Lorin E. Johnson (Choreographer):
Lorin Johnson finished his training at the San Francisco
Ballet School and at the age of 17 joined the San Francisco Ballet. The following
year he was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join the American Ballet Theatre
in New York, where he performed until 1995. His repertory included soloist
roles ranging from ballets as diverse as Petipa’s “Swan Lake”
to Tudor’s “Jardin aux Lilas.” He has also been an international
guest artist, dancing roles in company’s such The New York City Ballet,
The Pacific Northwest Ballet, and The National Dance Theatre of Bermuda, and
has toured Europe, Asia and South America.
Upon retirement Johnson discovered a new passion for the teaching, and for the last seven years has taught in major schools and universities in the US, including The California Institute for the Arts and the University of California, Irvine. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in Russian literature at the University of Southern California, and plans to specialize in the research of Russian avant-garde dance from the 1910s-1930s.
Sayat Asatryan (Dancer):
Sayat Asatryan has been dancing professionally in the
United States and throughout the world over the past eleven years. He has
been a soloist with the Kremlin Ballet and touring internationally with the
Bolshoi Ballet, as well as a guest artist with the Hawaii Ballet Theater,
Twin Cities Ballet, the
Los Angeles Classical Ballet and the Ohio Ballet. Mr.Asatryan was guest ballet teacher for the International Blue Lake Summer Camp and Peoria Ballet as well as, ballet teacher and coach for the 6th New York International Ballet Competition. He is currently a guest choreographer for the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet and the Founder and President of the Santa Barbara Artists Management, Inc.
Griff Braun (Dancer):
Griff Braun has danced professionally with American
Ballet Theatre, The Royal Swedish Ballet, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company,
the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Complexions, the Dallas
Ballet, and Feld Ballets, NY, among others. He has performed all the major
full-length ballets, with featured roles in The Nutcracker, Othello, Giselle,
Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, and La Bayadere. He has performed featured roles
in original ballets and repertoire of such choreographers as Agnes DeMille,
Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch,
Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, John Neumeier, James Kudelka, Jose Limon, Eugene
Loring, Eliot Feld, Dwight Rhoden, and Stanton Welch.
Mr. Braun recently assisted Lar Lubovitch in staging a new work on American Ballet Theatre. He also assisted Mr. Lubovitch in setting a pas de deux for an upcoming Robert Altman film entitled “The Company.” In February, Mr. Braun premiered a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera House in “Les Troyens,” an opera choreographed by Doug Varone.
Meghan Van Winkle (Dancer):
Meghan Van Winkle has been a member of the Festival
Ballet Theatre for the past three years, and is currently ranked as soloist.
Her repertoire includes solo and principal roles in such ballets as: The Nutcracker,
The Sleeping Beauty, and Don Quixote. Her repertoire also contains ballets
by notable contemporary choreographers, and in the fall of 2002 she performed
lead roles in David Allan’s “Concerto Grosso” and “Holberg
Suite.” At 16 years of age, Meghan was the youngest American participant
in the most recent International Ballet Competition held in Jackson, Mississippi
in June of 2002. She was also a semi-finalist in the both the prestigious
2003 Spotlight Award as well as in the 2001 Youth America Grand Prix in New
Tanya Durbin (Dancer):
Currently a free lance dancer, Tanya Durbin has extensive professional experience dancing for such companies as The New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet. Tanya has trained on scholarship at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet and at the Joffrey Ballet as the recipient of the prestigious Robert Joffrey scholarship. In 1996, Tanya was invited by Ivan Nagy to perform as a guest artist in the Ballet Theatre of Chicago’s production of “Giselle,” and most recently has performed with Stuttgart Ballet principal Benito Marcelino to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy in Long Beach Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” She has also performed every leading role in the Crystal Cathedral’s annual productions of the “Glory of Christmas” and the “Glory of Easter.” In May 2002, Tanya danced Kas’ian Goleizovsky’s “Melodiia” pas de deux as staged by Lorin Johnson, which marked only the second time this dance miniature has been seen outside of Russia.
Anna Laghezza (Dancer):
Anna Laghezza was born in Kyoto, Japan and grew up in New York City, where she received her dance training at the School of American Ballet. At age 17, she joined the Miami City Ballet and danced a large repertoire of Balanchine ballets. In 1995, Anna joined the James Sewell Ballet, where she originated many original roles for the company. For the past four years Anna has been performing with the Minnesota Dance Theatre, and dances lead roles in works by Antony Tudor, Lar Lubavitch, Dwight Rhoden and Loyce Houlton.