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2024 Spring Program


April 20, 2024

7:30 PM


April 21, 2024

2:30 PM

Cannon Center for the Performing Arts

Collage Dance Collective Company Artists

Thierry Blannchard, Luisa Cardoso, Santiago Castañeda, Rickey Flagg II, Sebastian Garcia, Maya Hawkins, Lauren Huynh, Victoria Jaenson, Emma Jennings, Nia Lyons, Fábio Mariano, Summer McNeill, Leonard Perez, Lauren Philson, João Silva and Raquel Smith


Marcellus Harper
Executive Director
Kevin Thomas

Artistic Director

Lenore Pavlakos-Morales

Rehearsal Director

Anne-Carolyn Bird

Development Director

Shalishah Franklin

Director of Marketing & Communications

Wilburn Bonnell

Production Manager & Lighting Director

Robert McIntyre

Stage Manager

Andrea “Abeo” Brown

Costume Shop Manager

Anne Thompson

Costume Shop Associate

David Roseberry

Media Director

Justin Johnson

Financial Controller

Leiya Williams

People Strategist

Elena Maverick

Operations Manager

Karen Niceley

Community Engagement Manager

Andy Santucci

Facilities Manager

Dennis Adams

Events & Rentals Manager

Morgan Millon

Student Services Administrator

Sydni Walton

Operations Coordinator

Jasmine McCraven

Senior Marketing Coordinator

Dorian Rhea

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Toni Todd

Development Coordinator

Miyesha McGriff

Turning Pointe Coordinator

Jennifer Salvador

Executive Assistant

McKenzie Carruthers
Front Desk Associate
Imajin Lias
Front Desk Associate
Kaadia Montgomery
Front Desk Associate
Lyric White
Front Desk Associate


Lighting equipment provided by 4Wall Entertainment

Stagehands for Collage Dance Collective are members of Local 69, IATSE

Collage Dance Conservatory Faculty

Kevin Thomas, Lisa Ballo, Abigail Taber, Karen Niceley, Danielle Pierce, Dorian Rhea, Kindred Spirit, DeAngelo Cheatom, Noelia Garcia Carmona, Elita Loaces, Imajin Lias, Lenore Pavlakos-Morales, Yosek Prieto


Edward Schoelwer of Red Shell Mgmt |


Dacquiri Baptiste, Dr. Roy Bors-Koefoed, Marcellus Harper, Darren Isom, Jim Jenkins, Sherita Lee, Michael Lofton, Ashley Prieto, Beverly Robertson, Dr. Jessica Ruffin, Jonathan Scharff, Derwin Sisnett, Cameron Smith, Kevin Thomas, Emily Waters


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, James R. & Anita Horne Jenkins Family Foundation, SouthArts, Tennessee Arts Commission, Assisi Foundation, Hyde Family Foundation, Bank of America, ArtsMemphis, the Shubert Foundation, Orion Bank, and Buckman Laboratories.


June 2, 2024

THE FIFTH ELEMENT – Annual Student Concert

Cannon Center for the Performing Arts

 October 25 – 27, 2024

 FIREBIRD – Fall Season

Cannon Center for the Performing Arts

The Program



Durante Verzola


Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges 1st Movement: 6 Concertante Quartets, No. 6 in B-Flat Major: I. Allegro 2nd Movement: Aria con Variazioni in G Major 3rd Movement: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 3 No. 2 – Molto adagio con sordini 4th Movement: 6 Concertante Quartets, No. 3 in C Major: I. Allegro


Pamela Allen-Cummings


Wilburn Bonnell


Santiago Castañeda, Sebastian Garcia, Lauren Huynh, Emma Jennings, Lauren Philson, João Silva, Raquel Smith

***** PAUSE *****



Amy Hall Garner


Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Koko Taylor


Rebecca Turk


Wilburn Bonnell


Thierry Blannchard, Santiago Castañeda, Rickey Flagg II, Sebastian Garcia, Maya Hawkins, Lauren Huynh, Nia Lyons, Victoria Jaenson,  Summer McNeill, Leonard Perez, João Silva

***** INTERMISSION *****



Wayne McGregor


Joby Talbot and Jack White III


Joby Talbot


Christopher Austin

By arrangement with Chester Music


Kyle Dickson, Memphis Symphony Orchestra


John Pawson

Scenery Courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada


Moritz Junge


Simon Bennison


Kyle Davis


Paul McNamara


Lillie Tuck


Thierry Blannchard, Rickey Flagg II, Sebastian Garcia, Emma Jennings, Fábio Mariano, Summer McNeill, Leonard Perez, Lauren Philson, João Silva, Raquel Smith


Violin I

Barrie Cooper, Concertmaster

Marisa Polesky, Assistant Concertmaster

Diane Zelickman Cohen, Assistant Principal

Wen-Yih Yu, Assistant Principal

Jessica Munson

Janaina Fernandes

Violin II

Gaylon Patterson, Principal

Erin Kaste, Assistant Principal

Lenore McIntyre, Assistant Principal

Yennifer Correia

Michael Brennan


Jennifer Puckett, Principal

Aaron Tubergen, Assistant Principal

Beth Luscombe, Assistant Principal

Matthew Finley


Ruth Valente Burgess, Principal

Iren Zombor, Assistant Principal

Jonathan Kirkscey, Assistant Principal

Jeffrey Jurciukonis


Sean O’Hara, Principal

Garrett Kirk, Assistant Principal


Shantanique Moore, Principal

Delara Hashemi


Mari Kamikura


Saundra D’Amato, Principal

Austin Smith

English Horn

Shelly Sublett, Principal


Andre Dyachenko, Principal

Rena Feller


Andre Dyachenko, Principal

Rena Feller

Bass Clarinet

Nobuko Igarashi


Caleb Allen

Gary Buss


Susanna Whitney, Principal

Michael Scott


Brianna Allen


Caroline Kinsey, Principal

Robert Patterson

Vincent Morreale

Wilker Augusto


Scott Moore, Principal

Susan Enger

J. Michael McKenzie


Greg Luscombe, Principal 

Wes Lebo

Bass Trombone

Mark Vail


Charles Schulz, Principal


Frank Shaffer, Principal


David Carlisle, Principal

Stewart Plumlee, Assistant Principal

Michael Karcz

Brian Graiser


Frances Cobb Kenney, Principal


Adrienne Park, Principal


Collage Dance, recently named a “Southern Cultural Treasure” by South Arts and the Ford Foundation, and listed among the 50 largest ballet companies in the nation by Dance Data Project, is one of the largest Black-led performing arts organizations in the South and one of just a few professional ballet companies in the world with a roster of BIPOC dancers.

