravec. In 2007, Robert Weiss collaborated with the North Carolina Museum of Art and presented Monet Impressions to coincide with the Monet exhibit at the Museum. Lynne Taylor-Corbett created Picnic on the Grass for the program to accompany Weiss’ The Gardens at Giverny.
In 2008 and 2009, Weiss and Carolina Ballet collaborated with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presenting two premieres – Don Quixote and Picasso – to coincide with two of the museums exhibitions. In 2008 he also created a second ballet to music of Paul Moravec, Time Gallery; a ballet to Dvorak’s Serenade for strings called Serenata; Waltzes of Old Vienna; and Oblique Dreamscapes. During the 2010-2011 season, Robert Weiss created The Masque of the Red Death from Edgar Allen Poe’s macabre story for the Dracula program; and he also created Grieg: Piano Concerto, A Dancerly Response and Sturmische Liebe.
In May 2005 Robert Weiss received the Medal of the Arts from the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, and in fall 2009 he was honored by the Phi Beta Kappa Society of North Carolina. In May 2011, Mr. Weiss received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts Degree from North Carolina State University.
Deborah Wingert began her training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth ballet under Marcia Dale Weary and became a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet in New York. At the age of sixteen, she was selected by Mr. Balanchine to join New York City Ballet.
During her fifteen years with the company, Ms. Wingert danced over twenty-five principal, soloist and featured roles in productions. A principal and soloist with numerous nationally acclaimed companies, she also has film and television credits and is a prize-winning choreographer.
Currently Ms. Wingert is Head Faculty at Manhattan Youth Ballet, and also teaches and is ballet mistress at Lydia Johnson Dance. In addition she teaches company class for Alvin Ailey and Cedar Lake, and has taught for Kyle Abraham. Ms. Wingert is one of a small group of artists selected by the George Balanchine Trust to set Balanchine’s choreography. In this capacity she has traveled throughout the United States and Europe setting and staging the Balanchine repertoire for programs including Indiana University, Butler University, Princeton University, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Barnard College, Goucher College, Harvard University, Baltimore School for the Arts, and North Carolina School of the Arts. Deborah also teaches for the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and the Professional Division.
Hong Yang is originally from Beijing, China where she studied dance at the school of the Beijing Dance Academy graduating in 1995. She joined the National Ballet of China and was a principal dancer there before going to Toronto, Canada where she danced with Ballet Jörgen Canada. In 2002 she joined Carolina Ballet as a soloist. Ms Yang’s repertoire is extensive. Along with being featured in many ballets by Robert Weiss, she performed choreography by George Balanchine including, Apollo, Allegro Brilliante, Concerto Barocco and The Four Temperaments; Lynn Taylor Corbett including Carmina Burana, Great Galloping Gottschaulk, and Carolina Jamboree, and Jose Limon including Moor’s Pavane. She also performed works by Dameon Woetzel, Christopher Wheeldon and Tyler Walters. She retired in 2011 with a performance of Tatiana in Balanchine’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Since then she has been passing on her knowledge and love of dance through teaching.
Jefferson Dalby is a rock and roll piano player who uses hand drums, electronics, and many piano styles to accompany Modern classes, and uses ragtime, celtic, and pop tunes, as well as ballet classics, to accompany Ballet classes. Currently on the accompanist staff at American Dance Festival and University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Mr. Dalby has accompanied Betty Jones, Violette Verdy, Erik Bruhn, Fernando Bujones, Ruth Currier, Daniel Nagrin, and Donna Faye Burchfield. His website is BalletClassMusicforFree.com.
Natalie Gilbert: teacher, accompanist, composer, and licensed massage therapist; was Music Director of the American Dance Festival for over 25 years; accompanist for Carolina Ballet Summer Intensive and various SERBA festivals, teaches piano privately, previously music coordinator OSU Department of Dance, and faculty at NYU Tisch
School of the Arts and New World School of the Arts, Miami; ADF/Korea 1990–1992; BA: Oberlin, MA: OSU.
John Hanks: Percussionist / pianist / composer using acoustic and electronic instruments living in Durham, NC; American Dance Festival/Durham faculty since 1984; ADF/Seoul 1990-91; ADF/Henan, China, 2012 & 2014; Music Director for the Duke University Dance Program and freelance drummer/percussionist performing with many jazz, classical, musical theater, rock/blues, and contemporary music groups and venues throughout North Carolina; has released three CDs of music for dance, Here Come the Drums, Drumjazz, and Percussion Jams.
Glenn Mehrbach (Pianist) is currently Music Director at the Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist, Staff Associate in the music and theatre departments at Duke University, and Music Performance Instructor at Camelot Academy in Durham. He worked with Carolina Ballet from 1997-2003, arranging and orchestrating the ballets “Carmen,” “Great Scott” and “Cabaret.” He’s also been a staff pianist for their Summer Intensive program since 2011. From 1986-2001 Glenn was pianist and musical director for cabaret chanteuse Andrea Marcovicci, and produced and arranged her first 11 CDs. As a composer, he’s released the songbook “Fragile Heart,” and written music & lyrics for the musicals “Yearbook” (Dramatic Publishing) and “Bum’s Rush,” as well as incidental music for numerous theaters in Los Angeles and the Triangle area of North Carolina.
Karl Moraski (Pianist/Composer) moved to North Carolina 16 years ago with a wide range of musical experience. He has been performing since the age of 6 when he had his first solo concert at Wannamaker Hall in Philadelphia. He has been a pianist for many major ballet companies, including Miami City Ballet and Los Angeles Ballet and has performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC., the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, the 1984 Summer Olympic Arts celebration in Los Angeles, Wolftrap and in Raleigh with the NC Symphony. He has since returned to Los Angeles to assist Warner Brothers in arranging and recording the full soundtrack for their newest theatrical venture, Casablanca: The Dance. In Canada, his rock band, Montana, saw one of its singles hit number 22 on the charts. He has been commissioned to write several scores for Carolina Ballet including Beauty and the Beast. He is currently developing a brand new ministry at the growing Hope Community Church in Raleigh where he is also heavily involved in local and global outreach. He resides in Cary with his wife Siobhan and they have 5 children.
Ken Ray Wilemon is a Durham-based musician who plays for dance classes at Meredith College, North Carolina School of the Arts, Duke University and the American Dance festival. He utilizes electronics, voice treatments and loopers to create mini-scores for class.