(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- American Repertory Ballet (ARB) is excited to announce the latest appointments and promotions within its Company for its upcoming 2023-24 season. These advancements mark a significant milestone in the dancers’ careers, underscoring their talent and commitment as professional ballet dancers.
Tiziano Cerrato, Roland Jones, Seth Koffler, Lily Krisko, Leandro Olcese, Anthony Pototski and Savannah Quiner have been elevated to the main ARB Company. The roster now includes 17 main Company dancers, three Apprentices, and two members of ARB2.
American Repertory Ballet welcomes two experienced Rehearsal Directors, Harriet Clark and Calvin Hilpert, whose vast expertise will undoubtedly enrich ARB’s creative endeavors. Complementing this artistic team will be Jeremiah Bischoff, assuming the role of Director of Production, and Janessa Cornell Urwin has been named ARB Resident Costume Designer.
In addition to dancer and artistic appointments, American Repertory Ballet and its official school, Princeton Ballet School, are experiencing organizational growth. Megan Teat steps into the role of PBS Administrative Manager, while ARB dancer Michelle Quiner takes on the position of ARB Social Media Manager. Erikka Reenstierna-Cates, an ARB dancer and accomplished writer, will contribute insightful articles to performance programs throughout the season.
American Repertory Ballet’s 2023-24 season opens in October and runs through May. The season features a captivating lineup, including the beloved holiday favorite The Nutcracker; Classic Beauty, an enchanting program featuring excerpts from iconic classical ballets Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty; and Ethan Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The season launches with Elevate, showcasing a new piece by acclaimed choreographer Stephanie Martinez; a world premiere by the celebrated Philadelphia-based choreographer Meredith Rainey, featuring new music commissioned by emerging composer Miranda Scripp; and the highly-anticipated return of Ethan Stiefel’s rousing and poignant Wood Work. Tickets are now on sale at arballet.org.
Led by Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel, and with a distinctive reputation for innovation and individuality, American Repertory Ballet (ARB) is recognized as one of the state’s premier performing arts organizations. Presenting classical repertory alongside new and existing contemporary work, ARB is a founding resident company of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center while also performing in major venues across New Jersey and beyond for an annual audience of more than 30,000. Founded in 1954 as the Princeton Ballet Society, ARB has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts consistently for the past two decades and has repeatedly been awarded a Citation of Excellence by the Council. The company has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and other major foundations and leaders in the field as a prominent force in the field of dance. Princeton Ballet School, ARB’s official school, attracts talent from around the world while providing opportunities for local students of all ages, such as through its award-winning DANCE POWER program.
NEW COMPANY MEMBERS
Tiziano Cerrato was born and raised in Rome, Italy, where he began his early training at the age of nine. Among his earliest teachers was the legendary Italian ballerina Elisabetta Terabust. He continued his training at Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Danza where he studied with Giuseppina Ercolani and the celebrated Croatian ballet dancer Zarko Prebil. From 2016-2019, he trained at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan with Leonid Nikonov, Frederic Oliveiri and Maurizio Vanadia. In 2019, Cerrato joined American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School where he trained under Cynthia Harvey, Mikhail Ilyin, Robert La Fosse, and Ethan Stiefel. During the 2020/21 season, Cerrato was a trainee with the San Francisco Ballet under Patrick Armand and Helgi Tomasson. In 2016, he was awarded third place at the Youth America Grand Prix in the semi-finals held in Philadelphia. His ARB credits include The Nutcracker, Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Delibes Duet, and Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle.
