Patricia Dickinson, Artistic Director
Director/Owner of Dance Theatre Southwest since 1995, Patricia Dickinson studied with Nancy Robison and the Southern Ballet of Atlanta under Karen Conrad, at the North Carolina School for the Arts, at the Graham Conservatory in New York, and received a BFA with honors from Southern Methodist University. She danced with Dallas Opera and Dallas Ballet under George Skibine, Marjorie Tallchief, and James Clouser. She was a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Dancers Unlimited in Dallas where she performed the works of Judith Jamison, Moses Pendleton, Bill Evans, Bill T. Jones, Matthew Diamond, Peter Pucci and others.
She founded Southwest Civic Ballet in 1994 as a forum for young New Mexico dancers to learn performance skills. In 1997, she became Artistic Director for the New Mexico Ballet Company, serving in this capacity until 2009. Most recently, she choreographed for New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Opera Southwest productions of Star Wars and The Merry Widow, respectively.
Judy Czelusniak, Artistic Associate
Ms Czelusniak joined the faculty of Dance Theatre Southwest in 2003 and is the Director of the Children's Division. She served as a guest speaker at the University of New Mexico, Dance Department and hopes to continue her involvement in dance pedagogy within the community. She received a Certificate in Dance Teaching in 1990 from the School of the Hartford Ballet and specializes in children's dance, particularly Pre-Ballet and Ballet. She was a member of the School of the Hartford Ballet faculty since 1992, where she was the Director of the Children's Division and summer "Pre-Ballet Workshops". She was also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford, the Hartt School, teaching "Methods of Pre-Ballet" to university dance majors. She has had the pleasure of working with many renowned choreographers as Children's Rehearsal Director for the annual company performance of the The Nutcracker and Kirk Peterson's world premiere The American Nutcracker. She holds a B.A. with honors from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Dara Beckley, Associate Choreographer
Krista King-Doherty, Associate Choreographer
Angelie Melzer, Associate Choreographer
Vladimir Stadnik, Associate Choreographer
Gabi Rojas (Cleo Parker Robinson), Guest Soloist
Julie Cobble (Roxey Ballet, NJ), Guest Soloist
Thomas Panto (Atlanta Ballet), Guest Soloist
Patricia Dickinson, Artistic Director
Director/Owner of Dance Theatre Southwest since 1995, Patricia Dickinson began training with Nancy Robison and the Southern Ballet of Atlanta under Karen Conrad, formerly with American Ballet and Pittman Corry. She was a scholarship recipient at the North Carolina School for the Arts, studied at the Graham Conservatory in New York, and received a BFA degree with honors from Southern Methodist University. During these years, she studied with Madame Valentina Belova, and Nikita Talin of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Ms. Dickinson danced with Dallas Opera and the Dallas Ballet where she worked with such choreographers and teachers as George Skibine, Marjorie Tallchief, and James Clouser. She was a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Dancers Unlimited in Dallas for ten years where she performed the works of Judith Jamison, Moses Pendleton, Bill Evans, Bill T. Jones, Matthew Diamond, Peter Pucci and others. Her diverse training has allowed her to move comfortably in roles from the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker to more contemporary ballets. She performed in film and commercials and has produced fifteen record albums for the ballet classroom and three instructional videos. She served as Artist-in-Residence for the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and as Artist in the Schools for the Texas Commission for the Arts. She continues the "History of Dance" program with workshops she created for the Texas and New Mexico school systems. She teaches master ballet classes throughout the country, and has served as a guest instructor at the University of New Mexico.
Ms. Dickinson's continuing teaching and choreographic career spans the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. She currently makes her home in New Mexico with her husband, Larry Wells, and son, Nicholas. She founded Southwest Civic Ballet in 1994 as a forum for young New Mexico dancers to come together and learn performance skills. In 1997, she disbanded Southwest Civic Ballet and became Artistic Director for the New Mexico Ballet Company, serving in this capacity until 2009. Most recently, Patricia has choreographed for New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Opera Southwest productions of Star Wars and The Merry Widow, respectively.
Judy Czelusniak, Artistic Associate
Ms Czelusniak joined the faculty of Dance Theatre Southwest in 2003 and is the Director of the Lower School , the "Intensive Program for Young Dancers", and the creator of the new Creative Studies "Dance Me a Story" program. Her mission is to provide professional and technically sound dance training to even the littlest dancers.
In 1989, she joined the School of the Hartford Ballet's Certificate Program where she received a Certificate in Dance Teaching and specializes in children's dance. She joined the faculty of the School of the Hartford Ballet in 1992 where she was co-director of the Children's Division Program and summer "Pre-Ballet Workshops". She was also an adjunct faculty member of the University of Hartford The Hartt School, teaching "Methods of Pre-Ballet" to university dance students. She mentored, evaluated, and advised student teachers as part of the university curriculum.
Ms Czelusniak has worked alongside talented choreographers and teachers such as Kirk Peterson, Franco de Vita, Raymond Lukens, Alla Osipenko, Maria Youskevitch, Alla Nikitina, Peggy Lyman, Wang Shao-Pen, Enid Lynn, and Rosi Docal.
