Vinícius Anselmo- was born in Uberlândia Minas Gerais Brazil. He studied at Vórtice Escola de Dança and Pavilhão D Centro de Artes. As a professional dancer, he danced with the Ballet Stagium, Stacatto Cia de Danças, Cia Jovem Ballet Educart. His guest performances include, Don Quixote with Aurora Dickie at Staatsballet Berlim, Le Corsaire with Gabriela Finar, in the opening of International Festival Passo de Arte for the Brendesjugend Ballet Hamburgo Alemanha Company. He is an artistic director, a teacher and a choreographer of Ballet Educart in Brazil. Vinicius is excited to be a part of Albany Berkshire Ballet’s Nutcracker.
Giorgia Comeau— just graduated from Union College, with her BS in Mechanical Engineering along with a minor in Dance. She is a graduate of the Cantarella School of Dance and a member of the Albany Berkshire Ballet, with whom she has performed multiple roles in their touring production of The Nutcracker, as well as other classical repertoire. She was the choreographer for the Union College Mountebank productions of Chicago and Urinetown. As well as the lead choreographer in Taconic High School productions of West Side Story, All Shook Up, Once Upon a Mattress and Little Shop of Horrors. Giorgia has been a lead dancer in Union College Dance Department Productions and directs her personally founded Fall UDance Concert, where all dance clubs and dancers at Union College are able to showcase their work. She was the Vice President of the Hip Hop Club and loves to teach and perform hip hop. In order to share her diverse knowledge in dance, she teaches Jazz/Contemporary and Hip Hop at Albany Berkshire Ballet.
Fallon Gannon – originally from Rome, NY began her training with Stephen and Canan Jackson and Delia Foley, A.R.A.D. Under the direction of Ms. Foley, Fallon studied the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. She furthered her training at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’s Pre-Professional Program. Upon completing this program, Fallon was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend the University of the Arts, where she graduated with a BFA in Ballet Performance. Fallon has performed with BalletFleming, Dance Del Bello, Arch Contemporary Ballet, and is excited to be dancing with the Albany Berkshire Ballet this Nutcracker season!
Kazuya Furukawa – Born in Fukuoka Japan, Kazuya learned jazz & Theater dance at Koji Otonari Dance School before coming to New York. Since arriving in New York, Mr. Furukawa is a graduate of The Ailey School. Before joining ABB, he danced with The Next Stage Project, Dance College NY performance, and in Mami Hariyama Ballet’s production of Cinderella as Prince and Paquita as a soloist. He also has also strong acting and filming experience.
Phoebe Green- a native Vermonter, has received most of her training at the Brattleboro School of Dance, beginning in early childhood. She has attended summer intensive programs at the Brattleboro School of Dance, the Burklyn Ballet Theatre, and the Nashville Ballet. This is Phoebe’s first season performing with the Albany Berkshire Ballet.
Jai Mason – A native of Delhi NY, Jai began dancing at the age of 3 within the local studios of Delaware county. At age 9 his passion for ballet moved him to the Decker School of Ballet/Fokine Ballet Company, where he received his core training. While dancing with Fokine Ballet he appeared in such works as: “Nutcracker” (annually), “Peter and the Wolf”, “Etudes”, “Stars and Stripes”, and “Sleeping Beauty”. After 7 years of continuous training, Jai moved part-time to Binghamton NY were he attended the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts, and in 2008 earned his International Baccalaureate degree in both: Dance and Theatre. While attending school he performed with the Rod Serling Dance Company (now Willow Dance Company) giving him opportunities to perform both inside the school and also take part in arts education outreach to the community. Jai currently now lives in Troy NY and continues to strengthen his training with the School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet; he has since performed in Madeline Culpo’s “Rockwell Suite” (Rosie the Riveter) and looks forward to taking part in other works with the company.
Lisa Iannacito McBride –Lisa Iannacito McBride is a graduate of the School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet who went on to receive her BFA from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. Upon graduation, she toured Spain with Kazuko Hirabayashi and Ballet Comtemporaneo de Burgos. She has performed in New York City with numerous companies including as Lydia Johnson Dance, Dances Patrelle, and Riedel Dance Theater, where she also served as Associate Artistic Director. She has been on faculty at Pace University, Ballet Academy East, The Mark Morris Dance Center, The Yard, the New York State Summer School for the Arts and at mang’Oh Yoga for their teacher certification. Currently, she enjoys teaching at the School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet and CK Dance Company. She is happy to be reprising her many Nutcracker roles with ABB and to continue performing The Marriage License in Madeline Culpo’s Rockwell Suite.
Misa Mochizuki – born in Hyogo, Japan, began dancing at age 5 at Yuki Ballet Studio. In America, she trained at Joffrey Ballet School and Ballet Arts. She performed in several leading competitions receiving prizes in various categories. In 2013 she joined Albano Ballet Company and has performed as soloist.
