Ballet East Dance Company

Celebrating 40 years of "bringing arts to the community and the community to the arts".

REGINA LARKIN EGINA LARKIN was the last selected dancer by Joyce Trisler in 1979, and currently is the Artistic Director of the Joyce Trisler Danscompany with Producing Director, Carmen De Lavallade. Celebrating thirty years, the Danscompany preserves the dances of Ms. Trisler and the legacy of Lester Horton. As described by Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times, “Emotional eloquence was the key, she at times looking like a portrait of a somewhat less self involved female version of Nijinsky’s Faun. Regina Larkin moved with just the right clipped edge of boldness and delicacy.” Internationally recognized for her mesmerizing performances in Germany, Argentina, Taiwan and Iraq, South and Central America’s, the Mid East and Asia Ms. Larkin is on faculty in NYC at Peridance Center since 1997 and is a Professor of dance at Adelphi University Performing Arts since 1977. Presently she is an associate under the auspices of Director, Frank Augustyn. She has also taught for eight years at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Space Inc. and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival School. Her residencies are held at Colleges and Universities throughout the USA, Europe and Taiwan and her choreography has been presented in New York City at the Joyce Theater, Joyce Soho, St. Mark’s Church Danspace, Fiorello La Guardia High School Fiorello Festival, The Theatre at the Riverside Church, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Prague festival, to mention a few. Her dances reside with the Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Ballet East Dance Theatre of Austin, Texas, Taipei Dance Theatre, Albany Berkshire Ballet and at Dance Adelphi in Garden City, New York. Ms. Larkin’s staging of Joyce Trisler’s dances are with Los Angeles American Repertory Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Ailey II, The University of California at Santa Barbara, Adelphi University Performing Arts and the Julliard School. She is an active member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids Dancers Responding to Aids. Regina serves on dance panels for Lincoln Center Library of Performing Arts, the Dance Film and Archives Association, New York State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She has also received NYSCA Decentralization grant awards for Lower Manhattan and the town of Jefferson, New York by providing Pro/Youth Arts initiatives for urban and rural communities that began in 1984. She co directed the Denishawn Repertory Dancers with Jane Sherman and created the Larkspur Dance Theatre collaborating with the late artists Roberto Pace, Christopher Culpo, Adrienne Borbely, Frank Manna, Damien Bassman and Judith Pottle. Ms. Larkin received her BA in dance and MA in Fine Arts from Adelphi University.
Performing on the world’s stages since she was sixteen when she toured Europe with the Pittsburgh Opera, GINA PATTERSON is known as a versatile, consummate performer. She has danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Ballet Austin, Ballet Florida, and American Repertory Ensemble, performing in the US, Canada, Iceland, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, and France. She has appeared at the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. Since 2008, she has been working as a freelance dance artist. Ms. Patterson’s choreography has been presented internationally, winning the prestigious Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Choreographer, and has been chosen four times by Ballet Builder''s Showcase in New York. She has created original works for Ballet Austin, Richmond Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Florida, Dayton Ballet, BalletMet, DanceWorks Chicago, Ballet Pacifica, Hubbard Street 2, Ballet Austin II, the National Choreographic Initiative, Ballet East, Montana Ballet, and the University of Iowa, among others. She continues to share the knowledge garnered from three decades of professional experience with the next generation of dance artists, believing that anyone can give voice to their unique inner song through dance.
FRED BENJAMIN FRED BENJAMIN is the Chair of the Jazz department and Faculty advisor of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. An internationally renowned teacher and choreographer of Jazz Dance, he has taught at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts, NYC, the Vlaamse Dasacademie, Brugge, Belgium and the IAC Studio in Tokyo, Japan. He has also taught at SUNY, Purchase, N.Y., Connecticut College, Ohio State University, The American Dance Festival, Duke University and at Jacob''s Pillow, Lee, MA. He started the Fred Benjamin Dance Company while he was performing on Broadway in Hello Dolly starring Pearl Bailey and in Michael Bennett''s Promises to Promises: the company had its first New York performance at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts, N.Y in 1968. It subsequently performed extensively along the East Coast and in the Caribbean until 1990. It is currently being restructured after its merge into the Talley/Benjamin Project and the subsequent death of Talley Beatty. His choreography for other companies includes Ice Fire for Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, After the Rain for Impulse Dance Company, Boston and he has recently set his ballet Beattyville on Philadanco.
