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 Val Caniparoli, Lew Christensen, Robert Dekkers, Sonya Delwaide, Sean Kelly, Trey McIntyre, Danielle Rowe, Christopher Stowell, Sally Streets, Norbert Vesak, the Pas de Deux in La Fille Mal Gardee and George Balanchine's Apollo. She has had works created for her by Robert Dekkers, Sonya Delwaide and Danielle Rowe. She is also the President of Diablo Ballet's Prima Ballerina Club.
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. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2016, Mr. Leon has performed ballets by choreographers such as Lew Christensen, Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly and Sally Streets. He has also had works created for him by Robert Dekkers, Sonya Delwaide and Danielle Rowe.
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, Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly, Trey McIntyre, Danielle Rowe and the Pas de Deux from Raymonda. She has had works created for her by Robert Dekkers, Gary Masters and Danielle Rowe.
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 George Balanchine, Tina Kay Bohnstedt, Val Caniparoli, Robert Dekkers, Danielle Rowe, Ben Stevenson, Christopher Stowell, and George Balanchine's Apollo. She has had works created for her by Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly, Gary Masters and KT Nelson. Ms. Ramirez has appeared as a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley's BAMPHA.
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. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2017, Ms. Tilton has performed in works by Val Caniparoli, Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly, and in the Black Swan pas de Deux from Swan Lake. She has also had works created for her by Robert Dekkers and Danielle Rowe.
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 Val Caniparoli, Lew Christensen, Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly, Norbert Vesak, the Black Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lake, the Pas de Deux from Raymonda and in George Balanchine's Apollo. He has had works created for him by Robert Dekkers, Sonya Delwaide, Gary Masters and Danielle Rowe. Mr. Tilton is also a company teacher for Diablo Ballet.
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 McGgor and Twyla Tharp. 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 Nicolo Fonte. With Smuin Ballet, Mr. Wells performed ballet’s by Amy Seiwert, Garrett Ammon, Michael Smuin and Trey McIntyre. Since joining Diablo Ballet, Mr. Wells has performed in works by Val Vaniparoli, Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly, Sally Streets and the White Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lake. He has also had works created for him by Robert Dekkers and Danielle Rowe.
Maxwell Simoes was born in Philadelphia, PA, where he attended the Creative and Performing Arts High School and traîner with Olga Kresin and Lev Assualyak. He placed gold at the Tanzfestival Berlin Tanzolymp and as a finalist in the YAGP NYC final competition. Mr. Simoes studied at the Rudra Béjart School in Switzerland, performing with the Béjart Ballet Lausanne in pieces by Maurice Béjart including Bolero, Le Sacre du Printemps, and Petruschka. He has also performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Smuin Ballet company. This is Mr. Simoes first season with Diablo Ballet.
Jillian Transon received her training at the Allegheny Ballet and the School of American Ballet in New York. She performed with the New York City Ballet for two seasons dancing roles in ballets by George Balanchine and Peter Martins. In 2012, Ms. Transon joined the San Francisco Ballet, where she performed featured roles in Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle and Swan Lake, and Helgi Tomasson/Yuri Possokhov’s Don Quixote. She created roles in Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings and and Helgi Tomasson’s Caprice. Her repertory also included George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Coppélia, The Four Temperaments, Scotch Symphony, Serenade, and 4th movement and finale from Symphony in C; Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena; John Cranko’s Onegin; Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; Natalia Makarova’s (after Petipa) “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II; Mark Morris’ Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes; Rudolf Nureyev’s Raymonda—Act III; Yuri Possokhov’s Firebird, The Rite of Spring, and Swimmer; Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy (Chamber Symphony); Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces; Liam Scarlett’s Hummingbird; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella. Ms. Transon danced in the 2015 film of Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet as part of the inaugural season of Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance. This is her first season with Diablo Ballet.
Donghoon Lee is from Seoul, South Korea and received his training at Sejong University. He made his debut in The Nutcracker three months after entering the Korea National Ballet in 2008. As a principal dancer, he danced principal roles in Cinderella, Don Quixote, Giselle, La Bayadere, The Nutcracker, Prince Ho Dong, Romeo and Juliet, Serenade, Spartacus, Swan Lake and The Taming of the Shrew. Once nominated as a Benois de la Danse, Mr. Lee worked with a number of well-known choreographers. This is his first season with Diablo Ballet. .