Switzerland’s largest professional ballet company has been directed by Christian Spuck since the 2012/13 season. Resident at Zurich Opera House, the 36-strong ensemble not only features prominently in the Opera House’s programme; its international guest performances are also regularly acclaimed.
Formerly the Ballet of the Zurich City Theatre, the company was shaped by its directors Nicholas Beriozoff, Patricia Neary, Uwe Scholz and Bernd Bienert. Within a few short years, Swiss choreographer Heinz Spoerli, Ballet Director from 1996 to 2012, established the company as one of the leading European ballet ensembles.
Under the direction of German choreographer Christian Spuck, the company continues to cultivate its established traditions and to tread new artistic paths, continuously developing the genre of traditional narrative ballet using innovative choreographic techniques. The dancers also dedicate their energies to contemporary, abstract dance. Internationally renowned choreographers such as William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot, Sol León, Douglas Lee, Martin Schläpfer, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor, Marco Goecke and Mats Ek work in Zurich, ensuring that the company’s repertoire remains stylistically varied. In the Young Choreographers series, members of the ensemble assume personal artistic responsibility.
The Junior Ballet was established in 2001 as an institution aimed at promoting talented young dancers, giving fourteen young dancers from all over the world the opportunity to enjoy a supervised transition from the end of their training to full entry into professional life. During an engagement lasting no more than two years, they train together with the members of Ballett Zürich, dance with them at selected performances from the repertoire, and at a ballet evening arranged especially for them once every season. They thus gather the stage experience necessary for a dance career.
Ballett Zürich's performances are accompanied by a comprehensive supporting programme featuring matinees before ballet premières; introductions to works before the performances; regular ballet discussions; and a wide variety of special projects for children, young people and schools.
Partner Ballett Zürich
Jean-François Boisnon, Eva Dewaele, Daniel Otevrel
Christophe Barwinek, Luigi Largo
Ballet and dance education
Guest ballet masters
Yannick Boquin, Lucia Geppi, Cynthia Harvey, David Peden, Susana Riazuelo, Marc Ribaud, Raffaella Renzi
Edward Clug, Benoît Favre, William Forsythe, Marco Goecke, Jiří Kylián, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Filipe Portugal, Alexei Ratmansky, Cayetano Soto, Christian Spuck
Mikhail Agrest, Pavel Baleff, Paul Connelly, Tomáš Hanus, Yannis Pouspourikas
Rufus Didwiszus, William Forsythe, Marko Japelj, Jérôme Kaplan, Jiří Kylián, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Ohad Naharin, Filipe Portugal, Cayetano Soto, Michaela Springer, Jay Gower Taylor
Linda Chow, William Forsythe, Jérôme Kaplan, Leo Kulaš, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Regula Mattmüller, Shlomi Miara, Ohad Naharin, Buki Shiff, Cayetano Soto, Michaela Springer, Joke Visser
Tom Bevoort, Alan Brodie, Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi), Joop Caboort, Berry Claassen, William Forsythe, Martin Gebhardt, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Kees Tjebbes
US-Chinese Yen Han studied under Stefan Mucsi and Paul Maure in Los Angeles, at the Hartford Ballet School and at the San Francisco Ballet School before completing her training at the Beijing Dance Academy. After spells with the Jeune Ballet de France and the Ballet de Nice, she joined Ballett Zürich in 1994, and has since risen to become one of the company’s most accomplished soloists. Her solo performances over the years have included roles in Heinz Spoerli’s productions of The Firebird, The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardée, Romeo and Juliet, Daphnis et Chloé, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Sylphide, Peer Gynt (as Solveig), The Rite of Spring and Giselle. She has also danced further solo roles in choreographies by Mauro Bigonzetti, Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Jirí Kylián, Mats Ek (Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty), Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, Lin Hwai-min and Martin Schläpfer. In 2012 she made a guest appearance in choreographies by Heinz Spoerli at the Salzburg Festival; and her roles in Ballett Zürich’s 2013/14 season included Juliet in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet and the court tutor in Leonce and Lena. She also guested as Julia in Mats Ek’s Julia & Romeo at the Royal Swedish Opera. She won the Friends of Ballett Zürich’s Dance Prize in 2013, and was named Outstanding Female Dancer in the same year’s first-ever bestowal of the Swiss Dance Awards. In the 2014/15 season she was seen in the title role of Patrice Bart’s Giselle, and as Kitty in Spuck’s Anna Karenina.