ANDREA ARIEL ANDREA ARIEL Artistic Director of Ariel Dance Theatre is originally from the Chicago area. She has choreographed in many forms, from original, multi-disciplinary contemporary dance works to cabaret, theater, musicals, TV and film. She is an 18-year funded artist by the City of Austin, Cultural Arts Program and a recipient of numerous other project support grants and commissions. Her work has been showcased in Texas, California, Illinois, Arizona, New Mexico, and New York. Four times voted Best Choreographer /Best Fine Arts Dancer by The Austin Chronicle readers’ poll. Andrea and her collaborators have been honored with two awards and seven nominations from the Austin Critics Table, and two B. Iden Payne Award nominations. She also performs in NYC with Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble and The Walter Thompson Orchestra, with whom she is an Associate Choreographer and Dancer, and is trained as a conductor and educator in Soundpainting.
ANDREA BECKHAM is a Summa cum Laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in Sociology and Dance. She is a highly acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher, weaving together a diverse background, a restless curiosity and a respect for structure and knowledge. Andrea has maintained an ongoing relationship with the Sharir Dance Company since 1983, first as a dancer and now as a guest artist and choreographer. She has also performed with Lliory Wilson’s Tallulah Dance Company in Seattle, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in New York and John Mead & Company in Tokyo, Japan. Andrea was an award winner with frequent partner Heywood “Woody” McGriff in the choreography of Yacov Sharir in Tel Aviv, Israel,ventured back into the world of classical dance with Ballet Austin in Limmasol, Cyprus, and was included as one of the choreographers for Amerian Ballet Theatre''s Summer Intensive in 2001. Her own work has been presented in Texas, New York, The Arts on the Hill Festival in Wyoming, the Avignon-Off Festival in France, the Cyprus International Festival, Holland, Portugal and several small venues around Europe. Andrea is currently teaching at UT Austin in both the Theatre and Dance areas, as well as running the Pilates-evolved Movement and Physical Conditioning Laboratory there, and (always) working on collaborative projects with her own pick-up company, Andrea Beckham Collaborative Dance.
ANANDA MAYI MOSS ANANDA MAYI MOSS, LCSW, LCCA, made her stage debut as a "noodle" in her first jazz dance recital at 6 years of age. At the Cambridge School of Weston and Sarah Lawrence College in Brownville, New York, she studied choreography, ballet, modern dance, butoh, and contact improvisation. She had the opportunity to tour her works throughout the New England area as well as the Netherlands. Since moving to Texas, she first worked with Renee Morris Larson before joining the Ballet East Dance Company as a performer eight years ago. Ananda has choreographed over 26 original multi-media productions, 7 of which were for Ballet East. Ananda approaches choreography from a Jungian perspective, honoring the interconnectedness of audience, performer, and choreography by tapping into the participants "collective unconscious". Her works are designed to provoke and challenge, aiming to upset conventional norms with an invitation to indulge in the rebelliously creative. Ananda currently holds a Master''s degree in Social Work from UT and works as the Director of Quality Assurance for Southwest Key as well as the Texas Chapter Representative for MusiCares, the non profit arm of the Grammy Foundation. Ananda is the Managing Director of the Multi-Genre Performance Group UpRise! Productions, a diverse collective that blends artistic genres and is deeply rooted in a framework of social justice and political action. UpRise! Productions transcend the confines of difference through a multidisciplinary arts group that aims to create social change through performance and empowerment education. UpRise! Productions’ last work won the 2008 B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Script written by Co-Artistic Director Zell Miller III. For more information on UpRise! Productions visit
HOPE BOYKIN HOPE BOYKIN is a three-time recipient of the American Dance Festival''s Youth Tuition Scholarship. She attended Howard University and performed with Lloyd Whitmore''s New World Dance Company in Washington, DC. Ms. Boykin was a student and intern at The Alvin Ailey School. She was the assistant to the late Talley Beatty and an original member of Complexions. Ms. Boykin was a member of Philadanco and received a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie Award". In 2005, Ms. Boykin, choreographed Acceptance in Surrender in collaboration with Abdur-Rahim Jackson and Matthew Rushing for AAADT. She joined The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2000.