Working to inspire the growth and diversity of ballet, Collage Dance Collective showcases a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of the communities we serve. The professional company has presented fourteen full-length seasons in Memphis, plus national and international touring presenting a diverse range of classical and contemporary choreography from George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Ulysses Dove, Joshua Manculich, Amy Hall Garner, Kevin Iega Jeff, and more.

The work of Collage Dance Collective has been featured in media outlets including Huffington Post, Allure, Yahoo!, The Commercial Appeal, Afropunk, Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine.

Its institutional arm, the Collage Dance Conservatory, trains more kids of color in a classical art form than any other non-profit in the region. More than 1,000 students each week study dance through Collage’s in-school dance education programs and on-site at its new 22,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility, Collage Dance Center, opened in December 2020.

Collage Dance also runs the Collage Dance Continuum, which seeks to dramatically increase access to dance and movement classes for Memphians, regardless of age, ability, disability, or body type. The Continuum offers affordable adult classes in a non-competitive, affirming environment with master teachers at the top of their craft.



→ Tap on names for bio

Founding Executive Director

Founding Artistic Director And Choreographer



→ Tap on names for bio

São Paulo, Brazil

Medellin, Colombia

Salvador, Brazil

Windsor, Connecticut

Bronx, New York

Memphis, Tennessee

Plano, Texas

Kampala, Uganda

Silver Spring, Maryland

Chicago, Illinois

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Atlanta, Georgia

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Houston, Texas

Los Angeles, California


DURANTE VERZOLA who is originally from Kansas, has choreographed works for Miami City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet II, Ballet Dallas, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB), Miami City Ballet School, Ballet Chicago, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Goucher College, School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and Peabody Dance. He is a winner of Joffrey Ballet’s Winning Works and has been selected for CPYB’s ChoreoPlan. Verzola has also been awarded a Kaatsbaan UpStream Residency, and has led Miami City Ballet School’s Choreographic Intensive since its inception.

AMY HALL GARNER is a native of Huntsville, Alabama, and a graduate of The Juilliard School. Her work has been commissioned by Ailey II, ABT Studio Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, Collage Dance Collective, The Juilliard School, and The Ailey School, to name a few. She has created virtual commissions for BalletX, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process Digital Series, Boulder Ballet, and a virtual collaboration between Miami City Ballet and Paul Taylor Dance Company. Ms. Garner recently created a new production of The Nutcracker for Baltimore School for the Arts and choreographed a new children’s ballet entitled, Rita Finds A Home for The Joffrey Ballet. Currently, she is the resident choreographer at Carolina Ballet. Ms. Garner personally coached Grammy Award winner Beyoncé, providing additional choreography for The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Theatrical choreography credits include: Dreamgirls (Paramount Theatre), Choir Boy (Yale Repertory Theatre), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Repertory Theater) and Invisible Thread, associate choreographer (Second Stage Theater, NYC). In 2018, she was selected to participate in Alvin Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab supported by the Ford Foundation. Garner was one of the first recipients of the Joffrey Ballet’s Choreography of Color Award (now titled Winning Works). She is an adjunct professor at New York University’s New Studio on Broadway at Tisch School of the Arts and a recent Virginia B. Toulmin Fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts.

WAYNE McGREGOR CBE Born in 1970, Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award winning British choreographer and director, internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in performance that have radically redefined dance in the modern era. Driven by an insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potentials, his experiments have led him into collaborative dialogue with an array of artistic forms, scientific disciplines, and technological interventions. The startling and multi-dimensional works resulting from these interactions have ensured McGregor’s position at the cutting edge of contemporary arts for over twenty-five years.

He is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, encompassing creative collaborations in dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science; a touring company of dancers Company Wayne McGregor; and learning and research programmes.

Wayne McGregor is also Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, Director of Dance for the Venice Biennale, and is regularly commissioned by and has works in the repertories of the most important dance companies around the world including Paris Opera Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and Australian Ballet.

He is in demand as a choreographer for theatre (Old Vic, National Theatre, Royal Court, Donmar) opera (La Scala/Royal Opera, ENO,), film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 1 ,2, 3 Sing, Mary Queen of Scots), and music videos (Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers). McGregor choreographed the highly anticipated ABBA Voyage concert which premiered in London in May 2022.

McGregor is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. 

In 2011 McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance and in 2021 was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Prix de Lausanne.


REBECCA TURK (COSTUME DESIGN) is a professional costume designer and educator with over twenty years of experience, whose art has been featured by premier theatre and ballet companies around the globe. She promotes empathy, curiosity, and play through her design and teaching practices. Rebecca leads art, design, and craft workshops in community and museum settings with participants from 5 to 60+ years of age. She holds a PhD in Arts Administration, Education and Policy with a specialization in Art Education and an interdisciplinary specialization in the Analysis of Material Culture. Her research interests include trans-disciplinary educational practices, material culture, costuming & performance, and practice as research. She will join the faculty of The Ohio State University’s Department of Theatre, Film, & Media Arts in the fall. Rebecca is a proud member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, IATSE.

WILBURN BONNELL (LIGHTING DESIGNER) is a NYC-based lighting designer.  New York credits include: Luft Gangster (Sheen Center); Half Moon Bay, Comes a Faery, In Fields Where They Lay (New Ohio); Mr. Irresistible, Project: Lohan (La MaMa); Caucasian Chalk Circle (Theatre Row).  Regional: Satchmo at the Waldorf (Wallis); Deathtrap and White Christmas (Engeman); Orpheus in the Berkshires, A Dixon Family Album and Becoming Sylvia (Williamstown). Broadway Assoc./Asst. LD for: Head Over Heels, Fully Committed, The Visit, Newsies (& Nat’l Tour), Elf Nat’l. Tour, Ghost Nat’l. Tour, The Performers, The Anarchist, Jekyll & Hyde. Eight seasons as Lighting Supervisor of Williamstown Theatre Festival. Wilburn is an alumnus of Vassar College and proud member of Local USA-829, IATSE.