Alexander Jones was born in Rochford (Essex) in the UK, and trained at London’s Royal Ballet School. He won the gold medal at the Adeline Genée Competition in Athens in 2004, and followed this by earning the Dame Ninette de Valois Prize. He initially joined the Stuttgart Ballet for its 2005/06 season, and was promoted to principal dancer from 2011/12. His roles during his Stuttgart tenure included Armand Duval in John Neumeier’s The Lady of the Camelias, Romeo in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, the title roles in Cranko’s Onegin and Kevin O’Day’s Hamlet and the Man in Kenneth McMillan’s The Song of the Earth. He also performed in choreographies by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Frederick Ashton, Peter Schaufuss, Glen Tetley, Maurice Béjart, Marcia Haydée, Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Douglas Lee, Wayne McGregor, Edward Clug and Christian Spuck. After he joined Ballett Zürich as a soloist for the 2015/16 season, he was seen as Prince Siegfried in the reconstruction of Swan Lake by Alexei Ratmansky and as Nathanael in Christian Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Viktorina Kapitonova, who is a native of Russia, studied at the Kazan Ballet School and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre Academy. The winner of both the Young Ballet of Russia competition and the Arabesque contest of 2008, from 2005 onwards she danced at the Jalil Opera House in Kazan, performing solo roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, Coppélia and The Nutcracker. She was a member of the Stanislavsky Ballet for the 2008/09 season; and she joined Ballett Zürich in 2010, since when her performances have included Odette/Odile in Heinz Spoerli’s Swan Lake, solos in Spoerli’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wäre heute morgen und gestern jetzt, ...und mied den Wind and Goldberg Variations, Rosetta in Christian Spuck’s Leonce and Lena, the nurse in Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet and the leading role in Spuck’s Anna Karenina. She has also been seen in choreographies by Balanchine, Ek, Forsythe, Kylián, Lee, McGregor and Schläpfer. She presented her choreography Two Bodies – One Soul as part of the company’s Young Choreographers programme. As Giselle/Myrtha she was seen in Patrice Bart’s Giselle, alongside Roberto Bolle and Friedemann Vogel. She was also the recipient of the Friends of Ballett Zürich’s Dance Prize for 2015. Last season her roles included Odette/Odile in the reconstruction of Swan Lake by Alexei Ratmansky as well as Olimpia in Christian Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Bulgarian ballerina Galina Mihaylova trained at the Bulgarian State Ballet School and at the Swiss Ballet School, under a scholarship of the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. She joined the Ballett Zürich for the 1999/2000 season, since when she has danced roles in numerous Heinz Spoerli choreographies including Effie in La Sylphide, Amor in Don Quixote, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wäre heute morgen und gestern jetzt, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Henriette in Raymonda. She has also performed as a soloist in ballets by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Twyla Tharp, Uwe Scholz and Jiří Bubeniček. She has danced the master of ceremonies in Christian Spuck’s Leonce and Lena, the nurse in Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet, Margret in his Woyzeck and Dolly in Anna Karenina. She was also to be seen in Wayne McGregor’s Kairos, and in Deer Vision by Marco Goecke.
William Moore was born in Royal Leamington Spa in the UK, and received his first ballet lessons at the local Oakley School of Dance. In 1997 he went to the Royal Ballet School in London, from which he graduated in 2005. He successfully participated in several competitions. He came fourth in the Young British Dancer of the Year Competition in 2001, and first in the Phyllis Beddels Competition. In 2004 he won silver medals at both the Roseta Mauri Competition in Spain and the Adeliné Genée Competition in Athens. The following year, 2005, he joined the Stuttgart Ballet’s corps de ballet, where he was promoted to principal dancer just in 2010. He also undertook several tours with the company all over the world. His key roles with the Stuttgart Ballet included Armand Duval in John Neumeier’s La Dame aux Camélias, Leonce in Christian Spuck’s Leonce and Lena, Eduard Schwarz in Spuck’s Lulu. Eine Monstretragödie, the title role in Marco Goecke’s Orlando, Prince Siegfried in John Cranko’s Swan Lake, Lensky in Cranko’s Onegin and Benvolio/Mercutio in Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet. He also had several roles created especially for him, not only by Christian Spuck and Marco Goecke but also by Douglas Lee, Edward Clug, Jorma Elo and Demis Volpi. And he devised his own choreography, together with Nicholas Jones, for the Stuttgart Noverre Society: Anonym, which its co-creators also danced at its world premiere in May 2012. He won Germany’s DER FAUST theatre prize the same year for his interpretation of the role of Olivier Brusson in the Stuttgart Ballet’s production of Das Fräulein von S. He joined Ballett Zürich as a soloist for the 2012/13 season, and has since been seen in numerous roles including Romeo in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet, Prince Leonce in Leonce and Lena, the drum major in Woyzeck and Coppola in Der Sandmann, as well as in Kairos by Wayne McGregor and Deer Vision by Marco Goecke.
