Southeast Regional Ballet Association Festival

Celebrating the South's Finer Pointes
Hosted by Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet
May 2-4, 2013
Jackson, Mississippi

Online Registration - Open March 1st
Adjudicator Thom Clower
Known as one of the most energetic and inspiring teachers across the country, Thom Clower's "evangelistic" approach to teaching has touched the lives and careers of dancers around the world for nearly 40 years. With extensive training in the Vaganova, Balanchine, Cecchetti, and Bournonville techniques, Mr. Clower combines the qualities of each one of these styles to present a technique that is true and versatile.

Beginning his professional training in Dallas and continuing at School of American Ballet, in Paris, Amsterdam, and London, Thom performed for eleven seasons with Dallas Ballet. He served as Ballet Master for the company until 1988, when he became the Founding Artistic Director of Ballet Dallas. He later served as Ballet Master for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Artistic Director of Yuma Ballet Theatre in Arizona.

Believing very strongly in Regional Dance America, Mr. Clower has served as the Director of Ballet at numerous RDA Craft of Choreography Conferences. He has been a guest teacher for RDA Festivals since 1992, was a guest teacher at the National Festival both in 1997 and 2007, and has proudly served in the capacity of Adjudicator for two Regions. He has served as Director of Ballet at the Glenda Brown Choreography Project many times.

Since 2001 Thom Clower has worked around the world as a freelance master teacher and choreographer. His work has included regional companies and schools, and professional companies such as Oklahoma City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Atlanta Ballet. He has been a guest teacher at Broadway Dance Center, as Associate Ballet Master for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and has served annually as Ballet Master for Young! Tanzsommer in Austria since 2002. He joined the faculty of Allegro Ballet of Houston in 2009.


Ballet Mary Margaret Holt
Director, University of Oklahoma School of Dance

Mary Margaret Holt's professional training began with a Ford foundation grant leading to an apprenticeship with the San Francisco Ballet at the age of fifteen subsequent to her early training with Barbara Carson in Austin, Texas. Two years later, she was awarded a second Ford Foundation grant for study at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet where she also performed with the New York City Ballet.

Ms. Holt later accepted a soloist contract with the Houston Ballet where she danced a wide variety of solo and principal roles in the classical and contemporary repertoire in ballets such as Coppelia, Con Spirito, Ramifications, Pas de Quatre, the Don Quixote Pas de Deux, Spring Waters Pas de Deux, Carmina Burana, Swan Lake, Graduation Ball, Cinderella and The Nutcracker. In addition, she maintained an active schedule as a guest artist and teacher with more than twenty ballet and opera companies across the United States.

Holt later joined the dance faculty at the University of Oklahoma and was appointed Chair of the Department of Dance in 1990. She was appointed Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts in 1991 and Director of the School of Dance in 1998.

Since coming to OU, Ms. Holt has taught every course in the ballet curriculum, has led Oklahoma Festival Ballet on eleven international tours (Taiwan, France, South America, China, Austria and Mexico and has choreographed over thirty-five ballets, musicals and operas. She has twice received the Associates' Award for Distinguished Teaching, the College of Fine Arts distinguished faculty award, the Governor's Arts Award and the Presidential Professorship. She was named Regents Professor in 1998 and John and Mary Nichols Chair of Dance in 2004. Her choreography has been seen at regional festivals in the United States as well as in France, Taiwan, Mexico, Ecuador, Scotland and England and she has received grants from Exxon, the Ohio Arts Council, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the Texas Council on the Arts and the University of Oklahoma.

