Company

Alexandre Barros

Fifth Season

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Alexandre received his training from Escola de Dancas Alice Arja and Escola Estadual de Dancas Maria Olenewa. At the age of 15, he came to the United States to study with the Harid Conservatory. After graduating from Harid, he joined Atlanta Ballet in 2011 as a Fellowship dancer, where he has performed works by choreographers James Kudelka, Juel Lane, Christopher Wheeldon, Bruce Wells and Tara Lee. Alexandre would like to thank his family, friends and the instructors at Harid for all their support and love. He is thrilled to be a part of the Company and is looking forward to a long and fruitful career.

 

Jacob Bush

Eighth Season

Jacob returns to Atlanta Ballet after dancing with Germany's Ballet Augsburg from 2012 to 2014, where he worked with such notable choreographers as Douglas Lee, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Christian Spuck, Itzik Galili, and Michael Pink. Jacob grew up in Coon Rapids, Minn., where he trained under Lise Houlton of the Minnesota Dance Theatre. He continued his training with Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education under Sharon Story and the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet under Susan Connally. In Atlanta, Jacob danced principal roles such as Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, the Prince in John McFall's Cinderella, the Green Man in Lila York's Celts, and Matthew and Toulouse-Lautrec in Jorden Morris' Moulin Rouge© - The Ballet. He also had the pleasure of creating the role of the Younger Brother in the world premiere of Christopher Hampson's Rite of Spring and also the role of Curdie in the world premiere of Twyla Tharp's The Princess and the GoblinSpecial thanks to Jacob’s Pas de Deux Society patrons Susan & Tony Catalfano.

 

Peng-Yu Chen

Tenth Season

A native of Taiwan, Peng began her training in Chinese folk dance and gymnastics at age 10 and won two national championships in Chinese folk dance. She holds a B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase under the director Carol Walker and received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and the President’s Award for Achievement. She has danced with Kevin Wynn Collection and Metropolitan Opera Ballet and American Repertory Ballet under Graham Lustig for three seasons. Since 2007, she has performed leading roles in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and John McFall’s Peter Pan and was featured in Stallings’ big, Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa, Kudelka’s The Four Seasons, Patterson’s Quietly Walking, Godden’s The Magic Flute, Pickett’s Petal, Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Morris’ Moulin Rouge® — The Ballet, Caniparoli’s Lambarena, Elo’s 1st Flash, Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, and Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony. Dance Magazine named Peng one of the “25 to Watch” in 2007. She wants to thank her loving family and husband Allen for all the support and encouragement. Special thanks to Peng’s Pas de Deux Society patron, the Corps de Ballet.

 

Christian Clark

Fifteenth Season

An Atlanta native, Christian began his training at age 8 with the Atlanta School of Ballet under the direction of Robert Barnett. As a Company member, Clark has performed the leading roles of Prince in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Laertes in Stephen Mills’ Hamlet, Albrecht in Giselle, Siegfried in John McFall’s Swan Lake, the Prince in Sleeping Beauty, and Romeo in Michael Pink’s Romeo & Juliet. Christian was featured in Margo Sappington’s Shed Your Skin: The Indigo Girls Project, John McFall’s Jupiter, Christian Holder’s Transcendence, Lauri Stallings’ The Great Gatsby and big, and Christopher Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa. When not dancing, Christian enjoys playing music with the band The Neighbors with fellow dancer Jesse Tyler. Christian thanks Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, his family, and his lovely wife, Naomi-Jane, for their support. Special thanks to Christian’s Pas de Deux Society patron, the Corps de Ballet.

 

Kiara Felder

Third Season

Kiara began her ballet training at age 6 in Cary, N.C., at Cary Ballet Conservatory. She spent summers training at Boston Ballet, Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. After graduating from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she continued her training as a Professional Division student at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School on full scholarship. As a student, she performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet in the corps de ballet of George Balanchine’s Le Baiser de la Fée and Coppélia and in Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker. With Atlanta Ballet, she has enjoyed performing in Ohad Naharin's Secus and Minus 16, David Bintley's Carmina Burana, and Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette.  Kiara thanks her parents, sisters, and friends for everything they do to encourage her to follow her passions. Special thanks to Kiara’s Pas de Deux Society patrons Kathleen & Kirk Knous.

