New Orleans Ballet Theatre Artists
gregory schramel—artistic director
marjorie schramel—associate artistic director
Marjorie Hardwick Schramel and Gregory Schramel founded New Orleans Ballet Theatre in 2002. The company is the only professional ballet company in Louisiana which has been allowed to perform some of the great George Balanchine ballets including, Agon, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Tarantella, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. The Schramels have had the honor of working with the New Orleans Opera Association as guest choreographers by presenting New Orleans Ballet Theatre dancers in "Pearl Fishers" in 2011, and Carmina Burana" in 2012 to critical acclaim. The Schramels have enjoyed dance careers which spanned some 20+ years in some of America's top ballet companies, such as Cincinnati Ballet, Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet and the Broadway musical CATS in Vienna and Paris. Both trained with The School of American Ballet in New York. Gregory comes from New Orleans, where he trained privately with Alexander Minz and Marjorie is from Dallas where she was trained by Marjorie Tallchief, George Skibine and Flemming Flindt.
In 2011, the Schramels and NOBT won two Big Easy "Tribute to the Classical Arts" awards for "Outstanding Classical Ballet Presentation" and Gregory Schramel "Outstanding Choreography", for his ballet, Patriotism. Marjorie is a certified instructor of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) curriculum which SCOD follows.
Whitney returns to New Orleans Ballet Theatre after taking a break from stage to apprentice with the wardrobe department of Houston Ballet. She has taught for Schramel Conservatory of Dance and performed with NOBT from 2006-2010 seasons. Whitney also serves the company as wardrobe mistress as well as dancer. Welcome back Whitney!
Born and raised in Atlanta, Christian Clark began his dance training at the age of eight under the direction of Robert Barnett. His dance career has spanned fifteen years, working as a principal artist with the Atlanta Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and various other companies. Clark has performed leading roles in iconic ballets like Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo et Juliette, and Dracula to name a few. He has danced works by world renowned choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Ohad Naharin, Alex Eckman, Liam Scarlett, Yuri Possokhov, Jorma Elo, Stanton Welch, Wayne MacGregor, and Jiri Kylian. In 2013 Clark starred in the film adaptation of Moulin Rouge the ballet led by Jorden Morris and Grammy and Emmy-winning directors Pierre and Franois Lamoureux. Along with dancing, he has shared his knowledge of dance with many schools around the country. Clark has been a guest instructor at the Greater Atlanta Christian School, Agnes Scott College, and Kennesaw State University, as well as a co-director of Atlanta Ballet’s professional summer intensive. As a proud Atlanta Native, Christian is impassioned to share his expertise in classical and contemporary dance with Atlanta’s next generation of young dancers.
Lisa has come to New Orleans from California, where she managed and taught at Peninsula School of Performing Arts in Palos Verdes, California. A graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor’s in Science in Biology, she performed frequently with Duke Ballet Repertory and Duke Jazz Repertory Ensembles. She has danced professionally as a tap dancer with the Hot Cotton Candies, and also as a principal ballet dancer with Southern California Dance Theatre. Most recently, she has performed with New Orleans Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker and New Orleans Opera Association’s production of Die Fledermaus. In addition to teaching at Schramel Conservatory of Dance, she has also recently taken on the role of administrative director of New Orleans Ballet Theatre.
This is Amanda's second season with New Orleans Ballet Theatre. She danced the role of Arabian in New Orleans Ballet Theatre's premier of the Nutcracker at the Orpheum Theater in 2015. Amanda is a first grade teacher and teaches at Renew Shaumburg Charter School in New Orleans East. We welcome Amanda back to the stage for NOBT's Giselle at the Orpheum!
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.
Blane is no stranger to the New Orleans dance audience. He has performed with NOBT in Nutcracker since the 2015 season as well as the New Orleans Opera Association/NOBT collaborations on quite a few operas. He is a fulltime student at Loyola University studying law and comes from Baton Rouge. Blane has studied with the School of American Ballet and has guested with Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Jefferson Ballet Theatre.
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.
