New Orleans Ballet Theatre Artists
The artists of New Orleans Ballet Theatre have appeared with or are currently dancing with American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, Basel Ballet, Caracas Ballet, Ballet West, Dallas Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and Maximum Dance. Collectively, the dancers have performed over 50 times at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Many of the dancers have performed around the world as guest artists in such major cities as Tokyo, Moscow, London, Berlin, Vienna and Paris.
An Atlanta native, Christian began his training at age 8 with the Atlanta School of Ballet under the direction of Robert Barnett. As a Company member, Clark has performed the leading roles of Prince in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Laertes in Stephen Mills’ Hamlet, Albrecht in Giselle, Siegfried in John McFall’s Swan Lake, the Prince in Sleeping Beauty and Romeo in Michael Pink’s Romeo & Juliet. Christian was featured in Margo Sappington’s Shed Your Skin: The Indigo Girls Project, John McFall’s Jupiter, Christian Holder’s Transcendence, Lauri Stallings’ The Great Gatsby and big and Christopher Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa. When not dancing, Christian enjoys playing music with the band The Neighbors with fellow dancer Jesse Tyler. Christian thanks Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, his family, and his lovely wife, Naomi-Jane, for their support.
Mei-Ling Murray, School to Stage Outreach Teacher
Mei-Ling Murray is a classically trained dancer from San Francisco. She studied with American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She then attended The University of Arizona’s School of Dance on scholarship.
Following her undergraduate studies in Dance and Anthropology, Mei-Ling worked extensively in Panama and India, as the Program Director for Movement Exchange, where she developed international dance programs alongside the U.S. Embassies. Since 2011, she has performed with Bay Area contemporary dance company, Project B., and worked as a teaching artist for Performing Arts Workshop, bringing dance education to the San Francisco Unified School District. In addition to being on faculty at NOBT, she currently is in the Pre-Physical Therapy program at the University of New Orleans.
Diogo De Lima, resident choreographer
Diogo de Lima is originally from Brazil and became a New Orleans based dancer/choreographer/filmmaker. He is the artistic director of MindField Productions with headquarters in New York, and São Paulo (Brazil) and has produced and directed short and feature-length films, documentaries,TV segments and Dance Films. As a dancer he worked with Grupo Corpo, José Limón Dance Company, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, First Physical Theatre, Compañia Nacional De Danza, among others. He has received many awards for his dancing and choreography, both in Brazil and internationally. He’s also a professor at Tulane University where he teaches Media and Choreography.
Tara grew up in Connecticut, where she trained with Donna Bonasera of Connecticut Dance Theatre. After dancing with Joffrey II, she became a member of Atlanta Ballet in 1995. Tara was a guest artist with New Orleans Ballet Theatre and joined Vancouver’s Ballet British Columbia for the 2006-07 season. This past summer, Tara danced at the Joyce Theatre New York with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. Tara has performed works by John Alleyne, Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gina Patterson, Helen Pickett, Crystal Pite and Twyla Tharp. Principal roles include those in McFall’s Swan Lake and Firebird, Hampson’s Rite of Spring, Pink’s Romeo and Juliet and Dracula, Welch’s Madame Butterfly, Stevenson’s Cinderella and Three Preludes, Bintley’s Carmina Burana, Morris’ Moulin Rouge© — The Ballet, Godden’s The Magic Flute, Caniparoli’s Lambarena, Tharp’s Princess and the Goblin andIn the Upper Room, and Stalling’s big. Tara has choreographed three works for Atlanta Ballet, most recently Pavo, which premiered in May 2012. Sponsored by Lynn Cochran-Schroder.
Trey Mauldwin was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and gaduated from the pre-professional division of the North Carolina Dance Theatre under the direction of Darleen Callaghan, Mark Diamond, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. He spent two years training on full scholarship at Miami City Ballet School training with Edward Villella, Nancy Raffa, Truman Finney, and Geta Constantinescu. He then rejoined North Carolina Dance Theatre as an apprentice and then joined Charleston Ballet Theatre as a soloist. Since leaving Charleston Ballet Theatre he has been studying on scholarship at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in their ballet program under Ethan Stiefel, Warren Conover, Douglas Gawriljuk, and Brenda Daniels. Trey has danced leading roles in many works by George Balanchine including Rubies, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Who Cares?, Valse Fantaisie and Raymonda Variations as well as much of the classical repertoire and new works created on him. He would like to thank his family and friends for all their love and support.
Taryn Mejia was born in Kansas City, Missouri and began her training at the age of 3 at the Ballet Conservatory. At the age of 11, she began training at the Kansas City Ballet School, was lead Bon Bon in The Nutcracker and originated a role in William Whitener's A Midsummer Night's Dream. At the age of 16, Ms. Mejia trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City. She performed the lead role of Waltz Girl in Serenade for the School's workshop and was invited to be an apprentice with the New York City Ballet. After a short three-month apprenticeship, Ms. Mejia was given her Corps de Ballet contract and performed many roles including a principal in Goldberg Variations and soloist inBrahms-Schoenterg Quartet. She is in her second season with Kansas City Ballet.
Joshua began his dance training at the age of 12 and went on to train at The Rock School in Philadelphia and School of American Ballet in NY. Joshua danced with Atlanta Ballet for seven seasons, performing leading roles in Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake, Sinfonietta Giocosa, The Great Gatsby, and Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room. In 2009 he joined Milwaukee Ballet where he portrayed the title role in Michael Pink’s Dracula and leading roles in new works by Mauro de Candia and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Joshua has also performed with Tiit Helimets & Company in Talliin, Estonia and with Dance Grand Moultrie at Summerstage in NY. Since joining Smuin Ballet Josh has performed leading roles in Eternal Idol, Stabat Minor, and Fly Me to the Moon, as well as Helen Picket’s Petal and Adam Hougland’s Cold Virtues. Te quiero con todo mi alma.
Originally from Pompano Beach, Florida, Jo-Ann began her professional training at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division. She became an apprentice with the RWB Company in 2003 and soared through the ranks to Principal Dancer. Her repertoire includes the dueling roles of Odette/Odile inSwan Lake, Giselle and Myrtha in Giselle, and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Additional repertoire includes works by Val Caniparoli, Twyla Tharp, Toer van Schayk, Forsythe, and Mark Godden to name a few. This is Jo-Ann’s first season with Smuin Ballet, and she is very excited to share her talent and passion with the California audiences.