Faculty

mindaugas bauzys

Mindaugas Bauzys, Company Dancer • Ballet, Partnering, Male Variations, Repertoire

Born in Lithuania, Mr. Bauzys graduated from Vilnius Ballet School, joining the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Th eatre where he was a principal dancer.He continued his training at the Copenhagen Bournonwille Summer Academy and the Mariinsky Th eatre in St. Petersburg. He was a principal dancer with Ballet Arlington and a soloist with Boston Ballet, performing lead roles in: Cinderella, Snow White and Seven Dwarves, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Chipolino, Raymonda, Daphnis and Chloe, Tchaikovsky, Carmen, Greek Zorba, Don Quixote, Le Spectre de la Rose, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Artist's Life, Venetian Carnival, Hamlet, Apollo, Divertimento #15, Allegro Brillante, Eldar Aliev's A Thousand and One Nights and many modern numbers composed for him.

Mr. Bauzys also performed as a guest artist in the USA, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and, in 2000, he performed in Vladimir Vasilyev's anniversary Gala at Bolshoi Theatre. Mr. Bauzys was also honored as Ballet Artist of the Year and he received the St. Christopher's Prize from the Lithuanian Theatre Union while becoming the laureate in the arts category of the Baltic Assembly Prizes for Literature, The Arts and Science. In 2001, he was awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, which was given by the Lithuanian President. He is also married to company dancer Vilia Putrius. This is Mr. Bauzys' seventh season with FBP.

Valerie Cookson-Botto

Valerie Cookson-Botto • Outreach Coordinator, Young Children's Program

Valerie Cookson-Botto began her dance training in the Washington D.C. area and then moved to Dallas, Texas in 1987 to study dance at the Meadows School of Fine Arts at Southern Methodist University. After earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance, she was awarded a teaching fellowship at Temple University's Department of Dance in Philadelphia and earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance. Ms. Cookson-Botto's technical training includes both Vaganova and Cecchetti ballet techniques; and Limon, Graham, and Cunningham modern techniques. She continued her professional training at the London Contemporary Dance School and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.

Ms. Cookson-Botto has taught and choreographed as a Faculty In Residence at the University of New Hampshire and Adjunct Faculty at Shenandoah University in Virginia. She developed K-12 dance programs based on national standards for the arts at Berwick Academy in South Berwick, Maine and at the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut. Ms. Cookson-Botto joined the Festival Ballet Providence faculty in 1999 teaching modern technique, creative movement and pre-ballet.

Ms. Cookson-Botto has choreographed throughout her career staging pieces on companies and students throughout New England. In 1996 she was commissioned to choreograph Chromatic Fantasy as part of the New Hampshire MacDowell Celebration to the musical composition of MacDowell fellow, Barbara Kolb. Ms. Cookson-Botto has brought several works to Festival Ballet Providence including the Chatterbox family favorite, Peter and the Wolf; and Fleet Bank Showcase series for Middle School audiences, The Unicorn, The Gorgon and The Manticore.

After a long history with Festival Ballet Providence, Ms. Cookson-Botto is thrilled to be taking on the role of Educational Outreach Coordinator bringing all of the magic and artistry of Festival Ballet Providence to schools and community groups throughout New England and teaching in our Young Children't Program.

mihailo djuric

Mihailo Djuric, Artistic Director • Ballet

Artistic Director, Faculty Chairman, Resident Choreographer Mr. Djuric is a former first soloist with the National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.  His training and experience encompass ballet, jazz, modern, folk dance and musical theater.  During his ballet career, he has worked with Nevena Miric, Dusanka Kecojevic, Jovanka Bilegojevic, Ana Roje, Natalia Dudinskaya, Constantin Sergeyev, Svetlana Afanasieva and Maryon Lane.  As a choreographer, he has been recognized with numerous awards including gold and bronze medals at the Yugoslavian choreographers' competition.  Besides Yugoslavia (and its former six republics) and the United States, his work has been performed in Russia, Switzerland, Malta, Romania, Italy and Venezuela.  

In 1991, Mr. Djuric was appointed Artistic Director at Ballet New England.  Under his direction, Ballet New England's Company and School dramatically increased its programs and visibility, becoming the leader of New Hampshire's dance community.  In 1993 and again in 1998, Mr. Djuric was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (NHSCA).  He was commissioned as a choreographer by the Council to create an original ballet for the 1997 Governor's Awards in the Arts Ceremony.  In January 1998, he co-founded Ballet Theatre Workshop and the Children's Repertory Ballet in Portsmouth, NH.  In 1999, as part of collaboration with digital installation artist Harry Umen and the North Country Chamber Players, he received one of two Millennium Grants from the NHSCA to choreograph to Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.