Roland Jones was born and raised in Poolesville, Maryland. He began training at Maryland Youth Ballet in 2012, before continuing his development as a trainee at Ballet West Academy under Jeff Rogers from 2017-2019. At Ballet West, he had the opportunity to perform as Oberon in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and guest performed as Colas in the University of Utah’s production of La Fille Mal Gardée, before being promoted to Ballet West II. In 2021, Jones joined Richmond Ballet II under Igor Antonov and Malcolm Burn, performing in the ballets Romeo and Juliet and Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante. Jones joined ARB as an apprentice in 2022, and performed in Da’ Von Doane’s Kaleidoscope Mind, Caili Quan’s Circadia, and Claire Davison’s Bewitched. Jones also had the opportunity to perform as the Snow King and Cavalier in ARB’s The Nutcracker.
Hailing from New York, Seth Koffler began his training at the age of six in the Riverdale YMHA Dance Program. In 2012, he was accepted into the Children’s Division of American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (ABT’s JKO School) on a full scholarship, learning from Franco De Vita, Melissa Bowman, Richard Bowman, Miklhail Ilyin, and Elizabeth Ferrell. He graduated from that program in 2016 and continued his training with ABT’s JKO School in the Pre-Professional Division where he trained with Cynthia Harvey, Mikhail Ilyin, Robert La Fosse, and Ethan Stiefel. At the age of 10, Koffler danced various roles in Alexei Ratmansky’s production of The Nutcracker for American Ballet Theatre at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 2015, he performed the role of the Little Nutcracker Prince in the ABT’s production at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. His ARB credits include The Nutcracker, Ethan Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, VARIANTS, and Delibes Duet, Claire Davison’s Time Within A Time, as well as Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle. In the summer of 2023, Koffler performed Grand Pas Classique at the Les Rayonnantes Festival in Perpignan, France.
Lily Krisko was raised in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and began her formal ballet training at the age of 10. Growing up, she trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. While at CPYB, she had the honor to perform roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Juliet in Alan Hineline’s Romeo & Juliet, and Lead Russian Girl in Balanchine’s Serenade. Krisko attended many summers at Miami City Ballet as well as Ballet Academy East, CPYB, and Philadelphia Ballet. She was then invited by Angel Corella to become a trainee with Philadelphia Ballet on full scholarship. While at Philadelphia Ballet, she performed Snow and Flowers in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, 1st Regiment in Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, and swan corps in Corella’s Swan Lake. With American Repertory Ballet, she has danced in Ethan Stiefel’s Delibes Duet, The Nutcracker, Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle, and Arthur Mitchell’s Holberg Suite.
Leandro Olcese was born in Brazil and raised in Italy. In 2013, he began his training at Spazio Danza Cicagna in Italy, and continued his training at the English National Ballet School from 2016-2019. He joined Northern Ballet in 2019, where he performed in Ethan Stiefel’s Beneath the Surface, an original dance film by Northern Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Burberry Inspire. His ARB credits include The Nutcracker, Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ja’ Malik’s Moving to Bach, Caili Quan’s Circadia, Ryoko Tanaka’s Hindsight, and Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle.
Anthony Pototski began his training at the School of American Ballet in 2007, performing in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Magic Flute. In 2012, he joined the Academy of Dance and Creative Art, where he danced pas de deux ranging from Giselle, Cinderella, Blue Bird, and The Nutcracker, to lesser-known modern pieces. In 2016, he received a full scholarship to American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, were he was fortunate to work with Cynthia Harvey, Robert La Fosse, Ethan Stiefel, Karin Averty, Fabrice Herrault, and Pertujska Broholm. After graduating in 2020, he continued his training with the Bolshoi Ballet’s Margarita Smirnova in Milan, Italy, before returning to the U.S. to join Princeton Ballet School (PBS) as a trainee. During his time with PBS, he performed in its spring production of Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, and in Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with American Repertory Ballet. His ARB credits include Hilarion in Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle, Caili Quan’s Circadia, Claire Davison’s Time Within A Time, Arthur Mitchell’s Holberg Suite, and Stiefel’s VARIANTS.
