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2015 Jury Panel 

Margaret Tracey

 Boston Ballet

 School Director

Margaret Tracey joined the faculty of Boston Ballet School in 2005 and was appointed Director in 2007. In that 

time, she has transformed this highly respected regional academy into one of the leading dance education 

institutions in North America. Since retiring from New York City Ballet in 2002, Tracey has become one of the 

country’s most admired and dedicated teachers and arts education advocates. Profiled in a 2009 issue of Dance 

Teacher Magazine and recognized by the Jerome Robbins Foundation in 2011, she has been instrumental in 

designing a curriculum that emphasizes comprehensive ballet training and overall excellence along with a well-

rounded approach to dance study. Her stature in the dance world has brought BBS extraordinary access to the 

study and performance of choreography by both George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Drawing on her 

teaching experience, studies in psychology, and ties to community clinicians, Tracey instituted a comprehensive 

Wellness Program at Boston Ballet School. She also established Next Generation, a year-end performance 

showcasing Pre-Professional Program students, in collaboration with the New England Conservatory, which has 

become an annual highlight that spotlights the School as a leader in local and regional arts education. Tracey has 

further distinguished the School by fostering pre-professional exchange programs with the Royal Danish Ballet 

and the National Ballet School of Canada and building strong cooperative relationships with such local institutions

as Lasell College, Endicott College and Northeastern University. Born in Pueblo, Colorado, Tracey began ballet 

studies with her mother, Nancy Tracey, at age six. In 1982, she was accepted as a student at the School of 

American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet (NYCB). At SAB, she was the recipient of an Atlantic Richfield Foundation scholarship (1982-85) as well as a Princess Grace Foundation award (1985-86) that cited her “exceptional promise and dedication to excellence.” In 1986, Tracey joined the NYCB corps de ballet, launching a celebrated 16-year stage career. A principal dancer from 1991 until her 2002 retirement, she excelled in the Balanchine repertoire, appearing frequently in such core works as Apollo, Ballo della Regina, Concerto Barocco, Coppelia, Serenade, Symphony in C, Vienna Waltzes, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?, among others. She was also featured in a range of Robbins’ ballets, including Afternoon of a Faun, The Four Seasons, and The Goldberg Variations, and created a role in the choreographer’s Ives, Songs (1988).She originated roles in works 

by Richard Tanner, William Forsythe, Ib Andersen, Trey McIntyre, and NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, including his Les Petits Riens, Fearful Symmetries, Zakouski and his production of The Sleeping Beauty, in which she appeared both as Princess Aurora and Princess Florine. With NYCB, Tracey toured in Europe and Asia, appeared in the PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” series, and danced the Marzipan Shepherdess in the 1993 

film of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. As a stager, she has set Martins’ Zakouski on the Royal Danish Ballet and Bavarian State Ballet and his Fearful Symmetries on Pennsylvania Ballet. In addition, during her tenure with Boston Ballet, she has staged a number of Balanchine works including Concerto Barocco and Symphony in C for the Company, and Scherzo a la Russe, Scotch Symphony and Raymonda Variations, as well as Robbins' Fanfare, for the School’s annual Next Generation performance.

 

Claudio Munoz

Houston Ballet II

Director

Houston Ballet

Ballet Master

During his career as a dancer, Mr. Munoz filled Principal roles in Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and New York, with a variety of choreographers including John Cranko, George Balanchine, Ivan Nagy, V. Bebrada, A. Rodriguez, W. Dollar, L.de Layres, Ben Stevenson, and Ronald Hynd, (in whose work, Rosalinda, he partnered the esteemed Russian ballerina Natalia Makarova). Mr. Munoz was also involved in other forums for dance, such as Zarzuela, television, musical comedy, and opera.

 

In 1989 he founded the Chamber Ballet of Santiago. Mr. Munoz has taught classes and seminars in Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, and the United States. He has worked as an instructor for the Ballet Nacional de Chile, Ballet de Santiago, Ballet Nacional de Peru, and schools in Asucion, Peru.

