Odemar Ocasio

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.

Alyce Cristina Vallejo Moran

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 aFollies 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!

Aureo Andino

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.

Guest Artist Spotlight: Aureo Francisco Andino Bertieaux

Aureo is a long time professional dancer for CYB. His wife, Marena, also dances for CYB along with several dancers from his company, Mauro Ballet.
The relationship we have with Aureo and his company is essential and beautiful to CYB’s The Nutcracker.

CYB: What makes your long time relationship with CYB special or meaningful to you?
Aureo: Over the years CYB has become an extended family. Through the years I have been able to see the company grow and evolve. I have seen countless dancers develop and go through the ranks of CYB. When I first came to dance with CYB, I was enamored by Mrs. Porter’s love, passion and enthusiasm for the company. I also loved her artistic vision in bringing different classics and stories to life. The rapport that has been created backstage also makes every visit to CYB a memorable one. The care from the hospitality crew, the attention from the wardrobe department, and even the technical crew at CPCC’s Halton Theater have become a part of the experience. Apart from the professional experience, there are also people in Charlotte that I met through CYB, but have become much more than acquaintances and have become an important part of my family: the Delgadillo family who have housed me, my family, and most of my crew for the past 10 years; Madonna Ford and her family; the Cutronas, and of course Mrs. Porter and her family.

CYB: As with all performing arts, this year has been a challenge. What is your studio doing to make it through limited productions this year during the pandemic?
Aureo: In our studio we have continued to teach all of our classes. We added cameras on all the dance rooms to give the parents the option to have their children come in for class (with limited occupancy per room) or have them take their classes live from home through our digital platform. We completely redid our website and digital presence to accommodate for this and both Marena and I spent a considerable amount of time preparing the infrastructure for it to work during summer. In terms of performances, the company has kept active. We have kept our daily training and rehearsals and have created various new pieces that we have showcased through our digital platforms. Among them are Re-Conexion: https://youtu.be/GGD8qzIGUI8, the first digital piece we created during the pandemic; and Mauro de exibicion: https://youtu.be/VTE5stiuXXA, a collaboration we did with the Puerto Rico Art Museum.  Also, most of our dancers and students have enrolled in online ballet competitions in an effort to keep the dancers engaged and ballet relevant and challenging.

CYB: What is your favorite role in The Nutcracker to dance? What is your favorite role to watch?
Aureo: It depends on the version. In CYB’s The Nutcracker,  it has to be the Mouse King. It’s a fun yet challenging role. From all of the Nutcrackers that I have ever done, it would be the Arabian Variation. The intricate partnering and the connection with your partner make it magical for me. If talking about anyone on my team, I’d have to say that my favorite is Marena doing Sugar Plum, but I would be biased. Although I have to say that Odemar’s toy soldier, I have yet to see any other dancer in the world come close

CYB would like to thank Aureo and all his dancers for their continued support and helping us Preserve The Legacy

Laura Valentín

Laura’s dance training took place at Scuola Cantorum, San Juan, Puerto Rico, with Rafael Martínez de la Rosa, Carlos Iván Santos and Sol Maisonet. At age 11, she joined the Conservatory of Ballet Concierto of Puerto Rico; joining the company’s corps of ballet four years later, after representing Puerto Rico at the V International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. She has been promoted to principal dancer in 2004. Among her teachers were Carlota Carrera, María Carrera, Lolita San Miguel, José Parés, Vladimir Issaev and Lourdes Gómez.  Since January 2005 through May 2016, she was the principal dancer of Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico.  She is being the prima ballerina of the Island since 2006, under the training of her ballet mistress María Carrera, and ballet master Joaquín Banegas, Miguel Campanería and Lourdes Ortega.

Her repertoire includes the leading roles of Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Carmen, Coppélia, Sylvia, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Grand Pas de Quatre; Dying Swan, Majísimo; pas de deux such as Diana and Acteon, Don Quixote, Flames of Paris, Talisman, Spring Waters, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadere, Flower Festival; and neoclassical and contemporary works like Piazzolla en Concierto of Julio López;  Alberto Mendez’s Muñecos, Intermezzi per L’amore, Paso a Tres and Phantom of the Opera, George Balanchine’s Serenade, In the Night by Jerome Robbins, Carmina Burana by Septime Webre,  Ana Sánchez-Colberg’s Ojos que no ven and Entre Huella y Pisada, Rodney Rivera’s Techo de Cristal, ¿Dónde Están? and El Regreso, María Julia Landa’s Entre Cuerdas Rotas, and Sonata by Carlos Iván Santos.