Savannah Quiner was born and raised in northern New Jersey and began her formal ballet training at the North Jersey School of Dance Arts at the age of five under the direction of Christine Taylor and Luba Gulyaeva. In 2017, she placed first in classical at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Semifinals in Boston and was a scholarship recipient at the YAGP Finals. She has danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy for various studios in New Jersey from 2018-2020 and in New York Theatre Ballet’s Nutcracker in 2021. Prior to joining ARB, she danced at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School for three years. She performed with American Ballet Theatre at Lincoln Center in Swan Lake (2019, 2022, & 2023), and in Manon (2019). At American Repertory Ballet, she has performed in The Nutcracker as Snow Queen and Spanish Lead, Myrtha in Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle, Ryoko Tanaka’s Hindsight, and Amy Seiwert’s Sight Line.
NEW REHEARSAL DIRECTORS
Harriet Clark received her pre-professional training at the School of American Ballet and subsequently joined American Ballet Theater (ABT) under the directorship of Mikhail Baryshnikov. At ABT, she danced a rich array of classical and contemporary repertoire while working with renowned choreographers including Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Anthony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, and Agnes de Mille. Clark went on to dance as a soloist in The Pacific Northwest Ballet and performed works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, and José Limón. For many years, Clark was the Dance Captain and Swing of the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera where she had the opportunity to work with choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne, as well as the Tony Award-winning director Harold Prince. Her responsibilities included staging, rehearsing, and maintaining all choreography as well as covering all ensemble and dance roles. Clark has been on the faculty of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (JKO) for 15 years and serves on the ABT National Training Curriculum Board of Examiners. From 2018 to 2022, she was the Artistic Director of the NYU Master’s Degree Program in ABT Pedagogy. She has taught as an adjunct professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College, Pace University, and Vassar College. She has choreographed for the JKO School in both the Children’s and Upper divisions, for Marymount College, St. Paul’s School, and for the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre. As Children’s Repetiteur for American Ballet Theatre, Clark has worked closely with choreographer Alexei Ratmansky on his original productions of The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, The Seasons, and Harlequinade.
Calvin Hilpert began his pre-professional training at age 12 with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, then at age 15, he subsequently transitioned his studies to the San Francisco Ballet School. Following his training, Hilpert joined the KUNST-STOFF dance company where he danced on multiple international tours. Always in the pursuit of more knowledge, Hilpert decided to deepen his understanding of contemporary movement after receiving an invitation to study as a guest at the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz in Dresden, Germany. While at school in Dresden, he was scouted by a guest teacher to join the Saarländisches Staatstheater. During his time with the company, he had the pleasure of dancing works by acclaimed dance makers such as Stijn Celis, Marguerite Donlon, Bernard Baumgarten, and Fernando Hernando, among others, as well as creating a brand new work himself. After gaining this new perspective on dance, movement, and art-making, Hilpert returned to the KUNST-STOFF dance company as an Artistic Contributor where he collaborated on creating several works with the company’s Artistic Director, Yannis Adoniou. In addition to this collaboration, he had the opportunity to create multiple works on his own. Following the conclusion of his second stint with KUNST-STOFF, Hilpert accepted an invitation to join the Budapest Dance Theatre. In Budapest, Hilpert enjoyed performing various works by respected choreographers such as Jiří Pokorný, Rasa Hammadi, Béla Földi, and Alexandra Sághy. Since leaving the stage, and prior to his coming to ARB, Hilpert enjoyed his time as the Rehearsal Director for Milwaukee Ballet 2 and his continued creation of new works.
PRODUCTION TEAM APPOINTMENTS
Jeremiah Bischoff (Director of Production) got his start in live radio in Ohio in 2003. In 2008, he moved to Chicago and switched careers to live dance and opera production. He has stage and production managed for American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispanico, The Hamptons Dance Project, Isabella Boylston and Friends, Dance Africa, Ballet Chicago, Chamber Opera Chicago, and Northeastern Illinois University, among other companies.
