A RESIDENT COMPANY

 

Company Leadership

Hernan Justo, Artistic Director

hernan justo artistic teamHernan 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 PacylowskiAssociate Artistic Director

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Anita Pacylowski-Justo is a native of Columbia, MD. She started ballet at the Columbia Conservatory Ballet in Columbia, Maryland and the Reston Conservatory Ballet with founder Julia Cziller. She continued her training at The Washington School of Ballet in Washington D.C. under the artistic direction of Mary Day and associate director Patricia Berrend. Her senior year in High School, she received the Princess Grace Award in Dance, National YoungArts Level 1 winner, and received the Presidential Scholar in the Arts in Ballet award at White House. She also was a finalist partnered by now National Ballet of Canada’s Executive Director Barry Hughson at the New York International Ballet Competition in New York City, and semi-finalist at the Prix de Lausanne competition in Lausanne, Switzerland.

She joined The Washington Ballet as a professional dancer and ascended to a Principal dancer for five years under Ballet Master’s Kevin McKenzie, Simon Dow, Janek Schergen and Rex Bickmore performing ballets by George Balanchine, Choo San Goh, Nils Christie, Alonzo King, Ray Barra, Paul Taylor, Septime Weber, Martine Van Hamel and Judith Jamison. While there, she performed in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, France, England and Spain. Highlights include performing the Grand Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center for President Clinton and the First Lady, and performing at the White House Holiday Tea Party.

Throughout her school training, she credits her vast exposure to some of the best teachers, dancers and choreographers at the Chautauqua Institution in Dance in Chautauqua, NY. She trained and performed for fourteen summers as both a student and a founding company member under the artistic direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. Teachers and choreographers include Patricia McBride, Mark Diamond, Violette Verdy, Michael Vernon, Alonzo King, John Clifford, Peter Pucci, Graham Lustig, Mark Godden, Jacqulyn Buglisi and Connie Dinapoli. She also met Artistic Director, Salvatore Aiello and Ballet Mistress, Jerri Kumery in Chautauqua, which lead her to join the North Carolina Dance Theatre (Charlotte Ballet).

In Charlotte, she performed as a Principal Dancer, for seven years with NCDT under the Artistic Direction of Salvatore Aiello and then after Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride and Jerri Kumery. She performed the late Artistic Director Aiello’s masterpiece Rite of Spring, Alvin Ailey’s Feast of Ashes, Alonzo King’s Chants, Dreamer and MAP, Paul Taylor’s Company B and Esplanade, Vincete Nebrada’s Pentimento and principal roles inBalanchine’s Serenade, Rubies, Concerto BaroccoAllegro Brillante, Tchaikovsky pas de deux, The Four Temperaments and Who Cares? This is where she met fellow dancer Hernan Justo and danced many roles together. Hernan purposed to Anita onstage after a season performance, in front of packed house at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

In 2001, she came to Carolina Ballet Theatre in Greenville, SC to join her husband as artistic leadership of Carolina Ballet Theatre. After the birth of her daughter Sofia, she trained with her husband to be a founding member of the professional dance company. In 2004, she became director of the School of Carolina Ballet Theatre (DanceArts Greenville) after founder Barbara Selvy retired. She continued to dance with the founding members of the company and join them both nationally and internationally on tour. After the birth of her second child, Nicolas, Anita delved deeper into choreography such as The Four Paintings of FridaAfternoon Delight and Mahabutha on CBT. In 2009, Anita received the nomination to compete in the XVII editionof the Benois de la Danse in Hernan Justo’s choreography Pulling the Stringspas de deux. Know as the “Oscars” of ballet, this performance in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre unfortunately was cancelled due to the world economic crisis that made an impact on the cultural projects in Russia. She retired as principal dancer of CBT in 2011, after nearly ten years with the company.

During that time she also coordinated and facilitated many of CBT’s arts integration work through Metropolitan Arts Council’s SmartArts program, a partnership between Greenville County Schools (GCS) and the Metropolitan Arts Council (MAC) that connects students, artists and teachers to deeper learning and self-awareness through integrating the arts with all areas of education. As a founding teaching artist in dance, she taught for over ten years and was part of their Train the Trainer program.

As a Presidential Scholar in the Arts (‘89) Dance alumni, Anita served on the Presidential Scholar Alumni Association’s steering committee to build a network and platform for PSA dance alumnus. She continues to keep relations with the organization with intent to build a network of PSA in Dance Alumnus that can share their talents to the next generations.

As co- artistic director of DanceArts Greenville for 17 years, her goal is to provide high-level training in a family friendly environment. She continues to guest teach in ballet and contemporary, and choreograph new works at dance schools across the Northeast and Southeast, and to discuss dance education with many of the top directors and teachers in the world.

