Monday, December 3, 2012

Locals Lead The Nutcracker Ballet This Weekend

This weekend's community production of Makaroff Youth Ballet's The Nutcracker casts talent with local ties in the spotlight at the Fox Cities P.A.C. Along with the young dancers in Makaroff Youth Ballet, the production features live music by the Fox Valley Symphony and members of the White Heron Chorale.

In the leading roles, Makaroff Youth Ballet has cast professional dancer with strong local ties, and we are thrilled to have them grace our stage! 

Kyle Davis, a Green Bay native and former student of Jeanette Makaroff, will dance the lead role of the Cavalier. Davis currently performs with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and his dancing partner, Leta Biasucci, will join him in this production as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tickets to see Makaroff Youth Ballet's The Nutcracker on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 start at $20. Great seats are still available for both performances, so don't miss this classic holiday adventure!

KYLE DAVIS* (Cavalier) is from Green Bay, Wisconsin. He trained at Makaroff School of Ballet and on scholarship at Rock School for Dance Education and North Carolina School of the Arts, and he attended summer courses on scholarship at Milwaukee Ballet School, the School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He has also studied with Ethan Stiefel and Warren Conover. In 2008, Davis won the Prix de Lausanne competition in Lausanne, Switzerland. He also won various awards in the Youth America Grand Prix Regional and Finals in 2005 and 2006. He was a 2007-2008 recipient of the Elizabeth Harriet Weaver Memorial Scholarship and the Martha and Spencer Love Foundation Scholarship for Excellence in the Arts at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Davis joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2008 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2009. Davis has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée, Marco Goecke’s Place a Chill, Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Bluebird pas de deux, Gold and Silver pas de trois), Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette (Benvolio), Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Cylindrical Shadows and Kent Stowell’s Cinderella (Jester) and Swan Lake (Jester). He has performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Symphony in C and Stowell’s Carmina Burana and Nutcracker.

LETA BIASUCCI* (Sugar Plum Fairy) is from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She studied under Marcia Dale Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and became a trainee at San Francisco Ballet School in 2006. She joined Oregon Ballet Theatre in 2008. Biasucci joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2011. Biasucci has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Coppélia (Swanilda, Waltz of the Golden Hours) and Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée, Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote (Cupid), Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana and Cinderella, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Variations Sérieuses (Young Girl). She has also danced featured roles in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Red Riding Hood). At Oregon Ballet Theatre, Biasucci performed leading and featured roles in George Balanchine’s Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, The Nutcracker, and Tarantella; Nicolo Fonte’s Left Unsaid; James Kudelka’s Hush; Trey McIntyre’s Speak; Yuri Possokov’s Raymonda and Dennis Spaight’s Gloria. She originated leading roles in the collaborative Stravinsky Project by Jamey Hampton, Anne Mueller, Ashley Roland, and Rachel Tess and Christopher Stowell’s A Holiday Revue.

ASHLEE BORMES (Snow Queen) Growing up in Neenah, Wisconsin, Ashlee began dancing and became a devoted student at Makaroff School of Ballet, where she trained for ten years. She supplemented her training at various summer programs including Gelsey Kirkland Academy, Martha Graham School, Ellison Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Joffrey Chicago, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. While dancing with Makaroff Youth Ballet, she performed in The Nutcracker, The Brementown Musicians, Renderings and many others. Currently, Ashlee attends Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, where she pursues a degree in Dance as well as Biochemistry. Her most recent performances include Mel Tomlinson’s premier of Le Coeur de Ballet as well as a premiere choreographed by Adam Hougland entitled, Five Preludes. She is thrilled to return and perform The Nutcracker with Makaroff Youth Ballet and hopes the magical performance leaves the audience filled with the joyful passion of the holiday season.

MJ MARSH (Herr Drosselmeyer) is happy to be home. A native of Appleton, he has been living in Minneapolis for three years performing with Bearded Men Improv and is a new addition to Comedy Sportz Twin Cities. He would like to thank the Makaroff Youth Ballet for having him back to play one of his favorite roles.


TERRY L. IRWIN (Grandfather) started his ballroom dancing career as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Cincinnati, Ohio 35 years ago and has since developed numerous ballroom dancers into national champions with whom he shares several titles. Terry has been the principal choreographer for TC Dance Club and the Dayton Arthur Murray Studio stage productions for 16 years. Terry has also choreographed and performed in Bob Hopes’ last U.S. Tour, as well as several Miss America Pageants, and the Franki Valli and the Four Seasons tour. Terry owns and operates TC Dance Club in Appleton.

JUANITA MAKAROFF (Grandmother), along with her husband Nikolai, taught ballet in the Fox Cities beginning in 1960. She directed the Children’s Ballet Theatre which became the precursor to the  Makaroff Youth Ballet. Many of their students and subsequent company members continued to dance with companies throughout the United States and the world. Since 2003, the company is now in the capable hands of their daughter Jeanette who had returned after many years of dancing with the North Carolina Dance Theater and the Milwaukee Ballet Company as soloist, ballet mistress and teacher.

** Leta Biasucci and Kyle Davis appear courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ballet. 

Headshots courtesy of Angela Sterling and Bob Rueckl

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