About the Show
Jose Manuel Carreño (Guest Artist) was born in Cuba, where he received his training at the Provincial School of Ballet and the National Ballet School. He won the Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition in 1987 and the Grand Prix at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 1990. He has appeared extensively in Europe, Latin America and the United States, dancing such roles as Franz in Coppélia, Basil in Don Quixote, Albrecht in Giselle and Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, and the Le Corsaire, Diana and Acteon and "Black Swan" pas de deux.
Carreño joined the English National Ballet in 1990, where his repertoire included Solor in "The Kingdom of the Shades" from La Bayadère, the Prince in Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Albrecht in Giselle, the Prince and the Gopak in The Nutcracker, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew and roles in a number of one-act ballets and pas de deux, including A Stranger I Came, Etudes, Graduation Ball and Prince Igor.
Carreño joined The Royal Ballet as a principal dancer in 1993 where his repertoire included the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Basilio in Don Quixote, Oberon and Puck in The Dream, a leading role in Herman Schmerman and the leading role in Matthew Hart's Caught Dance. Carreño joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in June 1995. His repertoire with the Company includes the title role in Apollo, the leading role in Ballet Imperial, Solor in La Bayadère, Pyotr in The Bright Stream, Franz in Coppélia, Conrad, Ali the Slave and Lankendem in Le Corsaire, Basilio in Don Quixote, the third sailor in Fancy Free, Albrecht in Giselle, Fate in HereAfter, Des Grieux in Manon, Danilo in The Merry Widow, the Cavalier in Kevin McKenzie's The Nutcracker, the pas de deux Diana and Acteon, Esmeralda, Grand Pas Classique, Other Dances and Sinatra Suite, Sergei in On the Dnieper, the Man From the House Opposite in Pillar of Fire, Warrior Chieftain in Polovtsian Dances, the Son in Prodigal Son, the leading male role in Push Comes to Shove, Jean de Brienne in Raymonda, Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Misgir in The Snow Maiden, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, the second movement in Symphony in C, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Theme and Variations, the first and second variations in Variations for Four, Without Words, and roles in The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Clear, Études, Majisimo, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort and Rabbit ad Rogue. He created a leading role in Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and Pièce d'Occasion with Herbie Hancock.
Mr. Carreño's performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Nancy Ellison and William Rollnick.
Katia Carranza (Guest Artist) graduated in 1996 from the Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza de Monterrey, Mexico, and joined Ballet de Monterrey as a soloist. In 1998, she was hired by the Miami City Ballet for the Corps de Ballet and in 2004 she was promoted to a principal dancer. During her career she has participated in national and international contests like the Concurso Nacional in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1994 and the Concurso Internacional in Cuba in 1995, she won the silver medal in both. In 1998 Carranza was a finalist at the International Ballet competition in Jackson, Miss., and in 2002 she won bronze medal in the same contest. In 2007 she rejoined Ballet de Monterrey as a principal dancer and is also a guest artist in Miami City Ballet.
Jeffrey Cirio (Guest Artist) began his ballet training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, where he studied privately with Laszlo Berdo. In 2006, he won the gold medal in the Youth America Grand Prix junior division finals, a bronze medal at the U.S. International Ballet Competition in Jackson and a gold medal at The Tanzolymp Ballet Competition in Germany. He joined Boston Ballet II for the 2007-2008 season. Mr. Cirio returned to intensive training with Peter Stark and Olivier Munoz in Florida. He won a silver medal at the 5th Seoul International Dance Competition, was named the Fernando Bujones scholar for 2008-2009, a silver level award in ballet at the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts 2009 Arts Week, the Grand Prix Award and the Mary Day Award for Artistry at the 2009 Youth America Grand Prix senior division finals, and a gold medal at the 2009 World Ballet Competition. He also won a gold medal at the 2009 Helsinki International Ballet Competition, becoming the first American to do so. Cirio returned to Boston Ballet in 2009 and was awarded the Princess Grace Fellowship for 2009. He was promoted to First Soloist in 2011.