Filipe Portugal trained in Lisbon and, after acquiring his initial professional experience with the National Ballet of Portugal, first joined Ballett Zürich in 2002. Over the next seven years he danced solo roles for the company in Cinderella, The Nutcracker, In den Winden im Nichts, Goldberg Variations, Swan Lake, Stepping Stones, Don Quixote (in the title role), Coppélia, Giselle and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition to numerous further roles in works by Heinz Spoerli, he also performed solo parts in choreographies by Balanchine, Forsythe, Kylián, Lin Hwai-min, Duato and Ek, and devised his own choreographies Road B., Alleged Dances and Sonata for the company. In 2009 he rejoined the National Ballet of Portugal as a principal dancer, and performed in various productions including Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty and La Sylphide and in choreographies by van Manen, Lopes Graça, Sotto and Wellenkamp over the following two years. He rejoined Ballett Zürich in 2011, since when he has danced in several Christian Spuck productions: as Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, King Peter in Leonce und Lena, the Doctor in Woyzeck and Karenin in Anna Karenina. He was also seen recently in choreographies by Jiří Kylián, Douglas Lee and Martin Schläpfer. He has also been successfully working as a choreographer. For our dancers he created Road B., Alleged Dances, Sonata, Silk Road and Different Trains. After Tauwetter for the company’s Junior ballet, he choreographed Dialogos in 2015 to the music of Swiss jazz musician Nik Bärtsch. In 2014, he won the Friends of Ballett Zürich’s Dance Prize.
Elena Vostrotina stammt aus St. Petersburg. Ihre Ballettausbildung erhielt sie an der Vaganova Ballet Academy. 2003 wurde sie Mitglied des Mariinsky-Balletts. Dort tanzte sie u. a. Odette/Odile in Schwanensee (Petipa/Iwanow), Myrtha in Giselle (Coralli/Perrot), Königin der Dryaden in Don Quixote (Gorsky) und Approximate Sonata (Forsythe). 2006 wurde sie von Aaron S. Watkin ans Semperoper Ballett Dresden engagiert. Hier wurde sie zur Solistin ernannt und tanzte ein breites Repertoire an klassischen, neoklassischen und modernen Balletten. Sie arbeitete mit renommierten Choreografen zusammen und gastierte am Stanislawski-Nemirowitsch-Dantschenko-Theater in Moskau, am Staatstheater Nowosibirsk, bei der Gala «Roberto Bolle and Friends» sowie bei den Ballets Bubeníček. In der vorigen Saison war sie in Zürich bereits als Odette/Odile in Alexei Ratmanskys Schwanensee-Rekonstruktion zu erleben. Seit dieser Saison ist Elena Vostrotina Erste Solistin des Balletts Zürich.
Katja Wünsche is a native of Dresden, Germany, but grew up in Berlin. It was there that she attended the State Ballet School, from which she graduated in 1999. A semi-finalist in the 1997 Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition, she came second in the same contest two years later, when she also earned the event’s Audience Favourite Award. The same year – 1999 – she won first prize in the Eurovision Young Dancers competition. After completing her studies, she joined the Stuttgart Ballet’s corps de ballet for the 1999/2000 season, where she was promoted to principal dancer in 2006/07. In 2007 she won Germany’s Zukunft dance award and its DER FAUST theatre prize (in the Dance Performance category) for her interpretation of Nadia in Mauro Bigonzetti’s I Fratelli. For the Stuttgart Ballet she danced leading roles in choreographies by John Cranko (Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Onegin), John Neumeier (A Streetcar Named Desire, La Dame aux Camélias), Marcia Haydée (The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, La Fille Mal Gardée) and Christian Spuck (Lulu, The Sandman, Leonce and Lena, Das Fräulein von S.), and further performed in works by William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Paul Lightfoot/Sol León and Marco Goecke. She joined the Ballett Zürich as a soloist for the 2012/13 season, since when she has danced Juliet in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet, Princess Lena in Leonce and Lena, Marie in Woyzeck and Kitty in Anna Karenina. She has also been seen in choreographies by Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Douglas Lee, Martin Schläpfer, Wayne McGregor and Marco Goecke. And she was awarded the Friends of Ballett Zürich Dance Prize for 2014.
Anna Khamzina is a native of Russia, and trained at the Natalia Trishina and Yuly Medvedev School of Classic Dance. As a soloist at the Stanislavsky & Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre in Moscow she was seen as Giselle, in the title role of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid (for which she won a “Golden Mask” national theatre award) and in Vladimir Burmeister’s Swan Lake and La Esmeralda, Dmitry Bryantsev’s Illusive Ball and Pierre Lacotte’s La Sylphide. She also worked with such choreographers as Jiří Kylián, Jorma Elo and Nacho Duato. From 2013 to 2015 she danced with Aalto Ballett Essen, where her roles included the Good Fairy (in Cinderella), Titania (in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Giselle (by David Dawson). She joined Ballett Zürich last season, since when she has been seen as Odette/Odile in the reconstruction of Swan Lake by Alexei Ratmansky and as Olimpia in Christian Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Giulia Tonelli is from Italy. She began her training at the Balletto di Toscana Ballet School in Florence, and completed it at the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera, where she also secured her first professional engagement in 2001/02. From 2002 to 2010 she danced with the Antwerp-based Royal Ballet of Flanders, where she was promoted to demi-soloist in 2004, and where she was seen in Petipa’s Giselle and in solo roles in choreographies by Forsythe, Balanchine, Kylián, Haydée and Spuck. She joined Ballett Zürich for the 2010/11 season, since when she has performed in ballets by Spoerli, Goecke, McGregor, Lee, Forsythe and Balanchine, danced the roles of Juliet in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet, Lena in his Leonce und Lena and Betsy in his Anna Karenina, and appeared in Gods and Dogs and Wings of Wax by Jiří Kylián and in Chamber Minds by Edward Clug. She was also seen in Christian Spuck’s das siebte blau and in Patrice Bart’s Giselle (in the peasants’ pas-de-deux and as the First and Second Wili). She has presented the work Mind Games together with Mélissa Ligurgo under the company’s Young Choreographers programme; and she was awarded the Giuliana Penzi Prize for 2013. She was recently seen in the Pas de trois of the reconstruction of Swan Lake by Alexei Ratmansky.
Jan Casier was born in Belgium, and studied at the Royal Ballet School Antwerp. In 2008 he joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders, with whom he went on to dance in works by John Cranko, William Forsythe, David Dawson and Christian Spuck. He also made a guest appearance in David Dawson’s Faun(e) with the English National Ballet. In 2012 he moved to Ballett Zürich, where he was subsequently seen in several Christian Spuck productions: as Leonce in Leonce und Lena, as Paris in Romeo and Juliet and in the title role of Woyzeck. He further danced in choreographies by Edward Clug, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Marco Goecke and Wayne McGregor during this first Zurich tenure. In 2014 Jan Casier joined the Semperoper Ballet Dresden, with whom he appeared in choreographies by Aaron Watkins (as The Prince in The Nutcracker), William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, David Dawson and Alexander Ekman. He also made a guest appearance at the 2015 International Ballet Star Gala in Taipei (Taiwan). He now returns to Ballett Zürich for the 2016/17 season.
Wei Chen, a native of the USA, trained at the Boston Ballet School, Margo Marshall’s School of Ballet, Walnut Hill School and the Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. With the Royal Ballet of Flanders he danced numerous leading roles in such ballet classics as Marcia Haydée’s Swan Lake (Siegfried) and Sleeping Beauty (Prince Desiré) and John Cranko’s Onegin (Lensky). He has also performed in choreographies by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, David Dawson and Wayne McGregor. He joined Ballett Zürich for the 2012/13 season, and has since been seen in A-Life by Douglas Lee, Wings of Wax by Jiří Kylián and Deer Vision by Marco Goecke. He also danced Romeo in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet, Benno in the reconstruction of Swan Lake by Alexei Ratmansky as well as Coppelius in Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Francesca Dell’Aria is from Italy, and studied at the Elmhurst School for Dance and with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. After an initial engagement with the Slovak National Theatre Ballet, she was a member of the Bavarian State Ballet from 2010 to 2014. She joined Ballett Zürich for the 2014/15 season, since when she has appeared in choreographies by William Forsythe (New Sleep, workwithinwork, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated), Jiří Kylián (Gods and Dogs, Falling Angels), George Balanchine, Hans van Manen and Christian Spuck. She has been seen in the role of the mother in Christian Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Matthew Knight is from the UK, and trained at the Elmhurst School for Dance and at London’s Royal Ballet School. After serving in the Junior Ballet, he joined the Ballett Zürich’s main company for the 2013/14 season. He has presented his own choreography Jane Doe under its Young Choreographers programme; and his stage appearances have included choreographies by Edward Clug, Mats Ek (as the cavalier in Sleeping Beauty), William Forsythe, Marco Goecke and Jiří Kylián. He was Leonce in Christian Spuck’s Leonce und Lena, and a soloist in Hans van Manen’s Frank Bridge Variations. Last season he has been seen in Skew-Whiff by Sol León/ Paul Lightfoot and as Nathanael in Christian Spuck’s Der Sandmann. In 2016, he also won the Friends of Ballett Zürich’s Dance Prize.
