Founder – Nancy Laurie
Artistic Director – Benoit-Swan Pouffer
Executive Director – Greg Mudd
Company Manager – Pamela Vachon
Production Manager – Anita Shah
Ballet Master – Alexandra Damiani
Technical Director – Andy Cappelli
Production Stage Manager – Renata Braga de Almeida
Audio Video Supervisor – Dave Rogge
Lighting Supervisor – Jim French
Wardrobe Supervisor – Lydia Frantz
Production Electrician – Eric Schoenberger
Costume Shop Manager/Draper – Mathew Gnagy
Booking – Margaret Selby, CAMI Spectrum LLC
Jubal Battisti, Jon Bond, Nickemil Concepcion, Gwynenn Taylor Jones, Jason Kittelberger, Ana-Maria Lucaciu, Navarra Novy-Williams Oscar Ramos, Matthew Rich, Acacia Schachte, Harumi Terayama, Vânia Doutel Vaz, Manuel Vignoulle, Ebony Williams, Golan Yosef
Theatrical Equipment is transported on a carbon neutral basis by Clark Transfer in partnership with NativeEnergy
CEDAR LAKE CONTEMPORARY BALLET
Founded in 2003 by Nancy Laurie, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet has distinguished itself through both its exceptionally talented corps of fifteen dancers and its concurrent emphasis on acquiring and commissioning new works by the world’s most sought-after emerging choreographers. Under the Artistic Direction of Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Cedar Lake offers a wide-ranging spectrum of both American and international repertory, including works by Alexander Ekman, Hofesh Shechter, Crystal Pite, Jacopo Godani, Stijn Celis, Angelin Preljocaj, Ohad Naharin, Didy Veldman, Jo Strømgren, Luca Veggetti and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Through their daring, athletic movement and integration of ballet into contemporary and popular forms, the dancers of Cedar Lake take audiences on a choreographic journey that explores the infinite possibilities of movement and multimedia. Upcoming works for 2010-2011 include second creations by Crystal Pite and Hofesh Shechter.
Benoit-Swan Pouffer – Artistic Director
Benoit-Swan Pouffer joined Cedar Lake as Artistic Director in 2005 following an extensive career as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Born and raised in Paris, his career began with study at the prestigious Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse where he performed works by such renowned French choreographers as Claude Brumachon, Daniel Larrieu and Angelin Preljocaj. In April 1993, Pouffer took first place in the Benetton European Dance Competition. Pouffer’s distinguished career as a professional dancer includes a 7-year tenure with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, seasons with Philadanco, Donald Byrd/The Group and Complexions, as well as offering outreach programs in South Africa and master classes throughout Europe.
Pouffer is credited with an astute and discerning eye for talented dancers, a vision toward artistic excellence and the viewpoint that performers with skilled technique united in works mingling various forms of dance can breathe new life into the art form. Through an informed network of colleagues and friends in the international ballet community, Pouffer eagerly searches out innovative choreographers around the world to invite to Cedar Lake. The New York Times recently stated, “Luckily Benoit-Swan Pouffer, the French-born artistic director of Cedar Lake, seems to have taken it on himself to introduce audiences to a new generation of European choreographers.” His role as curator of one of the most ambitious world-class repertoires in America today furthers Cedar Lake’s mission to provide choreographers a comprehensive environment for creation and presentation.
In 2005 Pouffer introduced and choreographed the first of his series of installation performances. Critically acclaimed and representing a new, less formalized approach to dance performance, Pouffer merges the audience with the dancer to become a collaborator in the performance. His original works for Cedar Lake include “Seed,” “Between Here and Now,” “Hammer,” “Vastav” and “Glassy Essence.”
Alexandra Damiani – Ballet Master
A native of France, Damiani studied ballet at the Geneva Dance Center with David Allen before moving to Paris, where she trained with Attilio Labis from the Paris Opera School. While focusing on her ballet training, she played a supporting role in the French TV sitcom Pizzannexe. After winning the International Competition of Marseilles in 1995, Damiani was invited to dance with the stars of the Paris Opera Ballet in Budapest and was awarded a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, prompting her to move to New York.