Joshua Thornton (Guest Artist) began training at age 12 at Orlando Ballet School under the direction of Peter Stark, where he studied privately with Mr. Stark. He performed with Orlando Ballet in productions including Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet and The Nutcracker. In 2009 Thornton received the Riggins-Watson Founders Scholarship at the Orlando Ballet School and was a finalist at the New York Youth America Grand Prix. Thornton performed the role of Prince in The Little Mermaid for the Patel Conservatory in May of 2010. Thornton currently resides in New York studying at The School of American Ballet on full scholarship.
Hannah Bettes (Next Generation New Artist) began dancing jazz at The Dance P.A.D. under the direction of Tera Primm at the age of 7 and continued in ballet at Central Florida Ballet before coming to the Patel Conservatory two years ago. She won the Gold Medal at the 2011 New York finals of Youth America Grand Prix and a silver medal at the World Ballet Competition. Ms. Bettes was the subject of a feature article in Dance Spirit magazine and has recently danced in gala performances as a distinguished guest in New York, Miami and Indianapolis along side principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet and New York City Ballet. She has danced leading roles with NGB including Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and Tatiana in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Bettes turned down offers from many prestigious international ballet schools to continue her studies with Next Generation Ballet.
Lauren Blakeney (Next Generation New Artist) began her training in Houston, Texas, where she studied under various teachers in the area, including Marlana Walsh-Doyle of the Houston Met, and Richard d’Alton with the International Ballet of Houston. In 2008, she attended the prestigious Juilliard School’s Summer Dance Intensive with a full scholarship. She competed at the Youth American Grand Prix Regional’s in 2010 and placed in the top 12, and in 2011 she placed 3rd in the Contemporary category at the Philadelphia Regional’s. Ms. Blakeney attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she had the honor of performing the lead as a freshman in Trey McIntyre’s work, Blue Until June. She has also had the opportunity to assist and work with many choreographers around the U.S. including Travis Wall, Stacey Tookey, Chebar Williams and Peter Chu.
William Dugan (Next Generation New Artist), age 14, began training in ballet at the age of 10 at the Patel Conservatory under the direction of Peter Stark. Dugan has performed as Fritz in The Nutcracker with Orlando Ballet and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Next Generation Ballet. Last year, Dugan won third place in the men’s junior division at the 2011 YAGP regional competition in Tampa. This summer he studied on full merit scholarship at the School of American Ballet and the Carreño Dance Festival. When not dancing, he is busy with school, bike riding and being a teenager.
Calvin Farias (Next Generation New Artist) began his training at age 8 under the instruction of Diane Partington and Rey Dizon at Diane Partington Studio of Classical Ballet. At the age of 12 Farias stepped back from ballet to focus on school studies and Ballroom dancing. His sophomore year in high school he involved himself in community theater but the lure of classical ballet pulled him back to the dance studio in 2010. He returned to ballet training under Diane and Rey where he was featured in many of their dance performances. He is honored to now be training with Next Generation Ballet after attending their summer intensive program on full scholarship.
Marta Eliza Monroy Kelly (Next Generation New Artist), age15, is the daughter of Zara Kelly. She was homeschooled and completed High School requirements through Florida Virtual School in August 2011. Ms. Kelly studied classical ballet for two years with Magaly Suarez, and five years with Marcia Dale Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She trained with Ms. Weary, Richard Cook and Rafael Gregorian. Ms. Kelly was featured in many ballets including Cinderella’s Ball, Madeline, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and danced the leading role in Snow White. She has danced George Balanchine ballet’s including Walpurgisnacht, La Source, Valse-Fantaisie and Serenade, and was the Dew Drop in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
Kamron Vaziri (Next Generation New Artist) grew up in Vestal, N.Y. He first studied modern dance at Amber Perkins School of the Arts at age 15. His first introduction to ballet was in his high school production of Carousel in which he danced the pas de deux as Carnival Boy. He and his family then moved to Peachtree City, Ga., where he enrolled in Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education in their pre-professional program and began classical ballet training at the age of 16. The following year, he was promoted two levels and was given the opportunity to dance in Atlanta Ballet’s professional productions of The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. He also danced the principal role in the student production of Coppelia. Mr. Vaziri received full scholarship to Next Generation Ballet summer intensive 2011 where he was offered a position as a New Artist with Next Generation Ballet.