Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Laura began her ballet training at Scuola Cantorum in Río Piedras. At the age of 11, she joined the Conservatory of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, where she started an intense ballet training becoming an appretince of the company three years later. At age of 15, she represented Puerto Rico in the V USA International Ballet Competition, Junior Division, in Jackson, Mississippi, joining the corps of ballet after that. She was promoted to the rank of soloist two years later, rising to principal dancer in 2003. In January 2005, she joined Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico as principal dancer and later becomes the prima ballerina. Her repertoire includes Giselle and Myrtha in Giselle; Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Swanilda and Prayer in Coppélia; Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty; Carmen in Carmen; Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen at The Nutcracker; Gamzatti in La Bayadère; Mazurca and Prelude in Les Sylphides; Pas de Quatre; Cinderella in Cinderella; leading roles in Jerome Robins’ In the Night, La Vivandiere, George Balanchine’s Serenade, etc. She also danced the pas de deux Diana and Acteon, Grand Pas Classique, Don Quixote, Flower Festival, Rendezvous of La Bayadere and La Fille Mal Gardée, and other neoclassical roles like Piazzolla en Concierto, Muñecos, Carmina Burana, Entre Cuerdas Rotas, etc. She has represented Puerto Rico in the Miami International Ballet Festival, II Certamen Interamericano de Danza in Argentina, 1er Festival Internacional de Danza in Panamá and Festival Internacional Puerta de Oro in Colombia. Among is teachers are: María Carrera, Joaquín Banegas, Carlota Carrera, Miguel Campanería, José Parés, María Julia Landa, Lourdes Gómez, Carlos Iván Santos, Lolita San Miguel and Elba Báez. Mrs. Valentín has a bachelor degree in Public Relations and has lead Christian dance groups
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, he started his dance career with the Ballet Teatro Musical de Ponce. In 1995 he joined Ballets de San Juan as a soloist. In 1997, he joined Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico becoming a soloist in 1999, and was promoted to principal dancer in 2002. Today he is a principal dancer and Artistic Director of Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico. His repertoire includes the principal roles in full-length ballets like Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, La Fille Mal Gardée, Coppélia, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, and Cinderella; classical pas de deuxs as Le Corsaire, Esmeralda, Spring Waters and Flower Festival; and leading roles in the Phantom of the Opera (Alberto Méndez’s version) and in contemporary and neoclassical works like Souvenance, Carmina Burana, Intermezzi Per L’amore, Muñecos, Huapango, Dos Mundos, Entre Cuerdas Rotas, Balanchines’s Serenade, William Dollar’s Le Combat, Jerome Robbins’ In The Night, and Don José and Escamillo in Carmen, in Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros’ version and in Miguel Campanería’s version. Rodríguez has represented Puerto Rico in the IX, X and XV Miami International Ballet Festival, II Certamen Interamericano de Danza in Argentina, 1er.
For the past thirty-five years, this mime-clown-dancer has been delighting audiences with his”New Vaudeville” blend of theatrical styles and characters. Upon graduating with a BCA in Dance / Theater from UNCC, Hardin established himself in Charlotte as a part of the new breed of Artist / Educators. He continued his training in New York City from 1980-’86 with Twyla Tharp, Michael Moschen and Bob Berky among others and taught with the National Dance Institute under Jacques d’Amboise. Hardin returned to Charlotte in 1986 to reestablish himself as one of the region’s most sought after performers. Hardin been called a one man “Cirque” and has performed for every kind of audience from the corporate to the classroom. He brings his choreographic / directorial skills into play as he develops characters, scripts, scenarios and staging for a variety of clientele. Hardin received the Arts & Science Council’s Creative Fellowship Award in 2001 and was a 2010 recepient of the Blumenthal Performing Arts “Center Stage” Award in recognition of longtime service to the Arts in Charlotte.
He can been seen next at the Booth Playhouse April 7-10, 2011 with the OMIMEO Mime Theatre’s “VAUDEVIZUAL” and their award winning “Black Light Magic.” For a complete look at his repertory of characters, clients, education and performance offerings, please visit him on the Web at www.hardinminor.com.
