Bobby Wesner, Artistic Director
Mike Miller, Executive Director
Jurijs Safonovs, Ballet Master,
Ezlimar Dortolina, Kathleen Fenn, Juliana Freude, Jose Edwin Gonzalez,
David Odenwelder, Jennifer Safonovs, Jurijs Safonovs, Bobby Wesner, Brooke Wesner
Lighting Designer and Stage Manager for this weekends performances are TBA
Neos is the Resident Dance Company of the
Renaissance Performing Arts
Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield Ohio
mansfieldtickets.com/content/index/237 & Facebook - Friends of Neos Dance Theatre
Don Quixote Pas de Deux
Choreography, Marius Petipa
Music, Ludwig Minkus
Costumes, Jennifer Safonovs
Repetiteur, Jurijs Safonovs
Dancers 8/06 Ezlimar Dortolina and Jose Edwin Gonzalez
8/07 Jennifer Safonovs and Bobby Wesner
Choreography, Bobby Wesner
Music, Chavela Vargas, Fernando Delgadillo, Julieta Venegas, Marisa Monte
Original Lighting Design, Don Pontius
Costumes, Bobby Wesner
Dancers Kathleen Fenn, Juliana Freude, Jose Gonzalez(8/07), Jennifer Safonovs(8/06), Ezlimar Dortolina(8/07), Jurijs Safonovs, Bobby Wesner(8/06), Brooke Wesner
World Premiere: March 8, 1974 by Ohio Ballet E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, Akron, Ohio
Choreography, Heinz Poll with permission from Judith Shoaff Reading and Luc Vanier
Music, Chopin Concerto #1 in E Minor
Original Lighting Design, Thomas Skelton
Original Costume Design, Christina Giannini
Restaged by Judith Shoaff Reading and Luc Vanier
Costume Reconstruction, Janet Bolick
Notes: "To hearts which near each other move
From evening close to morning light." --Percy Lysse Shelley
Summer Premier by Wesner
Selections from Eight By Benny Goodman
First performed February 7, 1993, Ohio Theatre, Cleveland, OH
Choreography, Heinz Poll
Music, Arranged by Benny Goodman*
Staged by, Richard Dickinson
Costumes, A. Christina Giannini
Lighting, after Thomas R. Skelton
Ezlimar Dortolina, Juliana Freude, Brooke Wesner(8/07), Jennifer Safonovs(8/06)
Jose Gonzalez, Jurijs Safonovs, David Odenwelder
"I'm Nobody's Baby"
Bobby Wesner, Jennifer Safonovs(8/07), Brooke Wesner(8/06)
"How Long Has This Been Going On?"
Jennifer Safonovs(8/06), Brooke Wesner(8/07)
"My Old Flame"
Jennifer Safonovs(8/07), Brooke Wesner(8/06), Juliana Freude, Ezlimar Dortolina
"My Guy's Come Back"
*From a collection of Columbia mono recordings from 1939 - 1946; Re-released by CBS Records, Inc.,1990
Bobby Wesner, Artistic Director
Bobby first performed at his church choir as a boy. Before any official training in anything he would put on performances for his fathers barnyard animals singing anything they would request. They later returned the favor by winning him Grand Champion Market Hog in the Ashland County Fair! The money earned would afford him an audition tour, which would prove quite profitable career wise. This, as well as many other opportunities of leadership, led to a very fast rise in the professional world. Bobby's hog money scored him a job with Ballet Arizona, under the direction of Michael Uthoff (now Ib Anderson). During his stay in Phoenix, he had the honor of working with American Classics such as Fredrick Franklin, Daniel Ezralow, Moses Pendelton of Momix, the Artistic Directors of Pilobolus, Kevin O'Day, Jowali Willa Jo Zolar of Urban Bush Woman, and his wife Brooke Wesner. Other great masterpieces that Wesner has performed are the "Profiteer" in The Greentable by Kurt Josse; "Iago" in The Moore's Pavone by Jose Limon; "Tico" in Company B by Paul Taylor, (also in Taylor's Esplanade); two works of Anthony Tudor: Lilac Garden and Leaves are Fading; and The Jester in Earnst Uthoff's Carmina Burana. Wesner has traveled with Ballet Arizona to perform in Caracas, Venezuela; Breckenridge, Colorado; and Long Beach, California. Independently, Wesner has traveled and performed with various companies all over the northeast region of the US and in Italy. He also took the opportunity to sing in nightclubs while vacationing in Bangkok and at Club Met in Tahiti! Bobby and Brooke are the proud parents of four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn. The Wesners live in Ashland, Ohio and have been involved in much of the dance activity in North Central Ohio including Verb Ballets, Ashland Regional Ballet, Dancing Wheels, Ballet Theatre of Ohio, and of course Neos Dance Theatre; all of which he has staged new work for. Bobby has maintained a choreographic relationship with Symphony Orchestras for over ten years and is always happy returning to the stage under the baton of Robert Moody, Robert Franz, and Carl Topilow.