 

Heath Gill

Seventh Season

A native of Illinois, Heath began his dance training at age four with jazz, tap, and gymnastics. He later began studying ballet under the direction of Deena Laska-Lewis. At Atlanta Ballet, he has performed in works by John McFall, Helen Pickett, Michael Pink, David Bintley, James Kudelka, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, Val Caniparoli, Tara Lee, Lauri Stallings, Stephen Mills, Jorma Elo, Ohad Naharin, and Jean-Christophe Maillot.  Recently, he was featured as Harker in Dracula, the improv soloist in Minus 16, 1st Seminarian in Carmina Burana, Laertes in Hamlet, and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette. In 2013, Heath was named one of ArtsATL’s “30 under 30,” and, in 2014, Dance Magazine named him one of the “25 to Watch.”  Heath’s other interests include playing piano and trumpet, watching movies, and camping. He would like to thank Clara Cravey for her guidance and his friends and family for their love and support. Special thanks to Heath’s Pas de Deux Society patron, James Weis.

 

 Monika Haczkiewicz

Debut Season

Monika Haczkiewicz was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Throughout her training, she has danced at Nevada Ballet Theatre, Kwak Ballet Academy, Tara Foy’s Elite Ballet, Nevada School of Dance, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. In 2015, Monika competed in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), where she ranked second place in the senior division in the Las Vegas Semi-Finals. She made it to the competition’s final round, where she was able to perform at the Lincoln Centre in New York City as one of the nine girls representing the United States. For the 2015-16 season, Monika received a full-tuition Nijinksky Dance Scholarship to Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Professional Division Program, where she performed the lead in Paquita with the Professional Division in addition to the Paquita pas de trois.

 

Sara Havener

Third Season

Originally from North Carolina, Sara graduated in 2010 from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in ballet. While in school, she performed the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in UNCSA's television broadcast of The Nutcracker with choreography by Ethan Stiefel. She began her professional career with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, performing soloist roles such as the Grace Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and the Peasant Pas de Deux in Act I of Giselle. She has also danced in Benjamin Millepied's 28 Variations on a Theme and the world premiere of Cameron McMillan's Satisfied with Great Success. During her time with RNZB, she had the pleasure of working with choreographers Javier de Frutos, Johan Kobborg, and Larry Keigwin. Most recently, she performed as a demi-soloist in Balanchine's Serenade staged by Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director Emeritus Robert Barnett and Virginia Barnett. Special thanks to Sara’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Chris M. Carlos.

 

Devon Joslin

Second Season

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Devon began her dance training at Columbus DanceArts Academy and BalletMet Columbus. She holds a B.F.A. from the University of Utah, where she performed with the Utah Ballet resident company and internationally with the Character Dance Ensemble. As a student, Devon spent summers training at Ballet West, Orlando Ballet, Jacob's Pillow, and on scholarship at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. During her time as an Atlanta Ballet Fellowship dancer, she had the opportunity to perform with the Company in Gina Patterson's Quietly Walking and Helen Pickett's ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, in addition to performing the lead role in Bruce Wells' Snow White. Devon has most enjoyed dancing the role of Dark Angel in George Balanchine's Serenade, both at Atlanta Ballet and the University of Utah. She is so thankful for the graciousness and support of her family over the years and looks forward to her first season with the Company. Special thanks to Devon’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Dante Stephenson.

 

Otar Khelashvili

Debut Season

Otar was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He graduated from Vakhtang Chabukiani State School of Ballet Art in 2005 and joined the State Ballet of Georgia as a principal dancer. His repertory includes principal parts in classical ballets like Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Chopiniana, Raymonda, and others. He also danced leading roles in many Balanchine ballets and dance pieces by contemporary choreographers. From 2007 to 2013, Khelashvili participated in the State Ballet of Georgia’s tours to the U.S., performing at the Spoleto Festival and Jacob’s Pillow in 2007 and 2010, as well as tours through Europe, presenting at Edinburgh International Festival in 2010. He has been awarded the Vakhtang Chabukiani Medal.