In addition to directing the School of Dance, Ms. Holt is the Artistic Director of Oklahoma Festival Ballet maintaining an active teaching schedule in the areas of ballet technique, teaching methods and ballet performance. She has brought five ballets by George Balanchine into the repertoire as well as others by de Mille, Joffrey, Tudor and Arpino. Her students have established professional careers with the Cincinnati Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Ballet Ireland, Texas Ballet Theatre, Ballet Nouveau, and Ailey II and she has coached two as semi finalists in International Ballet Competitions. Holt continues a very active schedule as a guest choreographer, teacher, presenter and consultant with companies, schools and conferences around the country.
Ballet Anna Donovan
Ms. Donovan is native of Ireland; Ms. Donovan joined Texas Ballet Theater artistic staff in 2000 and currently serves as Principal Ballet Master under Artistic Director Ben Stevenson. At the age of ten, Ms. Donovan won a scholarship to train at the Royal Ballet School in England. From there, she went to Elmhurst Ballet School where she passed all the Royal Academy Examinations with Honors. She joined the Irish National Ballet in 1973 and was rapidly promoted to principal dancer. During her sixteen year tenure with INB, she toured extensively in Ireland, Europe and the United States and was recognized for her dramatic abilities and technical prowess. Ms. Donavan has worked with many notable choreographers including Sir Anton Dolin, John Gilpin, Hans Brennaa, Peter Darrell and Domy Reiter-Soffer. She also had works created for her, one called The Playboy of the Western World, featuring music of Irish group The Chieftains. In 1989, she focused her energies toward teaching and was instrumental in establishing the Professional Dance Diploma Course in Dublin. She joined the staff of Ballet Dallas in 1991 serving as Principal Ballet Mistress and instructor of the Dallas Conservatory of Ballet. Ms. Donovan has been invited by many organizations nationwide as guest instructor and was nominated and is included in The Who’s Who of Teachers in America 2000, 2001 and 2005.
Ballet John Magnus
Mr. Magnus received his training at the University of Cape Town Ballet School. After completing his training, he joined the Cape Town City Ballet Company. In 1980 Mr. Magnus came to the United States and served as ballet master for the Nevada Dance Theatre and upon moving to New York City taught for the New Jersey Ballet for both the school and company. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Joffrey Ballet School being the last teacher to be chosen by Mr. Joffrey (before his death in 1988) to teach at the Joffrey School. He taught master classes for the Joffrey Ballet Company and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. In 2005 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet School creating a full length Nutcracker performed at the Skirball Theatre, New York and reviewed by the New York Times as "glorious and sweetly inventive." This review was the first time the N.Y.Times reviewed a non-professional/student production of the "The Nutcracker". Mr. Magnus has served as the Artistic Director for the Joffrey Midwest Dance Summer Intensive since its inception in 1996 and after 14yrs the program has been renamed Magnus Midwest Dance. He also served as the Artistic Director for the Great Lakes Summer Workshop and the Joffrey/Midland Summer Workshop. Mr. Magnus guest teaches throughout the States and for the Regional Dance America South West, Mid States and Northeast regions. Mr. Magnus is the current Artistic Director for the Portland Festival Ballet.
Ballet Valerie Madonia
Ms. Madonia trained at the American Academy of Ballet, in Buffalo, NY and at the National Ballet School of Canada. She danced professionally for over 20 years with the National Ballet of Canada from 1979-1981 (under the direction of Alexander Grant), American Ballet Theatre 1981-1986 (under Mikhail Baryshnikov) and at the Joffrey Ballet 1987-1997 (under Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino), beginning her career as a member of the corps de ballet and eventually establishing herself as a leading ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet. Ms. Madonia has had the honor of dancing with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Complexions Dance, Inc., Alaska Dance Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre, Lemon SpongeCake Contemporary Ballet, Configuration Ballet and at Le Gala des Etoiles, numerous times in Montreal and Greece. Ms. Madonia began organizing performances with other professional dancers to tour Southwestern Colorado in 1995, and established her own company in 1998- 2001 called Alpine Dance, Inc. She has appeared in six PBS Dance in America Specials and is featured in 4 dance books, most notably, Classical Ballet Technique, by G.W. Warren. Ms. Madonia has been teaching for 20 years, was on the faculty at the New School University in NYC from 1999-2003, has taught for the Joffrey Ballet School since 1996 and directed the Joffrey School South Workshop, in Georgia, from 2003-2010. Ms. Madonia helped to found the Telluride Dance Academy during her tenure, from 1999 - 2002, as Artistic Director of the Telluride Society for the Performing Arts. She was the Artistic Director and a teacher at the Telluride Dance Academy from 2006-2010. Since the fall of 2011, she began teaching and consulting for Palm Arts. Her choreographic credits include a full length Cinderella, the Nutcracker, Polar Express, Appalachian Spring, and solo works for the NYC Dance Now Festival, and for dancers in the Colorado Ballet and Ballet West. Critics and audiences alike enthusiastically received her newest work, Shapeshift, commissioned for Boulder Ballet in early 2012.
Ballet Caleb Mitchell
Mr. Mitchell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he received early ballet training at the age of 16 under Rose Marie Floyd. After graduating cum laude in 1998 with a BFA in dance from the University of Arizona, Caleb joined the Houston Ballet under Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.-emeritus and later Stanton Welch, Artistic Director. During his tenure with Houston Ballet (1998-2007), Mr. Mitchell performed many featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Christopher Bruce, Ronald Hynd, Lila York, Natalie Weir, Julia Adams, Trey McIntyre, Stanton Welch, James Kuldelka, and David Parsons. In 2007, Caleb was awarded a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship (Helen Russell Scholar) at the University of California- Irvine. While pursuing his degree at UCI, Caleb danced in featured roles by Jodie Gates (Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet) and William Forsythe. Mr. Mitchell received his MFA in dance with an emphasis on pedagogy and choreography in June 2009. Mr. Mitchell’s choreographic projects include works set on Neos Dance Company, Hosannah Sacred Arts, dancers from the Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet II, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Ad Deum Dance Company, Le Lien Ballet Theater and Masterworks Art Festival, and University of California, Irvine. During his tenure at UCI, Mr. Mitchell was Ballet Master for Professor David Allen (former National Ballet of Canada, Diamond Project), and in 2008 was awarded the Medici scholar grant to do choreographic research with world renowned choreographer Alonzo King (Lines Ballet) and Jacopo Godani (Frankfurt Ballet) for his thesis. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS.
Ballet Donn Edwards
Gifted with an old pair of Roman Jasinski’s ballet slippers, native Tulsan Donn Edwards was first introduced to ballet classes with Tulsa Ballet Co-Founders Jasinski and Moscelyn Larkin. During his study at The University of Oklahoma School of Dance with founders Miguel Terekhov and Yvonne Chouteau, he was recruited by Robert Joffrey to attend his Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Edwards’s primary training there under Jonathan Watts led to an apprenticeship with The Joffrey, which included dancing with New York City Opera and being a charter member of the Joffrey II Ballet. Promoted to The Joffrey Ballet, Edwards rose to Soloist working with the great 20th century choreographers Gerald Arpino, Frederick Ashton, John Cranko, Joffrey, Kurt Joos, Leonide Massine, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp, who created two roles for him.

