Hernan Justo, Artistic Director
Hernan Justo has served as Carolina Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director since 2000 and is involved in all aspects of the company: from teaching classes, coaching, teaching afterschool dance and outreach classes to creating original works. He began dancing in 1974 at the Instituto Superior de Arte Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He joined the ballet Estable del Teatro Colón in 1982 and was then invited to perform with the Ballet del Teatro Argentino de la Plata two years later. In 1988, his career took him to the Ballet de Santiago, Chile, where he performed ballets by John Cranko, Ben Stevenson, Ronald Hynd and Andree Prokovski among others. After three years, Hernan joined the Ballet Clásico de Cámara in Caracas, Venezuela, under the direction of Nina Novak, formerly prima ballerina of Les Ballet Russe de Montecarlo. In 1992, Justo participated in the XV International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, one of the most prestigious and rigorous competitions in professional ballet, in which he and his partner won the “Best Couple” award. Justo was later featured in two gala performances, dancing Black Swan Pas de Deux. He has also won the distinction of “Best Classical Interpretation” at the Prix Volinine in Paris, France, in 1993. Justo became a principal dancer with the North Carolina Dance Theatre in 1994 under the artistic direction of the late Salvatore Aiello, with whom Hernan performed many of his ballets such as Clowns and Other, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Turn of the Screw and Rite of Spring. Later, under the artistic direction of the renowned Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride and Jerri Kumery, all artists affiliated with New York City ballet, Hernan added to his repertoire several Balanchine masterpieces for which he was critically acclaimed by Dance Magazine and The New York Times. In 2000, he was invited to become Artistic Director of Carolina Ballet Theatre by its founder Barbara Selvy. His latest original work, Arriving in Indigo City, is a collaborative effort of music and dance that premiered at CBT’s 30th anniversary gala in March 2003. To this day it continues to fill seats as a huge part of Greenville’s Artisphere Festival.
Anita Pacylowski, Associated Artistic Director
Anita began her dance training at age six at Columbia Conservatory Ballet in Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1981, she continued to build on her training with the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and was also invited to attend many nationally acclaimed summer institutes. In 1989, she was asked to join the Washington Ballet as a professional dancer and ascended to a principal dancer under the artistic direction of Mary Day. In 1994, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, to join North Carolina Dance Theatre as a Principal Dancer under the Artistic Direction of the late Salvatore Aiello and then Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. Anita continued to dance with NCDT until she moved to Greenville to serve as the first member of Carolina Ballet Theatre’s professional company. Throughout her career Anita has received many prestigious honors and awards: Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Princess Grace Award and the Nancy Reagan Award for Dance, honoring the best dancers in the country.
She also competed in and was selected as a finalist in both the New York International Ballet Competition and the Prix de Lausanne. In 2002, Anita graced the cover of Dance Magazine’s 75th Anniversary issue of “This Year’s 25 to Watch”. Most recently, Anita was named as one of six Benois de la danse nominees. This is one of the most acclaimed international dance awards. Out of the six female dancers selected, Anita was the only dancer chosen from the United States.
Anita’s leading roles in major classical ballets and contemporary repertoire include Coppelia, Swan Lake, Giselle, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Threshold by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Before Nightfall by Nils Christi, Rite of Spring by Salvatore Aiello, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated by William Forsythe, Unknown Territory by Choo San Goh, Rodeo by Agnes de Mille, Feast of Ashes by Alvin Ailey, Company B and Esplanade by Paul Taylor and MAP, Chants and Cante by Alonzo King.
Her most famous performance was as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker at The White House for President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Anita has not only received acclaim domestically but also in her international tours to Russia, France, Singapore, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, England, Argentina and Uruguay.
Anita is incredibly thankful to her parents John and Sun Pacylowski, who gave the love and support that allowed her to excel. She thanks her mother who drove 40 miles round trip up to five times a week, to bring her to her ballet classes. This instilled her love of family that she now has with husband Hernan and three children Martin, Sofia and Nicolas. Her parents’ drive to give her the best dance training was also the base of her dream to own and direct her own ballet school, DanceArts Greenville.
Erica Wesselman, Ballet Repertoire
Mary AlleyB Purtle, Wardrobe Supervisor
Lisa Larocque, Wardrobe
Martin Gonzalo Justo Bernardez
Martin is from Caracas, Venezuela, and began dancing in 1999. He trained with Quinte Ballet School in Canada and School of Carolina Ballet Theatre. He has toured throughout Uruguay with CBT and has recently traveled and performed as a guest in Fujinomia, Japan, dancing pas de deux from Giselle, La Bayadere, and Swan Lake. Some of his signature roles are the charming young Nutcracker Prince in Hernan Justo’s The Nutcracker, the Mad Scientist in Madeline Jazz’s Super Heroes, and the male soloist in A Tango for Angelina. Martin performed works by renowned contemporary choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden’s Beatle Juice, and Alonzo King’s Map. Martin most recently was with Boulder Ballet for 2 years. We welcome him back to CBT.
