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, Associate Artistic Director
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 Barocco, Allegro 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 Frida, Afternoon 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
Mary AllyeB Purtle, Wardrobe Supervisor
Mary AllyeB Purtle started assisting with the costumes for Carolina Ballet Theatre in 2015. Now she is the Costume Coordinator and Head Seamstress for the company. Mary AllyeB designs and makes new costumes, works with the artistic director to plan the costumes for each show, coordinates all fittings and alterations, and organizes the backstage dressing rooms for the shows. Mary AllyeB was able to study the traditional art form of making a classical tutu with Claudia Folts at Tutu.com’s Tutu School.
In addition to costuming Mary AllyeB is an accomplished performer as well as private instructor on all the woodwind instruments including oboe, flute, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone. Mary AllyeB has taught flute and oboe at Presbyterian College and is currently the oboe and double reed adjunct professor at Bob Jones University. Mary AllyeB also plays professionally as Principal English Horn for the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra and oboe in the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and Brevard Philharmonic.
Mary Kate Reynolds grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, where she started ballet at the Greenville Ballet School at age two. At age 14, she joined the school of Carolina Ballet Theatre under the direction of Hernan Justo and Anita Pacylowski. In 2007, Mary Kate became an apprentice to the company of Carolina Ballet Theatre where she experienced highlights, including a week spent with Alonzo King, rehearsing and performing his pas de deux from MAP; and the opportunity to replace a principal dancer on an international tour to South America.
In 2009, Mary Kate joined First State Ballet Theatre, in Wilmington, DE. She spent 8 seasons there under the direction of Pasha Kambalov, who was instrumental in her growth thanks to his knowledge and coaching of the Vaganova method. In 2012, she debuted as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and appeared in a range of principal roles, including Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), Cinderella (title role), The Nutcracker (Marie, Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania), and Juliet in Viktor Plotnikov’s Romeo and Juliet. In July 2019, Mary Kate moved from Philadelphia to NYC as a freelance dancer but the pandemic brought her back home to Greenville where she is excited to be dancing again with Carolina Ballet Theatre.
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 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.