She commutes on weekends as the Associate Academy Director of Charlotte Ballet for the past three years. Focusing on their younger division of the Academy and rehearsing and directing Charlotte Ballet’s children cast. She is Director of Curriculum for Preparatory, Beginning Ballet and Levels 1-3. She is faculty of the Academy and Summer Intensive and instructor in their National Summer Intensive Audition Tour.

She works side by side with her husband Hernan Justo, as Carolina Ballet Theatre’s Associate Director and looks forward to more involvement in managing Hernan Justo’s 20thAnniversary season as CBT’s Artistic Director.

Erica Wesselman, Ballet Répétiteur

Erica is a native of Springfield, Illinois, where she began dancing at the age of 3 under direction from Grace Nanavatti. She then joined the Springfield Ballet Company in 1999 under the direction of Julie Ratz and performed many leading and soloist roles including Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Odette in Swan Lake and Princess Flourine in The Sleeping Beauty. In 2005, Erica moved to Greenville, SC to start her professional training and career with Carolina Ballet Theatre under artistic direction from Hernan Justo. She has performed in many leading and soloist roles in both classical and contemporary ballets set by Hernan Justo and resident choreographer Francesca Genovese. These include Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker, Carabosse and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Ambrosia in Francesca Genovese’s The Ribbon, Eva Peron in Hernan Justo’s The Chestnut of your Eyes erased and the wife of a military soldier in He Never Came Back. Other ballets include Tangofusion, Le Corsaire, Giselle, True Blue, Down Home, Cinderella, Pulling the Strings, Virginia’s Mine, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Paquita, Raymonda and Celebration of Women. Erica also had the extreme privilege of working with and performing Alonzo King’s “Map” and Dwight Roden’s “Beetlejuice”.
Erica has been a dance instructor for the past 10 years and started teaching for DAG in 2007. After recently moving to North Carolina to work with Piedmont School of Music and Dance for 2 seasons, she is now coming back “home” and is beyond thrilled to be teaching back at DAG! Erica teaches all styles of dance but this season at DAG will be teaching ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and working with the DAYCO students!! She looks forward to a fun and very exciting year ahead!

Mary AlleyB Purtle, Wardrobe Supervisor

Lisa Larocque, Wardrobe


Company Dancers

Martin Gonzalo Justo Bernardez

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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

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.

Josiah Savage

Josiah brings a vibrant energy and technique to the stage. His training includes New Haven Ballet, Chautauqua andjosiah 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.


Season Dancers

Herman Cornejo, Guest, Winter

herman-cornejoHerman 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 OrchestraGlow – 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.

Oksana Maslova, Guest, Winter

Oksana Maslova’s artistic development began early on with rhythmic gymnastics, which eventually led her to an intensive ballet program with Irina Sycheva, former ballerina of St. Petersburg Ballet. Oksana then went on to the Kiev Choreographic College, where she studied under renowned teachers and artists such as Anna Petrenchuk, Evgenyi Kaigorodov, Yana Gladkih, and Dmitriy Kaigorodov. While attending the Choreographic College, Oksana began performing with Kiev Youth Ballet, where she danced the part of Arabian in The Nutcracker, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Odette in Swan Lake. After graduating from Kiev, Oksana became a student at the Institute of Culture and Arts, where she received her master’s degree as a choreographer and ballet master.

Oksana joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a soloist for our 2014/2015 season. She has since danced featured roles in Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, as well as the role of Odile/Odette in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake. In 2016, Oksana was promoted to principal dancer and has continued to perform a mixed repertoire of classical, modern, and full-length works, including David Dawson’s The Third Light, Brian Sanders’ Chicken Bone Brain, George Balanchine’s Western Symphony (Second Movement), and Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella (Cinderella).

Prior to Pennsylvania Ballet, Oksana was a member of Suziriya Dance Theater, which she joined after Kiev Youth Ballet. In 2004, she became a member of the Odessa National Opera House, where she rose to the rank of soloist and performed a variety of principal roles. In 2008, she joined Grand Rapids Ballet as a principal dancer, performing their entire classical repertoire. And, in June 2011, she joined the Connecticut Ballet Company as a principal dancer, where she created the role of Alice in Brett Raphael’s Alice in Wonderland.

Brian Cordova, Freelance, Fall 2019

Nick Holtz, Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Fall 2019

Gabrielle Moore, Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Fall 2019

MaryKate Reynolds, Freelance, Fall & Spring 2019/2020

Sean Steigrwald, Georgia Ballet, Winter 2019

Kelsey Stanhope, Georgia Ballet, Winter 2019

Hannah Williams, Georgia Ballet, Winter 2019

Matthew Rice, Freelance, Winter 2019

Benjamin Westafer, Freelance, Winter 2019