Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nicole Ciapponi trained with Goh Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and The San Francisco Ballet School. She was a top finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix in 2009 and received the silver medal and the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan award for theatricality at the Genée International Ballet Competition in 2008. Ms. Ciapponi joined the San Francisco Ballet in 2010 and the Joffrey Ballet in 2015. She has danced principal roles in Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake and 7 for Eight, George Balanchine’s Coppélia, Scotch Symphony, Symphony in C, Theme and Variations, Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments, Serenade, Tarantella and Stravinsky Violin Concerto; Rudolf Nureyev’s Raymonda—Act III, Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, Number Nine and Ghosts and in ballets by Gerald Arpino, Nicholas Blanc, John Cranko, William Forsythe, Robert Joffrey, Jiri Kylian, Edwaard Liang, Wayne McGregor, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Justin Peck, Yuri Possokhov, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, and Myles Thatcher. She performed the Flames of Paris Pas de Deux at The Arts of Classical Ballet School in 2012 and the Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire with Tiit Helimets and Company on tour in Estonia. This is Ms. Ciapponi's first season with Diablo Ballet.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Marco Clemente began his dance training at the Ruth Page School of Dance under the directorship of Larry Long and Dolores Lipinski-Long. After his graduation he went on to dance with Dayton Ballet, Minnesota Ballet, and Ballet Nebraska. In addition to company work, he has also performed as a guest artist with Visceral Dance Chicago, South Chicago Dance Theatre, and Chicago Repertory Ballet. This is his first season with Diablo Ballet.
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 Julia Adam, Val Caniparoli, Lew Christensen, Robin Dekkers, Sonya Delwaide, Sean Kelly, Trey McIntyre, Bruno Roque, Danielle Rowe, Penny Saunders, Christopher Stowell, Sally Streets, Norbert Vesak, Stanton Welch, Michael Wells, the Pas de Deux in La Fille Mal Gardee, Black Swan Pas de Deux, Flames of Paris, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia and George Balanchine's Apollo and Who Cares?. Ms. Farris has designed and created Diablo Ballet's costumes including Julia Adams' Cinderella's Wedding and Coppélia. Her choreography, Elevator Operator, was chosen as Diablo Ballet's first Dance Laboratory winner. She has enjoyed being a Teaching Artist with Diablo Ballet's PEEK Outreach Program and she is the President of Diablo Ballet's Prima Ballerina Club. In 2019 she joined Diablo Ballet School's faculty.
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 Schreier and Alan Hineline. Mr. Leon’s repertoire includes Coppélia, Alice in Wonderland and The Nutcracker and since joining Diablo Ballet in 2016, he has performed ballets by Julia Adam, Lew Christensen, Robin Dekkers, Sean Kelly, Bruno Roque, Penny Saunders, and Sally Streets. Mr. Leon has performed in Flames of Paris, and has had works created for him by Julia Adam, Sonya Delwaide and Danielle Rowe. Since 2016 he has been a Diablo Ballet PEEK Outreach Program Teaching Artist and in 2019 he joined Diablo Ballet School's faculty. In 2021, Mr. Leon created Diablo Ballet's Dance Laboratory, a space created to offer upcoming local choreographers the opportunity to create a new work and explore their craft.
Julia Meister was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. At age six, she began dancing at St. Croix Ballet. She continued her training as a New Artist at Next Generation Ballet in Tampa, Florida under Peter Stark, Philip Neal, Laurie Jones, and Ivonne Lemus, performing leading roles in Coppélia, Giselle, and George Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations. During her time at NGB, she also attended summer courses at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and National Ballet School of Canada, and was selected as a 2016 National YoungArts Foundation winner in Dance/Ballet. From 2017-2019, Ms. Meister studied in the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet School under the direction of Peter Boal, performing in both Company productions and works by Margaret Mullin and Kiyon Ross. Since joining Diablo Ballet in the Fall of 2021, she has performed the role of Clara in The Nutcracker Suite, and the Spring Fairy by Julia Adam, Flames of Paris Pas de Deux, Coppélia and in works by Penny Saunders and Michael Wells. Ms. Meister has taught ballet at the Croix Ballet in Stillwater Minnesota and is on faculty at Diablo Ballet School. She continues to strive to inspire and bring joy to others through her love of dancing.