Meghan Loman – Born in Springfield, Illinois and currently in her fifth year with Carolina Ballet Theater under director Hernan Justo. She began her training with Grace Luttrell Nanavati at Dance Arts Studio in Springfield and began performing with the Springfield Ballet Company in 1999. She auditioned for the first year of their Trainee program at age 10 and later was accepted into the Company as a member performing soloist and then principal for over 10 years. In 2001, Meghan placed in the top ten of the Youth American Grand Prix Chicago semi-finals, went on to compete in the New York City finals and performed in the Grand Gala.
Meghan has been privileged to work with some amazing choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Adam Sage, Robert Philander Valentine, Marcus Herman Payne, Julie Tice, Krenley Guzman, and of course Hernan Justo. She’s been honored to dance alongside Herman, Erica Cornejo, Jeanette Delgado, and Daniel Ulbrich.
In more recent years, Meghan found a more chancy and dynamic performance style in aerial arts. This year she started her own company called Loman Uplifted and opened a studio to have the opportunity to share her love for all thing arts and fitness. She has choreographed several pieces for her students and has had the opportunity to perform her own solo works across the U.S. She has earned certifications to teach in Aerial Silks, Lyra and Sling from Circus Arts Institute Atlanta, Aradia Fitness in North Carolina and Womack and Bowman in Los Angeles.
Laura Morris is a company dancer with Carolina Ballet Theatre and is in her seventh season working with the company. Laura was a trainee with the company for three seasons and was hired as a company dancer after that. During that time she has danced various roles such as Clara, Snow Princess and Arabian soloist in The Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville, as well as the lead roles of Shanti in Jungle Book and Liz the Outcast Girl in School of Hard Rocks. She has also danced in several contemporary projects for Recovery 2016 and Home/body: Converse College with Naina Dewan Dance Company.
Laura started her ballet training at the age of eleven, studying with Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance where she also studied jazz, modern, and choreography. She continued to dance at Baltimore Ballet School where she trained with Artistic Director Cem Catbas, Bat Udval, and various guest teachers. She also attended training intensives at Goucher College, Carolina Ballet Theatre, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. Laura became an apprentice with Baltimore Ballet Company in the fall of 2011 and was promoted to a full company member status the following spring. She danced various solo roles as a company member such as Spanish and Marzipan in The Nutcracker, one of the Four Little Swans in Swan Lake, and her own choreography for their presentation at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Josiah brings a vibrant energy and technique to the stage. His training includes New Haven Ballet, Chautauqua and Boston Ballet and most recently at Hamburg Ballet in Germany. Josiah was the Principal Dancer at The Georgia Ballet for the past 3 years and has guested throughout the world. His Repertoire includes for Classical: Ramonda Pas de Deux (Patricia McBride), Paquita Pas de Trios, Le Corsair Pas de Deux, Bluebird Pas de Deux, La Vivandière Pas de Six, Nutcracker (Cavalier,Soldier Doll,Russian, Rat King, Party Parent, Snow King), Sérénade (Balanchine), Peter Pan (Shadow, Pirate), Coppelia (Franz), La Fille Mal Gardée (Colas), Sleeping Beauty (Prince Désire), Bizet (Kevin Haigen) and for Contemporary: Piso Sto Miden (David Ingram), Sit In Stand Out, Moody Booty Blues, The Groove (Dwight Rhoden), Kinetic Energy, Tree Hugger (Sasha James), Black History, Water Music, Go West (Mark Diamond), Romeo & Juliet Project. Along with original works and choreography by Janusz Mazon 2008-2013: The Firebird, Sleepy Hollow, Promenade, On the Town, Rhapsody in Blue, Paganini Pas de Deux, Masquerade Pas de Deux, Air Pas de Deux, Pinocchio… Josiah is an accomplished choreographer with over 8 produced pieces.
Herman Cornejo, Guest, Winter
Herman Cornejo was born in Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina and began his ballet studies at the age of eight at the Instituto Superior de Arte at Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires. In 1995 when he was fourteen he received a scholarship from the School of American Ballet, the dance school of New York City Ballet. On his return to Buenos Aires he was invited to join Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino.
At the age of 16, Cornejo was the Gold Medal winner of the VIII International Dance Competition in Moscow (1997), the youngest dancer ever in the history of the competition. Upon his return from Moscow Cornejo was then promoted to principal dancer with Ballet Argentino, alternating with Julio Bocca in all the principal roles in the repertoire during the company’s worldwide tours. In 1999 he joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet, was promoted to Soloist in August 2000 and to Principal Dancer in August 2003.