TONI BRAVO Originally from Mexico City, now a naturalized American, Ms. Bravo holds a bachelor''s degree in Chemistry and a master''s degree in Theatre History and Criticism, with a minor in Dance Pedagogy (UT, 1987). Ms. Bravo left Latin America in 1979 in search of Democracy and is still looking. She studied and performed throughout the planet before she came to Austin. In Austin she has worked with almost everyone in the dance and theatre scenes and is willing to explore most any performance possibility. Ms. Bravo is an independent choreographer and a full time faculty member for the Ballet Austin Academy and the director of Dance in Education Projects taught in schools for the Ballet Austin organization. Ms. Bravo designs the curriculum, trains the instructors and teaches dance and movement classes that integrate academic subjects (language arts, physics, math, geometry, ecology, and global cultural codes) into a kinetic system of learning. She also conducts an award-winning program at Johnston High School sponsored by Ballet East.
AMBERLEE CANTRELL AMBERLEE CANTRELL was born and raised in Amarillo, TX where she began dancing with the Lone Star Ballet under the direction of Neil and Camielle Hess. There she performed in the Nutcracker and various other ballets for 13 years. She earned her degree in Dance at the University of North Texas studying ballet under Jim Clouser and Arlene Sugano. She also studied musical theatre, performing A Chorus Line, Fiddler on the Roof, and many others. After college she danced with the Radio City Rockettes in their Christmas Spectacular before settling down in Austin. She has performed and choreographed for Ballet East Dance Company for the past 6 years. She was nominated by the Austin Critics Table for best short work for her piece “Move Over Bacon”, which was performed by Ballet East dancers in 2006. Amberlee has also performed and choreographed in Austin for The Getalong Gang and Uprise! Productions.
SHARON MARROQUIN SHARON MARROQUIN was born and raised in Mexico City. As a dancer she has toured nationally and internationally with companies in both Mexico and the United States. Relocating to Austin in 2000, Sharon has performed with Wicked Cricket Dance Theatre, the Kathy Dunn-Hamrick Dance Company, and various independent choreographers. As a choreographer she has created pieces for Ballet East, Tapestry Dance Company, and various Latino/showcases. She was listed as one of the top ten dance events for 2006 and 2008 by the Austin Chronicle, and was presented the Austin Critics Table Award for outstanding choreographer in 2004 and 2007. Aside from teaching dance at Tapestry Dance Company, Sharon is a bilingual fourth grade teacher for AISD. If you have questions about ecosystems or mixed numbers she will be happy to help.
DANNY HERMAN DANNY HERMAN is an internationally recognized director, choreographer, actor and teacher. Mr. Herman appeared in the original Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of Contact, and was Mike Costa on Broadway in A Chorus Line. He also appeared in the original Broadway production of Leader of the Pack, the original New York City Opera production of Die Soldaten and the original Off-Broadway production of Big Bad Burlesque. Mr. Herman was in the first national tour of Song and Dance, toured Europe in Broadway Tonight, was featured in the Chicago company of Sophisticated Ladies and began his career as the Purple Panda on Mister Rogers'' Neighborhood. As associate choreographer for Michael Bennett''s Pre-Broadway Workshops of Scandal, Mr. Herman recognized his passion for creating original works, and has since collaborated as a director and/or choreographer on numerous world premier productions in New York and nationally.