Tigran Mkrtchyan comes from Armenia, and trained at the Armenian Ballet School and the Zurich Dance Academy. He was a finalist in the Prix de Lausanne; and after two years with the Junior Ballet, he joined the main Ballett Zürich company for the 2011/12 season. His performances since then have included the role of Tybalt in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet and Stiwa in Anna Karenina. As part of the company’s Young Choreographers programme, he presented his choreography The Rose that grew from Concrete.
Daniel Mulligan is from the UK, and studied at London’s Royal Ballet SchoolHe also won the 2007 Ashton Award, and danced in several Royal Ballet productions. After two years with the Junior Ballet, he joined the main Ballett Zürich company for the 2009/10 season. He has danced leading roles in Hans van Manen’s Solo and Frank Bridge Variations, Mats Ek’s Sleeping Beauty and Heinz Spoerli’s Handel Variations and Don Juan. He also made a guest appearance in Spoerli choreographies at the 2012 Salzburg Festival. And he has further been seen as Mercutio and Benvolio in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet and in choreographies by Edward Clug (Chamber Minds, Hill Harper’s Dream), Sol León/Paul Lightfoot (Skew-Whiff), William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián (Gods and Dogs), Marco Goecke, Filipe Portugal and Ohad Naharin (Minus 16).
Kevin Pouzou ist Franzose. Seine Ausbildung absolvierte er an der Ecole de Danse de l‘Opéra de Paris und am Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. 2007 wurde er Mitglied des Staatsballetts Berlin, wo er 2015 zum Ersten Solisten ernannt wurde. U.a. trat er als Benno in Patrice Barts Schwanensee, als Paris in John Crankos Romeo und Julia sowie in Choreografien von George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Stanton Welch, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Ohad Naharin, Vladimir Malakhov und Jiří Kylián auf. Seit dieser Saison ist er Mitglied des Balletts Zürich.
Manuel Renard was born on Guadeloupe (France). He trained at the Académie Internationale de Danse des Antilles, at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center in New York and at the Atelier Rudra-Béjart in Lausanne, and won first prize in the Confédération Nationale Française de Danse Competition for 1998 and 1999. Subsequent engagements with Maurice Béjart’s Compagnie M, the Monte Carlo Ballet and Ballett Basel saw him dance choreographies by Maurice Béjart, Claude Brumachon, Sidi Labi Cherkaoui, Johan Inger, Jorma Elo, Mauro Bigonzetti, Nacho Duato, Richard Wherlock and Angelin Preljocai. He joined Ballett Zürich for the 2012/13 season, since when he has been seen in such roles as Friar Lawrence in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet, von Rothbart in Heinz Spoerli’s Swan Lake, the doctor in Spuck’s Woyzeck and Karenin in Spuck’s Anna Karenina. He has also appeared in choreographies by William Forsythe, Sol León/Paul Lightfoot, Mats Ek and Wayne McGregor; and he has presented his works La Part des Anges and Indignons-nous as part of the company’s Young Choreographers programme. Last season his roles included Rotbart in Alexei Ratmansky’s reconstruction of Swan Lake and Coppola in Christian Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Elizabeth Wisenberg was born in Waterbury (Connecticut) in the USA, and received her ballet training at the Washington School of Ballet and the National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada. Her first professional engagement took her to the Boston Ballet, from 2004 to 2006. Prior to this, she had already won the junior bronze medal at the Youth America Grand Prix in 2001 and, two years later, the senior silver medal at the National Youth Ballet Competition. In 2006 she joined the Stuttgart Ballet, initially as a member of the corps de ballet; and in 2013 she was promoted to demi-soloist with the same company. Her performances in Stuttgart included choreographies by John Cranko (as Olga in Onegin), Christian Spuck (as the court tutor in Leonce und Lena), Demis Volpi (as Kantorka in Krabat), John Neumeier, George Balanchine, Peter Schaufuss, Kenneth McMillan, Jiří Kylián, Marcia Haydée and Marco Goecke. She joined Ballett Zürich last season, since when she has been seen as Julia in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet and as Clara in Christian Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Mélanie Borel is from France, and studied at the École Nationale Supérieure de Danse in Marseille and the École de Danse de l’Opéra de Paris. Subsequent engagements took her to the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux and, from 2005 to 2008, to the Peter Schaufuss Ballet in Denmark. After joining Ballett Zürich for the 2008/09 season, she performed as a soloist in choreographies by Twyla Tharp, Heinz Spoerli and Mats Ek, and also danced in Spoerli choreographies at the 2012 Salzburg Festival. More recently she has been seen in choreographies by Marco Goecke, Douglas Lee, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor and Martin Schläpfer. She was the court tutor in Christian Spuck’s production of Leonce und Lena, and also danced the “Choleric” variation in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments.