Olivia Powell is a native of the Boston area and received her ballet training from the Boston Ballet School. She attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ dance department and received her BFA with first class honors at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, in Hong Kong. Ms. Powell then joined The Alabama Ballet where she performed in works such as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, as the dew drop fairy, and Tarantella. She also performed in Jiri Jylian’s Sechs Tanze, Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo, and Roger Van Fleteren’s Romeo and Juliet and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In 2014, she joined Ballet Memphis where she worked with many choreographers including Mark Godden, Steven McMahon, Uri Sands, Joshua L. Peugh, Gabrielle Lamb, Julia Adam and Julie Marie Niekrasz. Ms. Powell has also choreographed several works for Ballet Memphis’ “Pairings” and The Alabama Ballet’s “Choreographic Showcase”. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2019, Ms. Powell has performed in ballets by Julia Adam, Sean Kelly, Bruno Roche, Penny Saunders, Sally Streets and Stanton Welch. She has danced the female variation in Esmeralda, Swanhilda in Coppélia and in George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Who Cares?. Ms. Powell has been a Teaching Artist in Diablo Ballet's PEEK Outreach Program since 2021
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, Lew Christensen, Robin Dekkers, Sean Kelly, Trey McIntyre, KT Nelson, Bruno Roque, Penny Saunders and Michael Wells. She has danced the Pas de Deux from Raymonda and Carousel (A Dance) by Christopher Wheeldon and in Apollo and Who Cares? by George Balanchine. She has also performed the title roles in Once Upon a Time and Cinderella's Wedding by Julia Adam. Ms. McConnell is a Teaching Artist with Diablo Ballet’s PEEK Outreach Program.
Lucas Tischler began dancing at the Metropolitan Ballet Academy in Pennsylvania. At age 12 he joined the School of Pennsylvania ballet and performed roles in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals with the main company. At age 16 he moved to Manhattan, New York to join Ballet Academy East. At BAE he worked with teachers such as Wendy Whelan, Maxim Beleserkovsky, and Darla Hoover. Mr. Tischler performed the principal male role in George Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations and works by Alan Hineline, Claudia Schreier, and Jenna Levin. During the summers, Mr. Tischler studied with the American Ballet Theater, Bolshoi Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet. At age 18 Mr. Tischler moved to Chicago to join The Joffrey Ballet as a trainee and had the opportunity to perform Episode 31 by Alexander Ekman . He then joined Oklahoma City Ballet and performed works by Robert Mills and Michael Pink. Mr. Tischler’s repertoire includes The Nutcracker, Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, and The Firebird. Since joining Diablo Ballet in the Fall of 2021, he has danced in The Nutcracker Suite and Cinderella's Wedding by Julia Adam, Coppélia, Flames of Paris Pas de Deux and works by Penny Saunders and Michael Wells.
Leonardo Victorino, born in Taubaté, SP/Brazil began his pre-professional studies at the Maestro Fego Camargo School of the Arts and then received a full scholarship at the Bolshoi Ballet School. In 2010, he performed with the Companhia Brasileira de Ballet (Rio de Janeiro), where he toured extensively throughout South America. He has performed principal roles in Don Quixote, Giselle, The Magic Flute and The Nutcracker. Mr. Victorino was a member of the Companhia de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) under the direction of Dalal Achcar and danced with Theatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro in partnership with Companhia de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro. He has performed with the Moscow Ballet for their United States National Tour in 2013 and performed with Albany Berkshire Ballet (NY), and Lake Erie Ballet (PA). Mr. Victorino performed with the Columbia City Ballet under direction of William Starrett and the Washington Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre. He was also a principal dancer with American Contemporary Ballet in Los Angeles. Mr. Victorino has been on faculty at the Center for Dance Education at Ann Brodie's Carolina Ballet where he directs the classical character program and is a master teacher in the pre-professional training program. This is Mr. Victorino's first Season with Diablo Ballet.