 

Tara Lee

Twenty-first Season

Tara grew up in Connecticut, where she trained with Donna Bonasera of Connecticut Dance Theatre. After dancing with Joffrey II, she joined Atlanta Ballet in 1995. She was a member of Vancouver's Ballet British Columbia 2006-2007 and has performed as a guest artist with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and New Orleans Ballet Theatre. Tara has performed works for John Alleyne, Alexander Ekman, Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gina Patterson, Crystal Pite, Yuri Possokhov, Alexei Ratmansky, and Twyla Tharp. Principal roles include those in McFall’s Swan Lake and Firebird, Pickett’s ballet based Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, Mills' Hamlet, Hampson’s Rite of Spring, Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, Pink’s Romeo & Juliet and Dracula, Welch’s Madame Butterfly, Stevenson’s Cinderella and Three Preludes, Bintley’s Carmina Burana, Morris’ Moulin Rouge® — The Ballet, Godden’s The Magic Flute, Caniparoli’s Lambarena, and Stalling’s big. Tara has choreographed four works for Atlanta Ballet, most recently the authors, which premiered in March 2014. Special thanks to Tara’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Lynn Cochran-Schroder.

 

Jordan Leeper

Second Season

A native of Jamestown, N.Y., began dancing at the age of 12 with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet and later studied at San Francisco Ballet. Jordan went on to dance with the Charlotte Ballet under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. As a member of Charlotte Ballet, he performed at the John F. Kennedy Center during Ballet Across America in 2013. Jordan has performed works by Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Jiří Bubeníček, Sasha Jones, Mark Diamond, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, and many more. Jordan was as a guest artist with Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and City Ballet of Wilmington. He also danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, under Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, during the company’s 20th season anniversary at the Joyce Theater. Jordan is excited to begin his career with Atlanta Ballet.

 

Nadia Mara

Eleventh Season

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Nadia trained at the National School of Ballet in her country, where she graduated as the best dancer in school and was awarded the Elena Smirnova Gold Medal. In the United States, Nadia started dancing with North Carolina Dance Theatre. At Atlanta Ballet, she performed the lead in Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, Mina in Michael Pink’s Dracula, Nathalie in Jorden Morris’ Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet, Pamina in Mark Godden’s Magic Flute, Marguerite in Helen Pickett's ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, and principal roles in Steven Mills’ Hamlet, James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons, and David Bintley’s Carmina Burana. She was also featured in Alexei Ratmnasky’s Seven Sonatas, Ohad Naharin’s Secus, Alexander Ekman's Cacti, Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, Jorma Elo’s 1st Flash, and Wayne McGregor’s Eden|Eden. Nadia wants to thank her beloved mother for giving her courage, strength, support, and, most of all, love during all these years. Special thanks to Nadia’s Pas de Deux Society patrons Amy Nelson and Style Design.

 

Miguel Angel Montoya

Fourth Season

Miguel was born in Cali, Colombia where he began his training at the Instituto Colombiano de Ballet, Incoballet. In 2008, Miguel relocated to Philadelphia to attend the Rock School. In 2010, Miguel competed in the IBC Jackson International Ballet Competition, progressed to the second round semifinal, and made it to the Youth American Grand Prix New York finals. Before joining Atlanta Ballet, Miguel danced with Incolballet Company under the direction of Gloria Castro de Martinez, appearing as the Slave in Le Corsaire and Basilio in Don Quixote. Miguel worked with Twyla Tharp and originated roles in Twyla Tharp's The Princess & the Goblin. Miguel also danced in Juel Lane’s Moments of Dis, Helen Pickett’s Prayer of Touch, Michael Pink’s Dracula, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, Gina Patterson’s I AM, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush. Miguel thanks Atlanta Ballet for its graciousness and support.