 

The dancers Mr. Munoz has coached have won the silver medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson (1990) and third place in the Shanghai International Ballet Competition (1995). In 1996, Mr. Munoz was awarded “Best Teacher” at the Interdance Competition in Asuncion, Paraguay. He has coached students for the Prix de Lausanne who have won six medals in the past seven years.

 

Mr. Munoz joined Houston Ballet Academy as Ballet Master in 1999. As HBII Ballet Master, Mr. Munoz is responsible for the artistic leadership, teaching, choreography, curriculum syllabus development, and supervision of all HBII students to promote the studio performance of Houston Ballet. He has staged a ballet for Ben Stevenson at Florida Ballet, and also staged Stanton Welch’s work at Cincinnati Ballet and Tulsa Ballet. In addition, Mr. Munoz coaches students for the Prix de Lausanne (winning six prizes in the last seven years) and Beijing International Ballet Competition. Currently he serves on the jury and a teacher in the Junior Ballet Competition Japan Grand Prix, and in the Youth American Grand Prix (Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Europe, and New York). As a teacher, he has taught around the world from Canada, Argentina, Australia, Europe, all over Latin America and the United States.

Peter Merz

Point Park University
Associate Professor of Dance

Artistic Director of MERZTANZ

Peter Merz has choreographed over 40 original ballets across the USA and internationally. His award-winning 

choreography relies heavily on classical ballet, but is informed by his passion for contemporary dance forms. As 

a performer he worked with the Dayton Ballet, the Louisville Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet. In 2002, Peter 

served as the Artistic Administrator for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. In 2004, Peter 

joined the faculty of Point Park, where he is an associate professor of dance and Head of Ballet. In 2014, he 

returned to the USA IBC to create an original work for the competitors to perform at the Awards Gala. He has 

served as a judge and Master Teacher for Youth America Grand Prix. Peter is also in demand throughout the US 

as a master teacher, and is known for his enthusiastic and encouraging approach to ballet training. He has twice 

been named Outstanding Choreographer by the Youth America Grand Prix, and was also honored to be named 

Outstanding Teacher by that organization in 2014.

 

In June of 2015, Peter is looking forward to launching MERZTANZ, an evolutionary ballet company based in 

Pittsburgh, PA.

Ms. Grundvig began her ballet training in her hometown of Davis, California, and with Marguerite Phares in 

Sacramento, California. Additionally, she spent summers on scholarship with San Francisco Ballet School.  At 

the age of 17, Ms. Grundvig joined the North Carolina Dance Theatre. She continued her performing career as 

a soloist with both the Tulsa Ballet and the Boston Ballet.  She has guest taught at many schools, both nationally 

and internationally, in addition to touring nationally to audition students for the annual summer programs of 

Boston Ballet and PBT. Ms. Grundvig directed the ballet department of the Washington Academy of Performing 

Arts in Seattle prior to being appointed Director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School in August 2005. Since 

starting at PBT, Ms. Grundvig has been part of a leadership team that has managed to increase total school 

enrollment by more than 30%.

Marjorie Grundvig

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Co-School Director
 

Dennis Marshall

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Co-School Director
 

Mr. Marshall began his training with Margo Marshall in Houston, Texas. He received scholarships to train at the 

school of the National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre School, School of American Ballet, Joffrey 

Ballet, Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg and the Royal Ballet School in London. Upon graduation from the High 

School of Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, he was invited to join American Ballet Theatre. He danced 

there as a soloist under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov and then joined San Francisco Ballet as a principal 

dancer. Mr. Marshall was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine in 1978 and the following year won the 

bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition, USA. He was Ballet Master for the North Carolina Dance 

Theatre, Tulsa Ballet and the Boston Ballet in addition to being a guest instructor at companies and schools 

nationally and internationally. Mr. Marshall was also an Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma and 

Director of the Washington Academy of Performing Arts in Seattle.  In August 2005, Mr. Marshall was 

appointed Director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.  Mr. Marshall has also enjoyed the distinct honor of 

serving on the panel of international judges for the Japan Grand Prix 2009-2012 and has been invited to serve on the judging panel for the first-annual Taiwan Grand Prix in August 2013.