Upon the invitation of Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, Edwards joined The Frankfurt Ballet as Principal Dancer beginning a long association with the classical and Balanchine repertoires.

Returning to the States, Donn Edwards was a frequent Guest Artist with such companies as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Karen, Frank and Friends, and Stars of the American Ballet before E. Virginia Williams invited him to be a Principal Dancer with Boston Ballet. The company’s new production of Swan Lake by Violette Verdy and Bruce Wells was created for Edwards and Ballerina Elaine Bauer. During his Boston tenure he originated many roles by Wells, Verdy and Choo San Goh, as well as Glen Tetly and Ron Cunningham. In these contemporary works, along with Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Giselle (Albrecht), Cinderella (The Prince), Sleeping Beauty (The Prince), Swan Lake (Siegfried), La Fille Mal Gardee (Alain), and Carmina Burana his partnership with Ballerina Laura Young was forged.

After being chosen to understudy Rudolf Nureyev on Broadway in Boston Ballet’s production of the Taglioni/Lacotte La Sylphide, Mr. Edwards was asked by Nureyev to play the title role in his Don Quixote in New York and in tours of Europe, Mexico and North America.

Upon retiring as Principal Dancer, Donn Edwards moved behind the scenes into Boston Ballet’s administration as Development Officer and Director of Special Events. The opportunity to join San Francisco Symphony’s Development Office relocated Edwards to the west coast, where he remained until accepting a post with The University of Oklahoma School of Dance faculty. As a member of OU’s distinguished faculty, Edwards began his teaching career, which has produced many professional dancers and teachers. In 2010 he was named Professor Emeritus and continues to be a frequent Guest Master Teacher and Character Guest Artist for schools and companies in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Albuquerque, Seattle and San Francisco. Edwards currently serves on the faculty for Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet where he also teaches Company Class. In the Spring of 2013, Edwards will be Guest Master Teacher for the Southwest and the Southeast Regional Ballet Festivals.