In July, 1998, Mr. Djuric was appointed as the Artistic Director of Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) where he is responsible for managing the Company, Junior Company and the Festival Ballet Providence School.  During his tenure, the organization has grown into one of the most exciting and accomplished arts and cultural organizations in Rhode Island and has been recognized as one of top regional ballet companies in the country. FBP was named the 2002 Outstanding Arts Organization by the Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island. This award is presented to an organization that demonstrates “unwavering commitment to excellence, significant impact on the community, and strong organizational development”. In 2007 Mr. Djuric received the Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.

Leticia Guerrero

Leticia Guerrero, Ballet Mistress • Ballet, Variations

A native of Venezuela, Ms. Guerrero received her early training at the Keyla Ermecheo Ballet School in Caracas.  She has performed with numerous companies including Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas, Metropolitan Ballet of Caracas, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Michigan Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Jose Mateo's Ballet Theatre and Cadence Dance Project. She has created leading roles in ballets in Gianni Dimarco's El Amor Brujo, Schéhérazade and Azucar,  Plotnikov's Carmen, The Widow's Broom, Loof and Let Dime and Coma, De Bouteiller's Romeo and Juliet and FBP's 2006 premiere of Don Quixote.  Other leading roles include Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, Rubies, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tarantella, Who Cares?, Pelzig's The Princess and the Pea, Swan Lake and Eldar Aliev's A Thousand and One Nights. Ms. Guerrero also participated in the 2004 Venezuela Del Mundo Gala and was recognized for representing Venezuela internationally with high standards and “projection, dignity and beauty.” In addition Providence Mayor David Cicilline awarded a Citizens Citation for her “exceptional and wholehearted devotion for the art of dance.”

mindaugas bauzys

Shirley Kayne • Young Children's Program, Ballet, Historical Dance, Adults

Shirley Kayne began her training with a branch school of American Ballet Theater directed by Larry Boyette, which included teachers from ABT and The Royal Ballet England. She continued her training with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Merce Cunningham and numerous teachers in New York and London. She received her teacher training from Marin Ballet, the National Ballet School of Canada, and earned her teacher's certification at The Hartford Ballet. Ms. Kayne has performed throughout the United States with such companies as: Brent Masson and Company, Hartford Ballet, Marin Ballet and as a guest artist for many choreographers in San Francisco and the Bay area. Ms. Kayne has an extensive background in teaching and choreography. She has choreographed many musicals and numerous short pieces, along with over eight full-length ballets. Ms. Kayne has been the Director of the Northern Colorado Dance Theater, dance instructor for the Valley School of New York, Boulder Public Schools in Colorado and San Francisco School of the Arts. She was on the faculty of the nationally recognized Marin Ballet, as well as rehearsal assistant to the company and Director of the Marin Ballet Junior Company. She was the Ballet Director of the Arabesque Dance Center, Principal Instructor for the Petaluma School of Ballet and Cooperating Teacher for Merchurst College and Boston Conservatory.

In 1986 Ms. Kayne moved to New England and founded the School of New Bedford Ballet. She founded the New Bedford Ballet Foundation in 1987, a non-profit organization for the promotion of dance education and the granting of scholarships. For 21 years she was the Artistic Director of the School of the New Bedford Ballet and the New Bedford Ballet Foundation. In 2009 Ms. Kayne resigned from the New Bedford Ballet and joined the faculty of Festival Ballet Providence.

Alex Lantz

Alex Lantz, Company Dancer • Ballet, Character, Adults

Alex Lantz began his dance training at age seven at the Rockford Dance Company in his home town of Rockford, Illinois and was accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division in 2006 at age 17. Recipient of the Arnold Spohr Scholarship and the Daimler-Chrysler Scholarship, he performed a variety of works with the school including Pas De Quatre by David Maroni and the roles of Alain in La fi lle Mal Gardee and Gamache in Don Quixote. Mr. Lantz's piece, The Sea Within Us, wowed the crowd at the RWB School's First Steps Choreographic Competition 2009, earning him first place and the RWB School Award. The Sea Within Us was also featured at the National Ballet School of Canada's Assemblee International 2009, where it was performed with an international cast. Mr. Lantz joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet company as an apprentice in 2010. He performed with the company in Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Moulin Rouge – The Ballet, Dracula, Wonderland, The Exstacy of Rita Joe, Svengali, Giselle. Mr. Lantz also joined the company in 2010 on a three-city tour of Israel part of the RWB's 70th Anniversary tour. This is his third season with FBP.

mindaugas bauzys

Debbie Leahy • Modern, Jazz

Debbi Leahy trained at the Gold School in Brockton, Massachusetts for 15 years followed by further studies in Jazz and Modern technique in Virginia. During this exciting time, Debbi was a featured soloist in many productions. After graduation, Debbi returned to Massachusetts and began teaching in numerous competitive studios throughout Southern New England. Debbi has received many regional and national awards for her choreography and many of her students have gone on to professional careers in dance. She is excited to bring her knowledge and passion to Festival Ballet Providence.

