Ian Debono is a native of San Francisco and currently attends the Juilliard School working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. In his three years there, Ian has been fortunate enough to perform new works and repertoire of Ohad Naharin, Trisha Brown, Paul Taylor, Donald McKayle, Andrea Miller, Sonya Tayeh, Amy Hall Garner, and Norbert De La Cruz III. In his hometown, he trained in ballet and contemporary dance at San Francisco Academy of Ballet and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, working with Alonzo King LINES Ballet faculty Arturo Fernandez and Gregory Dawson. In 2016, he performed in the Oakland Ballet Company’s 2016 production of The Nutcracker, and in 2021, he performed in West Edge Opera’s production of Eliogabalo. This is his second season with Chamber Dance Project.
Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC.
Julia Erickson received her training on scholarship with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School. She toured to Europe and Asia with PNB and danced with Texas Ballet Theater for two seasons prior to joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2001. She was promoted to soloist in 2004 and to principal in 2009. Julia has performed principal roles in Swan Lake La Bayadère, The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide Le Corsaire Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Western Symphony, Who Cares?, Prodigal Son, Sylvia Pas de Deux, Agon, and Serenade; and Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite In the Night, and Fancy Free among many others. Her contemporary repertory includes Paul Taylor’s Company B; Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Nine Sinatra Songs, and Octet; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and Sinfonietta. Julia also dances for Santa Monica-based Barak Ballet, received Pittsburgh’s 2014 BRAZZY Award for outstanding female dancer and is an entrepreneur and writer. This is Julia’s fourth season with Chamber Dance Project.
Photo by Rebecca Huffman
Sophie Miklosovic, Michigan native, is currently a Company Artist with BalletMet.
Her pre-professional training was under Magaly Suarez, The Art of Classical Ballet, Pompano Beach, FL. Her early ballet training was developed in Michigan by Valentina Barsukova, Valentina’s Ballet and Meg Paul, Complexions Ballet Associate Artistic Director. Her early contemporary training was with Liz Schmidt-Mazurkiewicz, Spotlight Dance Works.
Since joining BalletMet in 2017, at age 17, she has performed leading roles in Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Don Quixote, among others. She has also performed works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Edwaard Liang, David Nixon, Christopher Wheeldon, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Ulysses Dove, Amy Siewert, Andrea Schermoly, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Alexander Ekman. As a professional guest artist, she has performed principal roles from Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, Flames of Paris, The Nutcracker.
Her awards include the Gold Medal at the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, the Morning Star Foundation Award at the Beijing IBC in China, 1st Place, Gold Medal at the Cuban IBC & festival in Havana, she also received the Director’s Legacy Award at the Universal Ballet Competition and was a Top 3 Scholarship winner, at the National Society of Arts & Letters, En Pointe Classical Ballet Competition. In 2019, Sophie was named as one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to Watch.
Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC
Patric Palkens is in his first season with Atlanta Ballet after having been a Soloist for Boston Ballet, with over a decade of experience performing both classical and contemporary repertoire for ballet companies around the world. Patric is known for his charming stage presence, dynamic jumps and athletic partnering. He has performed leading roles by choreographic greats such as Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Victoria Morgan and Val Caniparoli. Patric Is excited and grateful to return to Chamber Dance Project this summer for his fifth season to be a part of creating new work and revisiting some old favorites.
Photo by Eduardo Nile Scott Photography
Benjamin Simoens began his dance training at age five under Diane Lauridsen in Los Angeles, California, at the Lauridsen Ballet Center. In 2014, he was accepted into the Juilliard School, where he continued his dance studies. There, he had the opportunity to perform lead roles in Moves by Jerome Robbins and Little Mortal Jump by Alejandro Cerrudo. He had the privilege to study with many influential teachers, including Lawrence Rhodes, Risa Steinberg, Terese Capucilli, Bobbi Jean Smith, Milton Myers, and Francesca Harper, Francisco Martinez, and many more. After graduating in 2019, Simoens joined Milwaukee Ballet, where he performed in Michael Pink’s Coppélia and Pink’s world premiere, Classical Symphony. He has also danced in works by Timothy O’Donnell, Garrett Glassman, Aleix Mañé, Enrico Morelli, Dani Rowe, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. In the summer of 2022, Benjamin performed the North American premiere of Edward Clug’s “Mutual Comfort” with SFDanceworks. This is Benjamin’s first season with Chamber Dance Project.