She has been a guest speaker at the University of New Mexico, Dance Department and various teachers groups. Judy choreographs for the annual spring performance festivals, the New Mexico Ballet Company II, and Festival Ballet Albuquerque. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist, and is a volunteer dog-walker at the Animal Humane New Mexico.
Jennifer Boren began her extensive performing career training on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma, starting her professional career with Tulsa Ballet Theatre, then becoming principal dancer with Southwest Ballet in New Mexico. She continued her studies in New York, Paris and London and toured Europe with Weinner Ballett Theatre and Taiwan with Kirov and Bolshoi stars in Superstars of the Russian Ballet. Jennifer has guest performed with companies in Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and California. Locally, Jennifer has danced as a principal with the Southwest Ballet, the University of New Mexico Dance Ensemble, Ballet Repertory Theatre, New Mexico Ballet Company and Festival Ballet Albuquerque. She has received critical acclaim for her roles as Lucy in Dracula and as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Jennifer teaches currently for several local studios, the Albuquerque Academy and travels often as a master teacher and choreographer throughout New Mexico, most recently working in conjunction with State Street Ballet Co. on their Jungle Book tour.
Karroll Candelaria-Bauer has thirty-three years of experience teaching Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Tumbling and is a certified Cecchetti instructor. She is currently on faculty at Dance Theater Southwest. Ms. Candelaria-Bauer has worked as the Dance Department Head for Albuquerque Academy Summer Session and has taught classes and choreographed for National Dance Institute, Alwin School of Dance and The Performers Ballet and Jazz Company, Manzano Day School Extended Day and Summer Dance, and has assisted with numerous local productions as a Stage Manager, Choreographer, and Rehearsal Assistant. She has performed for Festival Ballet Albuquerque, in City Streets at Sea World/San Diego, aboard cruise ships for Princess Cruises, as a principal dancer for the New Mexico Ballet, and has danced in several local performances with the Growing Stage, Albuqureque Little Theater, ACLOA, AOT, and has appeared in various movies, television shows, and television commercials.
Courtney Giannini is a native New Mexican and has been dancing for over twenty years. She has competed in numerous competitions around the country and has won several national awards. Courtney made her debut with New Mexico Ballet Company in The Nutcraker dancing Russian Trepak. She currently teaches at Marshall's Performing Arts Conservatory and is the head coach of the Sandia Prep dance team while pursuing a degree in education at UNM. She would like to thank her husband Louie for all his love and support.
Louis Giannini, Jr. has danced in Albuquerque since 1991, in featured roles such as Harlequin doll, Rat King, Snow King, and Russian variation in The Nutcracker; the title role in Billy the Kid, and Jonathan Harker in Dracula. For Ballet Theatre of New Mexico, he danced lead roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Magic Flute, Casa de Bernarda Alba, and was featured as the Cavalier in The Nutcracker. He has been in more than 20 productions as a choreographer and performer with Musical Theatre Southwest, including West Side Story as "Rif." Some of his ALT credits include A Funny Thing Happened on The Way To The Forum and Man of La Mancha as a choreographer. Louis is currently a drama/dance teacher at Sandia Preparatory School and teaches at Marshall Performing Arts Conservatory.
Dominic Guerra was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the age of nineteen he was awarded a scholarship from the Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City where he received formal training in classical ballet and modern dance with a focus in the techniques of Lester Horton and Martha Graham. In 2001, Guerra became a professional company member and principal dancer with American Repertory Ballet. Guerra's showmanship has been depicted in roles such as the Dancing Master in Cinderella, Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Droselmeyer in Graham Lustig's Nutcracker. Guerra has shaped roles in " VISTA " by Graham Lustig and "Exorcising Man" by Lauri Stallings. Other roles that showcase his dynamic sense of movement and expression include Dominique Dumais' -a part between parts-, and Amy Seiwert's Monopoly. Guerra has also danced with Luis Fuentes Ballet in New Mexico, Connecticut Ballet and Zig Zag Ballet. He has returned to his hometown of Albuquerque to pursue a bachelor's degree in Business. Guerra danced the title role of Dracula in FBA's October, 2012, production at NHCC.
Thax von Reither began his dance career in 1990 with the Northwest Florida Ballet while perusing a degree in Physical Education. He has also performed with First City Dance Theatre, Ballet Pensacola, Idaho Dance Theatre, Ballet Repertory Theatre of New Mexico, New Mexico Ballet, and now, Festival Ballet Albuquerque. Over the past twenty-three years he has performed principle roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppellia, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Scheherazade. In addition to his classical work, Mr. von Reither has spent a great amount of his time performing contemporary ballet and modern work. He is also an accomplished choreographer having choreographed original works such as Fraternus, Skyy, Orientation, Letting Go, Umbraculum, and most recently, Equus Ferus, to name a few. He has taught men's and pas de deux classes at Dance Theatre of the Southwest. He is honored to now step into the role of Artistic Advisor for Festival Ballet Albuquerque. His high attention to detail and his enthusiastic manner will help the company produce strong and energizing performances.