Mary Ann Mayer

Mary Ann Mayer, School Director • Ballet, Outreach, Adaptive Dance, Variations, Repertoire

Ms. Mayer has been affiliated with Festival Ballet Providence since 1976.  As a founding member of Festival Ballet Providence, Ms. Mayer performed in many company productions while earning a BA from the University of Rhode Island.  Following her performing career, she worked as stage manager for the company for several seasons before turning her focus to teaching and training young dancers.  She attended several teaching programs at the National Ballet School of Canada, and in New York and Philadelphia with David Howard and Jurgen Schneider.  From 1991 to 1996 she served as teacher, choreographer and Acting Director of Dance at the Performing Arts School of Worcester; returning to Festival Ballet Providence as a teacher in 1998. 

In 2004, Ms. Mayer became Festival Ballet Providence's School Director. Over the past several years the school has continued to grow under the guidance of Ms. Mayer and the artistic vision of Misha Djuric. Together they have taken the school to a place that boasts a distinguished international faculty, an outstanding young children's program, a trainee program for the serious advanced level student, an extensive financial aid program, engaging summer programs, and an open enrollment feature that provides the community access to this art form through a variety of classes and workshops. Ms. Mayer's students have gone on to dance with professional companies and to study at prestigious schools and universities throughout the country.

Mary Ann Mayer

Marissa Parmenter, Summer Program Director, Company Dancer • Ballet

Marissa Parmenter is returning to Festival Ballet Providence after having danced for the company from 2002-2006. Her most memorable FBP roles were Pingril, the witch in The Widow's Broom, Finger Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet. Before returning to FBP she danced for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and BalletMet Columbus. In 2008, Ms. Parmenter was honored to participate in Paris's prestigious L'Ete de la Danse with Les Grands Ballet. She has performed as a guest artist with many companies in the US including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Boston Ballet. Ms. Parmenter has been fortunate enough to create works with leading choreographers, Ohad Naharin, James Kudelka, Mauro Bigonzetti, Edwaard Liang, Dominic Walsh and Viktor Plotnikov. She has also had the pleasure of performing works by icons such as Christopher Wheeldon, Jiri Kylian, Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Alejandro Cerrudo.

Ms. Parmenter has previously been on faculty at BalletMet Academy and Passe Dance Center. She has been a guest teacher for Rice University, Sam Houston University, University of Houston, and Wheaton College. Ms. Parmenter has been awarded the Sono Osato and the Caroline H. Newhouse grants for dancer higher education. Her choreography has been performed at Hollins University and will be performed at Wheaton College in November 2014.

Ms.Parmenter received her MFA from Hollins University in collaboration with the Forsythe Company in 2014 and is on faculty at FBP School as well as artistic assistant and Director of FBP School's Summer Dance Intensive. She is married to FBP dancer Ty Parmenter and they are happy to be returning to the company where they met.

Mary Ann Mayer

Ty Parmenter, Summer Program Assistant Director, Company Dancer • Ballet, Contemporary, Male Variations

Ty Parmenter is returning to Festival Ballet Providence after having been with the company from 2003-2006. His most memorable FBP roles were the Eunuch in Scherezade, the schoolboy in Con Amore and Romeo in Romeo & Juliet. He returns to FBP after having danced with Hubbard Street 2, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and BalletMet Columbus. He has performed as a guest artist with many companies in the US including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, New Choreographers Initiative, and Les Grands Ballet Canadiens. In 2006, he performed in the Mozart Sommer Festival in Wurzberg, Germany. Mr. Parmenter has been fortunate enough to create works with leading choreographers such as James Kudelka, Edwaard Liang, Dominic Walsh, Andrea Miller, Christian Spuck, Gabrielle Lamb and Viktor Plotnikov. He has also had the pleasure of performing works by Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Mauro Bigonzetti, Matthew Bourne, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Alejandro Cerrudo.

In 2012, Mr. Parmenter was awarded the Columbus Dances Fellowship from the Greater Columbus Arts Council for his piece There is Silence. He was on faculty at Passe Dance Center and has been a guest teacher at Rice University, Sam Houston University and the University of Houston. He is currently on faculty at FBP School as well as Digital Media Coordinator and Associate Director of FBP School's Summer Dance Intensive. He will be premiering a new choreographic work on the company in November 2014. Mr. Parmenter is married to Marissa Parmenter and they are expecting their first child in November 2014.

Musicians:
Richard Derry
Shannon McGuirk

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