John-Paul Simoens began his dance training at age seven under Diane Lauridsen in Los Angeles, California. In 2012 he was a semi-finalist in the Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland where he received a scholarship to attend the San Francisco Ballet School. In 2014 He was named an apprentice with the company. John-Paul has been with the San Francisco Ballet for nine years performing principal roles including Helgi Tomasson’s Don Quixote, Concerto Grosso and Fifth Season; Jerome Robbin’s Fancy Free and The Cage; Val Caniparoli’s Ibsen’s House; Benjamin Millipied’s The Chairman Dances; Arthur Pita’s Bjork Ballet; Yuka Oishi’s Bolero; Liam Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries and many other featured roles. John-Paul has been involved in the process of creating new works with many choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, William Forsythe, Cathy Marston, Justin Peck, David Dawson, Dani Rowe, Yuri Possokhov, Robert Garland, and Myles Thatcher among others. This is John-Paul’s first season with Chamber Dance Project.
Fuki Takahashi was born Yokohoma, Japan, and began training at age 3 at Yuzue Ballet Academy. She moved to the United States in 2010, and trained at Princeton Ballet and Hariyama Ballet in New York. Ms Takahashi competed in the International Ballet Competion in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2014 she earned silver in the Tanzolymp International Dance Festival. Through American Dance Competition Fuki joined Orlando Ballet’s second company. She joined Atlanta Ballet in 2018. She’s had the opportunity to perform works by renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine, Liam Scarlet, Justin Peck, Yuri Possokhov, Lar Lubovitch, Dwight Rhodes and Claudia Schreier.
Jenelle Figgins, a D.C. native, is an alum of Jones-Haywood School of Ballet, Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Dance Theatre of Harlem Kennedy Center Residency Program and Summer Intensive. Jenelle received her BFA cum laude from SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory in 2011 and continued her training at SpringBoard Danse Montreal. Jenelle received the Princess Grace Award in 2014 and was named one of Dance Magazine’s ‘Top 25 To Watch’ in 2015 and has been featured in Dance Magazine, Self Magazine, The Art of Movement, The Sojourner among others.She has performed for Collage Dance Collective, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and is currently dancing with Wideman Davis Dance. Jenelle has performed works by George Balanchine, Jiri Kilyian, Jorma Elo, Ulysses Dove, Alexander Ekman, Nicholo Fonte, Nacho Duato among others. . Jenelle recently participated in the historic production of Reframing the Narrative at the Kennedy Center dancing in a new ballet by Donald Byrd and under the direction of Theresa Howard. She has taught internationally and is a guest faculty member at Hinton Battle Dance Academy in Japan and has created works for universities throughout the country She has self-produced several art installations in the American Southwest—most recently ‘A(l)lready Ancestors’ solo installation at Skye Gallery in Aspen In 2021, she premiered her first ballet, ‘Spread’ at SUNY Purchase and served as Assistant Choreographer of RENT! at The Signature Theater in DC. In 2022 she was in the first class of choreographers for University of Utah Choreographic Institute Fellowship. This is her first season with Chamber Dance Project.
Hannah Ray Bruce was born in Barrington, IL where she trained at Barrington Dance Academy. She graduated summa cum laude from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. While at Point Park, Hannah performed works by Peter Merz, Ernest Tolentino, Kiesha Lalama, and Nicholas Petrov’s Romeo and Juliet. Hannah has danced professionally with MERZTANZ Contemporary Ballet Company under Peter Merz, Convergence Ballet under Jennifer Cafarella, and was a principal dancer with Central Illinois Ballet under Rebekah von Rathonyi. Hannah has performed roles including Mina and Lucy in Dracula, Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the title role in Firebird, Daisy in Gatsby the Ballet, the title role in Cinderella, Glinda in Wizard of Oz, Johanna Barker in Sweeney Todd, Aurora in Rose Adagio with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and originated the role of Christine in von Rathonyi’s Phantom of the Opera. This is Hannah’s first season with Chamber Dance Project.
Michael Cherry was born and raised in Springfield, Virginia. He is currently a senior at George Mason University and is working towards receiving a BFA in Dance and Choreography as well as a minor in Arts Management. Michael has had the opportunity to dance in works created/set by Camille A Brown, Alejandro Cerrudo, Doug Varone, Manuel Vignoulle, Rafael Bonachela, Rena Butler, Fiona Jopp, Susan Shields, Shaun Boyle-Darcy, and Christopher d’Amboise. During past summers he has had the opportunity to attend the Juilliard summer dance intensive in 2018 and 2019, the Complexions Summer Intensive and winter intensive, as well as the LINES Summer dance intensive. He has had the opportunity to create works on dancers in the DMV area and is beyond excited to continue creating works in the future.
Header Photo: Silhouettes of our dancers in Songs by Cole
Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC