Ballet Master Nicolas Blanc joins the Joffrey Ballet, along with eight new dancers: Ogulcan Borova, Katherine Bruno, Rory Hohenstein, Dara Holmes, Jeraldine Mendoza, Katherine Minor, Alberto Velazquez and Mahallia Ward.
Nicholas Blanc served as Ballet Master of the Scottish Ballet since 2009. He has also danced with Nice Opera Ballet, Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Zurich Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, where he was made Principal Dancer in 2004. Blanc started his dance training in France. After winning a scholarship in the Prix de Lausanne, he completed his education at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
Born in Turkey, Ogulcan Borova was the First Prize Winner at the Third National Rotary Clubs Dance Competition. Since then he has established an international career, making 18 guest appearances and holding a lead role in 28 performances. Cincinnati Ballet welcomed Borova as a principal dancer in 2008.
A native of Chicago, Katherine Bruno trained at the Salt Creek Ballet School under the direction of Sergey Kozadayev, Zhanna Dubrovskaya and Randall Newsome. She has danced seasonally with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, and in the Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker and The Merry Widow.
Born in Washington, D.C., Rory Hohenstein joined Le Jeune Ballet de France in Paris, the San Francisco Ballet, and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s company in New York City. In 2010, he completed a season with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.
Dara Holmes attended the Joffrey Academy of Dance 2010-2011 Trainee Program. During the program, she worked with the company in The Nutcracker and The Merry Widow. She has also danced lead roles in Cinderella, Swan Lake, Paquita, and Le Corsaire.
Hailing from San Francisco, Jeraldine Mendoza is the first American female invited to graduate in the Russian course at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography) and graduated with honors. She won first place at the YAGP San Francisco Regional Semi-Finals in 2011. Her lead roles include Odette in Swan Lake and Odalisque in Le Corsaire.
Katherine Minor was born in Grenoble, France, but became a native of Portland, Oregon where she offered an apprenticeship at Oregon Ballet Theatre in 2010, and was featured in company productions of The Four Temperaments, Emeralds, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.
Alberto Velazquez began his ballet studies in Havana, Cuba and continued at the Fomento Artistico Cordobés in Cordoba Vercruz, Mexico. He won the gold medal in his first International Ballet Compeition from the French school Attitude as well as a full scholarship to study ballet in Lyon, France. He was awarded scholarships to the Orlando Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, and The Kirov Academy.
Austin-native Mahallia Ward recieved the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Education Fellowship, the Ruth Nelson Kraft Award, and the Fred Lieberman Award for Excellence. In 2010, she moved to Chicago to be a trainee at The Joffrey Ballet and now joins as a full company member for the 2011-2012 season.
For more information about the Joffrey Ballet and its 2011-2012 season,visit joffrey.org.