Felicia McPhee received her early Vaganova training at The Ballet Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah. She continued her dance education with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Brigham Young University. There, she was president of BYU’s Ballet Showcase Company and was a member of BYU’s Theatre Ballet Company. Felicia spent a few years in San Francisco dancing as a freelance artist and as a company member with Bay Pointe Ballet, under the direction of Bruce Steivel. Moving to Dallas, she spent two seasons with Contemporary Ballet Dallas and two seasons as a Soloist with Dallas Neo-classical Ballet. This season, Felicia will be dancing with New Orleans Ballet Theatre. She loves teaching and sharing her passion for dance with her students. She believes in the importance of understanding how the body anatomically works and functions in the vocabulary of ballet, and encourages correct usage of muscles, bones, and alignment. Felicia has had many exciting opportunities teaching all over the country, including teaching at Google in California. She feels very fortunate to do what she loves every day and share her passion for dance.
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; and she attended The University of Arizona’s School of Dance on scholarship. She has performed works by George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, James Clouser, Robert Moses, and Alex Ketley among others. Following her undergraduate studies, Mei-Ling worked as the Program Director for Movement Exchange, where she developed international dance programs alongside the U.S. Embassies in Panama in India. In the Bay Area, she performed with contemporary dance company Project B. for four seasons, and worked as a teaching artist for Performing Arts Workshop, bringing dance education to the San Francisco Unified School District. In addition to being a dancer with NOBT, she also serves as the company’s Outreach Director, where she develops dance education programs for youth around New Orleans.
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.
Shayna Skal began ballet under Gay Porter and Bridget Porter Young at the Charlotte School of Ballet in Charlotte, North Carolina, primarily studying the Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance methods, ultimately presenting as a candidate for the R.A.D.’s pinnacle Solo Seal examination in 2008, the only American to present that year. Ms. Skal spent summers studying at the Cecchetti International Summer School, as well as the Atlanta Ballet Advanced Intensive, LINES Ballet Pre-Professional Program, and with Burklyn Ballet Theatre as a counselor and dancer. After high school, Ms. Skal attended Harvard University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, cum laude in the field, with high departmental honors, and a secondary field in the Mathematical Sciences. While at Harvard, she danced with the Harvard Ballet Company and the Harvard Department of Dance, working with Tai Jimenez, Jill Johnson, Christopher Roman, and John Jasperse. In 2013, Ms. Skal was the co-recipient of Harvard’s Suzanne Farrell Dance Prize. Ms. Skal then began her professional career with Teatrul de Balet Sibiu in Sibiu, Romania, where she danced for two seasons. She is currently freelancing in the New Orleans area and has performed with New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Jefferson Ballet Theatre, and the New Orleans Opera.
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.
Rachel Van Buskirk
Rachel began her training with the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, achieving her Advanced R.A.D certification. She continued her training under Li Yaming, founder and director of Coastal City Ballet in Vancouver, Canada. Professionally she performed with Atlanta Ballet for 13 years and has been commissioned as a guest artist with various other companies. Professional highlights include North American premieres of David Bintley’s Carmina Burana as the principal lead “Fortuna”, Liam Scarlett’s Vespertine, and the world premiere of Lauri Stallings’s big with Big Boi from Outkast. Some of her favorite roles include “Lucy” in Micheal Pink’s Dracula, “Autumn” in James Kedulka’s Four Seasons, and the duet in Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16. Other works that were features include Ohad Naharin’s Secus, Alexei Ratmanksy’s Seven Sonatas, Alex Eckman’s Cacti and Christopher Wheeldhon’s Rush. Rachel was nominated and the cover girl for Dance Magazine's 2012’s “25 to Watch,” named a “30 Under 30” by ArtsATL and was a recipient of a Non-profit Leadership Award by Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. In addition to her dance career, Rachel is a passionate educator and mentor having taught at Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education Pre-Professional Division and co-directed its Professional Summer Intensive. She is currently pursuing a Business Degree in Economics at Georgia State University with the goal to help provide for artists and their arts.