Corps de Ballet
Corey Bourbonniere, a native of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, is thrilled to be back for his third season with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Prior to joining the company in 2012, Corey received his training with the State Ballet of Rhode Island and Heritage Ballet in Rhode Island as well as the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School Graduate Program. He also attended summer programs at the American Academy of Dance and Texas Ballet Theater. Among his many PBT performances, Corey’s favorites include Mark Morris's Maelstrom and Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes and roles, such as a Stomper in Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room and Drosselmeyer in Terrence S. Orr's The Nutcracker.
Danielle Downey was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was raised in Erie, Pennsylvania. She received her early training with the Lake Erie Ballet, and attended summer programs with Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She studied in PBT’s Graduate Program prior to joining the company. This is Danielle’s eighth season with the company.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Marisa Grywalski joins PBT for her first season from the PBT School Graduate Program, where she trained since 2011. As a PBT School student, Grywalski performed in PBT main-stage productions, including “Swan Lake,” Terrence S. Orr’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” “Giselle” and George Balanchine’s “Serenade.” Grywalski has also received training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and at Houston Ballet Academy.
A native of Japan, Masahiro Haneji joins the company from the PBT School Graduate Program. Haneji trained with Houston Ballet Academy and Houston Ballet II before enrolling in the PBT School Graduate Program in 2012. Haneji has earned honors in a number of international ballet competitions, advancing to the semi-final round of the 2011 Prix de Lausanne competition and earning the bronze medal in the 2014 World Ballet Competition’s pas de deux category. With Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Haneji has performed as a graduate student in PBT productions of The Nutcracker, Jardin Aux Lilas”and Swan Lake.
Olivia Kelly, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, began her training at Ballet Tech Ohio under Claudia Rudolf Barrett. When she was thirteen, she was awarded a scholarship to study ballet at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. After graduating from the Kirov, Olivia trained in PBT School’s Graduate Program. Olivia has attended summer programs at Julliard, American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet School. Olivia joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2011.
Michaela King grew up in North Carolina, and joins the company for her first season from the PBT School Graduate Program. Michaela has trained extensively with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Chautauqua Institution, The Rock School and Carolina Ballet and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, where she received the opportunity to perform Serenade at the Kennedy Center as a high school student. As a PBT School graduate student, King performed in many PBT productions, including Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Cinderella and George Balanchine's Serenade.
A native of Los Angeles, Lucius Kirst joins Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for his first season. Lucius previously performed with Ballet San Jose as a member of the corps de ballet, and was also a member of the Studio Company at American Ballet Theatre, where he danced on full scholarship. Kirst trained on full scholarship at The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City, and received his early training at City Ballet School in San Francisco and Marin Ballet in California. He has also participated in summer intensive programs at American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet.
California native Jessica McCann trained for two years in the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School Graduate Program. Prior to PBT, McCann trained for a year with Alonzo King’s LINES Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco and completed summer intensives at American Ballet Theater in New York City and Royal Academy of Dance in Los Angeles. She also performed with Antelope Valley Ballet from 2010 to 2013 in her California hometown before moving to Pittsburgh to pursue the next step in her training. As a PBT School graduate student, McCann has performed in PBT company productions, including The Sleeping Beauty, Beauty & the Beast, The Nutcracker, La Bayadère and Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet.
Joseph Parr grew up in Owensboro, KY, and graduated high school in Wooster, Ohio. He received his training from University of Akron and PBT School and joined the company in 2008. Some of his favorite roles include the Jester in Swan Lake, Toulouse Lautrec in Jorden Morris' Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet, the soldier in John Neumeier's A Streetcar Named Desire, Renfield in Ben Stevenson's Dracula and Benvolio in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette.
Caitlin Peabody of New Hampshire is in her sixth season with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She received her training from Boston Ballet and joined Boston Ballet II in 2007. Caitlin toured to Spain with Boston Ballet in 2007, and in 2006 was awarded the Dierdre Miles Burger Scholarship. With PBT, Caitlin has performed feature roles, including The Upper Room, Marie and the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Nathalie in Jorden Morris' Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet.
JoAnna graduated from the Central Florida Ballet Academy in 2010 and trained for two years in the PBT School Graduate Program before joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2012. She has received additional training from summer programs at Miami City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and Jacob's Pillow. Some of her featured roles with PBT include the Bomb Squad in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Cupid in Don Quixote and performances in George Balanchine’s Serenade.
