Amanda Farris was born and raised in Central California, training in ballet with Central West Ballet, Valley Oak School of Dance, and during summers with Boston Ballet. Ms. Farris was a medalist in the Russian Pointe USA national ballet competition in 2004. She attended Long Beach State on a full academic scholarship where she studied both cultural anthropology and dance. There Ms. Farris trained in modern dance and ballet under world renowned faculty. After graduating summa cum laude, she joined The Georgia Ballet where she quickly rose to dancing principal roles, many of which were created on her. Some featured roles include those in Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Pas de Quatre, Janusz Mazon’s Pinnochio and The Firebird, and Alexandre Proia’s The Four Seasons. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2014, Ms. Farris has danced in works by Robert Dekkers, George Balanchine, Sonya Delwaide, Val Caniparoli, Christopher Stowell, Sean Kellly, Norbert Vesak, and Trey McIntyre.
Larissa Kogut was born in Buffalo, NY and received her training at the National Ballet of Canada and then later at the University of Utah. She performed with the Sacramento Ballet performing principal roles in Ron Cunningham’s The Nutcracker, Ma Cong’s Blood Rush, Rudolph Nureyev’s Don Quixote, Act I (Mercedes) and in Septime Webre’s Juanita y Alicia. Ms. Kogut is a founding member of Capital Dance Project and this is her second season with Diablo Ballet.
Felipe Leon was born in Bogota, Colombia and trained on full scholarship at Ballet Academy East in New York City. He performed with Compania Colombiana de Danza, in Bogota and has danced soloist and principal roles in works by Maurice Berjart, Wendy Whelan, Matthew Neenan, Margo Sappington, Lisa de Ribere, Claudia Schreire and Alan Hineline. Mr. Leon’s repertoire includes works created for him, Coppelia, Alice in Wonderland and The Nutcracker. This is Mr. Leon's second season with Diablo Ballet.
Jackie McConnell, from Salem, Oregon, trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She danced with Nevada Ballet Theatre, toured with the Portland-based company, Bodyvox, and continues to work bi-coastally with the contemporary ballet company, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance in New York City. In the Bay Area, she has danced with Company C Contemporary Ballet, Post: Ballet, Garrett and Moulton Productions, Menlowe Ballet, Oakland Ballet and the San Francisco Opera. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2015, Ms. McConnell has performed in works by: Val Caniparoli, Sean Kelly, Robert Dekkers, and Gary Masters.
Rosselyn Ramirez was born and received her training in Caracas, Venezuela. From 2005-2011, she performed with Ballet Classico de Camara Nina Novak, and with the Ballet National de Caracas Teatro Teresa Carreño. She has danced principal roles in the classical ballet repertoire, including "Le Corsaire", "Esmeralda" and "The Nutcracker" and in contemporary ballets such as "Amor", "Brujo", "Passion", and "Texturas". Ms. Ramirez has performed in Uruguay and Cuba, and was a guest artist at the 21st Festival of Ballet in Havana, Cuba. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2011, Ms. Ramirez has danced in works by Val Caniparoli, Sean Kelly, Christopher Stowell, Robert Dekkers, Tina Kay Bohnstedt, KT Nelson, Ben Stevenson, and George Balanchine's "Apollo".
Christian Squires, was born in Charleston, South Carolina and, received his early training from Robert Ivey Ballet and SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, as well as through summer programs at the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. In 2005, Christian was awarded a contract with Boston Ballet II at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition, and was promoted to the main company the following season. He danced with the Copenhagen International Ballet during the summer of 2008 and joined Oregon Ballet Theatre later that year. In 2011, Mr. Squires joined Smuin Ballet, and in 2014 he joined Diablo Ballet.. He has performed featured roles in works by choreographers including William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Twyla Tharp, Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Frederick Ashton, Helen Pickett, Alexei Ratmansky, Trey McIntyre, and Alejandro Cerrudo, among others. An inaugural member of Post:Ballet, Mr. Squires has danced in works by Robert Dekkers and was recently nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance- Ensemble. As Post:Ballet’s aesthetic advisor and a frequent costume designer, he has designed and built costumes for Robert Dekkers, Post:Ballet and Diablo Ballet. This is Mr. Squires fourth season with Diablo Ballet.