Edward Ellison

Ellison Ballet
Founder & Artistic Director

           

Edward Ellison has traveled the world as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and ballet master. Companies he has taught for include American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. He has been a guest teacher with The Juilliard School and Joffrey Ballet School, and continues to teach open classes at STEPS on Broadway. As a ballet master, he has worked for such companies as the Boston Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet and Alberta Ballet, as well as staging Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet's annual tour. 

With love and devotion to his students guiding his work, his approach is infused by study and close association with renown ballet masters and directors, such as Larisa Sklyanskaya, Helgi Tomasson, Irina Jacobson and Marius Zirra. He particularly credits his years of pedagogical study with Ms. Sklyanskaya for the depth of his artistic knowledge, as well as teacher courses at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Russia and the National Ballet School in Canada. A former soloist with the San Francisco Ballet and guest artist with many companies in the U.S. and abroad, Mr. Ellison's repertoire spans the great classical works of the 19th century to neoclassical and contemporary choreography of the 20th century and today. 

Mr. Ellison employs a combination of detailed technical insight — including precise verbal and physical guidance to ensure proper alignment, placement, strength and coordinaton of the body — and artistic vision to excite and advance the student's journey. “My work,” Mr. Ellison says, “is laced with the belief that my students are capable of achieving extraordinary results. The sky is the limit!”

 

As Founder & Artistic Director of Ellison Ballet, Mr. Ellison has crafted an intensive study program to meet the needs of gifted ballet students from around the world who wish to dance professionally. Both the Summer Intensive and the in-depth Professional Training Program offer a stepping stone approach to realize new levels of achievement. 

The classes emphasize development of strong classical ballet technique, the exploration and discovery of the student's full artistic potential, and individual attention from the ballet master.

Duncan Cooper

MODAS Dance  

      Co-Founder | Director             
 

 

 

Born in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Cooper currently living in San Francisco. However having spent a considerable amount of time growing up in NYC and the Bay Area, he considers himself a native of both coasts. Over his carrer he danced with two major companies, San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem, with the latter with whom he was a principal dancer with for 9 years. His travels touring with these companies have taken him all over the world. Mr. Cooper started dancing at the age of five, when he began taking ballet classes at Richard Thomas’ New York School of Ballet. At the age of 13 Mr. Cooper received a full scholarship to train at the San Francisco Ballet School. He soon became a recipient of the Robert Kirby Scholarship, as well as the first to receive the Lew Christensen Scholarship for best male dancer. In 1989, bypassing the obligatory apprentice year, he was made a full company member.

 

During his time with San Francisco Ballet, Mr. Cooper danced a wide range of the repertoire. During  Mr. Cooper’s nine years dancing with Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Principal dancer, he danced leading roles in such ballets as Balanchine’s Apollo, Prodigal Son, Agon, Allegro Brillante and Stars & Stripes; Albrecht in Giselle; Robbins’ Fancy Free; Ashton’s Thais pas de deux; Glenn Tetley’sSphinx & Dialogues; Smuin’s A Song For Dead Warriors and St. Louis Blues and many others.