Jurjis Safonovs, Ballet Master, is a native of Riga, Latvia. At the age of 10, Jurijs joined the Riga Choreographic Ballet School. After graduating in 1996, Jurijs began his professional ballet career with the Latvian National Ballet Theatre. In 2001, Mr. Safonovs came to the United States, where he continued dancing and became a principal dancer with Virginia Ballet Theatre. Since beginning his U.S. career, Jurijs has guested with many different ballet companies, including Great Lakes Festival Ballet (Warren, OH), Pointe of Departure (Cleveland, OH), Ballet Etudes (Miami, FL), KTB (Alaska), and others . Dancing has taken Mr. Safonovs to many countries worldwide, including England, Germany, Spain, France, Holland, China and Russia.
Brooke Wesner started dance at the ripe old age of three! She studied under Hellie Schussler for her pre-professional training. Her presence on stage has been said to offer "lyrical melodrama" and "a most prominent...elegance"(The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star). Her natural ability to emote reinforced her performance based training, giving her an opportunity to explore leading roles from a very young age. After studying with master teachers such as Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Basil Thompson, Brooke accepted work with the Milwaukee Ballet. During her stay, she performed Michael Smuin's the Tempest; Balanchine's Serenade, and more. Brooke then moved to Ballet Arizona to dance many principal and soloist roles. Some of the highlights of her stay in Phoenix were dancing the "Snow Queen" in Ib Anderson's the Nutcracker. Her long lines and flexibility served for a beautiful "Arabian" and "Dark Angel" in Balanchine's Serenade. Brooke performed in Paul Taylor's Company B; a Soloist in Giselle; the Greentable by Kurt Josse; "Desdemona" in Jose Limon's The Moore's Pavon; Lady Lost Found by Danny Ezralow; the original "Bird" in Moses Pendelton's Opus Cactus; HELLBLONDEGROOVE by Kevin O'Day; a "Saloon Girl" in Billy the Kid (while six months pregnant); and Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Agon, and Rubies by George Balanchine. She has guessed with Momix in an international tour where she performed for the President of Italy and shared the stage with James Taylor. Brooke has appeared many times with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as a guest artist and with the Arizona Opera in their Aida. Her performance quality and technical stamina has intensified now that she is a mother of four and wife to Bobby. Though her focus has changed she remains dedicated to the vision of Neos Dance Theatre and is a valuable asset to its success.