As Principal Guest Artist with Tulsa Ballet, Donn Edwards made his hometown debut as Baron Zeta in Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow (Fall 2011) and created the role of Lord Capulet in their world premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Romeo and Juliet (Spring 2012). In the Fall of 2012, Edwards returned to the University of Oklahoma School of Dance to perform the role of the Step-sister in OU’s new production of Cinderella.
Contemporary Kassandra Taylor Newberry
Mrs. Newberry graduated cum laude with a BFA degree in Dance from Point Park University. She has choreographed and performed throughout the country as well as in Austria, Germany, and Italy. Mrs. Newberry has won numerous choreography awards: National Choreographic Recognition Award 2007, 2010, 2011 & 2012 (Presented for best choreography in the Southeast RDA); 2010 Choreography Connection Award (presented at Craft of Choreography), Project Tier Outstanding Choreography Award 2008, 2009, 2010; Choreography Connection Award 2010 at the Craft of Choreography; Outstanding Choreographer for Youth American Grand Prix 2009 (where 5 pieces of her choreography were chosen for the top 12 to attend the National Finals in New York City); and Monticello Choreography Award 2004. In 2010 Mrs. Newberry was commissioned to set a piece at Point Park University for Pittsburgh Connections, and had two pieces premier at the CONCEPTS Choreographic Showcase in Winston Salem, North Carolina. She has had 2 works selected to be performed for the American College Dance Festival (Regional and National)-presenting her work at the Kennedy Center as one of two choreographers chosen among 20 universities to attend from the nation. In 2007 Mrs. Newberry moved to San Francisco to join the trainee ensemble with Alonzo King’s LINES Contemporary Ballet, and in 2008 she became ballet mistress and educational director for the Salt Lake Ballet Conservatory in Utah. In 2009 she became ballet mistress for the High Point Ballet and Winston Salem Festival Dance Center. Mrs. Newberry has danced professionally as a founding company member with Winston Salem Festival Ballet, Dance Theatre of Pittsburgh as well as Pillow Project Dance Theatre. She teaches at numerous summer programs around the country including Alonzo King’s LINES summer intensive and has been the Assistant Director of Operations for National Choreographic Intensive 2011 & 2012. She was recently commissioned to create a dance flash mob on 2,000 dancers from across the US to be performed in Montreal, Canada in May 2012. Mrs. Newberry currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia as a freelance dancer, teacher and choreographer.
Modern Derrick Minter
Mr. Minter began his dance training at the University of Oklahoma where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in modern dance pedagogy and journalism. After moving to New York City, Minter received scholarships to study at the Martha Graham School of Dance and at the Ailey School. Minter has performed with Ailey II, the Martha Graham Ensemble, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, and Milton Myers Dance Company. In 1995, he starred with Stephanie Mills, Teddy Pendergrass and BeBe Winans in the 20th Anniversary revival tour of "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God." He has performed in Atlantic City with Aretha Franklin and at Carnegie Hall with Maya Angelou and George Benson. Other performing credits include the Essence Awards and the Espy Awards on ESPN. Minter is an Ailey master teaching artist in Horton technique and has conducted master classes at numerous institutions including Oklahoma Arts Institute, the National Dance Institute and the American Dance Festival. Minter has been a guest instructor in St. Thomas Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Australia, Holland, China and the Netherlands. He returns yearly to Tokyo, Japan where he is featured in productions by Japanese celebrity Yasko Nugamine. Formerly the rehearsal director for Ailey II, Minter is currently a teaching artist for the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation’s Arts in Education programs and is an Assistant Professor of Dance in the Modern Department at Oklahoma University.
Jazz and Hip-Hop Dana Foglia
Ms. Foglia has taught dance all over the United States and internationally. She trained extensively in ballet and modern with the Seiskaya Ballet Academy and later on full scholarship to the Ailey School. She has toured and performed with top artists including Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Kelis and others. Dana worked with Beyoncé for her "I Am 2000 Tour" as Assistant Choreographer, personally training and preparing Beyoncé for this tour. She has performed in numerous TV and Award shows including So You Think You Can Dance, MTV & VMA Awards, AMA Awards, World Music Awards, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daly and Jay Leno Shows. You may have spotted her dancing side by side with Beyoncé Single Ladies at the World Music Awards. Dana has appeared in numerous TV commercials for Haagen Daaz and Acura. Dana is also featured in a Hip Hop instructional video produced by Broadway Dance Center and is currently on staff at Broadway Dance Center.
Jazz DJ Guthrie
Mr. Guthrie hails from Dallas, TX and made his way to LA after dancing with the Orlando Ballet for nine years. Since then DJ has appeared in films such as High School Musical 3, 500 Days of Summer, Shrek Forever After and The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever, as well as television performances on Glee, Dancing With The Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Video Game Awards, American Idol, Bones, Better With You, The CMA Christmas Show, America’s Got Talent, The 81st Academy Awards, The 63rd Emmys, CSI: Las Vegas and So You Think You Can Dance. He has also co-choreographed/danced in commercials and live performances for Ford, McDonald’s, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Memorial Hermann and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. DJ was also a part of the national touring company of "CATS". He was recently on tour with Glee Live and was a choreographer for the TV show "Your Chance to Dance" on CMT. Aside from working commercially, he teaches master classes for The Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA as well as studios and professional companies all over the country. His innovative approach to musicality and movement theory, extensive technical vocabulary and blend of several styles into one has gained him a continually growing following.
Accompanist Steven Mitchell
Mr. Mitchell is recognized as a dance accompanist, arranger, and music educator. He has recently been appointed Staff Ballet Accompanist at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He has also been rehearsal pianist at American Ballet Theater after working at the School of American Ballet and Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