She has been a soloist with Donald Byrd/The Group and a member of Complexions. She has also performed with the New York Theatre Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the German dance company Unterwegs Theater, among others. She assisted Lynne Taylor Corbett in her creation for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
In 2003 she had the opportunity to join Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, where she performed featured roles in works by Crystal Pite, Mia Michaels, Shaun Hansell, Trey McIntyre and Grupo Corpo’s Artistic Director Rodrigo Perdeneiras. While in Canada she also had the opportunity to work with Victor Quijada from Rubberbandance Group. Alexandra has taught master classes in Europe and the United States. She has also served on the advisory board of New York Theatre Ballet since 2008.
Jubal Battisti – Dancer
Jubal Battisti (Joined Cedar Lake in 2004) began his training at age eight with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. He performed in various productions with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre throughout middle school and entered its pre-professional Schenley Program in high school. After three years of high school, Battisti attended the Juilliard School, where he earned a BFA with scholastic distinction in May 2004.
Nickemil Concepcion – Dancer
Nickemil Concepcion (Joined Cedar Lake in 2003) comes from New York, where he received his early training at Broadway Dance and the New Ballet School in New York City. At age 13, he began his professional career by performing in a Broadway production of “Cinderella.” He went on to be featured in the 1993 film “Avenue X” and George C. Wolfe’s 1996 Off-Broadway production of “On the Town.” Concepcion then joined Ballet Tech, where he performed for seven years.
Gwynenn Taylor Jones – Dancer
Gwynenn Taylor Jones (Joined Cedar Lake in 2009) began her dance training with the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet at the age of 13. She continued her studies at the Ballet Met Dance Academy in Columbus, OH. In 1998 Jones moved to New York where she studied at The Ailey School as a fellowship student for 2 years. She danced with Ailey II from 2000-2002. Jones was an original member of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet from 2003-2004 and returned in 2009. Jones was a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2004-2009. Jones has also danced with Earl Mosley Diversity of Dance, Fred Benjamin Dance Company and performed with Aretha Franklin with choreography by George Faison.
Jason Kittelberger – Dancer
Jason Kittelberger (Joined Cedar Lake in 2003) comes from Rochester, New York, where he began performing at age three at the Draper School of Dance. He continued his dance education at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he graduated with a BFA in dance performance. Kittelberger has performed with the Rochester Ballet and Hubbard Street II. Thanks to D. Noble.
Ana-Maria Lucaciu – Dancer
Ana-Maria Lucaciu (Joined Cedar Lake in 2006) was born in Bucharest, Romania. At the age of 11, she was discovered by the National Ballet School of Canada, where she completed her dance education. She joined Canada’s National Ballet and went on to dance with the Royal Danish Ballet, Germany’s Augsburg Ballet and Lisbon’s Contemporary Portuguese Dance Company. Lucaciu has performed works by Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, John Neumeier, Lar Lubovitch, Tim Rushton, Alexei Ratmansky, Maurice Bejart, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Didy Veldman, Jacopo Godani and many others.
Navarra Novy-Williams – Dancer
Navarra Novy-Williams (Joined Cedar Lake in 2010) was born in New York City and was fortunate to receive her early training from Elaine Kudo and Buddy Balou in Verona, NJ. She graduated from The Juilliard School with a BFA in 2006. She joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal in 2006 where she performed works by choreographers Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Stijn Celis, Mats Ek, Mauro Bigonzetti, Jean Christophe Maillot, Shen Wei, Didy Veldman, Christopher Wheeldon, and George Balanchine. In 2009 she moved to Israel where she spent the past year dancing in the Batsheva Ensemble.
Oscar Ramos – Dancer
Oscar Ramos (Joined Cedar Lake in 2007) of Cidra, Puerto Rico began his professional career as a dancer with Ballet Concierto, where he was named 2003 Ballet Dancer of the Year. In 2003, he moved to New York where he trained as a fellowship student at The Ailey School. In 2004, he relocated to Chicago where he was a member of Hubbard Street until 2007.
Matthew Rich – Dancer
Matthew Rich (Joined Cedar Lake in 2005) hails from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he studied at the Dance Zone under the direction of Jami Artiga and Kaydee Francis. Rich graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts, during which time he was the recipient of several regional and national competition titles, as well as convention and workshop scholarships. Choreographers Rich has worked with include Ohad Naharin, Lauri Stallings, Jacopo Godani, Adam Houghland, Crystal Pite and Stijn Celis. He also works extensively with dance schools across the country, giving master classes and workshops as well as choreographing solos and ensemble pieces for competition.