Jennifer Moll Safonovs, a native of Stow, Ohio, started dancing at the age of 6 and trained with Christine Jones Meneer for 12 years. She was an original member of Meneers pre-professional company Childrens Ballet Theatre and danced leading roles in several ballets, including The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty. Ms. Moll graduated with high honors from Indiana University with Bachelors degrees in Classical Ballet performance and Psychology. While at IU, Jennifer was trained and coached by Violette Verdy, Jacques Cesbron, John Meehan, Susan Pilarre, Mark Godden, and John Clifford. She performed principal roles in George Balanchines The Four Temperaments, Serenade, and Stars and Stripes, as well as in several original works by Verdy, Cesbron, and Godden. Jennifer danced professionally with Virginia Ballet Theatre for two years, and then went on to perform with Akrons Ballet Theatre of Ohio and Clevelands VERB Ballets. In addition to performing, Jennifer teaches ballet and is a certified Pilates instructor. She has taught ballet and Pilates classes as part of Old Dominion Universitys Dance Department, in Norfolk, VA. Jennifer is happy to begin her second season with Neos Dance Theatre.
Ezlimar Dortolina was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she started her ballet studies in the Classical Ballet School in Venezuela under the direction of Nina Novak, where she graduated in 1996. She became an apprentice with the Classical Ballet of Camara at the age of fourteen. In 1996, she participated in the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. After this competition, Ezlimar obtained a scholarship in order to continue her ballet studies in the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. She received a full scholarship from the UNESCO to study ballet in the Ecole Superieure de Danse Rosella Hightower in Cannes, France. She has worked as a soloist in Ballet Clasico de Camara, Ballet Teresa Carreño, Ballet Contemporaneo de Caracas,Tulsa ballet, as a guest artist in Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico to perform Mercedes in Don Quixote, and in Olympic Ballet Theatre to perform the Sugar Plum fairy in the Nutcracker. In 2006, Ezlimar participated in the Jackson International Ballet Competition. She joined the cast of the Colombian Classical Ballet as principal dancer. Most recently, Ezlimar was featured as Cinderella in the State Street Ballet production of this ballet. She has danced the leading roles of Esmeralda, Le Corsaire, Gran Pas Classique, Paquita, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, Midsummer Night´s Dream, Carmina Burana, LaTraviata, Nous Sommes, among others. She has worked with important dance teachers and choreographers such as, Nina Novak, Maria Eugenia Barrios, Mario Galizzi, Oscar Araiz, Rosella Hightower, Alla Sizova, James Urbain, Kaleria Fedivcheva, Christopher Fleming, Juan Carlos Peñuela, Bill Soleau and others. Ezlimar joined State Street Ballet in 2009 as principal dancer, dancing the principal and soloist roles in Cinderella,The Nutcracker, Love Love and Midsummer Night´s Dream. Most recently, Ezlimar danced the leading role in the production of Funding The Arts, that was performed at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.
Jose Edwin Gonzalez Amaya was born in Cali, Colombia, where he started his ballet studies at the age of eight at INCOLBALLET under the direction of Gloria Castro, graduating in 1996. Shortly after that, he began to dance with the Ballet de Cali, where he performed several roles from the classical and modern repertoire. In 2002, he joined the Ballet Contemporaneo de Caracas under the direction of Maria Eugenia Barrios as soloist, where he danced the principal roles of Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Midsummer Night´s Dream, Carmina Burana, Play, Carmen and others. In 2005, he danced as a principal dancer with Ballet Teresa Carreño and as a guest artist in Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico in Don Quixote. After, he was hired by Marcello Angelini to join Tulsa Ballet, where he danced Lambarena from Val Caniparoli, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide and Western Symphony. In 2006, he participated as a non competing partner at the Jackson International Ballet Competition. In 2007, Mr. Gonzalez joined the cast of the Colombian Classical Ballet Company, and participated in a two month tour through Spain, and participated in the International Ballet Festival in Cali, Colombia. He was also a guest artist for State Street Ballet´s Cinderella in 2009. Jose Edwin has worked with important dance choreographers and teachers such as Nina Novak, Mario Galizzi, Oscar Araiz, Jimmy Gamonet, Juan Carlos Peñuela, Maiqui Mañosa, Mariaelena Ruiz, Christopher Fleming, Rodney Gustafson, Bill Soleau and others. Jose Edwin joined State Street Ballet as a principal guest artist in 2009 dancing the leading roles in Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Love Love, Midsummer Night´s Dream and The Jungle Book. Jose Edwin was most recently featured in the production of Funding the Arts as a principal guest artist, production that was performed in the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York city.
