FACULTY & ADMINISTRATION

RUTH BARKER

Ruth Barker grew up in Connecticut and studied at Connecticut Ballet before going to study at The School of American Ballet in New York.

She went on to apprentice with the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ruth received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from S.U.N.Y Purchase. She has taught at New Haven Ballet since 1987. She has also taught at Pioneer Valley Ballet in Northampton, Massachusetts and at East Street Ballet in Hadley, Massachusetts, which she founded with her husband, Noble.

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JEREMY COX

Jeremy Cox began his training at New Haven Ballet at age four. In 1994 he was accepted into the School of American Ballet on scholarship where he

trained for 5 years. Mr. Cox had the honor of training under esteemed teachers such as Stanley Williams, Richard Rapp, Peter Boal, Jock Soto, Suki Schorer, Susie Pilarre and Katrina Killian.  During that time he received numerous awards for his dancing in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Tap, one of them being the Presidential Scholarship, which President Clinton awarded him at the White House in 1998. He received a contract in 1999 by Edward Villella to join Miami City Ballet where he was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2006. He has had the privilege of performing principal roles by notable choreographers such as George Balanchine, Jerome Robins, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Anthony Tuter and Mark Morris to name a few. In 2010 Mr. Cox left Miami City Ballet to join Twyla Tharp in his Broadway debut as a principal in “Come Fly Away.” After, he toured Europe and Japan as a guest artist with Miami City Ballet and Twyla Tharp. Mr. Cox joined the faculty of New Haven Ballet in 2014.

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DAMIEN JOHNSON

Damien Johnson joined New Haven Ballet as a remote guest faculty member in 2020.

Mr. Johnson is originally from Dallas, Texas. He received his early dance training from Kitty Carter, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and The Etkin-Atkinson School of Ballet. Mr. Johnson went on to study at The Rock School and The School of American Ballet, the official school of The New York City Ballet. As a professional dancer, Mr. Johnson has been a member of American Repertory Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, New Chamber Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, and London based Ballet Black where he was a principal dancer for 10 seasons. Since returning to the states in 2017, Mr. Johnson has performed with Madison Ballet, The Ashley Bouder Project, and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Mr. Johnson is a sought-after teacher who is certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary-Level 3 as well as classical Pilates through Power Pilates. He has also served as a National Visiting Fellow with the School of American Ballet and taught for many companies and dance institutions including The Central School of Ballet, Rambert School, Bermuda Civic Ballet, Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, Ballet Black, and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.

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KERRY KINCY

Kerry Kincy is an artist, collaborating with private, state and non profit organizations throughout CT, teaching her expressive arts residency,

Telling Voices, to children and adults in underserved and often invisible populations in the community, schools and residential treatment facilities. Ms. Kincy is a core faculty member with New Haven Ballet’s Shared Abilities Outreach Program, where dancers with and without physical disabilities work in partnership to create performances. She has worked with the Judy Dworin Performance Project, Inc., and at York Women’s Prison. She also performed in the professional version of Dreaming that was presented to the public at the Charter Oak Cultural Center. Ms. Kincy graduated from Trinity College with a self-designed degree in Learning, Movement, and Social Development, studied Expressive and Creative Art Therapies at Salve Regina, The New School and Movement Therapy at Antioch University and completed her Masters in Community Psychology at the University of New Haven.

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LAURA MANZELLA

Laura Manzella received her MFA in Choreography from Sarah Lawrence College and her BFA from The Boston Conservatory.

Originally from CT, she began her formal training at The School of Hartford Ballet. She has danced with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre, Ken Pierce Baroque Dance Co, Ballet New England, and Kathy Westwater, among others. Her choreographic, film, and collaborative work has been presented at several venues throughout NYC and beyond. In October 2019 she will co-present at the 2019 NDEO conference, The Creative Process: Choreography, Choice-Making, and Communication. Ms. Manzella is currently a faculty member at ACES/Educational Center of the Arts in New Haven, CT. She lives in Brooklyn, NY where she continues to choreograph, teach and make art. Ms. Manzella joined the faculty of New Haven Ballet in 2019.

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KELSEY PAFF

Before joining New Haven Ballet at the age of ten, Kelsey Paff danced at Starship Dance Studio and Neighborhood Music School.

While training in New Haven Ballet’s pre-professional program, Kelsey attended programs at Nutmeg Conservatory, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Boston Ballet, Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, Eastern Connecticut Ballet, Mount Holyoke College, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Princeton Ballet School. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross in 2012, Kelsey returned to Connecticut in 2017 where she served as a member of New Haven Ballet’s board of directors for two and a half years. Recently, Kelsey has taught at local schools such as Starship Dance Studio, Neighborhood Music School, The Dance Corner and New Haven Ballet. In addition to teaching ballet, Kelsey is the Social Media Coordinator for New Haven Ballet and manages her photography business — where she’s always excited for opportunities to capture dance.