Jordan Nicole Tilton
Born in Irvine, California, Jordan Nicole Tilton trained with Hannah Karacic before joining the Ballet Pacifica Conservatory and later Maple Conservatory of Dance. After spending summers at the School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School, she was invited to join San Francisco Ballet School’s Trainee Program in 2008 and went on to join San Francisco Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2010. With the San Francisco Ballet, she has danced various roles in full length ballet’s such as Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Romeo & Juliet, as well as John Cranko’s Onegin, John Neumier’s Little Mermaid, George Balanchine’s Coppelia, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, The Four Temperaments, Scotch Symphony, Serenade, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, and Theme and Variations, Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, Edwaard Liang’s Symphonic Dances, Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy (Piano Concerto #1); Jerome Robbins’ The Concert and Glass Pieces Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc, Liam Scarlett’s Hummingbird Natalia Makarova’s (after Petipa) "The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère. In addition, Ms. Tilton originated roles in Yuri Possokhov’s Rite of Spring and Swimmer and performed featured roles in Mark Morris’s Maelstrom, Helgi Tomasson’s Nutcracker and Miles Thatcher’s Stone and Steel. In 2015, she danced in the filming of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet as part of the inaugural season of Lincoln Center at the Movies: & in the 2011 filming of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid for PBS’s Great Performances. This is Ms. Tilton's first season with Diablo Ballet.
Raymond Tilton was born in San Marcos and trained at San Elijo Dance Academy and San Francisco Ballet School prior to being named an apprentice in 2010 with the San Francisco Ballet and joining the Company in 2011. His repertory with the San Francisco Ballet includes Tomasson's "Nutcracker" (King of the Mice and Arabian), Tomasson’s "Giselle", Tomasson's "Romeo and Juliet", Balanchine’s "Coppélia", Cranko’s "Onegin", Neumeier’s "The Little Mermaid", Wheeldon’s "Cinderella" (Winter and Courtier), Balanchine’s "Scotch Symphony", Fokine’s "Petrouchka", Lifar’s "Suite en Blanc", Nureyev’s "Raymonda"—Act III, Possokhov’s "Firebird", Ratmansky’s "Shostakovich Trilogy" (Symphony #9 and Chamber Symphony), and Robbins’ "Glass Pieces". Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2015, Mr. Tilton has performed in works by: Sean Kelly, Robert Dekkers, Norbert Vesak, Gary Masters, Sonya Delwaide, and George Balanchine's "Apollo".
Michael Wells, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, began his formal dance training at Decatur School of Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and later the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He started his career as a trainee with Atlanta Ballet under John McFall, working with choreographers such as Helen Pickett and Wayne McGregor. In New York he performed with Ballet Hispanico’s second company before joining New York Theatre Ballet, where he danced works by Anthony Tudor, Merce Cunningham, Mathew Neenan, and Nicole Fonte. With Smuin Ballet, Mr. Wells performed ballet’s by Amy Seiwert, Garrett Ammon, Michael Smuin and Trey McIntyre. This is Mr. Wells first season with Diablo Ballet. Photo by Chris Hardy.
Alexander McCleery, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, began training while in high school with the Cangelosi Dance Project. He continued with Ballet Chicago's studio company where he had the privilege to perform works by George Balanchine, Daniel Duell, and Ted Seymore. As an apprentice with Charlotte Ballet (formerly known as North Carolina Dance Theatre), he studied under Patricia McBride, Mark Diamond, and Sarkis Kaltakchian and while there he performed works by George Balanchine, Mark Diamond, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, and Sasha Janes. Mr. McCleery performed with the Cincinnati and Milwaukee Ballets and danced in Septime Webre's "Alice in Wonderland", ballets by Victoria Morgan and in Michael Pink's "Dracula", "Nutcracker", and "Dorian Gray". He has also performed with Menlowe Ballet and as a guest artist in the Bay Area. This is Mr. McCleery’s first season with Diablo Ballet.