 

Notable guest appearances have included being invited to dance lead in Stars and Stripes for New York City Ballet’s Balanchine Centennial Celebration, playing the part of Apollo in Central Park’s Summer Stage Balanchine Centennial Tribute; Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ashton & Balanchine Gala;  in the Miami International Dance Festival, Washington Ballet’s Giselle, Dance Brazil’s Festival in Bahia, Brazil, Rebecca Kelly Ballet’s 25 Anniversary, and with Dances Patrelle he has danced the lead in Mr. Patrelle’s Macbeth, as well as dancing in his “POP” & Ms. Meredith’s “Pair of Jacks pas de deux”; Lexington Ballets Fabric of Dance Galas 2 &3, Ballet Virginia International,Virginia Ballet Theatre, Ballet NY, Configuration Dance, Lexington Ballet and many others.

 

In March of 2007 Mr. Cooper created his first one act, full-length contemporary ballet for Virginia Ballet Theatre, an homage to the 1960’s spy film genre called, Mr. Evil and The Forever Diamond.Most recently in 2010,  Mr. Cooper was invited to choreograph a 37 min. full-length contemporary ballet work called, Universal Residue for Lexington Ballet. In 2011, Mr.Cooper was also invited by new Dance Theatre of Harlem director Virginia Johnson, to be a part of their Harlem Works 2.0 Series, where he danced a new pas de deux choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultre called "Believe", created on him and former Broadway & ABT great Ashley Tuttle.

 

Until 2007, Mr. Cooper was also involved in and part creator of a National Outreach Program for kids at risk, called Athletes For Kids (AFK), involving professional dancers and star professional athletes. Although most of his time and attention is now focused on teaching, mentoring & choregraphing, Mr. Cooper continues to dance as a freelance dancer on various dance projects and galas nationally and internationally. He also continues to be apart of the Lines Ballet School teaching staff & New York City Dance Alliance. Currently he is also co-creator & Director of a new national summer program called Modas Dance Summer Program.

 

Additional Teaching Staff

                     Former ABT Soloist

     

         

 

 

Yan Chen

Ms. Chen was trained at Shanghai dance school, China and San Francisco Ballet School. In 1987, she won the first prize at the Prix de Lausanne International Competition. She then joined The Washington Ballet. In 1993, Ms. Chen joined American Ballet Theatre and was promoted to soloist in 1994. As one of ABT’s most lyrical and versatile dancers, she has performed leading roles in Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, Othello, Giselle, and Onegin, as well as works by Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, George Balanchine, John Cranko and others. Ms. Chen has performed as a guest artist throughout the world and has been invited to perform at many prestigious dance festivals. She also appeared in PBS Great Performance Program for television and video/DVD: “American Ballet Theatre Now.” In 2004, Ms. Chen became a faculty member with the American Ballet Theatre and has also been a guest teacher with Orlando Ballet since 1994. Ms. Chen lives in Orlando, and served as Ballet Mistress for the Orlando Ballet until 2014.

Natasha Glos

                   
 
Former Kirov Ballet Member

Orlando Ballet Principal (Seminole Campus)

     

         

 

 

Natasha Glos is from St.Petersburg , Russia, and was a ballerina with Kirov Ballet Theater and St.Petersburg State Academic Maly Ballet Theater. She appeared in many Principal and Soloist roles along with Corps de Ballet in all of the major classical ballets in countries including: Russia , Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Japan. She has a Diploma of Professional Ballet Artist from the Graduate class of renowned Russian professor Irina Trofimova, pupil of Agrippina Vaganova. In 1992, Ms.Glos was awarded a Laureate Diploma First Category at the International Ballet Competition Riga, Latvia.  After moving to United States Ms.Glos was Ballet Mistress, coach and teacher for the Southern Ballet Theater company under the direction of Mr. Fernando Bujones and Mr. Petrutiu. 