Kerry Piaggione – is a graduate of the School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet. Ms. Piaggione studied dance at Hofstra University and and holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Union College. Ms. Piaggione has performed extensively with the ABB including The Nutcracker, “Girl at the Mirror” from the Rockwell Suites, Caprice and Carmina Burana. She also has participated in Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s Classical Kids program, promoting classical dance in local schools. Ms. Piaggione is a rehearsal mistress, teacher and administrator at the SABB. Kerry continues to perform with the ABB’s Nutcracker Tour across New England.
Alison Phoenix – a native of Coxsackie, NY, Alison began her dance training with Jane DiGiovanni at Hill Top Dance. Her growing love for ballet brought her to The School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet at age ten. As an apprentice with ABB, Alison performed Paula Weber’s Carmina Burana and Mary Margaret Gioannone-Talmi’s world premiere of Light on the Water before entering Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. Having earned a BA in Dance, with concentrations in Performance and Teaching/Choreography, Alison is proud to have gained her knowledge and experience from a number of notable individuals and groups, including Tauna Hunter, Michael Gleason, Christine Hay, Mark Santilliano, Vivi Flindt of The Royal Danish Ballet, Dance Alloy, and Pilobolus. Following graduation, Alison rejoined The Albany Berkshire Ballet as a company member and instructor of dance at The School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet in Albany, NY and The Cantarella School in Pittsfield, MA. Alison’s most notable roles include a “Big Swan” in Swan Lake, “Arabian”, “Spanish”, “Waltz of the Flowers”, and “Snowflakes” in ABB’s The Nutcracker, as well as roles in Nancy King’s Peter and the Wolf and Autumn and within Karen Corey-Malik’s Aesop’s Fables.
Emily Ricca – began her ballet studies in Springfield, Missouri, where she was invited at a young age, to be part of the Missouri State University Ballet. After Miss Ricca graduated from Virginia School of the Arts, she joined Ballets de San Juan where she worked with Ricardo Melendez and Ana Maria Castañon. Emily was principal with Florida Dance Theatre for three seasons. She has also danced as a soloist and guest artist with Boca Ballet Theatre, Vero Classical Ballet, Florida Arts and Dance Company, Wellington Ballet, and Springfield Ballet dancing principal roles. This past October she received invitation to The MARAIS in Paris, France & was coached by the ballet legend Michael Denard to dance the Swan Lake, Acts 2 and 3. Emily is also the founder and director of Romance Project, an international educational program, giving presentations at schools and other venues combining live dance and music performance with history. She has taught for Florida Dance Theatre, Vero Classical Ballet, Florida Arts and Dance Company, Indian River Charter High School and Miami City Ballet School where she completed their Fellowship Teacher Training Program. Miss Ricca also works with community division at the Miami City Ballet. She has taught many workshops including Pointe, Variations, Stretch, & Ballet 101 for adult beginners. She also teaches at 6th Street Dance Studio in Little Havana with underprivileged children for free for the community.
Marina Ricci – was born in Ribeirão Preto São Paulo Brazil. She studied at Studium Carla Petroni. As a professional dancer, she has danced with Ballet Stagium, Zest Cia de Danças , Cia Brasileira de Danças Clássicas and Cia Jovem Ballet Educart. She has received a fellowship to the Bolshoi Ballet Russia, as well as a gold medal for being a soloist in all categories in the II International Competition of Russian Ballet. She has also competed in the XIII International Ballet Competition in Moscow, the Jackson International Competition in Mississippi, and the XII International Competition of Varna Bulgaria. She is an artistic director, a teacher and a choreographer of the Ballet Educart in Brazil. Marina is excited to be part of Albany Berkshire Ballet’s Nutcracker.
Olivia Rogers has been dancing since the age of 3. She joined ABB in 2013 as a member of the junior company. She currently studies under the directorship of Paula Weber at the University of Missouri- Kansas City’s conservatory of dance.
Shayna Skal – grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ms. Skal attended Harvard University, graduating with a BA in Physics, cum laude in field, with high departmental honors, and a secondary field in Mathatics. She danced with the Harvard Ballet Company and the Harvard Department of Dance, and was the 2013 co-recipient of Harvard’s Suzanne Farrell Dance Prize. Ms. Skal then began her professional career with Teatrul de Balet Sibiu in Sibiu, Romania, where she danced for two seasons. She is currently free-lancing in the New Orleans area.
Ruslan Sprague –Ruslan Sprague has been dancing with the ABB since he was 3, cast as the changeling in their production of “A Midsummer Nights Dream” in ’93 all the way up to the Snow Prince in their annual production of “The Nutcracker”
Ruslan also studied with Darrell Puciarello from the Metroploitan Opera Ballet and has attended several dance programs with Boston Ballet, as well as their choreographic workshop under the teachings of Helen Pickett and Jorma Elo.
After spending two years dancing with Ballet West in Salt Lake City Utah, Ruslan has come back to the Berkshires where he spends his time as a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher.
Colby Treat – started dancing when she was 2 years old. At age 16 she left her home in upstate NY to train and join a studio company in New York City, Manhattan Youth Ballet. From there she attended Ballet Met’s Pre-Professional Academy for dance in Columbus, OH before landing a Traineeship with Carolina Ballet in 2011. She was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in 2013. This year she decided to embark on a new artistic adventure and began freelancing in NYC.