JODY TALBOT (COMPOSER) was born in London in 1971. He studied composition privately with Brian Elias and at Royal Holloway University of London, before completing a Master of Music (Composition) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Simon Bainbridge.

Talbot’s diverse catalogue includes full-length narrative ballets (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 2011; The Winter’s Tale, 2014; Like Water for Chocolate, 2022) and contemporary dance works (Chroma, 2006; Genus, 2007; Fool’s Paradise, 2012); small- and large-scale choral and vocal works (The Wishing Tree, 2002; Path of Miracles, 2005; A Sheen of Dew on Flowers, 2019; Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis 2022); orchestral pieces (Sneaker Wave, 2004; Chacony in G Minor, 2011; Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity, 2012); concerti (Desolation Wilderness, 2006; Ink Dark Moon, 2018); scores for live performance to the screen (The Lodger, 1999; The Dying Swan, 2002; Vampyr, 2018); and feature films with directors including Garth Jennings and Paul King (Sing, 2016; Sing 2, 2021;  Wonka, 2023) 

A fruitful collaboration with librettist Gene Scheer has produced Talbot’s operas Everest (2015) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2023). Commissioned by The Dallas Opera, both premiered to critical acclaim, while Everest received its much-anticipated UK premiere with BBCSO and BBC Singers in June 2023.  

Future projects include Oscar for The Australian Ballet, Talbot’s fourth full-length ballet; a large-scale work for US vocal ensemble Conspirare; and a concerto for American pianist and conductor Scott Dunn.

JACK WHITE III (COMPOSER) Born and raised in Detroit as the youngest of 10 siblings, Jack White’s utilitarian approach filters through all of his work, from self-producing his own music to the Third Man empire he founded (which currently includes a pressing plant, a record label, three physical retail stores, a photo lab, a lounge/bar, and more), his upholstery and various other art and design pursuits, and anything else that crosses his desk. Over a quarter century into his professional musical career, White’s ability to weave relevant, compelling, and poignant artistry into his music leaves him unparalleled.

When the White Stripes started in 1997 no one, least of all White, ever expected that a red, white and black two-piece band would take hold in the mainstream world. The band’s self-titled debut and sophomore effort De Stijl amassed critical acclaim and built a passionate underground following, but it was the release of 2001’s White Blood Cells that thrust the White Stripes onto magazine covers as they captivated larger audiences through worldwide touring. “Fell in Love With a Girl” served as the band’s breakthrough hit and its accompanying Michel Gondry Lego clip was chosen by Pitchfork as the #1 music video of the 2000s.

The release of Elephant in 2003 not only cemented the band’s reputation, but also offered the #1 hit single “Seven Nation Army,” which has since been appropriated as arguably the most popular chant in sports stadiums around the world.

KYLE DICKSON (ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR), an American conductor, is quickly building a reputation as an inspiring and compelling presence on the podium. Recipient of the 2021 Grant Park Music Festival Advocate for Arts Award and the Concert Artists Guild’s (CAG) Robert S. Weinart Award, Dickson is a Salonen Conducting Fellow with the San Francisco Symphony and the Colburn School under the guidance of Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Highlights of this season included debuts with San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox and concerts with the Detroit, Oakland, Wichita and National Symphony Orchestras. In 2023-2024, he will appear as a Guest Conductor with the Louisville Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Pasadena, Portland (ME), and Marin Symphony Orchestras.

Appointed Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta from 2021-2022, Dickson has served as Assistant/Cover Conductor for the Orchestre de Paris, NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, New York Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, St. Louis, Minnesota, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, and the National Symphony (Washington, DC). He has assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen, Fabio Biondi, Stéphane Denève, Andrew Manze, James Conlon, Carlos Prieto, Osmo Vänskä, Raphael Payare and Kevin John Edusei among others.

His passion for music education has led to many collaborations with youth ensembles around the country. Dickson has served as Conductor of the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra and the South Side Chicago Youth Symphony. He’s been Assistant Conductor for Carnegie Hall’s 2022 NYO USA/NYO2 Tour and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. Additionally, he was named 2017 Hyde Park Youth Symphony Artist-In-Residence and has worked with Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, National Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Summer Music Institute, Ravinia’s El Sistema program, Colburn Academy Virtuosi and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Dickson was a Guest Conductor at 2023 Chicago Youth In Music Festival Orchestra and this season will conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition.

Dickson was selected as a Conducting Fellow at the 2021 National Orchestral Institute’s Conducting Academy directed by Marin Alsop and as a Paul Freeman Conducting Fellow under the mentorship of Mei-Ann Chen from 2019-2022. Dickson was also trained as a violinist and a prizewinner at the 2010 NANM National Concerto Competition. He’s held residencies at Indiana University-South Bend, the United World College of South East Asia, and served on the violin and chamber music faculty at the New Music School (Chicago). He has performed with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra, Quad City Symphony, and was Concertmaster of the Chicago Composers Orchestra. Additionally, his playing can be heard on albums by recording artists such as John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and Jessie J as a member of the Matt Jones/Recollective Orchestra.

Dickson studied conducting at the Colburn School and Northwestern University. His principal conducting teachers include Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mei-Ann Chen, Kevin Noe, and Victor Yampolsky. He received degrees in violin performance and music education from DePaul University and Michigan State University studying with Walter Verdehr, Laura Roelofs, and Olga Kaler.

JOHN PAWSON CBE (SET DESIGNER) has spent over thirty years making rigorously simple architecture that speaks of the fundamentals but is also modest in character. His body of work spans a broad range of scales and typologies, from private houses, sacred commissions, galleries, museums, hotels, ballet sets, yacht interiors and a bridge across a lake. 

As Alvar Aalto’s bronze door handle has been characterised as the ‘handshake of a building’, so a sense of engaging with the essence of a philosophy of space through everything the eye sees or the hand touches is a defining aspect of Pawson’s work. His method is to approach buildings and design commissions in precisely the same manner, on the basis that ‘it’s all architecture’. 

Whether at the scale of a monastery, a house, a saucepan or a ballet, everything is traceable back to a consistent set of preoccupations with mass, volume, surface, proportion, junction, geometry, repetition, light and ritual. In this way, even something as modest as a fork can become a vehicle for much broader ideas about how we live and what we value.

