MFA Graduates - 2012
Ilse has trained in various disciplines and has a unique background in dance and movement. She started as a gymnast and briefly studied at the school of contemporary dance of the Ballet Nacional de México. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Ilse brings a unique perspective to dance. She has been a member of the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company since 1997 and studied flamenco at Amor de Dios studios in Madrid and extensively in Seville.
Since 1999, Ilse’s dance career has expanded as a soloist to include performances across Canada and internationally flamenco artists and with contemporary dancers, experimental theatre, Opera, Independent music, video and film. She also performs and tours as a dancer/musician with the Jorge Miguel Flamenco Ensemble. In 2007, Ilse received a professional development grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and spent half of the year in Seville for an intensive study period dancing with several masters and learning flamenco singing (cante) with internationally acclaimed Esperanza Fernández, daughter of Curro Fernández. . While in Seville she performed and connected with many flamenco dancers, singers and musicians not only from Spain, also around the world. Her dedication and commitment to this art form have lead her to Spain consistently to connect, learn, perform and create with other artists.
In 2005, Ilse founded Los Amigos de Pilar, a dance and music ensemble that is continuously growing to reflect the contemporary status of flamenco not only in a traditional style, but delving into artistic realm of visual art, music and theatre.
Nancy danced with Feld Ballets/NY, The Cleveland/ San Jose Ballet, The Alberta Ballet, and Wilkes-Barre Ballet Theatre. In 1987, at the prestigious New York International Ballet Competition Nancy was awarded Special Recognition for Artistic Achievement, the only North American dancer to win an award that year.
As a soloist in the company of Eliot Feld, Nancy performed featured roles in A Footstep of Air, The Jig is Up, and Bloom's Wake and performed or originated roles in Common Ground, Endsong, Contrapose, and classic works including Skara Brae, The Consort and At Midnight.
As a principal dancer with The Cleveland/ San Jose Ballet, Nancy performed Maria and the Tsarina in The Nutcracker, The Cowgirl in Rodeo, Emilia in The Moor's Pavane, Le Chef Bandit in Roland Petit's Carmen, Hermia in Midsummer Night's Dream, and Russian Girl in George Balanchine's Serenade, among many others. As a principal dancer with the Alberta Ballet from 1988 to 1990, Nancy appeared in the title role in Birgit Cullberg's adaptation of Miss Julie, Swanilda in Coppelia, the principal in Balanchine's Donizetti Variations and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Brydon Paige's The Nutcracker.
Nancy began to explore her own choreographic work in 2009, creating 4 short dance works for a Hi-Definition video, entitled Collected Short Stories. Later that year she choreographed Savior, part of Rebecca Belmore's performance piece, Gone Indian for Nuit Blanche. She was invited by Bengt Jörgen in 2009 and 2010 to create duets for Ballet Jörgen's Solos and Duets workshop series. Most recently she choreographed the film Seven Seconds to premiere at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in October of 2010.
Shannon Roberts graduated from Ryerson University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance Dance under the direction of Nadia Potts in 2009. In 2008 she worked with Holly Small in "Three Rags" and in 2007 she worked with Louis Laberge-cote "Axis Mundi." She worked with David Earle and Kenny Pearl in the remount of "Sacra Conversazione in 2009." Her training includes Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, Figure Skating and Flying Trapeze. Recently she has branched into Bollywood, back up dancing and music videos. Shannon lived in China for six months where she developed a dance and theatre program that incorporated learning English. She is an adamant traveler and has been all over Europe studying culture and performance. Shannon has been in several festivals such as Talent Defined in June and the Dance2Danse Festival in August. Her stage pieces are very much inspired by social issues that she is passionate toward and has studied. She is also inspired by people, artwork and cultures experienced through out her travels around the World. Shannon is interested in fusing Modern dance with her athletic background creating a unique performance style. Shannon is starting her Master of Fine Arts focusing on choreography and dance dramaturgy and is ready to discover her voice as a choreographer.
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