 

Jackie Nash

Sixth Season

A native of Connecticut, Jackie started her pre-professional ballet training at the Connecticut Dance School under the direction of Alan Woodard. She then spent two years in the dance and academic residency program at the Rock School for Dance Education, graduating in 2009. During her summer studies, she attended the Chautauqua Institute, Nutmeg Conservatory, Miami City Ballet, and the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. She has enjoyed dancing roles such as Marya in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and performing works by Christopher Wheeldon, Jean-Christophe Maillot, and Alexei Ratmansky. She has also had the pleasure of working with such choreographers as James Kudelka for The Man in Black, Twyla Tharp for Twyla Tharp's The Princess and the Goblin, Jorma Elo for 1st Flash, and Ohad Naharin for Secus. Jackie would like to thank her loving parents and amazing sister for their endless support and encouragement. Special thanks to Jackie’s Pas de Deux Society patrons Kathleen & Kirk Knous.

 

Brandon Nguyen

Sixth Season

A native of Texas, Brandon found his love for dance at the Margo Dean School of Ballet in Fort Worth and later moved on to Texas Ballet Theatre. He furthered his training at Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy, performing solo and principal roles with Houston Ballet II. He received his first job with Orlando Ballet under the direction of Bruce Marks and, later, Robert Hill. While in Orlando, he also became an artist with Cirque du Soleil as a lead male dancer in La Nouba. In 2011, he joined Atlanta Ballet and has enjoyed dancing in works by John McFall, Christopher Wheeldon, Ohad Naharin, David Bintley, Anabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Robyn Mineko Williams. Brandon would like to thank his parents and his past, present, and future teachers.

 

Alessa Rogers

Ninth Season

Alessa began her dance training with Daphne Kendall and left home at fourteen to attend North Carolina School of the Arts. Upon graduation, she spent one season with North Carolina Dance Theatre II before joining Atlanta Ballet. Principal roles at Atlanta Ballet include Juliette in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, Margaret in the world premiere of Helen Pickett’s The Exiled, Lucy in Michael Pink’s Dracula, Ophelia in Stephen Mills’ Hamlet, Lover Girl in David Bintley’s Carmina Burana, and Princess Irene in the world premiere of Twyla Tharp’s The Princess & the Goblin. She has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo, Christopher Wheeldon, and Tara Lee. She has been a guest artist with the National Choreographer’s Initiative, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and New Orleans Ballet Theatre. Alessa was chosen by ArtsATL as a 2015 Maker’s Dozen honoree. Alessa likes vegetables, planning her next travel destination, and the color yellow. Special thanks to Alessa’s Pas de Deux Society patrons Lucy, Charlotte & Ginny Brewer.

 

Anderson Souza

Debut Season

A native of South Brazil, Anderson Souza received his training under Jorge Teixeira at the Conservatorio Brasileiro de Danca. After graduating at the age of 17, Souza joined the Cia Brasileira de Ballet in Rio de Janeiro, where he danced principal and soloist roles in many well-known productions and competed in national and international dance competitions, including the Beijing International Ballet Competition. There, Souza also traveled with the Company to perform in presentations in countries such as Colombia, China, Israel, and France. In 2013, Souza joined Gelsey Kirkland Ballet as a company dancer, where he continued performing lead roles that earned praise from national critics, including The New York Times. Some of Souza’s most important roles to date include Wedding Procession choreographed by Leonid Jacobson, Sleeping Beauty (Bluebird), Don Quixote (Basilio, Espada), Cavalry Halt (Phillip), The Nutcracker (Prince), and Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried), among others. Anderson is a fan of all of the arts, and – when he is not dancing – enjoys spending time with friends and family. 

 

Jared Tan

Seventh Season

Jared was born in the Philippines and started dancing at age 9 with Philippine Ballet Theatre under the direction of Gener Caringal. He trained for more than 14 years under Russian Ballet Master Anatoly Panasyukov and distinguished visiting Ballet Masters Robert Barnett, Graham Lustig, Batt Abbit, Stefan Hoff, Ida Beltran-Lucila, Nonoy Froilan, Maiqui Mañosa, Edna Vida, and Stanley Canete. In 2009, he joined American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey under the direction of Graham Lustig, where he perfomed as the Prince in Nutcracker and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and danced roles in Rhapsodia and Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen. Jared loves to take pictures and play guitar, basketball, and video games. He thanks his family and friends for their continued love and support. He is so thankful to be a part of Atlanta Ballet. Special thanks to Jared’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Chris M. Carlos.