Andrei Cozlac was born in Romania, and studied at the Bucharest Choreography High School and the Zurich Dance Academy. A three-time winner of the Romanian National Dance Competition, he also earned a gold medal at the 2011 Tanzolymp in Berlin and a bronze medal at the 2012 Helsinki International Ballet Competition. After two years with the Junior Ballet, he joined the main Ballett Zürich company last season. He has presented two of his own works, Midst Mettle and Milord(s),under the company’s Young Choreographers programme; he won the Friends of Ballett Zürich Dance Prize for 2013; and he has appeared in Marco Goecke’s Deer Vision, in the peasants’ pas-de-deux in Patrice Bart’s Giselle as well as in Alexei Ratmansky’s reconstruction of Swan Lake as Benno.
Jesse Fraser was born in Saskatoon, Canada. After training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, he joined the Stuttgart Ballet for the 2010/11 season, and went on to dance in choreographies by John Cranko, Kenneth MacMillan, Christian Spuck, Marcia Haydée, John Neumeier, Maurice Béjart, William Forsythe, Sidi Labi Cherkaoui, Marco Goecke, Edward Clug, Demis Volpi and Louis Stiens. He also created the choreographies Back and Forth and Second Self(ie) for the Noverre Society’s Young Choreographers programme. Last season he has been seen as Paris in Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet and as the father in Spuck’s Der Sandmann.
Mark Geilings is from Australia, and trained at the Australian Ballet School. From 2012 to 2015 he danced with the Leipzig Ballet, appearing in choreographies by Uwe Scholz, Mario Schröder (the title role in Otello), Meryl Tankard (Cinderella), Ohad Naharin and Cayetano Soto. He spent the 2015/16 season with Gauthier Dance in Stuttgart, where his performances included Marco Goecke’s Nijinsky. This is his first Ballett Zürich season.
Pornpim Karchai is from Thailand, and trained at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. After two seasons with the Zurich Junior Ballet, she joined the main Ballett Zürich ensemble for the 2005/06 season. She has presented two works – The Other Side and Interference – under the company’s Young Choreographers programme. She was seen in a number of productions last season, including the role of Myrtha in Patrice Bart’s Giselle.
Irmina Kopaczynska was born in Poland, and studied at the Polish National Ballet School in Poznan. She has earned numerous awards in the Polish National Ballet Competition, and also participated in the 2008 Premio Roma and Prix de Lausanne. After two years with the Junior Ballet she joined the main Ballett Zürich company for the 2011/12 season, and has since been seen as the Silver Fairy in Mats Ek’s Sleeping Beauty,as Betsy in Christian Spuck’s Anna Karenina and in further choreographies by Martin Schläpfer, William Forsythe and Jiří Kylián.
Mélissa Ligurgo comes from Belgium, and studied at Antwerp’s Royal Ballet School. For the Royal Ballet of Flanders she appeared in John Cranko’s Onegin (as Tatyana) and in ballets by Forsythe, Kylián, Dawson and Robbins. She also danced with Ballett Basel in 2011/12, where her roles included Juliet in Preljocaj’s Romeo and Juliet. She joined Ballett Zürich for the 2012/13 season, since when she has danced a number of roles, including Lena in Christian Spuck’s Leonce und Lena. She has also been seen in choreographies by Wayne McGregor and Douglas Lee; and she has presented two works – Mind Games and Individuo – as part of the company’s Young Choreographers programme.
Meiri Maeda is from Japan, and studied at the Nobuko Okamoto Ballet Academy, the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington and the Académie Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo. Having spent two seasons with the Junior Ballet, in which her appearances included Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Ratmansky’s Swan Lake reconstruction (in the dance of the cygnets), she has now graduated to the main Ballett Zürich corps.