She has been guest artist and guest teacher in companies of the United States and Latin America, as well as Festivals such as: three editions of the Miami International Dance Festival, the Festival Puerta de Oro in Colombia, the International Dance Festival in Panama, and the 24 and 25 edition of the Festival Internacional de Ballet Alicia Alonso en la Habana, Cuba. She is one of the choreographers of the new versions of Carmen, The Nutcracker, Sylvia, Little Red Riding Hood, among other choreographies for Balleteatro Nacional.  She trained and choreographed for the Puerto Rican delegation that represented the Island in the semifinal and final of the YAGP 2013 competition. She led Christian dance groups, and has also been a commercial dancer in television specials, films, shows and events.  She holds a bachelor degree in Public Relations. Since 2017, Laura is the director and founder, with her husband the former principal dancer Osmay Molina, of Centro Danza, a dance training and education center specialized in ballet.

She has been guest artist and guest teacher in companies of the United States and Latin America, as well as Festivals such as: three editions of the Miami International Dance Festival, the Festival Puerta de Oro in Colombia, the International Dance Festival in Panama, and the 24 and 25 edition of the Festival Internacional de Ballet Alicia Alonso en la Habana, Cuba. She is one of the choreographers of the new versions of Carmen, The Nutcracker, Sylvia, Little Red Riding Hood, among other choreographies for Balleteatro Nacional.  She trained and choreographed for the Puerto Rican delegation that represented the Island in the semifinal and final of the YAGP 2013 competition. She led Christian dance groups, and has also been a commercial dancer in television specials, films, shows and events.  She holds a bachelor degree in Public Relations. Since 2017, Laura is the director and founder, with her husband the former principal dancer Osmay Molina, of Centro Danza, a dance training and education center specialized in ballet.

Luis V. Santana González

Luis Víctor Santana was born in Mantua, Pinar del Río, Cuba. He started ballet studies at the age of 8 at the Art Vocational School in Pinar del Río. Later, he became part of the National Ballet School in Havana, Cuba, where he trained with Martha Iris Fernández, Ramona de Saa Bello (current director of the Escuela Nacional Fernando Alonso), among others. He graduated 2007. He became part of the Corps of Ballet of Ballet Nacional de Cuba, under the direction of the prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso, where he trained with teachers such as Ana María Leyte, Svetlana Violeta Ballester and Félix Rodríguez. In three years he was promoted to the role of soloist dancing the pas de six of Swan Lake, the bullfighters of Don Quixote, the principal in Majísimo, Diálogo 4, George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, the friends of Giselle, soloist in Dionaea, Rara Avi by Alberto Méndez, and all the classical repertoire of the company. After six years in the company, he defected to the United States during a trip to Mexico.  A few months later, he joined the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami where he danced the pas de deux Diana and Acteon. In that same year 2013, he joins the company of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico as principal dancer, coached by the ballet master Victor Gilí (first dancer of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba). He danced in the company the following repertoire: Grand Pas Classique pas de deux; leading role of Franz in the full length ballet Coppélia  with Adiarys Almeida; Desire pas de deux by Austin Ballet Artistic Director Stephen Mills ; the leading role of Raoul and the Phantom at Alberto Méndez’s Phantom of the Opera; Sugar Plum Cavalier and Snow pas de deux at The Nutcracker; Nous Sommes pas de deux by Jimmy Gamonet; Basilio and Espada at Don Quijote; Cos by Maria Rovira;  Alí at Le Corsaire; Oberon at Jimmy Gamonet’s Midsummer’s Night Dream; principal role at Septime Webre’s Carmina Burana;  principal role of Paquita.  As guest artist, he has danced: Swan Lake at Ballet Etudes; The NutcrackerGiselle, and Dracula at Brandon Ballet; La Sylphide, R&J (contemporary adaptation of Romeo and Juliet), choreography of Gina Mills,  the roles of Chesire Cat, Dodo Bird and Jeser in Septime Webre’s Alice in Wonderland, and Septime Webre’s Peter Pan with CODA 21;  Ali at Le Corsaire and The Nutcraker with Balleteatro Nacional, and Snow White at School of Performing Arts. In 2018 he was part of the company CODA 21 and Mauro Ballet, where he interpreted pieces such as Tchaikovsky pas de deux, Rassemblement, Somos, Pérdida, Rockelbels Canon, Carmen and Don Quijote.