Joseph Gatti

                     International Guest Star

Orlando Ballet

Guest Principal

     

         

 

 

Former Cincinnati Ballet and Corella Ballet Principal Dancer and First Soloist with Boston Ballet. Born in Warwick,New York and raised in Orlando,Florida. Mr.Gatti began dancing at the Orlando Ballet School in Florida and continued his training with Vadim Fedotov and Irina Depler. Joseph danced with Orlando Ballet as an apprentice 2001-2003 under the direction of Fernando Bujones. In 2003 he was coached by Orlando Molina for the Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition in New York were he was awarded the Gold Medal and a Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London.Upon graduating with honors he received the 2004 Dame Ruth Railton Award for Excellence in Dance. After attending the 2003 American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive he joined the American Ballet Theater Studio Company for the 2004-2005 season. In 2005 he became the first American Male Dancer to win the prestigious Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition. Joseph was nominated as best male dancer for the 2006 Benois de la Danse in Moscow,Russia. In 2006 he became a Bronze Medalist at the USA International Ballet Competition and a Silver Medalist at the Seoul International Ballet Competition in Korea. He was also chosen to be featured in a video entitled “The Male Ballet Dancer” presented by master teacher Finis Jhung. In 2007 Joseph was coached by Magaly Suarez for the first World Ballet Competition in Orlando,Florida,were he received the Gold Medal. Mr. Gatti also receive the Bronze Medal at the 2010 Istambul International Ballet Competition. In 2013 Joseph received the Mr. Virtousity Award at the Dance Open Ballet Festival in Saint-Petersburg, Russia and 2014 he received " Best Pas De Duex" award at the Dance Open Festival in Saint- Petersburg , Russia . Some of his Principal roles include the Prince in Val Caniparoli’s“The Nutcracker”, Dessire in Kirk Peterson’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the Prince in Peter Stark’s “Cinderella”. Albrecth and peasant pas de deux in “Giselle”,Romeo in Victoria Morgan’s “Romeo and Juliet”,Solor,Bronze Idol and lead Fakir in Natalia Makarova’s “La Bayadere”,Siegfried in Angel Corella’s “Swan Lake”, Benno in Magaly Suarez’s “Swan Lake”,Colas in Jose Pares “La Fille Mal Gardee”, Mercutio in John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Blue Bird in Ashton’s “The Sleeping Beauty”, The Snow King and Cavalier in Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker”, Golden Idol in Florence Clerc “La Bayadere”, Franz in Balanchine’s “Coppelia”,King Arthur in Victoria Morgan’s King Arthur’s “Camelot” and many other pas de deux from the classical repertoire like, “Don Quixote”,”Satanella”,”Le Corsaire”,”Black Swan”,”Diana and Acteon”,”Flowers Festival of Genzano”etc... He have also dance Balanchine ballets like “Tchaikovsky pas de deux”,”Tarantella”, El Capital in “Stars and Stripes”, “Symphony in 3 Movements” Principal and the Principal divertissment pas in his “Midsummer Night’s Dreams”. Mr.Gatti has also performed Anton Dolin’s “Variation for Four”,Arthur Saint-Leon “La Vivandiere”, William Forsyth’s “Second Detail”,Jorma Elo’s “Plan to B”,”Double Evil” and “Slice to Sharp”, Jerome Robbins’s “Fancy Free”, Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster”, Jiri Kylian’s “Wings of Wax”, Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma”, Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia”, Lead Male and trio in Stanton Welch’s “Clear”, Val Caniparoli’s “Lambarena” and “The Bridge”, Pink pas de deux in Clark Tippet’s “Bruch Violin Concerto” and other ballets by important choreographers like: Stephen Mill, Twyla Tharp, Jamal Story, Helen Pickett, George Birkadze, Angel Corella, Russell Ducker and others. Joseph have been invited to perform as a Principal Guest Artist with Ballet Concerto de Puerto Rico,Western Ballet,Ballet Municipal de Lima,Peru,Slovene National Opera and Ballet,Miami international Ballet Festival,Baltic Ballet Festival,Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Florida Classical Ballet,Balletto di l’Arena di Verona,Ballet San Jose,NBA Ballet in Japan, The Open Dance Festival in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Stars of the 21st Century Gala in Panama,USAIBC,YAGP and WBC Galas and many others important stages around the world.