Acacia Schachte – Dancer
Acacia Schachte (Joined Cedar Lake in 2006) was born in Santa Barbara, California. She trained in Canada at Vancouver’s Arts Umbrella. She then joined Ballet British Columbia’s Mentor Program, where she trained for a year before joining the company. Dancing seven seasons with Ballet British Columbia, Schachte performed the works of such choreographers as John Alleyne, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Jean Grand-Maitre, Serge Bennathan, James Kudelka, Dominique Dumais, Nicolo Fonte and Paul Taylor. She appeared in the CBC film “The Fairie Queen,” and has choreographed for Ballet British Columbia’s Mentor Program.
Harumi Terayama – Dancer
Harumi Terayama (Joined Cedar Lake in 2007) of Osaka, Japan, received her BFA from The Juilliard School under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. At Juilliard, she performed works by William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, and others. Terayama has worked with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Pier Group, Nilas Martin Dance Company, Sidra Bell Dance NY, Gallim Dance, and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. As a choreographer she worked with CityDance Ensemble in Washington DC, and her work was presented at Strathmore Music Center and Joyce SoHo in New York City.
Vânia Doutel Vaz – Dancer
Vânia Doutel Vaz (Joined Cedar Lake in 2010) was born in Setúbal, Portugal and trained at The National Conservatory School of Dance in Lisbon, Portugal, working with ballet master Georges Garcia and choreographer Rui Horta. Her professional career in Portugal includes Vasco Wellenkamp’s Contemporary Portuguese Dance Company and freelance work with theater director Miguel Moreira and choreographers Luís Guerra de Laocoi, Rui Lopes Graça, Romulus Neagu while continuing her dance and theater training with Vera Mantero, Margarida Bettencourt, João Fiadeiro, Francisco Camacho and Emmanuelle Huynh; in Madrid, Spain, a feature film from director Carlos Saura, “Fados;” in London, and a dancer in Push 04 under the artistic direction of Josette Bushell-Mingo. Most recently Vaz was a member of Nederlands Dans Theater where performed works by such choreographers as Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot & Sol Léon, Alexander Ekman and Marco Goecke
Manuel Vignoulle – Dancer
Manuel Vignoulle (Joined Cedar Lake in 2009) studied at The Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse de Paris and went on to work with contemporary French choreographers such as Claude Brumachon, Corinne Lanselle, Karine Saporta and Bernardo Montet. With the modern-jazz choreographer Redha, Vignoulle performed for television, video, fashion, opera and musicals. He has also worked as a choreographer’s assistant for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Het Nationale Ballet and South African State Theater Dance Company. Most recently, Vignoulle was a member at Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève where he performed works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Adonis Foniadakis, Cisco Aznar, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Carolyn Carlson, Benjamin Millepied, John Neumeier, Isira Makuloluwe and Malou Airaudo among others. He also appeared as a guest artist for La La La Human Steps, Het Nationale Ballet and South African State Theater Dance Company. Vignoulle has also created and performed his own work at the Geneva festival.
Ebony Williams – Dancer
Ebony Williams (Joined Cedar Lake in 2005) comes from Boston, Massachusetts, where she trained with the Boston Ballet from age eight through high school. She also attended the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts. She is a May 2005 graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Williams has performed works by such choreographers as Donald Byrd and Luis Fuente. Being a versatile dancer has given her the opportunity to also work in the commercial wold with artists such as Rihanna, Fergie, Ciara (Love, Sex, Magic, featuring Justin Timberlake) and Beyonce. As one of the dancers in the 2009 MTV video of the year “Single Ladies,” Williams also performed with Beyonce on her promo tour, the American Music Awards, the Today Show and Saturday Night Live.
Golan Yosef – Dancer
Golan Yosef (Joined Cedar Lake in 2007) began his dance training in Amsterdam at age 10 at the National Ballet Academy. He received a scholarship for intensive training at the Royal Institute for Ballet in Antwerp, and won third prize representing the Netherlands on the Eurovision Young Dancer’s Competition 2001. Yosef danced in Barcelona with IT Dansa where he received several scholarships. He has danced with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Ramon Oller (Barcelona), Ballet des Jeunes d’Europe (France) and Ballet National de Marseille. In 2007 he won First Prize for his choreography “Impulses” at the International Solo Dance Theatre Festival in Stuttgart. He plays in the Disney Channel movie “Cheetah Girls 2” and in the Spanish movie “No me pidas que te bese porque te besaré,” for which he also choreographed (premiered October, 2008).