MORITZ JUNGE (COSTUME DESIGNER) is an acclaimed set and costume designer who works internationally across theatre, opera, dance and entertainment. Born in Germany, Moritz studied at the university of the arts in Berlin before coming to London to complete his MFA in set and costume design at the Slade School of Fine Art under the tutelage of Philip Prowse and Yolanda Sonnabend. In 2001 he was the overall winner of the Linbury Prize, the UK’s most prestigious award for graduates in stage design. Following his degree show, he debuted with Tom Cairns designing the world premiere of Tom Ades’ The Tempest which opened in 2004 at the Royal Opera House in London. Moritz has since worked consistently with most of the leading performing art institutions in the world, alongside numerous commercial projects, including costume design for the London 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony. He also regularly works with photographer Finlay MacKay, creating and styling commercial images for advertising campaigns such as the Lavazza calendar in 2008 and a Sony BMG album for Paloma Faith.

LUCY CARTER (LIGHTING DESIGNER) is a two-time winner of the Knight of Illumination Award for Dance in 2008 for Chroma and 2015 for Woolf Works (The Royal Ballet). She is a close creative collaborator of Wayne McGregor, they have worked together for many years across a multitude of works for both Company Wayne McGregor and The Royal Ballet, where McGregor serves as Resident Choreographer. Her credits for work with McGregor include MADDADAM, The Dante Project, McGregor and Mugler (London Coliseum); Woolf Works, Yugen, +/- Human (Company Wayne McGregor & The Royal Ballet); Autobiography, Atomos, UNDANCE, FAR, Dyad 1909, Entity, Amu, AtaXia, Nemesis, Digit 01 (Company Wayne McGregor);  Multiverse, Obsidian Tear, Woolf Works, Tetractys: The Art of the Fugue, Raven Girl, Machina, Carbon Life, Live Fire Exercise, Limen, Infra, Chroma, QualIa, Nimbus (Royal Ballet, London); Borderlands (San Francisco Ballet); Dido and Aeneas and Acis and Galatea (Royal Opera/Royal Ballet, London); Outlier (New York City Ballet); Dyad 1929 (Australian Ballet); Kirikou and Karaba (musical); Alea Sands, L’Anatomie de la Sensation, Genus (Paris Opera Ballet); Skindex and Renature (Nederlands Dans Theater 1); 2Human (English National Ballet); Yantra and Nautilus (Stuttgart Ballet). Lucy’s work extends to Theatre and Opera including: Free your Mind (Factory International); Shirley Valentine (West End); The Time Traveller’s Wife (West End, Chester Storyhouse); 2:22 A Ghost Story (West End & UK tour, Los Angeles, Melbourne); Much Ado About Nothing, Home, I’m Darling, Medea, Blurred Lines, Emil and the Detectives, Husbands and Sons (National Theatre); Force Majeure (Donmar Warehouse); Wicked (Hamburg); Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (West End, UK Tour); On The Town (Japan); Alcina (Royal Opera House – Best New Opera Production, Olivier Awards 2023), Le nozze di Figaro (Opéra de Paris); The Cunning Little Vixen, Orphée (ENO); Katya  Kabanova (Royal Opera House – Best New Opera Production, Olivier Awards 2019); Mavra/Pierrot Lunaire, Hansel and Gretel (ROH); Werther (Bergen National Opera); La finta giardiniera (Glyndebourne) and Lohengrin (WNO, Greek  National Opera, Polish National Opera). Other credits include: Gareth Pugh’s Women’s Collection in London Fashion Week 2017 and 2019, and Paloma Faith’s performance at the Brit Awards 2015 (choreographed by McGregor).

NEIL FLEMING BROWN (STAGER), born in Glasgow, danced for Company Wayne McGregor from 2006 to 2010. He is now a Studio Wayne McGregor dance artist who has been Rehearsal Director for Company Wayne McGregor, a member of the Learning and Engagement team, and a re-stager of McGregor works by dance schools and other companies. He has re-staged Polar Sequences for Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Chroma for the National Ballet of Poland and Infra for The Australian Ballet and Finnish National Ballet; and Obsidian Tear for Ballet National de Bordeaux.

CATHERINE SMITH (DESIGN ASSOCIATE) trained in production design for film & television and after graduating designed & art directed for various companies including the BBC & YTV. A change of direction took her to English National Opera followed by the Royal Opera House where she collaborated on most of Wayne McGregor’s works for The Royal Ballet including Dido & Aeneas / Acis & Galatea, Limen, Live Fire Exercise, Carbon Life, Machina, Raven Girl, Tetractys, Woolf Works, Obsidian Tear, Multiverse & Yugen. Catherine left the Royal Opera House in 2018 to work at Studio Wayne McGregor as their Design Associate. 

SIMON BENNISON (LIGHTING ASSOCIATE), a British lighting designer, is from Manchester and trained in lighting, architecture and music at UCL, Yale, Surrey and RADA and was Lighting Associate for the Royal Opera House until 2022.

He has designed for many major ballet and opera companies worldwide. Recent productions include Carlos at 50 (Royal Opera House), Prometheus Poem of Fire (Royal Festival Hall), A Diamond Celebration (Royal Ballet), Nureyev Legend & Legacy (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Dido & Aeneas (Deborah Warner Opera Company), The Realistic Joneses (Dublin Theatre Festival) and The Dante Project, (Paris Opera Ballet).

Scherzo and Anemoi (Royal Ballet), have each received best new dance piece awards from the South Bank and the Dance Critics Award 2021. And The Dante Project won the South Bank best dance work in 2022.