For the past 17 years, Donna has been honored when asked to return to the CYB stage to perform the role of Frau von Stahlbaum. Although she is very comfortable with the choreography, each year turns into a fresh experience as she works with a new “Clara” and “Fritz” and their characters begin to evolve. Donna studied under the direction of Gay Porter in the 70’s before heading off to NYC for her own professional career. Her work in NYC earned her membership in the Actor’s Equity Union since 1979 and the Screen Actor’s Guild since 1981. In addition to her character role in the Nutcracker, she has also danced repeat performances in other CYB ballets to include: Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella. She is very grateful to have had the opportunity, in the
Mr. Ocasio started his training in classical ballet at the age of seven in the Julián Blanco School for the performing arts. His “debut” performance was playing the role of Fritz in “The Nutcracker” which he did for two years in a row. After this, he was invited by the teachers Roberto Rodriguez and Nana Hudo to become part of “Taller de Varones” (men’s workshop) and also Ballets de San Juan. He participated in the summer workshops offered by the School of American Ballet (SAB). At the age of 18, he was invited to join Ballets de San Juan Company with which he traveled on tour to Perú, Washington and Chicago among others. He ascended to the position of Principal Dancer and has starred in roles including Waltz Fantasy, Flames of Paris, Fille mal Guardé, Pas de trios from Swan Lake, “Encuentros”, “Identidad Confusa”, Flower’s Waltz Pas de Deux (Nutcracker), Vivaldi, Gottschalk, Tropical, “Somos Uno”, Bailemos, Tarantela, Réquiem al Fuego, Tres pa ’Tres, Andante Sostenuto y Handel-ing, among others. In August, 2006 he was invited to Osaka, Japan as a guest artist. During his career, he has trained with important teachers such as Vanesa Ortiz, María Carrera, Carlota Carrera, Lolita San Miguel, Pachal Guzmán, Ramón Molina, Roberto Rodríguez, Ana María Castañón, Ana García, Lourdes Ortega, and others. He currently teaches at the School of Ballet’s de San Juan and dances with Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico.
Mr. Andino started his studies in Jazz and modern dance at the Academia de Artes del Señorial with professor Waldo Gonzales. He was part of the cast of The King and I and at 13 joined the company of Danza Jazz de Puerto Rico where he danced in both productions of Carmina Burana. After this he began training in classical ballet at the Ballet San Juan with Ana Garcia, Noel Cruz, and Lourdes Ortega and in 1994 he joined the Puerto Rico Ballet School. During this time he became part of the company of Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan where he worked under the instructions of Miguel Campaneria, Vannesa Ortiz and
Rosario Galán for the performance of Bella Durmiente, Amor Brujo, Estampas del San Juan que yo Ame, among others.
He has been a guest in principal roles with RMT Ballet in Haiti where he performed Graduation Ball and Beauty and the Beast, also with Ballet Royal in Bayamón, El Angel de la Navidad and Snow White, in Academia de Lillian Cátala, Los Cuentos de Anderson and Alice in Wonderland, and in Ballet Señorial de Ponce, Corazón Salvaje, among others.
He has been member of the company of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico since 1996. In the company he has distinguished himself through the roles of Zuñiga in Carmen, Mouse King and Russian in Nutcracker, and Japanese Spear Dance from Tribute to Ruth St. Dennise. He has performed with the company in Puerto Rico and in Taiwan, Egypt, Aruba and the U.S.A.
A native of Ocala, FL , Rachel has devoted most of her life to the art of ballet. She is known for her compassion and dedication as a teacher along with her ability to bring out the extraordinarily graceful style of each of her students. Rachel received her early training at Jeanne Benson-Smith Dance Academy. She has also studied with world renown teachers Sasha Baderinko of the Bolshoi Ballet and Gladissa Guatalupe of Cleveland School of Ballet. Her performance repertoire includes The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Carmina Burana. In 2004, she became an instructor for the prestigious Otto M.Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet Theatre Midwest. In 2005, as an effort to reach out and give others the love and joy of dance, she founded the Vineyard Christian Church Dance Program, offering classes to underprivileged children and teens. From 2007 to 2010, Rachel was a ballet instructor with Miller Street Dance Academy in Charlotte, NC where she founded the Miller Street Ballet Company, working as Artistic Director and Choreographer in their annual performance of The Nutcracker. Currently, Rachel is an instructor for the Belmont School of Ballet and the Charlotte School of Ballet.
Michael Crawford was born and raised in Takoma Park, Maryland. He began his dance training with Maryland Youth Ballet and at the Kirov Academy with Vladimir Djoulahatze, spending summers at The Rock School, and San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Crawford then moved on to the Washington Ballet where he performed with the company under the direction of Septime Webre. Upon graduating, he went on to study in the Professional Division of The Pacific Northwest Ballet under Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. After leaving PNB, he has danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jose Mateo Ballet and Ballet Memphis. He has also had the privilege of guesting with The Washington National Opera, Adam Miller Dance Project, and Kinetic Dance Works. During the course of his career, he has worked with choreographers Michael Smuin, Trey McIntyre, Kent Stowell, and Jose Mateo amongst many others. This is Mr. Crawford’s third season with American Repertory Ballet.
