Laura Schwenk‐Berman began her professional ballet career dancing principal roles with the Garden State Ballet, the Chicago Ballet, the Boston Repertory Ballet and for seven years with the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. As a guest artist she has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Ms. Berman served as Ballet Mistress, Interim Artistic Director and Associate Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company from 1992‐2010. She was Director of the School of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company from 1998 until 2010. During that time she conducted two capital campaigns to build beautiful new studios, offices, and rehearsal space, as well as a state of the art 300‐seat theatre of the company’s own. As director, she organized and established the curriculum, syllabus, faculty, staff, and school performances, while placing students in major ballet companies around the world, including New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Antwerp in Brussels. In addition, she has taught dance extensively in higher education at the University of Washington, Columbia College, Northwestern University, Hope College, and Loretta Heights College. Ms Berman has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Skidmore College and a Masters Degree in Theatre from Northwestern University where she graduated with honors.
Jennifer Ferrigno received her early training from First State Ballet Theatre under the direction of Pasha Kambalov. During her seven years as a dancer with the Alabama Ballet, Jennifer had the privilege of dancing the lead role in classics such as; Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and La Sylphide. She has also performed works by such noted choreographers including George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Bruce, Septime Webre and Matthew Neenan. From 2006 to 2013 Ms. Ferrigno established a ballet program as the Ballet Director of Encore Performance Company in Birmingham Alabama, and in 2011 spent a summer guest teaching in Sapporo, Japan. Jennifer also spent two years as a faculty member within the Dance Department at Samford University School of the Arts. Most recently, Jennifer has accepted an artist’s contract with the Milwaukee Ballet under the direction of Michael Pink.
Ms. Fischbach began her training in ballet and Highland Dance with Theresa Bullard’s Kalamazoo Ballet Company at the age of seven. When she was 12, her family moved to Milwaukee, where she studied at the Milwaukee Ballet under the direction of Ted Kivett and Basil Thompson. She also trained privately with former Israeli Ballet principal, Mariana Laufer, before heading off to North Carolina School of the Arts for three years. There she studied primarily with one of Balanchine’s most important muses, Melissa Hayden, as well as former NYCB principal Mimi Paul, ABT’s Fanchon Cordell, and Ballet Russe’s Duncan Noble.
During her first months as a professional dancer, Ms. Fischbach had the privilege of dancing Balanchine ballets as a principal under the direction of Edward Villella. She then moved to Pacific Northwest Ballet where she quickly rose to soloist rank. While there, Ms. Fischbach performed principal roles in many Balanchine ballets as well as in works by the world’s foremost choreographers including Anthony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Jose Limon, and Lynn Taylor-Corbett.
After nine years with PNB, Ms. Fischbach took two years away from company life to freelance as a guest artist, as well as teach ballet, pilates, and Gyrotonic based classes. In 1996 she was invited to join the American Ballet Theatre, where she danced until 2005. There she danced many soloist and principal roles in ballets by Balanchine, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, Agnes DeMille, Paul Taylor, and Anthony Tudor. Ms. Fischbach had roles created for her in world premier ballets by Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, and director Kevin McKenzie. She also enjoyed featured roles in the full classical repertoire including Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Giselle, Coppelia, Raymonda, and Le Corsaire. On September 8, 2001, Ms. Fischbach was featured as a principal guest artist for Twyla Tharp performing Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite” at the World Trade Center in New York City. Ms. Fischbach has been featured in several “Dance in America” films, the PNB “Nutcracker”, and “Center Stage”.
Ms. Fischbach began teaching at Southold in 2008, and in December 2008, she was named Artistic Director. Ms. Fischbach has been praised for her choreography and adaptations of the famous Classic Ballets to incorporate dancers of all ages for Southold. She has choreographed versions of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, and over fifteen concert pieces for community performances.
Michael Fothergill was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, training intensively with Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato of the renowned Asami Maki, Joffrey and Harkness Ballet companies. Michael furthered his studies as a full scholarship recipient within such notable schools as the Milwaukee Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre School and the School of American Ballet. After an early graduation from High School, Michael moved to New York City with an invitation to continue his education and work within the American Ballet Theatre. Upon his arrival in NYC, Michael had soon instructed at both STEPS on Broadway and The Peridance Center, teaching beginning-intermediate ballet to all ages. After a tenure of freelance performance, instruction and choreographic endeavors, Michael later accepted a position with the Milwaukee Ballet. From 2002, Michael performed with the New Jersey Ballet, Ballet Nuevo de Mexico, Ballet Contemporaneo de Mexico, City Ballet of San Diego, Hannover Staattsballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, The David Taylor Dance Theatre, The Alabama Ballet, performing across the United States, Europe, and Japan, as a Guest Artist. Michael has danced the male leads in much of the classical repertoire, as well as in works by visionaries such as Balanchine, Robbins,Prokovsky, Massine, Duato, Kylian, Tharp, Tudor, among others. Michael is one of only three men in the world to perform the role of “The Hero” in Agnes de Mille’s final work, “The Other”, originally set on ABT in 1992. A choreographer, Michael’s works have been performed in Japan, Iceland, Australia and in the USA. Michael is in his fourth year on the faculty of Samford University, where he teaches Advanced Ballet, and his fourth season with the Alabama Ballet.