He devoted 5 years to educating some of the neediest public schools in New York and introduced them to Musical Theater while as music director and pianist for Rosie’s Theater Kids (with Rosie O’Donnell). During the early years of the program, Steven took 20 kids with no musical experience and led them to perform in the off-Broadway operetta, Brundibar, at The New Victory Theater. His arrangements have been performed at galas, benefits, and on The View.

Steven holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Houghton College, NY, and a Master of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.

He was class pianist for the Columbia Pictures film Center Stage, and his music can be heard in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He can be also found playing in Broadway’s Mary Poppins.
Accompanist Patience Clements
A dance accompanist for over 35 years, BMI award winning composer Patience Clements has accompanied The Charleston Ballet Theatre for six seasons. Throughout her career, Ms. Clements has played ballet classes for Gelsey Kirkland, Susan Jaffe, Kevin McKenzie and is a continuing member of the faculty of The International Ballet Competition. In addition, her five CDs of original music for ballet class are a staple in ballet studios worldwide.
Accompanist Rae Shannon
Ms. Shannon received her Master of Music from Mississippi College, she was a contestant at the 1969 Van Cliburn Competition. She was principal keyboardist with the Mississippi Symphony from 1976 until 1992, during which time she also played for Ballet Mississippi, Twin City Ballet and International Ballet Competition. She was an accompanist for Houston Ballet from 1994 until 2000. While in Houston, she also accompanied recitals at Rice University and the University of Houston. Rae currently serves as organist at First Presbyterian Church in Yazoo City, Mississippi.
Accompanist David Morse
A native Charlottean, David trained with North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance under Sabrina Berry, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Mark Diamond, Kati Hanlon Mayo and Kathryn Moriarty. David’s choreography won the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association/Habich-Corey Emerging Choreography Award in 2010, and he participated in the 2011 Winter Season of the New York Choreographic Institute. David spent his summer’s training at the Chautauqua Institute and danced with the North Carolina Dance Theatre 2 for two seasons. An accomplished pianist, David frequently accompanies ballet classes at NC Dance Theatre and has served as a guest pianist with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and The New York City Ballet.
Percussionist Daniel Guaqueta
Daniel Guaqueta is quickly emerging as a dynamic and inventive hybrid musician. With an eclectic sound influenced by continued experience melding the genres of electronica, rock, rap, world, jazz, pop, and classical, Daniel brings a combination of talent and will that is reflected in each of his productions. Where his urban travels have constructed his technical aptitude, his Colombian heritage provides a unique spirituality and sense of purpose that has always driven his music.

Regularly in and out of the studio, Daniel is constantly reworking the visual and audial elements of his music, as evidenced by his regular music videos and complex stage performances. From his time with Questions in Dialect, Discover America, Mainframe Theory and Storage 24, to his collaborations with artists like Mute Math’s Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas, Kamikaze and tours with Mute Math, Circa Survive, Unwed Sailor, and Mae, Daniel is an experienced performer, and in the studio he’s refined his talent through work with veteran engineers such as Bob Weston (Nirvana) and Andy Baker.


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