Kathleen Fenn (Kat) began her ballet training at Briarwood Ballet in Birmingham Alabama. After completing four years she attended Belhaven College in Jackson Mississippi. There she studied the Vaganova ballet technique under teachers such as Laura Morton from Ben Stevenson Academy, Lori-Worrill Biggs of Joffrey II, Britta Heermann-Wynne of State Opera Germany, and Ravenna Tucker principal dancer for The Birmingham Royal Ballet. Kat also studied Limón and Graham modern dance techniques under Amy Roark-McIntosh, Britta Heermann-Wynne, and Stephen Wynne from State Opera Germany and Tanz-Forum. While at Belhaven she performed pieces by Ken Tolle, Robert Wesner, Melissa Nolen-Bobick, Laura Morton, and Stephan Wynne. She also took classes from Steve Rooks, Robert Wesner of Neos Dance Theatre, Melissa Nolen-Bobick, Hope Boykin and Matthew Rushing of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Sharon Perry from Still Point Dance Theatre, Tobin James of Störling Dance Theatre, and Garland Goodwin-Wilson from Of Moving Colors. Kat graduated from Belhaven May of 2008 with a B.F.A. in Dance with an emphasis on ballet.
Kat began her professional career in 2007 when she performed in CATS the Musical at The Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield Ohio. Since then she has danced with TALK Dance Co. in Jackson Mississippi, performing original modern dance works by Stephen Wynne. Kat is thrilled to be dancing with Neos Dance Theatre for the third season.
Juliana Freude is a native of Akron, Ohio where she trained for twelve years at The University of Akron Dance Institute. Miss Freude was the soloist in the Dance Institute production of The Snow Maiden and received the Gena Carroll Scholarship. Miss Freude has also appeared with The University of Akron Repertory Dance Company in many roles including a soloist in Onda 9 by Ana Lobe, and Letting Go by Travis Gallin. She has spent summers training with Jennifer Muller Modern Dance, Nashville Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Connecticut Ballet and Ohio Dance Theatre. Miss Freude understudied with the Ohio Ballet in Rite of Spring and performed Dracula. Juliana performed with Nashville Ballet as a trainee in The Nutcracker and was also an apprentice with the Charleston Ballet Theatre. While dancing with the Charleston Ballet she has performed original works such as Rite of Spring, Sleeping Beauty, and Great Gatsby choreographed by Jill Eathorne Bahr. She also performed a variety of dances from Broadway and Bob Fosse such as Chicago, The Producers and others. After leaving Charleston Ballet, she worked with Ohio Dance Theatre performing in ballets such as Swan Lake, Fairy Forest, and more. Miss Freude has danced with Dancing Wheels performing the leading role of Helen Keller," A Tribute to her Teacher choreographed by Christopher Fleming, as well the works Unconquered Warriors choreographed by Nai Ni Chen, Walking on Clouds by David Receve, and Alice in Wonderland by Bobby Wesner. She has worked and performed with Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre Company in a piece called Trucks and Leverage. This is Julianas third season with Neos Dance Theatre.
David Odenwelder (guest artist) is from Haverhill, Massachusetts. David started his dance training at The Dance Works at the age of three studying ballet, jazz, and tap. He also trained at New England Civic Ballet, where he performed his first of many full length ballets. He supplemented his dance education at various summer intensives, including Joffrey Midwest Workshop and the Atlanta Ballets Professional Intensive. He is currently on scholarship at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and will be receiving a B.F.A in Ballet this upcoming year. Most notably at CCM; he has performed the male principal role in George Balanchines Pas de Dix, set by Ballet Russa etoile, Freddie Franklin. Last year David also had the opportunity to perform as a member of Cincinnati Ballet, where he performed full lengths by Victoria Morgan, Val Caniparoli, Devon Carney, and Gerald Charles.