Denise began her training in Michigan with Marjorie Randazzo completing all of the student examinations through Diploma. She continued her studies at the National Ballet School of Canada. She has performed with the Nevada Dance Theatre and Louisville Ballet. Ms. Gillman is a frequent guest teacher in the United States and Europe. She has been on the faculty at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Carnegie Mellon University, Louisville Ballet School, International Summer School of the Cecchetti Council of America and the Kate Simmons School in England. Denise is a Diploma Fellow teacher of the CCA and is also certified by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance in the Classical Ballet Cecchetti method. Ms. Gillman is currently the owner and director of Gillman’s Dance in Crestwood, Kentucky.
Gillian Hurst RBS Dip (TTC), FISTD (CB), CDE (NB), ARAD, PDB Spanish Dance Society, holder of Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma, Senior Examiner Cecchetti Society & Spanish Dance Society. Gillian Hurst undertook her early training at Bush Davies and continued at the Royal Ballet School on the teacher’s training course, from where she graduated as head student. She moved on to Elmhurst where she taught for six years and from there to Malta before freelancing in London at West Street School, London Studio Centre, the Cecchetti Centre and London Contemporary Dance School. She is a Fellow of the ISTD and a senior examiner for the Cecchetti Faculty as well as Profesora de Baile, one of the highest qualifications in Spanish dance, and is an examiner for the Spanish Dance Society. Miss Hurst is Deputy Principal of the Kate Simmons School where she teaches Classical Ballet (Cecchetti) and Spanish. Organiser of the Northern Cecchetti Associates, Miss Hurst is also the principal teacher of BBO Scholars North and a mentor for the BBO Teaching Diploma, as well as a regular faculty member of Cecchetti summer school in Chichester and BBO Dance Days at Elmhurst. In demand as a teacher and examiner, she has had the pleasure of working in Japan, Central America, Mexico, Malaysia, all over Europe and I the summer of 2012 will be teaching in Canada.
Scott Putman, Founder and Artistic Director of Amaranth Contemporary Dance, is an Associate Professor at VCU Dance and Choreography, resident choreographer of Pasadena Dance Theatre and the creator and master teacher of the Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS). His work has been presented regionally, nationally, and internationally by his and other companies in concerts and dance festivals. He currently directs and teaches the Summer I Program at the Accademia dell’ Arte in Arezzo, Italy, as well as teaching for California State Summer School for the Arts and the Richmond Ballet. Scott has taught internationally in Bangkok, Thailand, Paris, France; Arezzo, Italy, and San Jose, Costa Rica. Scott was awarded the 2005 Nationals Choreography Plan Award for exceptional choreography form RDA, Pacific; the 2007 Faculty Award for Distinguished Achievement in Research from VCU Arts; and the 2008 Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts in Dance for his Company Amaranth Contemporary Dance. He has danced for Mordine and Company Dance Theatre, Dimetrius Klein Dance Company, Minnesota Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Chicago, Donald McKayle, David Alan and Douglass Becker. Scott received his BA from Columbia College, Chicago and MFA from University of California, Irvine where he was a Chancellors Fellow and a William Gillespie Scholar.
Kimmary Williams received her early training in Washington D.C. with Helen Moore and Pamela Moore. She continued her studies under scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School and with notable teachers Patricia Wilde, Richard Thomas and Finis Jhung. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Bermuda with Twyla Tharp, Connecticut Ballet and American Contemporary Ballet. Ms. Williams also appeared as a dancer in the feature film “Hair”, choreographed by Twyla Tharp. As a teacher she has attained the Maestro Enrico Cecchetti Diploma and has taught frequently at the Cecchetti International Summer School. Her teaching credits include Connecticut Ballet as a faculty member and company ballet mistress (1979‐1984), Pacific Northwest Ballet (1984‐1990), Princeton Ballet (1990‐1991), Miami City Ballet as Faculty Principal and Nutcracker children’s ballet mistress (1991‐1996), Pittsburgh Youth Ballet (1997‐1999) and School Principal at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (1997‐2002). The Edinburg International Festival brought Ms. Williams and her husband, Jacob Rice, to Scotland for two summers (1996/97) to create a youth dance choreography workshop. In 2002 Ms Williams and her husband were appointed co‐artistic directors of Southold Dance Theater, a professional school and youth company in South Bend, Indiana. During their three seasons with SDT they choreographed a new “Nutcracker”, “Graduation Ball” and a “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Since 2004 Ms. Williams has been a guest faculty member and ballet mistress for the Trainee and Apprentice Programs at Ballet Austin. Her choreography has been featured in several of their programs. In 2005 she and her husband founded Central Maryland Youth Ballet in Columbia, MD.