A native of England, Emily Simpson grew up in China and Thailand and went on to train for two years with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Graduate Program. Before moving to the United States, Simpson’s training spanned a number of international programs. She was an International Trainee at Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, toured to China with Goh Ballet Academy of Canada, trained with Chiang Mai Ballet Academy of Thailand and the Nydza School of Dance and Performing Arts in England. While abroad, she also performed at the Mariinsky Theatre and Heritage Theatre with Vaganova Ballet. With PBT, she has performed in company productions of “The Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” “Beauty & the Beast,” “La Bayadère” and “The Nutcracker.”
Kurtis Sprowls, of Orrville, Ohio, trained for three years in the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School Graduate and Intensive Summer programs. Before joining PBT School, Sprowls trained with The Ohio Conservatory of Ballet and The Dance House in Ohio in addition to summer intensives at Nederlands Dans Theater, where he performed works by Paul Lightfoot, Sol Leon and Crystal Pite, and Jacob’s Pillow, where he performed in the opening gala of the 2013 festival. As a PBT School graduate student, Sprowls enjoyed performance opportunities in PBT company productions of The Sleeping Beauty, Beauty & the Beast, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Giselle, The Nutcracker and Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet among others.
Casey Taylor, a Pittsburgh native, grew up dancing in PBT School and the PBT School Graduate Program before joining the company in 2012. She also trained in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division and attended summer courses at The School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Boston Ballet. She has performed in numerous works with Pacific Northwest Ballet and as a guest artist with Dresden Semperoper Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet.
Cooper Verona is originally from Connecticut and joined PBT in 2011. He received his training from David Lawrence and Wendy Fish-Lawrence, Ethan Stiefel at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Claudio Muñoz and Andrew Murphy at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. He has performed with Houston Ballet and Houston Ballet II on tour. His favorite roles with PBT include a Stomper in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, the groom in Julia Adam’s Ketubah, and Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker as well as dancing in Mark Morris’ Maelstrom and Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes.
Molly Wright, originally from Tampa, Florida, is in her fifth season at PBT. Molly first began dancing at the Diane Partington Studio of Classical Ballet before joining the Pre-Professional Graduate Program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. Molly has also participated in intensive summer programs at Chautauqua Institution, Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Since joining the company, she has enjoyed performing roles, such as Snow Queen and Marie in Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker, Crossover Girl in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room and a Flower Girl in Don Quixote.
Diana Yohe, of Willoughby, Ohio, is excited to join PBT for her second season. She received her training from Cleveland City Dance under the direction of Courtney Laves and Mark Otloski. Diana spent a year in Joffrey Ballet's trainee program before joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Graduate Program in 2012. In addition, she completed summer intensive programs with Juilliard, San Francisco Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet along with PBT's own summer program. Her favorite ballets that she has performed with the company to date are George Balanchine's Serenade, PBT's Giselle and Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room.
After training at the Almaty Ballet Academy in Kazakhstan from 1996 to 2004, Ruslan performed as a soloist in the 2004-05 Season with Moscow City Ballet. Before joining PBT, Ruslan danced with the Cincinnati Ballet, with the Tulsa Ballet as a demi-solist and with the Russian National Ballet as a Principal. Ruslan has performed lead roles in full-length ballets, such as The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote and La Bayadère and Chopeniana, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Israel, China and South Africa. Following a performance on tour with Russian National Ballet in 2006, the New York Times wrote, “The most interesting cast member was Ruslan Mukhambetkaliev, a very young Prince Siegfried with a long, lyrical body line and buoyant jumps." With Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ruslan has performed in Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room and Nine Sinatra Songs, Dwight Rhoden's 7th Heaven, and he also has danced the roles of the Jester in Swan Lake and the Cavalier, Nephew and Snow King in PBT's The Nutcracker.
William Moore of England joined PBT in 2013 from the Estonian National Ballet, where he danced professionally as a member of the corps de ballet. William graduated with honors from The Royal Ballet School, where he also performed onstage with The Royal Ballet company in productions, such as The Nutcracker, La Bayadère, Giselle, Firebird, Sylvia and The Sleeping Beauty. With Estonian National Ballet he has performed in The Three Muskateers, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia, La Sylphide, Before Night Falls and Romeo and Juliet among others.
Jake Unger comes to PBT for his first season from Houston Ballet II – the second company of Houston Ballet. Unger began his training at the California Dance Academy, and went on to train with the Colburn School Professional Training Program, Yuri Grigoriev School of Ballet and Houston Ballet Academy. He has also completed summer intensive programs at the School of American Ballet – the official training institution of New York City Ballet – and San Francisco School of Ballet.