November 2022 - March 2024


Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ArtsMemphis, The Estate of Donna Fisher, Hyde Family Foundation, James R. and Anita Horne Jenkins, Memphis City Council, SouthArts, Tennessee Arts Commission


The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, International Association of Blacks in Dance


Anonymous, AutoZone, City of Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Roy and Lydia Bors-Koefoed, First Horizon, Todd and Kandice Henderson, James R. and Leslie Jenkins, Bank of America, Thomas W. Briggs Foundation, Buckman Laboratories International, Inc., Memphis City Council, Orion Bank, The Shubert Foundation, William Townsend


Robert Arnold, Kenneth and Gloria Boyland, Kelly and Kathleen Fish, Sarah Jemison, Jonathan and Suzanne Scharff, William Townsend, Miller Dental Health, SouthArts, TAS Memphis Impact


Molly and Nat Akin, Melissa Azzi, Calvin and Tyria Biggers, Ann Clements, Melissa Clinton, Martha Dantzic, Elaine Drew, Kim and Gaskill, Norris Gray, John and Lynne Hostetler, Mary Jenkins, Latarshia and Darin Johnson, Justin Johnson, Alicia Thompson, Michael Kennedy, Deena and Brevin Knight, Sherita Lee, Michael Lofton, Jimmy and Jan McElroy, Dr. Rodric Miller, Rhonda Neal, Yolanda Neely, Christopher Niceley, Anthony and Angela Nichols, Cardell and Nefertiti Orrin, Crystal Pourciau, Ashley Prieto, Domini Rasini, Sandra Reed, Terrell Richards, Tracey Robinson, Cathy Ross, Bathsheba Sams, Vanita “Saleema” Snow, Dr. Arie and Anneliese Szatkowski, Traci Takahara Slacum, Antonio Tillis, Tiffany Vertison-Cole, Dr. Amy Walsh, Emily Waters, First Choice Sales and Marketing Group, Joe’s Wines & Liquors, Memphis Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc., Merck Foundation, Pinnacle Financial Partners, The River City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Inc., Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, TRUST Marketing, UTHSC School of Medicine, Victory Bicycle


Manker Anderson, Markova and Chris Anderson, Michelle Armstrong, Terry L. Berry, Warda Davis, Mairead Deehan, Dwight and Brooke Dishmon, Erica Evans, Mary Freeman, Bryan Zerwig Ford, Amber Hamilton, Sharon Devine Harris, Laurita Jackson, Mary Jackson, Mary Jenkins, Eden Johnson, William Payson and Melisa Luck, Yvonne Madlock, Elena Maverick, Estella Mayhue-Greer, Rodney and Michaela Myers, Tiffany Owens, Dana Peterson, Carolyn Petties, Patrice Reed, Robin Salant, Dr. Tyrone Spady, Ben Staub, Tony Todd, Philip and Kelsea Walkley, Jeffery Warren, Drs. Trenton and Vashti Watson, Cassandra Webster, Stacy Welsh, Jason and Molly Wexler, Monica Wharton, Camilla Wilson, Carmen Zamora, Melva Zanella, Wiseacre Brewing Co


Vera Ballard, Anne-Carolyn Bird, LaSandra Blount, Matt and Ellen Brint, Pat Brown and Tom Clifton, Demarious Danovi, Tanya Dawson, John Devereaux, Sydney Diavua, Juan J. Fuentes, Tamiko and Vaudrey Funderburke, Elizabeth Gillaspy, Claire Greer, Rosie Hayes, Annette and David Hawkins, Jason and Natasha Johnson, Brandye Lee, Kevin and Peggy Lewis, Theodore and Betty Mack, Nika Jackson Martin, Jennifer McGarth, Susie M. Melton, Vanessa Murtaugh, Margaret Pellett, Dr. Rosie Richmond, Raymond Santucci, Elizabeth Schaeffer, Matthew and Nicole Seltzer, Rande Smith, Elestine Smittick, Jeannette Spencer, Tish Towns, James Washington, James and Alison Wetter, Dalilah Works, Chief’s Society, Corps de Ballet International Inc., Harlequin Floors (American Corporation), HOTWORX Edge District, Memphis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Southern College of Optometry.


Anne Ballentine, Dacquiri Baptiste,Tracy L. Berry, Deborah Biggers, Mark and Elizabeth Bird, Stephen & Dottyanne Bird, Maria Bostic, James and Martha Boyd, Michelle Bradley, Johnnie Brown, Meghan Carr, Tony Championsmith, Je’Cole Cole, Gary Coleman, Johnican Coleman,  Shango and Sherrie Cooke, Lisa Couch, Donna Croce, Richard Crow, Dara Davis, Tanya Dawson, Valerie Diamond, Veda Dove, Elise Drew Leon, Eric Elms, Lorene Essex, Eve Ferguson, Jerry G., Erskine Gillespie, Anel Gonzalez, Dr. Von Goodloe, Brian Gorecki, Mya Harper, Terrius Harris, Myrteen Hawkins, Anthony Hollins, Alexzander Holmes, Don Holsinger, Lakisha Howard, Christopher Huggins, Arthur Hunter, Lee Ellen Hveem, Romona Jackson, Katherine Quimby Johnson, Michele Johnson, Tracye Jones, Vickie Jones, Stephen Karr, Steven Keller, Tamara King, Kay Kiyomi, Stephen Kolderup, Paula Kovarik, Marthe Leonard, Yetta M. Lewis, Polly & Jim Linthicum, Wanda Lockhart, Bryan Lockhart, Daisy McKinney, Major and Linda McNeil, Peggy Mead-Finizio, Carol Miller, Tiffeni Moore, Lenore Morales, Jill Norcross, Tasha Norman Jacobs, Karen Osborne, Ruthe Ponturo, Darrell Ray, Jill Reynolds, Jennifer Richardson,  Kia Robinson, Nathaniel Rogers, Jeffrey and Sally Rosenberg, Brooke Sarden, Baraka Sele, Vitus Shell, JD Shotwell,  Villa Tapp, Ronald Taylor, Dino Vannicola, George Walker, Karen Ware, Rychetta Watkins, Kirk and Ruby Whalum, Lar’Juanette Williams, Alexander Woodward, Katherine Zuckerman, Buttermilk Babes Memphis, Black Wall Street 901, Inc., Circular Power Inc, Lil Buck Entertainment Inc, Melissa’s Fine Catering, Accent Awards, Engineered Management Solutions, Rubberband

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Founding Executive Director

Marcellus Harper has an expansive background in project management and event production. He has worked as a Program Analyst for the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA). He was among the first seven employees of the TSA Taskforce mandated by Congress to create and develop the agency and federalize our nation’s transportation security infrastructures. Prior to his work with the TSA, Mr. Harper worked as a Project Coordinator for Marriott International’s corporate marketing department, where he was directly responsible for the development and implementation of several industry events for the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Mr. Harper has worked for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Harvard University coordinating special projects to assist research and treatment work for HIV/AIDs patients in Africa. Mr. Harper was a Meyerhoff Scholar at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where he studied biology and theatre and was a double national medalist in the NAACP’s ACT-SO Program in biology and oratory. Marcellus is the 2011 recipient of the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals’ Change Artist Award in recognition of his achievements towards “positive community influence and unwavering commitment to the arts”. Marcellus holds a Bachelor’s degree in non-profit administration and performing arts and serves on the boards of Tennessee Association of Dance and the Historic Broad Avenue Arts Alliance.