JUAN PABLO FLORES JUAN P. FLORES was raised in Laredo, Texas. He began his dancing career at age 17, at the Vidal M. Trevino Fine Arts School. Mary Ellen Leyendecker and Cheryl Kirkpatrick are the two teachers that influenced his dance training, which consisted of, ballet, jazz, tap, Celtic, hip-hop, lyrical and belly dance. He performed numerous times with the Dance Expressions Dance Studio and with the Laredo Ballet Theatre. He played various roles in the Nutcracker every year. J.P. moved to Austin in 2006 in search of better dance opportunities. As a result, he joined Ballet East, where he had the opportunity to work with acclaimed choreographers from all over. In the summer of 2010 he received a scholarship to the Ailey School in NYC and recently graduated upon his successful completion of the program. In Summer 2011 and 2012 he taught master classes and choreography in Laredo and Austin to both Nudo Piedi Contemporary Dance Company and Ballet East Dance Company. Currently he is a performing artist with Keen Dance Theater in NY, and a resident choreographer for BEDC in Austin.
MAX LUNA MAX LUNA III has had a performance, teaching and choreography career spanning 30 years with international acclaimed dance companies, including the last ten years with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He began his dance training in his birthplace of Manila, Philippines culminating in a scholarship with the Ballet Philippines. In the United States, Mr Luna continued his training with a scholarship from the American Ballet Theater School and the Joffrey Ballet School. He then joined the Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas and went on to dance with the Ballet Hispanico, Joyce Trisler Danscompany and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. As a teacher Mr. Luna has been praised for his keen sense of movement complemented by an indepth knowledge of dance technique. His teaching credits include Howard University, Sarah Lawrence College, the City University of New York, Manhattanville College, Ballet Hispanico, Steps as well as Master Classes for New York Off-Stage and the University of Maryland. He has also held numerous workshops in Europe, including Teatro Nuovo in Turin, Vignale Dance in Vignale, Italy, Freibourg Theater in Germany, and Amplitude in Nancy, France. He is currently on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Mr. Luna''s choreography has been commissioned by The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Manhattanville College, Ballet Asia, Howard University, Teatro Nuovo de Torino, Teatro Danza in Italy, Company Canto y Danca in Maputo, Mozambique, the Ma-Yi Theater Ensemble and for numerous Alvin Ailey American Dance Center studio performances. In 2000 Mr. Luna presented an entire evening of his own choreography in France.
ERIC MIDGLEY ERIC MIDGLEY was born in Canada and began his dance career in 1979, performing throughout western Canada and the Pacific Northwest with the Veselka Ukrainian Folk Ensemble. In 1989, Mr. Midgley graduated from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School before joining Ballet Florida in West Palm Beach. In 2001, he joined Ballet Austin and remained there until 2008. He has originated many roles and became known not only for his technique, but also for his versatility and artistry. He has had the privilege of dancing the works of world-renowned choreographers, including Patterson, Mills, Tharp, Ailey, Butler, Caniparoli, Nebrada, Balanchine, Martins, Soleau, Ezralow, Kylian, Van Manen, Taylor-Corbett, Sappington, Lubovitch, McIntyre, Parsons, Forsythe, and Wainrot. In 1996, Mr. Midgley co-founded Step Ahead – Ballet Florida’s Choreographic Workshop. During the next six years, he directed the program, which produced over 40 new works by dozens of new choreographers. He is currently working as a freelance dance artist, performing and choreographing, bringing to the stage a widely varied background in design, music, and dance.
