Alexia Barandiaran was trained in classical ballet for 15 years at Vladimir Issaev’s School of Classical Ballet in Miami. Now, she is studies Chemistry and French at Williams College and is part of CoDa, the contemporary dance ensemble. This is the second piece she has choreographed for CoDa.
Chuck Paquette is a local teacher and choreographer, he began studying at The Studio in Adams and with the Cantarella School and Berkshire Ballet in Pittsfield. He holds a BFA from Purchase College and a MFA from Smith College. After several years of being on the road dancing and teaching he and his wife had decided to settle down in the Berkshires. Currently Chuck works in the Art Department at Williams College where he also teaches a Saturday morning ballet class, and teaches for the Cantarella School in Pittsfield. When it comes to choreographing says Chuck, “It’s all about the movement”.
Janine Parker has been teaching for thirty years. She has had a long affiliation with the Boston Ballet School, as faculty member and Associate Principal and continues to teach in its Summer Dance Program. Previously, Parker ran the Children’s Dance Extension Division at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and was the Assistant Director for the school’s Summer Dance Workshop. In 2003 Parker moved out to Western Massachusetts, where she served as Artistic Director for Pioneer Valley Ballet. From 2007-2013, Parker was the founding director/teacher of The Ballet School at Bement, an afterschool program in Deerfield, MA. She has been a regular or guest faculty member/choreographer at various schools in the area, including Deerfield Academy and East Street Dance Center. In 2007 she joined the Williams College Dance Department and, as Artist-in-Residence, teaches several levels of ballet technique as well as history of and choreography from the ballet repertoire; she is a co-director of CoDa, the department’s contemporary dance ensemble. Parker danced with various ballet and modern companies in Massachusetts, and continued to perform character roles when she retired from dance. Since 1989 she has written about ballet and dance extensively, formerly for The Boston Phoenix and currently for The Boston Globe, The Berkshire Eagle, and The Arts Fuse. She co-wrote the memoir of her colleague Laura Young. The book — Boston Ballerina: A Dancer, A Company, An Era — was published by University Press of New England in November 2017.
Jonathan Riedel is the choreographer and Artistic Director of Riedel Dance Theater, founded in 2003. He has created works for the Limón Dance Company, the Purchase Dance Company, the Yard, Dance New York International, the Good Moves Consort, Agnes Scott College; and developed choreography and character movement for the video game, Godessia, produced by Artware. DanceView Times proclaimed his work “brilliant,” “profoundly moving,” and having “an ingenuity and timing that would make Petipa jealous.” His work has been performed at the Kennedy Center, the World Trade Center Plaza, The Egg, FringeNYC, the Downtown Dance Festival, and DanceNOW NYC. His solo The Angel was integrated into AHRC’s curriculum of dance for students with autism. A native of Rye, NY, he began dancing at the age of 17 and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. He prospered in a career with the Limón Dance Company from 1996 to 2006, performing works by Doris Humphrey, Antony Tudor, Donald McKayle, Murray Louis, Jirí Kylián, Lar Lubovitch, and Doug Varone. He danced many of José Limón’s masterpieces including Chaconne, Orfeo, Psalm, There is a Time, and The Moor’s Pavane. Tobi Tobias of ArtsJournal declared him to be “surely one of the most fascinating dancers the company has harbored.” He recently earned an MFA in choreography at Purchase College.
Ruslan Sprague has been dancing with the ABB since he was three, 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 attended several dance programs with Boston Ballet, as well as their choreographic workshop under the teachings of Helen Pickett and Jorma Elo. After dancing with Ballet West in Salt Lake City Utah, Ruslan has returned to the Berkshires.