Kevin Thomas

Founding Artistic Director And Choreographer

Kevin Thomas began his dance training with Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec in Montreal, Canada, and has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Cleveland/San Jose Ballet and the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) in New York City.  He joined DTH in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1999. With DTH, Mr. Thomas’ credits include leading roles in The Prodigal Son, Dialogues, The Four Temperaments, Othello, Adrian (Angel on Earth), A Song for Dead Warriors, Troy Games, Equuis and Dougla.  He has performed leading roles in numerous ballets including, The Nutcracker, Tarantella, Agon, Who Cares, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Quixote, Consort Lessons, and Aureole. Mr. Thomas has made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet in London, Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York and Fleming Flindt and Peter Schaufuss in Denmark. He has also appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Thomas has choreographed for Nashville Ballet, Opera Memphis, Hattiloo Repertory Theatre, New Ballet Ensemble, Orpheum Theatre, Flint Institute of Music, University of Utah, University of Memphis, and Collage Dance Collective. Mr. Thomas is a National Visiting Fellow at the School of American Ballet.

He has performed leading roles in numerous ballets including, The Nutcracker, Tarantella, Agon, Who Cares, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Quixote, Consort Lessons, and Aureole. Mr. Thomas has made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet in London, Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York and Fleming Flindt and Peter Schaufuss in Denmark. He has also appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera.

In 2006, Mr. Thomas co-founded Collage Dance Collective, a Memphis-based contemporary ballet company recently named a “Southern Cultural Treasure” by South Arts and Ford Foundation. In addition to serving as its artistic director and an integral choreographic voice, Mr. Thomas is also a highly sought-after guest choreographer creating works for Nashville Ballet, Opera Memphis, Hattiloo Repertory Theatre, Flint Institute of Music, University of Utah, and The University of Memphis to name a few. From 2017 – 2018, Mr. Thomas also served as a National Visiting Fellow at the School of American Ballet.

Lenore Pavlakos Morales

Collage Dance Rehearsal Director

Lenore Pavlakos Morales is a native of Brooklyn, NY and graduate of The Juilliard School where she received her BFA Degree in dance. Her professional career includes Eglevsky Ballet, Maryland Ballet & Eugene Ballet before joining Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) under the direction of Arthur Mitchell.  She quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to Soloist and later Principal dancer. In her 11-year tenure with DTH she worked with master’s such as Fredrick Franklin, John Taras, Suzanne Farrell, Jacques D’Ambroise, Geoffrey Holder.  Featured roles include: Waltz Girl in Balanchine’s Serenade, Medea in Michael Smuin’s Medea, Desdemona in Jose Limon’s Moors Pavane, Princess of Unreal Beauty in John Taras’s Firebird and Myrta in Fredrick Franklin’s staging of Creole Giselle. In addition to performing, she served as assistant rehearsal director to the company and Master Teacher for their “Dancing through Barriers”, outreach program both in the US and abroad. Lenore performed as guest artist to various companies in the US. Ms. Morales was a featured model for Capezio ads and has been seen in Oprah, Mademoiselle, Pointe, and Dance Magazine as well as Italy’s Io Donna.  

Following her performing career Ms. Morales served as Director to The Harkness Youth Ballet @ 92nd Street Y and later Ballet Mistress to Staten Island Ballet. Recently, she was delighted to serve as guest Rehearsal Director to Dance Theatre of Harlem, NYC during their 2021-2022 season. In 2022, Lenore joined Collage Dance Collective as Rehearsal Director during its 13th Performance Season. Additional teaching includes ballet faculty at Rutgers – Mason Gross School of the Arts,West Virginia Dance Festival, Scarsdale Ballet Studio, American Ballet Theatre JKO School, Academy of Dance Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, Tremaine Dance Convention. She is a certified teacher of Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® technique.

Thierry Blannchard

São Paulo, Brazil

Thierry Blannchard began his dance training at the age of 8 at the Elizandra Bellotto School.  In 2016 he won a scholarship to study at Bolshoi Theater School in Brazil, where he studied contemporary dance, character dance, dance history, history of art, acting, pas de deux and piano. During this time, Thierry had the opportunity to work with the likes of Vladimir Vasiliev, Galina Kravchenko, Dennys Nevidommy, Pedro Carneiro and Rostlav Dzabraev. From 2020-2021, Thierry worked as a trainee in Brazil with the Bolshoi Theatre Junior Company and the Basileu França Company. In 2022, he was awarded a trainee program with Eglevsky Ballet in New York. Thierry has earned leading roles and solos in The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Raymonda, & Swan Lake. He has also had the honor of working with choreographers such as Amy Hall Garner, Cassi Abranches (Grupo Corpo), Kevin Jenkins, Maurice Brandon Curry, Gabrielle Lamb, Valentina Kozlova and more. This is Thierry’s first season with Collage Dance Collective.

Santiago Castañeda

Medellin, Colombia

Santiago began his ballet studies at the age of 8 at Andrea Wolff Ballet. After completing high school, Santiago moved to Miami and continued his training at the Miami City Ballet School on scholarship. As a student at MCB, Santiago had the opportunity to perform several Balanchine ballets and classical ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia and Ballabile. Santiago has had the pleasure of originating roles in works choreographed by Gerald Ebitz Durante Verzola, Ariel Rose and Pam Tanowiz. In 2014, Santiago participated in the Youth America Grand Prix finals where he won two scholarships to the Harid Conservatory and Houston Ballet School. In 2018, Santiago joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice. As an apprentice, Santiago has performed George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Jewels “Diamonds”, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. He also performed works by Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp and Justin Peck. This is Santiago’s fourth season with Collage Dance Collective.

Luisa Cardoso

Salvador, Brazil

Luisa began her training at Ebateca Escola de Ballet, directed by Juliana De-Vecchi. In 2014 she moved to Miami, FL after receiving a scholarship to attend the Miami City Ballet School pre-professional program, directed by Darleen Callaghan. While a student with the Miami City Ballet School, she had the opportunity to perform works by George Balanchine such as Western Symphony, Stars and Stripes, and Theme and Variations. Luisa has also worked with choreographers Maribel Modromo, Olivier Pardina, Maria Torija, Geta Constantinescu, Ebtiz and Lourdes Lopez. In 2016 she graduated from Miami City Ballet School and moved to Memphis, TN to join Collage Dance Collective. This is Luisa’s eighth season with the company.