FRANCISCO GELLA FRANCISCO GELLA choreographed for Pennsylvania Ballet''s Shut-Up and Dance production, and has set pieces on PHILADANCO, Danco/II, Tucson Regional Ballet and the University of Utah Ballet Ensemble. Most recently, his work for South Bay Ballet entitled "Configured Echoes" received the Best Choreography Award for the Pacific Region at the National Regional Dance America Conference. Currently, he is faculty with Coastal Dance Rage, Blake McGrath''s new dance convention concept, which will be touring all over Canada and the United States. Other choreography credits include: "Duet" which was performed in the Evening with the Stars program at the Laguna Beach Dance Festival under the direction of Jodie Gates, Reflections Dance Company of Washington, D.C. commisioned Francisco to create "No es lo que aparece" for their touring repertoire, and "Suite Vivaldi" premiered for California Ballet''s 35th Anniversary Gala, which was sponsored by the Charles S. Bennett Memorial Choreography Fund. He has also choreographed several contemporary solos for Youth America Grand Prix competitors. Highlights in Francisco''s dance career include: performing the Mourner''s Bench, a solo of historical significance, from Talley Beatty''s Southern Landscape at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, dancing the role of Von Rothbart with Patricia Barker in Thor Sutowski''s Swan Lake, and performing at the Closing Ceremonies in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics in Japan, a worldwide broadcasted event, as a principal soloist. Francisco has been a company member with Philadelphia Dance Company/PHILADANCO, Repertory Dance Theater of Salt Lake City, UT, Spectrum Dance Theater of Seattle, WA, the Chamber Dance Company, Leaving/Ground Dance, California Ballet and with Ballet Pacifica. Francisco teaches ballet and contemporary technique for several distinguished dance schools. He is Ballet Program Director for Dance Precisions and teaches at West Coast Dance Academy. He has been a guest teacher with Lula Washington Dance Company and School in Los Angeles, California Ballet Conservatory in San Diego, Ballet Pacifica Conservatory, Festival Ballet, Tucson Regional Ballet, and the Orange County high School for the Arts. He has taught master classes for various colleges and universitites while on tour with PHILADANCO.
HAILLEY SCHWARTZ HAILLEY SCHWARTZ is a graduate from the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan and recently graduated from Towson University with a BFA in Dance Performance. She was an active member of the Towson University Dance Company for the 4 years she attended Towson. She performed in works by choreographers such as Chris Elam, Balanchine, Vincent Thomas, Dion Wilson, Carlos Dannan and more. She moved to Austin to pursue her dance career and joined Ballet East Dance Company. After four seasons with BEDC, Ms. Schwartz decided to return to NYC to adventure the opportunties to further her studies as a performing artist and choreographer. She is currently a freelance artist and commutes between NYC and Austin in continuance of her artistic journey.
Lindsey Taylor
Lindsey Taylor Lindsey Taylor ​is a choreographer/dancer working in Austin Tx. She received a BFA in Dance from the University of Texas, and went on to create the award-winning interpretive dance trio Little Stolen Moments. Lindsey''s work with LSM encompasses eight years of performances all over Austin, and was voted Best Dance Company by the Austin Chronicle Reader''s Poll 2010. Her choreographic work is also recognized on the comedy stage including appearances with Master Pancake Theater and opening for the legendary Neil Hamburger. Her professional dance society, Sheep Army/Elsewhere Dance Theater, and appearances with Austin''s Blue Lapis Light, Chaddick Dance Theater and Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks. She has also appeared with New York artists Martha Bowers, Neal Medlyn, and L.A based video artist Jonsey. Lindsey has performed internationally at Performatica in Puebla, Mexico, and on the Texas Underground Tour thoughout France. She is currently exploring dance for film, creating a number of choregraphed music video, and has had her work screened at the ADF International Sceendance Festival, and the upcoming Austin Music Video Festival.​
Esther Bramlett
Esther Bramlett Esther Bramlett began her dance training in Austin Texas at 14 years old. For college she moved to San Francisco, studying modern dance, performance art, and art history and exercise science at USF. Upon graduating, she had the privilege of working with Bay Area choreographers such as Janice Garrett of Garrett-Moulton Productions, Samantha Giron, Anna Sullivan, and many others. She has recently returned home to Austin after being gone seven long years.


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