Season 2016, The Dancers
Handpicked from companies across the US, we are thrilled to bring you this summer's amazing roster of dancers...
Augusto Cezar (First Season) An accomplished performer in his native Brazil, Augusto Cezar brings an impressive resume of international training to his current position at Nashville Ballet. His training and experience provided him the opportunity to represent Brazil at the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Miss., where he was selected as a semi-finalist. Since arriving at Nashville Ballet, Augusto has performed as the Jester in Cinderella, Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty, was featured in Dominic Walsh's The Whistling, as the clever Bonvolio in Paul Vasterling's Romeo & Juliet and most recently performed the title role in Vasterling’s world premiere production of Peter Pan.
James Cunningham (First Season) “My dance teacher said to me that the closest a human being will ever come to flying unaided is ballet,” says James Cunningham, who was born on an Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Cunningham trained at the Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet School and gained early acceptance to the dance division at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music his junior year of high school. Cunningham missed his high school graduation because he was performing a piece choreographed by Victoria Morgan as part of a showcase for CCM. He we went on to join Cincinnati Ballet Second Company as a Trainee in 2008 and worked his way up into the company. Cunningham’s world premiere piece, Seven, was featured in Cincinnati Ballet’s 2015 Inaugural Choreography Workshop, performed by members of the Second Company.
Jacqueline Damico (First Season) was raised in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began her ballet training at the age of six at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. She later moved to New York City to train with The School of American Ballet for two years. Damico also attended summer intensives on scholarship with Miami City Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet and Stiefel and Stars, among others. Following her graduation, she received a contract to dance with Oregon Ballet Theater for their 07-08 season. Since joining Cincinnati Ballet in 2008, Damico has danced featured roles in ballets such as Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Capri, Theme and Variation, Symphony in C, Mozart’s Requiem, All My Favorite People, Extremely Close and Classical Symphony.
Erica De La O (Third Season) joined Louisville Ballet in 2003. She, was born in Los Angeles, CA and began her dancing at the age of 6. When she was 8 she began training at Le Studio Pasadena Dance Theatre under the direction of Phillip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young and continued her studies with Alicia Head and Daylena Ruiz. She has performed the principal role in much of the traditional classical repertoire, La sylphide, Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Coppelia. She has also danced featured roles in works by Val Caniparoli, George Balanchine, Andre Prokovsky, Adam Hougland, Ben Stevenson, Sir Frederick Ashton, Twyla Tharp, Helen Picket, Choo-San Goh, Paul Taylor, Ma Cong and Heather Maloy. She was awarded at the Music Center Spotlight Awards of Los Angeles, is a recipient of the John Orr Award from the Pasadena Arts Council and was invited to perform by the late Ilona Copeland at the closing ceremony of the New York International Ballet Competition.
Jeff Ewing (Fifth Season, second as a full company member) is originally from Los Angeles, CA, where he began his classical ballet training at age 6. His family moved to Asheville while he was in high school, where he continued his studies locally with Heather Maloy as his ballet teacher. Jeff has had the opportunity to train at the Juilliard Summer intensive, the apprentice program at The Chautauqua Institution and assisted Cathy Young at Bates Dance Festival. At the Boston Conservatory, he earned a BFA in Dance Performance and worked with Danny Pelzig, Cathy Young, Gianni DiMarco, Diane Arvanites, Doug Elkins, Adam Barruch, Dwight Rhoden, Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista. This past season was his first year with the Charlotte Ballet.
Tina LaForgia (Third Season) started dancing at the age of 11 in Summerville, SC at the Classical Ballet Centre. She then spent three years at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she was awarded the Dean’s Merit Scholarship. Upon graduating high school from UNCSA, LaForgia spent a year in the graduate program at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She then went on to join the Charlotte Ballet (formerly known as North Carolina Dance Theatre) for three seasons. With the Charlotte Ballet, LaForgia performed works by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Sasha Janes, Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Alonzo King, Mark Diamond and David Ingram. For the last two seasons LaForgia danced with the Cincinnati Ballet and had the opportunity to dance works by choreographers such as Jennifer Archibald, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Victoria Morgan, Ma Cong, Septime Webre, Adam Hougland, Val Caniparoli, Trey McIntyre and Yuri Possokhov.
Lauren Pschirrer (Second Season, First as a full company member) is in her second season with Ballet Memphis, and she has danced in several works with the Company including Matthew Neenan’s The Darting Eyes, Gabrielle Lamb’s I Am A Woman: Moult. Lauren attended the National Choreographer’s Initiative during the summer of 2015 and originated roles in two new works by Jimmy Orrante and Sarah Tallmen. Most recently she was with the Milwaukee Ballet, as well as a freelance dancer in the Chicago area. A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Lauren joined Rochester City Ballet (New York) as an apprentice immediately upon graduation. From there, she joined the trainee program at the Joffrey Ballet. While with the Joffrey, she performed in a variety of productions including works by Alexei Kremnev, Francisco Avina, Sir Frederick Ashton, Michael Pink and George Balanchine.