 

Rachel Van Buskirk

Tenth Season

A native of Vancouver, Rachel trained with Li Yaming at Pacific DanceArts. With Atlanta Ballet, her favorite roles include Lucy in Michael Pink’s Dracula, Fortuna in David Bintley’s Carmina Burana, and Autumn in James Kedulka’s The Four Seasons. Rachel has also performed works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Ohad Naharin, Christopher Wheeldon, and Alexi Ratmansky. Last season, Rachel reprieved her role as Nurse in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette and was a part of creating the world premiere of Helen Pickett's ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams. Highlights for her were being featured in the principal role of Yuri Possokhov's Classical Symphony and being a part of Alex Ekman’s Cacti. Rachel was nominated and the cover girl for Dance Magazine's 2012 “25 to Watch” and named a “30 Under 30” by ArtsATL. This summer, Rachel was co-director of Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education's Professional Summer Intensive and teaches for the Centre Pre-Professional Program year round. Outside of dance, Rachel enjoys crafting, obsessing over her cats, and pursuing her scholarly goals at Georgia State University. She sends her love to her family and Kyle and thanks them for being awesome. Special thanks to Rachel’s Pas de Deux Society patrons Bonnie & Terry Herron.

 

Ashley Wegmann

Second Season

Born in New Jersey, Ashley received her early training from the National Ballet of New Jersey and later studied at the Princeton Ballet School on scholarship.  Upon graduating high school, she attended the graduate program at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and joined the company as a corps de ballet member in 2007. In 2012, she moved to Columbus, Ohio to dance with BalletMet.  Ashley has been fortunate to work with many choreographers and dance a variety of repertoire. Some of her favorite roles include a stomper in Twyla Tharp's In The Upper Room, Nurse in Jean-Christophe Maillot's Roméo et Juliette, and parts in Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's Lovely Together and James Kudelka's Real Life. Ashley is thrilled to be joining Atlanta Ballet this season. Special thanks to Ashley’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Chris M. Carlos.

 

John Welker

Twenty-second Season

John trained at BalletMet Dance Academy, the School of American Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, and Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Vail, Colo. John’s roles with Atlanta Ballet include Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrect in Giselle, Basilio in Don Quixote, Cavalier in Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Dracula in Michael Pink’s Dracula, and Principal Male in John McFall’s Firebird. He has also been featured in James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons and Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas. John has recently worked with choreographers Christopher Hampson, Victor Quijada, Helen Pickett, Twyla Tharp, Jorma Elo, Ohad Naharin, and Tara Lee. For the past five years, John has served as ballet master of Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi, and, for seven years, he has served as mentor at Atlanta Ballet’s Summer Intensive. He is a dance major at Kennesaw State University and looks to pursue a graduate degree in arts administration. John and his wife Christine have their hands full with their two-year-old son, Lucas. Special thanks to John’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Lynda Courts.

 

Ransom Wilkes-Davis

Debut Season

Ransom Wilkes-Davis, from Colorado Springs, Colo., began his dance education in Savannah, Ga. In 2009, he continued his training with Columbia Classical Ballet in Columbia, S.C. under the direction of Radenko Pavlovich. He then went on to study for a year at The Harid Conservatory before joining Joffrey Ballet in Chicago as a trainee from 2012 to 2014. During his time as a trainee, he performed with the company in Chicago and on tour. In 2014, he was invited to take Company class with Atlanta Ballet and then offered an apprentice position with Atlanta Ballet for the 2014-15 Season. Ransom is thrilled to be a part of Atlanta Ballet. Special thanks to Ransom’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Chris M. Carlos.

 

Olivia Yoch

Debut Season

Olivia Yoch, from Richmond, Va., received her dance training from the School of Richmond Ballet and Butler University. She spent two years with Tulsa Ballet II and the Tulsa Ballet before joining Atlanta Ballet as an apprentice last season. Her favorite repertory includes Yuri Possokhov's Classical Symphony, Coppélia, George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, Ma Cong’s Match Point, and Tara Lee's the swimmer. Olivia holds a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and a B.A. in English Literature from Butler University. She is thrilled to continue her journey with the Atlanta Ballet family. Special thanks to Olivia’s Pas de Deux Society patron, Marius Hechter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos by Charlie McCullers.