His roles with the Company include Solor and the Bronze Idol in La Bayadère, the Red Cowboy in Billy the Kid, Pyotr in The Bright Stream, the fourth movement in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the Jester in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Conrad, Ali, Lankendem and Birbanto in Le Corsaire, It Was Spring in Dim Lustre, Basilio and the lead gypsy in Don Quixote, Puck in The Dream, the first sailor in Fancy Free, Colas and Alain in La Fille mal gardée, Ivan in Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird, the Peruvian in Gaîté Parisienne,Albrecht and the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, The Profiteer in The Green Table, The Man in HereAfter (Heaven), the Joker in Jeu de Cartes, Lescaut in Manon, the Lead Pontevedrian Dancer and the Maitre D’ in The Merry Widow, the Nutcracker-Prince and the Cavalier in Kevin McKenzie’s The Nutcracker, the Nutcracker-Prince in Alexei Ratmansky’sThe Nutcracker, Cassio in Othello, Petrouchka in Petrouchka, the Piper in The Pied Piper, the Son in Prodigal Son, Abderakman and Bernard in Raymonda, Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré and the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, the Rose in Le Spectre de la Rose, Prince Siegfried, Benno and the Neapolitan dance in Swan Lake, James and Gurn in La Sylphide, Aminta and Eros in Sylvia, the third movement in Symphony in C, Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew, The Boy in Whipped Cream, Le Grand Pas de Deux, Sinatra Suite, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Theme and Variations and roles in Amazed in Burning Dreams, Ballo della Regina, Baroque Game, Black Tuesday, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Brief Fling, Clear, Company B, Diversion of Angels, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Gong, In The Upper Room, Jabula, Marimba, Mozartiana, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort, Sinfonietta, and workwithinwork.
Cornejo created the role of Fortune in HereAfter, Rabbit in Rabbit and Rogue and Caliban in The Tempest, and leading roles in The Brahms-Haydn Variations, C. to C. (Close to Chuck),Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Glow – Stop, Pretty Good Year, Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Seven Sonatas, Symphony #9 and I Dig Love in Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison.
Cornejo is also a principal dancer of Corella Ballet Castilla y León in Spain and made his debut with the company in September 2008 at Teatro Real de Madrid. His repertoire with Corella includes Solor in La Bayadère, Siegfried in Swan Lake, Henry in Christopher Wheeldon’s VIII, the second couple in Wheeldon’s DGV, and the third movement in Angel Corella’s String Sextet. He has made numerous guest appearances around the world including performing as a principal guest dancer with Ballet del Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Compañia de Danza Comtemporánea de Cuba, Boston Ballet, New York City Ballet and Sapporo Ballet.
As a young dancer, Cornejo was a first prize winner at several major competitions in South America. Other awards and citations include the 2000 Peace Messenger prize from UNESCO, the 2005 nomination for best dancer for the Benois de la Danse, in 2010 the Mr. Expressivity prize at the 9th International Ballet Festival “Dance Open” in St. Petersburg, where he performed his first work of choreography, Tango y yo, with the music Fuga y Misterio by Astor Piazzolla and, in 2013, a Bessie Award for outstanding performer.
Mr. Cornejo’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Sheila Grant.
Skylar Brandt, Guest, Winter
Skylar Brandt was born in Purchase, New York and began her training at the age of six with teachers Diana White and Christian Claessens at Scarsdale Ballet Studio. She also studied with Valentina Kozlova, Fabrice Herrault, and Susan Jaffe. She attended the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre from 2005-2009 under the direction of Franco De Vita. Brandt spent five summers at ABT’s New York Summer Intensive, was a National Training Scholar from 2006-2009 and also received the Bender Foundation Scholarship in 2009.
Brandt was a silver medalist at Youth America Grand Prix in 2004 and 2008. As a student, Brandt was invited to dance for the Antony Tudor Centennial Celebration at the Juilliard School. In 2007, she choreographed and performed in a DVD for Capezio’s national campaign.
Brandt joined ABT II (now the ABT Studio Company) in 2009 where her repertoire included Medora in Le Corsaire, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and leading roles in works by Aszure Barton’s, Jodie Gates, Edwaard Liang and Jessica Lang. She also danced George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Jerome Robbins’ Interplay.
Brandt became an apprentice with the main Company in November 2010 and joined the corps de ballet in June 2011. She was appointed a Soloist in August 2015.
Brandt regularly performs in international galas.
Brandt was awarded a 2013 Princess Grace Foundation-USA Dance Fellowship. That same year, she was featured in the film Ballet’s Greatest Hits.
Ms. Brandt’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Dr. Joan Taub Ades.