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2012 Choreographers and Dancers

Melissa Barak was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She trained at the Westside School of Ballet. In 1997 she entered the School of American Ballet in New York and joined the New York City Ballet as a company member in 1998.While dancing with the New York City Ballet, she began exploring her choreographic talents. She was invited by Peter Martins, director of the New York City Ballet, to participate in the first NY Choreographic Institute. Then he asked her to create a piece for School of American Ballet, Telemann Overture Suite, which was met with critical acclaim. Mr. Martins brought Telemann into the company’s repertoire the very next season, and immediately asked her to choreograph again, this time on the company. She was only 22, making her the youngest choreographer in New York City Ballet history to be commissioned an original work. Melissa has been awarded the Mae L. Wien and Choo San Goh Awards for Choreography and was named one of the “Top 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. She has had numerous articles written about her in such publications as Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit, TimeOut NY, ELLEgirl, Angeleno, LA Times. She has created new works for American Repertory Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and Los Angeles Ballet as well as the National Choreographer’s Initiative and several New York Choreographic Institutes. In 2009 and 2010, she was invited to return to the New York City Ballet where she created two more works.
Thang Dao was born in Danang, Vietnam. He currently resides in New York City as a dancer and choreographer. Thang received his formal dance education from the Juilliard School and the Boston Conservatory. Thang holds a BFA in dance from The Boston Conservatory and an MA from New York University. He danced for the Stephen Petronio Company from 2001-2006, leaving to focus on his choreographic career. He has also worked for the Metropolitan Opera and Little Orchestra Society. Thang has presented his works in Boston, New York City, and Austin, with acclaimed reviews by The Boston Globe, Austin 360 and The New York Times. In 2006, his ballet Stepping Ground, choreographed on Ballet Austin for the 1st Biennial New American Talent/Dance, received the Audience Choice Award on all four nights. Thang is also the recipient of the
2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship. 
Darrell Grand Moultrie was born and raised in Harlem. Darrell is a graduate of Juilliard in 2000, and a proud recipient of the 2007 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award, Darrell's work has been performed by Ailey 2, North Carolina Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Dance Ensemble, Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, The Juilliard School, BalletMet Columbus, Milwaukee Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Rasta Thomas and his Bad Boys of Dance, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. In October 2010, he was invited to participate in Sacramento Ballet’s Capital Choreography Competition where his work “Moved” took home both the judges and the audience awards. Darrell has taught at many institutions across the United States including the Juilliard School, the Ailey School, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Perry Mansfield, and served as the Director of Musical Theatre at the Harbor Conservatory of the Performing Arts. As a performer, Darrell was part of the original cast of the hit musical Billy Elliot on Broadway.  He has also been seen in “West Side Story”, “Radiant Baby”, “Sweet Charity,” and “The Color Purple.” He was seen on Broadway in the smash hits “Hairspray The Musical” and “AIDA”.

Wendy Seyb is an alumna of Boston University where she received her bachelor’s degree in archeology. Wendy creates in the worlds of theatre and dance; her choreography has been seen in musical theatre, comedic and dramatic plays, premieres and revivals. Her theatre career includes choreographing THE PEE WEE HERMAN SHOW ON BROADWAY, Adam Guettel’s MYTHS AND HYMS, and the award winning THE TOXIC AVENGER MUSICAL which garnered Wendy three nominations for her choreography: a Lucille Lortel Award, a Joe A. Callaway Award, and Toronto’s DORA Award. She was nominated for a second Lucille award for her choreography in TheatreworksUSA’s production of CLICK, CLACK, MOO during the same season as TOXIC, making her a double nominee for 2009-2010. Her company EveryDayMan Adventures has presented her dance comedies at Dance Theater Workshop, Joyce SoHo, Baryshnikov Arts Center, HERE arts Center, The Flea Theater, The Zipper Theater, St. Mark’s Church, The Duke Theater, The Ailey Citigroup Theater and SUNY Purchase. Wendy proudly participated in the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab in 2009 and DanceBreak in 2008. In 2007 she was honored to be invited to show her work at the Dancers Responding to AIDS Gala hosted by Bill T. Jones. Also in 2007, her SUPERNOVAS was awarded a Golden Nose Award; and she was nominated for an Innovative Theatre Award for her physical work and movement in the play THE GREAT CONJURER. In 2007 and 2008 Wendy co-created and co-hosted FRESHLY TOSSED, an evening of new innovative dance comedy choreography from a range of dance artists that was presented by the New York Musical Theatre Festival. She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Lighting Designer
Monique L'HeureuxMonique L’Heureux is an award winning lighting designer who has been working in the field of dance for over two decades.  This year, she is celebrating her fourteenth collaboration with artistic director, Molly Lynch.  

Past designs include: Ma Cong’s French Twist for Smuin Ballet; Molly Lynch’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Anjani Ambegaokar’s Made in Mumbaii at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center;The Motion Picture and Television Fund event featuring Chita Rivera, Dick van Dyke, Shirley MacLaine, Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson, and others; Charles Moulton’s Ball Passing piece in Fall for Dance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center; Robert Sund’s Alice in Wonderland; the National and Pacific Festivals of Regional Dance America; the summer season at the Hollywood Bowl; and associate design work on the Universal Studios’ Magical Starlight Parade in Osaka, Japan.  

She attended Pepperdine University and received her MFA from the University of California , Irvine , after which she apprenticed at the Los Angeles Music Center ’s Mark Taper Forum. She has taught for the dance departments at Loyola Marymount University and Moorpark College and the theatre department at El Camino College.  She is the recipient of four Lester Horton Dance Awards.  

She is an accomplished artist and photographer whose work has been shown in galleries including the Long Beach Public Library’s Art on Display, the Carl Broderick Gallery, VIVA Gallery, Long Beach Arts Center, City of Brea Gallery, and The Stage Gallery, as well as a permanent installation in the Glendale Adventist Medical Center.  She is a member of United Scenic Artists.

2012 Dancers
Bridgette Burnett – Festival Ballet Theatre
Alexandra Cunningham – Sacramento Ballet
Alissa Dale – Nevada Ballet Theatre
Amanda Diehl – Louisville Ballet
Nadia Iozzo – Kansas City Ballet
Isha Lloyd – Sacramento Ballet
Alessa Rogers – Atlanta Ballet
Molly Wagner – Charleston Ballet Theatre
Karen Wing – UC Irvine
Grigori Arakelyan – Nevada Ballet Theatre
OJ Canova – Ballet Austin
James Fuller – Ballet Austin
Geoffrey Kropp – Kansas City Ballet
Ty Parmenter –Ballet Met
Chris Stuart – Nashville Ballet
Preston Swovelin – Nevada Ballet Theatre
David Van Ligon – Company C Ballet
Bobby Amamizu – UC Irvine

2011 Dancers

All photos by Robert Salas and David Friedman

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