Rickey Flagg II

Windsor, Connecticut

Rickey Flagg II attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and was also part of the Hartt School Community Division under the direction of Miguel Campaneria. Rickey continued his training with Mr. Campaneria in Cary, NC dancing roles in Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Spring Waters Pas De Deux and excerpts from Raymonda. Mr. Flagg has choreographed solos for the Youth American Grand Prix and World Ballet Competition, several of which placed in the contemporary category. In 2012, Rickey was awarded a full scholarship to attend Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Professional Training Program under the direction of Virginia Johnson. Upon completion of the training program at DTH, Rickey was offered a contract with Charlotte Ballet II. This is Rickey’s ninth season with Collage Dance Collective.

Sebastian Garcia

Bronx, New York

Sebastian Garcia began his formal dance training at the Harlem School of the Arts in New York under the direction of Aubrey Lynch. He then attended the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School under the direction of Cynthia Harvey, where he became a recipient of the En Avant Award from 2017-2018. This gave him opportunities to perform works such as Sleeping Beauty and work with esteemed choreographers including Alexei Ratmansky and Jessica Lang. After graduating from high school, Sebastian studied at The Rock School for Dance Education on full scholarship under directors Bo and Stephanie Spassoff. While there, Sebastian performed lead roles in the school’s The Nutcracker as both the Snow Prince and Arabian Prince. Sebastian’s career has included performances at the famed Apollo Theater, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This is Sebastian’s third season with Collage Dance Collective.

Maya Hawkins

Memphis, Tennessee

Maya Hawkins began dancing at the age of three at the Ballet Memphis School. At 15, Maya joined the Collage Dance Corps where she had the opportunity to perform works by Sidra Bell and Kevin Iega Jeff. Following her high school graduation, she studied at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet under the direction of Arantxa Ochoa and in 2015 she joined The Washington Ballet as a trainee where she performed in Septime Webre’s Carmen, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and George Balanchine’s Serenade. Maya was a trainee at Cincinnati Ballet from 2016-17 dancing in Kirk Peterson’s Coppelia, Victoria Morgan’s The Nutcracker, as well as excerpts from Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. She then danced with Charlottesville Ballet in Virginia for 3 seasons, where she performed various roles in The Nutcracker and in works by Keith Lee. Maya has attended summer intensives on scholarship at Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Orlando Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Carolina Ballet and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. This is Maya’s third season with Collage Dance Collective.

Lauren Huynh

Plano, Texas

Lauren Huynh began her training at the Hathaway Academy of Ballet. She was later awarded the Nordan Fine Arts Scholarship at Texas Christian University (TCU), where she graduated with a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance, as well as a minor in General Business. During her time at TCU, she was selected to travel to Rwanda to continue TCU’s long-term relationship with Godelieve Mukasarasi and the SEVOTA Institute. Lauren was then awarded the TCU Mission Statement Scholarship and received the Senior Legacy award honoring her antiracist work and activism. She has performed choreography by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Francesca Harper, Jennifer Archibald, Gabrielle Lamb, LeeWei Chao, Adam Barruch, among others. Lauren has attended summer programs at BalletX, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet as well as Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem on full scholarships. During the spring of 2021, Lauren joined Bruce Wood Dance as an Apprentice. This is Lauren’s third season with Collage Dance Collective.

Victoria Jaenson

Kampala, Uganda

Victoria Jaenson began her formal dance training at the age of seven at the Brattleboro School of Dance in Vermont. She later studied at the Rock School for Dance Education (Philadelphia, PA) under directors Stephanie and Bo Spassoff. Victoria spent a year studying at The Hartt School at University of Hartford, under Stephen Pier in 2017. Victoria went on to join Charlotte Ballet II (Charlotte, NC) under artistic director Hope Muir for two seasons where she performed excerpts from Alonzo King’s Map, Medhi Walerski’s Petit Cérémonie, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Christian Spuck’s Leonce and Lena, as well as Matthew Hart’s Sleeping Beauty. In January 2020, Victoria earned 2nd Place in the Senior Classical Division at the Ballet Beyond Borders dance festival in Missoula, Montana. In the summer of 2021, she performed with Des Moines Metro Opera as a dancer for the operas Platée and Queen of Spades. Victoria then went on to dance with Ballet Theatre Company (West Hartford, CT) for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons, under Stephanie Dattellas. She has had the pleasure of performing roles like Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, the lead in the Sapphire scene in Aladdin, Princess Florine in Marius Petipa’s Bluebird pas, Swan Lake pas de trois, including as a soloist in Odyssey by Melanie Ramos, Serenade in A by Paul Mejia, Conspicuous Figures by Calvin Bittner, Melodies by Marguerite de Anguera, and Pieces of a Legacy by Derek Brockington. Victoria has also worked with Dimensional Dance (Hartford, CT), under Ruth Lewis, performing the lead in Whole-Souled Women: The Story of Prudence Crandall and Sarah Harris, sharing a powerful story about education for young Black girls in Connecticut in spring 2022, and as Ruth in The Story of Ruth in summer 2023. This is Victoria’s first season with Collage Dance Collective.

Emma Jennings

Silver Spring, Maryland

Emma Jennings began her ballet training at The Washington School of Ballet when she was six years old. At age 13, she trained at Maryland Youth Ballet under the tutelage of Michelle Lees, Julie Miles, and Rhodie Jorgenson where she performed roles such as Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and as a studio company dancer in works created by Christopher Doyle. Emma has attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre (NYC), Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Miami City Ballet on full scholarship. She has also taken part in programs including the Alonzo King LINES Summer Workshop and the Kennedy Center Master Class Series where she worked with masters Matthew Rushing and Suzanne Farrell and more. Emma received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Towson University and graduated in Spring 2022 with honors. While on a talent-based scholarship, she gained her knowledge from professors such as Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Caroline Rocher Barnes, and Runqiao Du. She performed in many works including Pretty Is… by Ray Mercer and the lead role in Paquita in addition to choreographing many works. While in university, Emma served as the Treasurer for the National Honors Society of Dance Arts and earned several awards, the “Jim Snyder Award for Technical Excellence.” Following graduation in Fall 2022, Emma attended the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’sGraduate Program under the direction of Marjorie Grundvig, where she performed in Terrence Orr’s The Nutcracker, the Sleeping Beauty Pas de Trois and Paquita. Emma has received her Zena-Rommett Floor-Barre Certification along with completing a pedagogy course from the Washington School of Ballet. This is Emma’s first season with Collage Dance Collective.