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ERICA RATKOVICZ

Erica Ratkovicz is an alumna company member of The Rochester City Ballet. She began her principal training with The Timothy Draper Center for

Dance Education. She performed numerous soloist and corps de ballet roles with Joffrey Ensemble, Boston Ballet, Hartford Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet. She was a soloist in both a promotional film aired on Oprah and an unreleased film choreographed by Alex Tressor. Ms. Ratkovicz is the recipient of Platinum Medal awards as well as High Point and Overall competition scores from New York Dance Champions, Rochester Invitational, Rising Star, New York Dance Olympics, Star Power, North American Dance Experience and Starbound. Her modeling photos have been seen in Dance Teacher, Pointe Magazine, book covers, Discount Dance Supply, and Art Stone the Competitor. Ms. Ratkovicz is an instructor at Broadway Dance Center Children & Teen Program in NYC. She has been presented with Choreographer Awards from Nexstar, Beyond the Stars, Groove and Headliners and Entertainment Awards from Groove, Headliners, and Beyond the Stars Nationals. Ms. Ratkovicz is excited to bring her instruction and choreography to New Haven Ballet, having joined the faculty in 2020.

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PATRICIA SETO-WEISS

Originally from Germany, Patricia Seto-Weiss received her Artist Diploma from the Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance in Munich. Upon graduation

she continued her studies at The Ailey School in New York. From 2008 to 2010 she was the artistic director of VQ Dance Productions, Inc. She has choreographed productions at Columbia University and The Juilliard School, and has collaborated with visual artists Annegret Hoch and Susanne Thiemann in New York and Germany. Ms. Seto-Weiss began her teaching career at Ballet Tech under the artistic direction of Eliot Feld. She created and taught the Teen Ballet Series at the Ailey Extension, the open dance program of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, from its inception in 2007 until 2011. Ms. Seto-Weiss currently holds the position of Visiting Lecturer in the Theater Arts and Performance Studies Department at Brown University. She is on faculty at Chrystie Street Ballet Academy in New York City and has been teaching at New Haven Ballet since 2016.

www.patriciasetoweiss.com

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MARC SPIELBERGER

Marc Spielberger was trained at the Ballet Academy Munich, Heinz – Bosl Foundation. He danced with the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin

and performed as a Soloist with the Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella. He has danced at the Kennedy Center, the Music Center/L.A, New York City Center and throughout Europe, China and Russia, performing works by Maurice Bejart, Roland Petit, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, John Neumeier, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Jiri Kilian, Nacho Duato, Edward Villella, Patrice Bart, Mark Baldwin, Peter Martins, and others. Since his retirement, he has taught for schools in Japan, Germany, France, Austria and ballet companies throughout the United States and Germany. Mr. Spielberger is also a noted choreographer. He has choreographed works for Miami City Ballet among others. His ballet “Sanctuary” won the Prix Noveau at the American Ballet Competition in 2009.

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ALEJANDRO ULLOA

A native of Nicaragua, Alejandro Ulloa began his dance training at the Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Nicaragua under the direction of William Herrera.

Mr. Ulloa performed as a principal dancer with Compañía Ballet de Nicaragua and was later invited to be part of the contemporary company Danza Contemporánea Universitaria UNAN-Managua. In 2015 he became co-producer, teacher, and choreographer for Compañía Ballet de Nicaragua, as well as a ballet and contemporary teacher at the Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Nicaragua. Mr. Ulloa has appeared as a guest artist for many companies, including Gainesville Ballet’s production of Carmen and Danse Etoile’s Le Bayadere in Costa Rica. He has also participated in festivals, including Jacob’s Pillow Festival, among others. In 2016 he was awarded the “Artist of International Projection of the Year” by the Nicaraguan Artist Association. Mr. Ulloa currently performs with Connecticut Ballet and New England Ballet. Most recently, Mr. Ulloa co-founded Connecticut Theater Dance Company in Westport.

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TALIA VENDETTO

A New Haven native, Talia Vendetto received her ballet training at New Haven Ballet (NHB) from NHB Founder, Noble Barker, Marc Speilberger, former

Soloist with Miami City Ballet, Jeremy Cox, former Principal with Miami City Ballet, and Lisa Sanborn, NHB Artistic Director. She also studied contemporary, jazz, and tap at Gloria Jean’s Studio of Dance. She performed for five years as a member of the New Haven Ballet Company where she performed many Principal and Soloist roles and variations, including “Giselle” (Giselle), “Medora” and “Odalisque” (Le Corsaire), “Gamzatti” and “Third Shade” (La Bayadere), in addition to roles created for her by Tom Gold, former soloist with New York City Ballet (Joplin Suites; Symphonic Nonsense). Ms. Vendetto has performed as the Snow Queen, Dew Drop and numerous soloist and demi-soloist roles in New Haven Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the historic Shubert Theater in New Haven. Ms. Vendetto joined the NHB faculty in 2016.