Christopher Parker is from the UK, and attended the Royal Ballet School in London. He danced in various Royal Ballet productions while still a student; and, after an initial engagement with the Scottish Ballet, he performed with Ballett Zürich from 2007 to 2010. He spent the 2010/11 season with Aalto Ballett Essen, and 2011/12 with the Dortmund Ballet, where he performed in choreographies by Xin Peng Wang, William Forsythe and Christian Spuck. He rejoined Ballett Zürich for the 2012/13 season, and has since been seen in a variety of roles including Benvolio in Spuck’s Romeo and Juliet and Valerio in his Leonce und Lena, and in Martin Schläpfer’s Forellenquintett. He has also danced in Spuck’s Sonett, and performed the “Melancholic” variation in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments as well as in New Sleep and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated by William Forsythe.
Constanza Perotta Altube
Constanza Perotta Altube
Italian-Argentinian Constanza Perotta Altube studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and at the La Scala Theatre Ballet School in Milan. After her first engagements with the Teatro Colón Ballet and the Victor Ullate Ballet, she joined Ballett Zürich for the 2009/10 season. She has since been seen in various roles, including the Emerald Fairy in Mats Ek’s Sleeping Beauty andin choreographies by William Forsythe (New Sleep, workwithinwork, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated) and Jiří Kylián (Falling Angels, Gods and Dogs).
Alba Sempere Torres
Alba Sempere Torres
Alba Sempere Torres is from Spain, and trained at the Institut del Teatro in Barcelona and the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart. After winning the Castellón Ballet Competition, she went on to dance for the Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Berlin State Ballet and, from 2008 to 2014, the Bavarian State Ballet, performing in works by a wide range of choreographers including Jo Strømgren, Peter Wright, Jiří Kylián, Vladimir Malakhov, John Neumeier and Mats Ek. She joined Ballett Zürich for the season 2014/15.
Dominik Slavkovsky is from Slovakia. After training at the Bratislava Dance Conservatory, he danced with the Bratislava-based Slovak National Theatre Ballet – latterly as a demi-soloist – until 2014, performing in choreographies by George Balanchine, Uwe Scholz, Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Vladimir Malakhov, James Kudelka, Giorgio Madia, Youri Vámos and Massimo Morricone. He joined Ballett Zürich for the season 2014/15 since when he has been seen as Woyzeck in Christian Spuck’s choreography and as Coppelius in Spuck’s Der Sandmann. As part of the company’s Young Choreographers programme he presented his choreography How to save the world.
Chinatsu Sugishima is Japanese. She studied at the Reika Otsuka Ballet Studio in Tokyo and at Munich’s Ballet Academy, and won second prize at the National Dance Competition in Saitama, Japan. She danced as a trainee with the Bavarian State Ballet; and after a year with the Junior Ballet, she joined the main Ballett Zürich company for the season 2014/15. She has been seen in Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and in the Peasants’ Pas de deux of Giselle.
Lucas Valente stammt aus Brasilien. Er studierte Performing Arts und Philosophie an der Universität São Paulo. Er tanzte zunächst im Ballett Laura Alonso in Havanna und war 2012 am Projekt «Arsenale della Danza» bei der Biennale in Venedig beteiligt. Von 2012 bis 2016 tanzte er in der São Paulo Companhia de Dança, wo er u. a. in Choreografien von Edouard Lock, Marco Goecke, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato und Jiří Kylián auftrat. Beim Ballet of Difference tanzte er 2017 in Choreografien von Richard Siegal. Seit dieser Spielzeit ist er Mitglied des Balletts Zürich.
Tars Vandebeek was born in Belgium, and studied at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp. He won a gold medal at the International Competition of Dance in Biarritz, also earning the Biarritz City Award, and went on to perform for the Cannes Jeune Ballet and Gauthier Dance. After one year with the Junior Ballet, he joined the main company for the season 2014/15. He has already made a number of appearances on the Zurich stage, such as in Marco Goecke’s Deer Vision and as Levin in Christian Spuck’s Anna Karenina; and he danced the title role in Spuck’s Woyzeck.
Michelle Williams is from France. She studied at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the Ecole-Atelier Rudra Béjart in Lausanne. After two seasons in the Junior Ballet, she has graduated to be a member of the Zürich Ballet since the season 16/17. She danced in Giselle (Bauern-Pas-de-deux) and Swan Lake (Pas de trois, 4 small swans). She also danced as a kitty in Christian Spucks Anna Karenina and appeared in Quintett and workwithinwork of William Forsythe.
Aurore Aleman Lissitzky is from France and studied at the École Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower, the Académie Princesse Grace in Monte-Carlo and the Ballettschule des Hamburg Balletts. In 2008, she won the gold medal at the Concours International de Grasse. She joined Hamburg Ballett in 2012 and has been seen in numerous choreographies by John Neumeier. As of 2017 she is a member of the Junior Ballett.