Danielle Troyano began her training on Long Island, NY at Seiskaya Ballet and with Sara Knight at SLK Ballet, in NYC. She spent her summers at the Rock School, Walnut Hill School and HARID Conservatory on scholarship, and has received training from the Gelsey Kirkland Academy and Ellison Ballet. Ms. Troyano also studied in London at the Central School of Ballet as part of an exchange program with SLK Ballet. Her professional career started at age 19 with Montgomery Ballet. Ms. Troyano joined Ballet Idaho in 2015 under the direction of Peter Anastos performing Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, Spring Fairy in Edward Liang’s Cinderella, and Pas De Trois, and Lead Czardas in Peter Anastos’ Swan Lake. She has had the honor of performance Agon, Concerto Barocco, Valse Fantasie and Allegro Brilliante by George Balanchine. She has also performed works by Penny Saunders and Danielle Rowe. Ms. Troyano remains a permanent guest artist with Albany Berkshire Ballet under Madeline Culpo, where she’s performed A Midsummer Nights Dream, Carmina Burana, and The Nutcracker. She joined Diablo Ballet in 2020, where she performed in Coppélia and The Sleeping Beauty and in ballets by Julia Adam, Sean Kelly, Sally Streets and Michael Wells. In addition to dancing, she is passionate about teaching and helping others. Ms. Troyano remains on permanent guest faculty at Hinsdale Dance Academy in Chicago and the School of Ballet Indiana, where she teaches Adaptive Dance, a movement-based class tending to children with special needs. She is on faculty at Diablo Ballet School where she teaches all levels including Dance for Parkinson’s Power of Dance and Adaptive Dance. Ms. Troyano is also a Teaching Artist with Diablo Ballet's PEEK Outreach Program.
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, working with world renowned choreographers and teachers for three seasons before moving to New York City. In New York he performed with Ballet Hispanico’s second company before joining New York Theatre Ballet for several years and two national tours. In 2016 Wells moved to California to dance with Smuin Ballet, and later Diablo Ballet. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2017, he has danced many principal roles in both classical and contemporary ballets and he has been a key part in the creation process for a wide array of new works including ballets by Julia Adam, Robin Dekkers, Bruno Roche, Sally Streets and Penny Saunders. He is a faculty member of the Diablo Ballet School where he teaches modern and ballet technique. Since 2022, Mr. Wells has created four new works for Diablo Ballet.
Liv Cole received her formal training with Artistic Director and RAD-certified instructor Patty O'Reilly at the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance. In addition to performing seasonally with SCD, she spent her summers expanding her experience studying with Ballet West, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, American Ballet Theatre faculty and in Cuba at the National Ballet. Ms. Cole has worked with notable artists and choreographers Isabelle Sjahsam, Evan Johnston, Tom Weinberger, and Courtney Mazeika. She also received training in acting and musical theatre, performing in Schoolhouse Rock and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In 2019, Ms. Cole became one of Diablo Ballet’s first professional trainees performing in The Nutcracker Suite by Julia Adam and in La Esmeralda. In the Spring of 2020, she was named Diablo Ballet’s first apprentice. Since then, she has been featured in works by Julia Adam, Michael Wells and Derion Loman, and has danced in The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella's Wedding, Flames of Paris and Coppélia. Ms. Cole is also Diablo Ballet's School Administrator. She is excited to continue to share the human experience by emitting emotion and passion through her performances..
Alina Gonzalez received her training from Contra Costa Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theater, Diablo Ballet School and summer intensives at the San Francisco Ballet School and Post: Workshop. She performed prominent roles in Alice in Wonderland by Robin Dekkers, Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop Fairy in The Nutcracker and Russian Girl in Serenade by George Balanchine. She has also performed in La Bayadere, Paquita, Le Corsaire, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. In 2019, Ms. Gonzalez became one of Diablo Ballet’s first Professional Trainee’s, where she has performed roles in The Nutcracker Suite and Cinderella’s Wedding by Julia Adam, Wayfaring Pilgrim by Michael Wells and Coppelia. She was promoted to Apprentice in the Fall of 2022. Ms. Gonzalez is a member of Diablo Ballet School's Faculty.