Eddie’s theatrical experience began at UNC Charlotte. He received training in circus arts with Bob Berky, Michael Moschen and Fred Garbo in New York. His mime training came from Mad Mountain Mime in Tallahassee and the Richmond Shepard Mime Theatre in Los Angeles. Eddie is co-artistic director of the Omimeo Mime Theatre. This last summer Eddie created a character role in the movie "The Great Observer" which was shot at Screen Gems studios in Wilmington. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and participating in competitive cycling as a member of Team Charlotte.
Alyce Cristina Vallejo Moran began her training at North Carolina Dance Theater and The Charlotte School of Ballet. Through the Student Ensemble and the Charlotte Youth Ballet she was given the opportunity to work in various techniques and perform in many classical, contemporary, and modern works. In her senior year at Northwest School of the Arts, Alyce was an invited guest artist with the Moving Poets Theater of Dance. This provided Alyce with the footing to guide her to a professional career in dance as she entered Florida State University. While at FSU she had the honor of working with and performing in original works by Daryl Foster, Alex Ketley, Rick McCullough, and many more. Alyce also performed as a soloist in the restaging of Pas de Quarte, restaged by Richard Sias and Western Symphony by Balanchine and restaged by Suzanne Farrell. During her time at FSU Alyce was invited to dance with Suzanne Farrell at the Kennedy Center, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and did a four month internship with Ballet Hispanico. Graduating Cum Laude in 2006 she moved to San Francisco to dance with the SF Conservatory of Dance, Performance Company, under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan. Upon moving back to Charlotte in 2007, Alyce joined Martha Connerton/ Kinetic Works Dance Company- Currently in her fifth season and now acting as rehearsal and administrative assistant. In the past five years she has performed original works by E.E. Balcos, Martha Connerton, Duane Cyrus, and Edward and Christina Winslow. This past summer, Alyce performed with CPCC Summer Theater in the Will Rogers Follies as a Follies Girl and was invited to be a guest faculty member of NC Dance Theater 5 week summer intensive as a modern teacher. Alyce now performs as a guest artist with the Charlotte Youth Ballet in the Nutcracker and other performances. This October she performed in the premier show of Echo Contemporary Dance Company. Alyce continues teaching ballet and modern at The Charlotte School of Ballet and joins NCDT faculty teaching Modern. Alyce’s artistic journey is never ending and she looks forward to the adventures that await but couldn’t do it without the amazing love and support from her husband and Family!
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Marena Pérez commenced her training at Ballet de Nana Hudo. She began her professional experience in Compañía de Ballet Municipal of San Juan. In 1998 became part of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, quickly rising to soloist. During this period the company traveled on several tours within and outside the United States and Taiwan among other countries. In 2005, she joined Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico and was promoted to principal dancer in August of the same year. From 2007 to 2009, Mrs. Pérez was part of Andanza, a renowned contemporary dance company in Puerto Rico. As of today, she has resumed her role as principal dancer of Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico.
Her repertoire includes principal and soloist roles in classics like: The Nutcracker, Carmen, Swan Lake, Coppélia, Giselle, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, among others. Highlighting in "Sugar Plum," Carmen, Odile, Swanilda, Zulma and Moina, Aurora, Cerrito in Grand Pas de Quatre, Charlotte in Phantom of the Opera, Nikiya and Gamzatti in La Bayadère and The Dying Swan.
In 2004, 2005 and 2010, Mrs. Pérez participated in the International Dance Festival in Miami performing the pas de deux from Esmeralda, Coppélia and Spring Waters. In 2005 she won two gold medals and one bronze performing the pas de deux from Le Corsaire and the dance works Majísimo and ¿Dónde están? in the Segundo Certamen Interamericano de Danza in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In January 2010 she participated in the Festival de Ballet de Panamá performing Piazzola en Concierto.
In neo-classical and contemporary roles, Mrs. Pérez highlighted in Dark Angel of Serenade, Jerome Robbins In the Night, Le Combat, Emilia in The Moors Pavane, and Carmina Burana. She has performed as guest artist with the NCYB Ballet of North Carolina alongside José Rodríguez and Aureo Andino and with the RMT Ballet in Haiti, with Armando Seda and Oliver Westchester, principal dancer of the Ballet of Montreal, Canada.