Since its inception in 2001, the Junior Ballet has established itself as the third form of artistic advancement at the Opernhaus Zürich, next to the International Opera Studio and the Orchestra Academy. Young dancers from all over the world are given the opportunity to make the transition from the end of their ballet education to their entry into the full professional life. In the context of an engagement lasting no longer than two years, they work together with the members of the Zurich Ballet to dance with them in selected performances of the repertoire and thus collect the stage experience necessary for a dancer's run. With the ballet evening Un Ballo the Junior Ballet will be presenting this season with choreographies by Benoît Favre, Jiří Kylián, Filipe Portugal and Cayetano Soto.
Partner Ballett Zürich
Emma Antrobus stammt aus Australien. Ihre Ausbildung erhielt sie am Lamont Dance Theatre, am Conlan College in Sydney sowie an der Ballett Akademie der Hochschule für Musik und Theater in München. gehört sie seit dieser Saison zum Junior Ballett.
Belle Beasley was born in Australia. She received her training at the Queensland Ballet School, the San Francisco Ballet School, the Goube European Dance Center in Paris and the Dutch National Ballet Academy. After dancing with the Junior Company of the Dutch National Ballet, she has now joined Ballett Zürich for her first Junior Ballet season.
Deia Cabalé is from France. She trained at the Valencia Conservatory and in Rio de Janeiro; and after dancing with the Balletto di Siena, she has come to Zurich for her first Junior Ballet season.
Yeonchae Jeong comes from South Korea, and trained at the Academy of Dance of the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts. She was a finalist in the 2013 Youth America Grand Prix, and won a scholarship at the Prix de Lausanne. This is her second Junior Ballet season.
Marjolaine Laurendeau was born in France, and studied at the Centre de Danse Line-Jenny Neel and the Hamburg Ballet School. This is her second season with the Junior Ballet.
Michelle Pinelis comes from Israel. She completed her training at the Jerusalem Ballet School and at the Academy Princess Grace in Monte-Carlo. In 2013, she won the gold medal at the “Youth Russian Grand Prix” in St. Petersburg. She has been a member of the Junior Ballet since this season.
Giuditta Vitiello is from Italy. After studying under Oxana Kichenko, at the École Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower and with the Cannes Jeune Ballet, she joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders, where she performed in choreographies by Marcia Haydée, Auguste Bournonville and Marius Petipa (as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty). This is her second Junior Ballet season.
Luca Afflitto ist Italiener. Er studierte an der Académie Princesse Grace in Monte-Carlo und trat schon während seiner Ausbildungszeit mit den Ballets de Monte-Carlo auf. Seit dieser Saison ist er Mitglied des Junior Balletts.
Cohen Aitchison-Dugas is Canadian, and completed his training at his home country’s École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec and National Ballet School. He danced in The Nutcracker with the Grands Ballets Canadiens in the 2015/16 season, and has now joined the Junior Ballet.
Iacopo Arregui stammt aus Italien. Ausgebildet beim Balletto di Verona und an der Académie Princesse Grace in Monte-Carlo, trat er in verschiedenen Produktionen der Ballets de Monte-Carlo auf. Seit dieser Spielzeit gehört er zum Junior Ballett.
Gustavo Chalub wurde in Brasilien geboren. Seine Ausbildung erhielt er am ITEGO em Artes Basileu França in Goiânia (Brasilien) sowie an der Académie Princesse Grace in Monte-Carlo. Seit dieser Saison ist er Mitglied des Junior Balletts.
Riccardo Mambelli wurde in Italien geboren. Seine Ausbildung erhielt er an der Tanz Akademie Zürich. Mit dem Ballett Zürich trat er bereits in Alexei Ratmanskys Schwanensee auf. Seit dieser Saison ist er Mitglied des Junior Balletts.
Gaetano Maria Signorelli
Gaetano Maria Signorelli
Gaetano Maria Signorelli is from Italy. After five years at the La Scala Ballet School in Milan, he completed his dance training at the Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam in 2016. He joined the Junior Ballet this season.
Adrià Vilar Algueró
Adrià Vilar Algueró
Adrià Vilar Algueró ist Spanier. Er wurde an Institut del Teatre und an der English National Ballet School ausgebildet. Er trat mit dem English National Ballet im Nussknacker und mit dem Ballett Zürich in Alexei Ratmanskys Schwanensee auf. Seit dieser Saison ist er Mitglied des Junior Balletts.
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