Janessa Cornell Urwin (ARB Resident Costume Designer) began her career as a ballet dancer before transitioning into costuming. She has designed costumes for numerous classical ballets and contemporary dance pieces for American Repertory Ballet, Stockton University Dance Program, Traverse City Dance Project, The Nutmeg Ballet, Rutgers University, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, and Nacre Dance Company, among others. She has worked with esteemed choreographers Ethan Stiefel, Kirk Peterson, Starr Foster, Amy Seiwert, Riccardo De Nigris, Michael Nickerson-Rossi, and Meredith Rainey. Urwin also has a short film design credit and has designed for Athena Theatre Company. She holds a certificate in Costume Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Michelle Quiner (ARB Social Media Manager) was born and raised in Chester, New Jersey, and began her formal ballet training at the North Jersey School of Dance Arts under the direction of Christine Taylor and Luba Gulyaeva. In 2010, she was cast as Clara for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes. She has been featured on the cover of Inside Dance magazine (May 2019) and in Dance Spirit magazine both as a Cover Model Search Finalist and the Dancer You Should Know. Quiner has been a final round participant at the World Ballet Competition and a bronze medalist at the Valentina Kozlova IBC Contemporary Competition. She spent a year at the Washington Ballet School on full scholarship under the direction of Xiomara Reyes before joining the ARB Trainee program. She was promoted to ARB2 in 2020, the apprentice in 2021, and joined the company in 2022. Quiner has performed featured roles in ARB’s The Nutcracker including Dew Drop, Hot Chocolate, Marizpan and Bird Song. Other performances with ARB include Myrtha in Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle, Cobweb and Fairy Attendant in Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Diana & Acteon Pas De Deux, Don Quixote Pas De Deux; Caili Quan’s Circadia; Ryoko Tanaka’s Hindsight, Colby Damon’s Strange Sentience, Stiefel’s VARIANTS, and Arthur Mitchell’s Holberg Suite.
A California native, Erikka Reenstierna-Cates received her training under Leslie Ann Larson and Rene Daveluy. Before joining American Repertory Ballet in 2016, she previously danced with Central West Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Ballet Ireland. Reenstierna-Cates has been featured in a number of ballets in such notable roles such as Elena in Ethan Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Caroline Bingley in Douglas Martin’s Pride and Prejudice, and the Fairy Godmother in Rene Daveluy’s Cinderella. She has had the privilege of performing works by renowned choreographers including George Balanchine’s Serenade, Who Cares?, and Valse Fantaisie, José Limón’s There Is A Time, Paul Taylor’s Air, Ethan Stiefel’s Wood Work, Paul Vasterling’s Peter Pan, Val Caniparoli’s Songs and Violin, Septime Webre’s Fluctuating Hemlines, Ronn Guidi’s Trois Gymnopedies, Dennis Spaight’s Scheherazade, Kirk Peterson’s Tears of the Moon, Carmen, and Beauty and the Beast, Ryoko Tanaka’s Saudade and Hindsight, Claire Davison’s Bewitched, Amy Seiwert’s World, Interrupted and Sight Line, Caili Quan’s Circadia, Da’Von Doane’s Kaleidoscope Mind, Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle, and Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker.
Megan Teat (PBS Administrative Manager) is a graduate of Wilmington University where she earned her B.S. in Media Design and Photography. She has a broad range of experience in her photography and digital marketing career including working for Walt Disney World Resort, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (minor league baseball), and the Philadelphia Flyers. Included in that resume is a long stint in early childhood education where she wore many hats over the years: Teacher, Director, and Business Manager. She is excited to learn more about the world of dance with the help of the incredibly talented staff at ARB and PBS.
ARB dancer headshots by Harald Schrader. Harriet Clark: photo courtesy of Harriet Clark. Calvin Hilpert: photo courtesy of Calvin Hilpert. Janessa Cornell Urwin: photo by Thomas Robert Clarke. Megan Teat: photo courtesy of Megan Teat.