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LUCY WEADY

As a dedicated and detailed oriented accounting professional, Lucy Weady has been meeting the accounting needs of New Haven Ballet for

the last fifteen years. A native of Puerto Rico, Lucy received her degree from Charter Oak State College.  Lucy has served as the treasurer of the Guilford Community Fund in Guilford, CT, the Bookkeeper for the Community Dining Room in Branford, CT and is currently the treasurer of Team Pff:) in Guilford, CT.  Lucy works with several small businesses  as their bookkeeper and tax preparer. Lucy enjoys spending time with her daughter Stephanie, son Scott, husband Brian and taking long walks with her dog Diego.

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GUEST ARTIST FACULTY

Dena Abergel – Former dancer NYCB, School of American Ballet faculty

Sara Adams – Soloist NYCB

Aesha Ash – Former dancer NYCB, Faculty School of American Ballet

Alisa Bowens-Mercado – Artistic Director Alisa’s House of Salsa

Stacy Cadell – Former dancer NYCB, Twyla Tharp

Ying Cai – Contemporary choreographer and dance artist based in Hong Kong

Emily Coates – Former NYCB dancer, Director, Dance Studies Curriculum, Assistant Professor Adjunct of Theater Studies, Assistant Professor Adjunct of Directing, Yale University/Yale School of Drama

Lacina Coulilaby – Artistic Director of the Compagnie Artistique Hakili Sigi West African/ Contemporary

Dorothea Garland – Dancer East Coast Contemporary ballet, Gyrotonics instructor

Linda Giancaspro Master teacher and adjudicator for Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, the National Association of Dance & Affiliated Artists, Dance America/Dance Olympus and Danza Intensive.

Kaitlyn Gilliland – Former dancer NYCB, Twyla Tharp

Tom Gold – Former Soloist dancer NYCB, Artistic Director Tom Gold Dance

Katrina Killian – Former Soloist NYCB, School of American Ballet faculty

Jenna Lavin – Former dancer Chicago City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet

Lauren Lovette – Principal dancer NYCB

Miro Magliore – Artistic Director New Chamber Ballet

Mary Ann Mayer – Founding member Festival Ballet Providence

Nicole Mitchell – Stage Manager NYCB

Gretchen Patchell – Former dancer NYCB, Dutch National Ballet, Fort Worth Dallas Ballet

Susan Pillar – Former Solist NYCB, School of American Ballet faculty

Deanna Seay – Former Principal dancer Miami City Ballet

Henry Seth – Former dancer NYCB

Sean Suozzi – Soloist NYCB

Wendy Whelan – Former Principal Dancer NYCB, Associate Artistic Director NYCB

Sarah Xiao – Contemporary dancers based in Hunan China

 

MUSICIAN PARTNERS

Quatuor Arod
Kinga Augustyn
Eli Bishop
Samy Bobinski
Thomas Duboski
Michael Duffett
Dr. Richard Gard, Conductor
Timothy Gocklin
Wynton Grant
Max Holman
Allan Horn
Graeme Johnson
Bora Kim
Josip Kvetek
Erez Meyuhaas
Polina Nazaykinskaya
Marie Oka
Tanguy Parisot
David Perry
Aaron Plouride
Samy Rachid
Roselie Samter
Jonathan Slade
Matheus Souza Garcia
Jeff Stern
Daniel Stone
Scott Switzer
James Teti
Joshua Thompson
Shiori Tomatsu
Elly Toyoda
Jordan Victoria
Alexandre Vu
Johnathan Weisgerber
Shin Young Yu
Yoji Yu

OUR MISSION

To provide the greater New Haven Community with exceptional classical ballet training, performances, and outreach programs, that nurture appreciation of ballet and foster the joy of dance.

On October 31, 2020, NHB’s Board of Directors adopted the following Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

New Haven Ballet celebrates those who aspire to excellence in classical ballet. A culture of creativity is the core of our work and diversity promotes innovation. The arts can provide powerful life-changing experiences that prepare students and impact audiences to lead more successful, meaningful and culturally rich lives. The arts can also prove to be an important platform for social change. At New Haven Ballet we are passionate about creating an inclusive dance environment and performances that promote and value diversity and inclusion. We will continue to strive to increase diversity in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective, which will improve and strengthen our work.

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