ASHLEY ELLIS, Principal dancer Boston Ballet
Ashley Ellis, from Torrance, CA, received her dance training at the South Bay Ballet under the direction of Diane Lauridsen. Other instruction included Alicia Head, Mario Nugara, Charles Maple, and Kimberly Olmos.
Ellis began her professional career by dancing with American Ballet Theatre’s studio company which led her to join the American Ballet Theatre. In 2007 Ellis joined the newly founded Corella Ballet de Espana as a soloist, under the direction of Angel Corella.
After joining the Boston Ballet as a second soloist in 2011, Ashley was promoted to soloist in 2012, and assumed the rank of principal the following year in 2013. Through guest appearances and touring with the mentioned companies Ms Ellis has had the privilege of dancing in theaters all around the world.
In 1999, Ellis won the first prize at the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award, and went on to become the recipient of the ABT Coca Cola scholarship award in 2000 and 2001.
Ms. Ellis’ principal repertoire includes Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Les Rendezvous, The Dream; Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake; Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadere; John Cranko’s Onegin; Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias; Yuri Possokhov’s The Firebird; George Balanchine’s Coppelia, Theme and Variations, Symphony in C, Serenade, Allegro Brilliante, Divertimento no.15, Episodes, Who Cares?, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; August Bournonville’s Napoli; Leonid Jacobson’s Pas De Quatre; Leonide Massine’s Gaîté Parisienne; Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room; Christopher Wheeldon’s VIII, DGV, Polyphonia; Wayne McGregor’s Chroma; Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, The Concert; Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura, Petite Mort, Wings of Wax, Symphony of Psalms; Liam Scarlett’s Promenade Sentimental, John Neumeier's 3rd Symphony of Gustav Mahler, as well as works by Stanton Whelch, Jorma Elo, Angel Corella, George Birkadze, Hans Van Manen, Clark Tippet, Christopher Bruce, Robert Hill, among others.
John Passafiume Dancers
John Passafiume Dancers is a NYC based company. The body of worked performed by the company is an outgrowth of Mr. Passafiume’s history with past mentors and creators such as Anna Sokolow and Paul Sanasardo, as well as his own exploration into movement, identity, family history, and the occurrence of living today.
Mr. Passafiume’s creations have inspired New York critics over the years, including a review of his work, ‘Fissures’, made in response to the events of 9/11 and performed at the Clark Studio Theater at Lincoln Center. Jennifer Dunning from the New York Times wrote, “Dance, like music, can express profound and very complicated emotions with remarkable immediacy, whether or not there is a narrative or even a suggestion of a theme. John Passafiume’s new ‘Fissures’, is a perfect example.” And as a response to a new duet that is part of a larger work called, ‘Toxic/Nourishment’, Joe Raiola, Director of Theater Within, said, “From the very start the stakes are high… and that’s the hallmark of Passafiume’s work. He’s concerned with big issues and he explores them fearlessly, while offering no easy answers.”
John’s investigations into his own work have opened up new avenues of contact partnering and improvisation, exploring how these two forms affect the correlation between meaning and movement, energy and form. John’s approach to choreography seeks the internal logic to the material so as to let form take shape according to the necessities of the given moment, cultivating a language that is particular to each work and group of artists.
Lasha Khozashvili trained at the V. Chabukiani Tbilisi State Choreographic School from 1994 to 2002. He then joined the Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre, where he was a leading soloist, and also appeared with the State Ballet of Georgia. Khozashvili joined Boston Ballet as a principal dancer in 2010.
Khozashvili's dancing has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "gorgeous" with "youth, charm and spontaneity gilding the choreography and making it seem inspired improvisation." Ballet Dance Magazine called him "the most sophisticated male in the [State Ballet of Georgia] company." He was awarded the Gilbert Albert and Nina Ananiashvili International Prize "Star" in 2008.
Khozashvili took part in the State Ballet of Georgia's American tour in 2007 and 2008, and Japan tour in 2007. He also performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, dancing in leading roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and George Balanchine's Mozartiana and Duo Concertant.
His repertory includes Alexei Fadeyechev's Giselle (Albrecht); Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée (Colas), and The Two Pigeons (The Young Painter); Nugzar Magalashvili's Laurencia (Mengo, Frondoso) and 1001 Nights (Shahriar); George Balanchine's Serenade, Apollon Musagète, Western Symphony, Mozartiana, Duo Concertant, Chaconne, and A Midsummer Night's Dream; August Bournonville's The Flower Festival in Genzano; Trey McIntyre's Second Before the Ground; Stanton Welch's Green; Sergei Ratmansky's Dreams About Japan and Leah; Philip Kohen's Bizet Variations; Yuri Possokhov's Sagalobeli; Mehmet Balkan's Mevlana'dan Çağrı (Shems); and Helen Pickett's Layli o Majnun.
Khozashvili has danced an array of principal roles including George Balanchine's Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Episodes, Theme and Variations, Serenade, Jewels, and A Midsummer Night's Dream; Florence Clerc's La Bayadère (Solor); John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet (Romeo); Frederick Ashton's Cinderella (Prince); Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty(Prince Desire); Mikko Nissinen's Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried and Von Rothbart); Val Caniparoli's Lady of the Camellias (Armand); Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote (Basilio); Jiří Kylián's Bella Figura and Psalms; Wayne McGregor's Chroma; Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia; Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites and Elo Experience; Lila York's Celts; and José Martinez's Resonance.
Established in 2010, PROJECT 44 (Queens, NY) is an all male dance group that serves as the artistic platform for choreographer Gierre Godley. The company strives to erase all preconceived notions about masculinity and the role of a male performer in the arts. With a visceral approach to choreography, the works of PROJECT 44 aim to showcase the beauty, versatility, and athleticism of male performers.
PROJECT 44 has performed at various venues including: Men In Dance Showcase, Bronx Academy of Art and Dance (Blaktino Festival), 92nd Street Y-Buttenweiser Hall (Green Line Series), The Secret Theater (Queens Fringe Festival), Steps on Broadway (Steps Laboratory Series), Green Space Studios (Fertile Ground & Green Space Bloom Series), Symphony Space (The Young Choreographer's Festival), Dixon Place (NYC10 Series), The Ailey Citigroup Theater (BalaSole Dance Company featured soloist), Salvatore Capezio Theater (MEN presented by Sobers & Godley), 2012 FAB! Festival, 2012 Clinton Hill Arts Festival (Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew), the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Moving Men Series (Dixon Place), Steffi Nolsen Dance Foundation- Choreographers Showcase (Purchase College), 2013 REVERBdance APAP (Baruch College), Proctors Theater, the Kumble Theater at Long Island University, and has been presented by the Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center. In 2012 the company embarked on its first international tour with performances at Centro Maxime D'Harroche (Barcelona, Spain) and Z-Arts (Chorlton Arts Festival). In 2013 PROJECT 44 was the recipient of the Upstream Residency Grant from Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. This residency laid the ground work for many of the company’s newest works. Since, PROJECT 44 has performed in Montreal, Berlin, Seattle, their first shared NYC season at Danspace Projects in St. Mark’s Church, and the company’s first solo season at the Jack Crystal