Nia Lyons

Chicago, Illinois

Nia Lyons trained with The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, and Chicago High School for the Arts. Nia’s diverse training includes classical ballet, modern, African, Latin, jazz, and hip hop and has taken her around the world to numerous countries, including Barcelona, St. Thomas, and South Korea. She looks forward to inspiring and mentoring young dancers while continuing to break barriers herself. This is Nia’s fourth season with Collage Dance.

Fábio Mariano

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Fábio Mariano started dancing when he was 14 years old. He trained at Maria Olenewa Dance School and performed in big productions of ballet and opera at Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, such as The Nutcracker, The Rite of Spring, Aida and Marguerite & Armand. Taught by renowned Brazilian and Russian teachers from Kirov Ballet, he graduated in 2014. In Brazil, he performed classical and contemporary works by different choreographers with Caetano Cia. De Dança, directed by Thiago Caetano and Companhia Jovem de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro, directed by Dalal Achcar and Marisa Estrella. Fábio joined Corpo de Baile Campos dos Goytacazes in 2014, where he performed classical and contemporary works. He also choreographed a contemporary ballet for the company. In 2016, he moved to the U.S. to join Atlantic City Ballet (NJ) and performed soloist and leading roles in full length productions of The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Dracula and Carmen. Aside from dancing, Mr. Mariano has been a ballet teacher for more than 10 years. In 2020, he co-founded the online platform Blacks in Ballet alongside Ingrid Silva and Ruan Galdino to highlight ballet dancers of color. Fábio Mariano has been an artist with Collage Dance since 2017 and is in his seventh season.

Summer Mcneill

Atlanta, Georgia

Summer Mcneill began her training at Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre under the direction of Kathryn Macbeth. In 2016, she continued her training under Sharon Story at Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education. She performed in Atlanta Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker and Snow White. As a graduate of Cobb County’s Center of Excellence in the Performing Arts Magnet Program at Pebblebrook High School, she received several awards and accolades, such as Most Outstanding Female and Most Promising Dancer. In 2018, Summer was awarded a scholarship to attend The Ailey School in New York City. Summer’s performances include “Memoria,” January Explosion, Global Harmony, and The 92nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2020, Summer worked on several projects around metro Atlanta with Dance Canvas, going on to dance as a protegé with Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. This is Summer’s second season with Collage Dance Collective.

Leonard Perez

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Leonard Perez trained in Spanish dance with the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater in ballet and modern dance at the Ruth Page School of Dance. He has studied on scholarship at Northeastern Illinois University and has been awarded full scholarships to summer intensive programs at Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Ailey School, River North Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and the Ruth Page School of Dance. He danced with Milwaukee Ballet II during the 2015–2016 season and has performed works by Ron de Jesus, Michael Pink, Septime Webre, Randy Duncan, Ruth Page, Lee Wei Chao, Ilya Kozadayev, Brian MacDonald, Victor Alexander and Spanish dance duo Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez. Leonard has performed in the Chicago Dancing Festival, Jacob’s Pillow International Inside/Out Dance Festival, Dance for Life Chicago, and St. Louis’ Spring To Dance Festival. He has also danced professionally with Dayton Ballet where he performed works by Gina Patterson and Jiri Kylian and Indianapolis Ballet where he performed works by Joshua Bergasse and George Balanchine. This is Leonard’s fifth season with Collage Dance Collective.

Lauren Philson

Houston, Texas

Lauren Philson began studying ballet, tap, jazz, and musical theater at the age 3. At age 12, she was accepted to the Houston Ballet Academy on scholarship. A year later she was invited to train in the Professional Division full-time. As a student, she performed in Ben Stevenson’s and Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker. After her family relocated to Colorado, she finished her training at Colorado Ballet Academy on scholarship and performed as Myrtha in the academy’s spring production of Giselle. She also performed in Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker and Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz. Lauren attended summer programs at American Ballet Theatre (NYC), School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet SDP, Colorado Ballet Academy, and Houston Ballet Academy. Lauren is returning for her fourth season with Collage Dance Collective.

João Pedro Silva

Bahia, Brazil

João Pedro Silva began his formal dance training when he was 12 years old at the Ballare Studio of Dance. At the age of 15, he relocated to Rio de Janeiro to continue his ballet training at Dance School Alice Arja. After one year in training, he got an apprenticeship with the Cia of Ballet from Rio de Janeiro where he performed many principal and soloist roles in ballets including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Carnival of the Animals. João has competed in national and international dance competitions including the American Dance Competition where he was awarded scholarships for the Colorado Ballet Academy, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Sarasota Ballet School and Orlando Ballet School. At 17, he moved to the United States to study at the Miami City Ballet School and after a few months he got to do his first performance with the company in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is João’s third season with Collage Dance Collective.

Raquel Smith

Los Angeles, California

Raquel Smith began her training at age six at Lauridsen Ballet Centre. She then went on to train privately with Roberto Almaguer, where she developed a true love for dance. While in L.A., Raquel earned the opportunity to train with Debbie Allen and perform in the prestigious production The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. Raquel continued her training on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School, where she danced alongside the company in performances like The Sleeping Beauty, Yuri Possokhov’s Don Quixote, and Helgi Tomasson’s Little Waltz. In 2019, she joined Richmond Ballet II, where she worked with choreographers such as Val Caniparoli and Levi Marsman. From there she joined Nashville Ballet as a company apprentice where she had the privilege of dancing under the direction of Paul Vasterling and working with several world-renowned choreographers. In 2021 she was selected as one of 11 dancers from around the world to be invited by MoBBallet to be an apprentice for “Reframing the Narrative,” a historic 3-week residency at the Kennedy Center, during which Raquel danced under the direction of Tony-nominated and Bessie Award-winning choreographer Donald Byrd. This is Raquel’s first season with Collage Dance Collective.