Abby Bushnell is from Cohasset and started her ballet training at the Boston Ballet School. Her ballet career continued to Houston Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, Semperoper Ballett in Dresden, Germany, the Slovak National Ballet and she is currently in her fourth season with the Czech National Ballet in Prague, Czech Republic.
Abigail has performed repertoire including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, and repertoire from choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, and John Cranko. Abby is returning this summer to teach at South Shore Ballet Theater for her fifth summer. Despite the difficult circumstances lately, it is so important, and so fortunate that we are able to get back in the studio and continue our art form.
Anaïs Chalendard started to train with Carole Bentolila in Roanne as a student of Max Bozzoni, étoile and teacher at the Paris Opera school. Anaïs moved to Marseille and continued her training under the instruction of Dominique Khalfouni at l’École Nationale de Danse de Marseille Roland Petit.
After graduating with her Baccalaureate in economics and political science, she received her first professional contract at the age of 17 with the Deutsch Oper am Rhein under the direction of Youri Vamos. After a season, she was asked to join Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, under the direction of Vladimir Malakov. After several years, Chalendard moved to Karlsruhe to join the Badische Staatstheater, under the direction of Birgit Keil, where she became a principal dancer. There, amongst other leading roles, Chalendard premiered Terence Kohler’s Anna Karenina as well as Gamzatti in his version of La Bayadère. She also enjoyed dancing in the creation of Ray Barra’s Carmen as Carmen and many other choreographic workshops by Renato Zanella, David Bombana, and Terence Kohler. At the end of her last season, she received the opportunity to dance Juliet in Sir Kenneth MacMilan’s Romeo and Juliet.
Chalendard finally joined the English National Ballet in 2008 under the direction of Wayne Eagling, where she was promoted to first soloist following performances in Manon and The Dying Swan. She has also appeared in guest performances organized by Carlos Acosta and choreographed by Adam Hougland, dancing a pas de deux (Young Apollo) especially created for her and Junor de Oliveira Souza. In 2009, she received the “Emerging Dancer Award” after dancing Nikiya’s Death from La Bayadère.In 2012, Chalendard appeared at the Nureyev Festival in Russia as Giselle with principal dancer, Jozef Varga from Het National Ballet, and as Odette/Odile in Derek Dean’s Swan Lake with English National Ballet.
Chalendard has been listed as one of the “100 Best Dancers in the World” by Dance Europe Magazine. In June 2013, she was invited to dance Erik Brühn’s La Sylphide with Friedemann Vogel, principal with the Stuttgart Ballet, and Rolando Sarabia, international guest artist, at the Teatro dell Opera di Roma.
Chalendard joined Boston Ballet in 2013 as a Second Soloist, was promoted to Soloist in 2014 and Principal in 2016. She has performed as Gamzatti in Florence Clerc’s La Bayadère, as well as in several works created by Jorma Elo and Yury Yanowsky. She has also danced the role of 2nd Aria in Balanchine’s Violin Concerto, in the lead role of La Gaité Parisienne as the Glove Seller, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odile in Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake, Marguerite in Val Caniparoli’s The Lady of the Camélias, and Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet.
Chalendard has been invited to dance at the World Ballet Competition Star’s Gala in Orlando. In addition, she has served as a jury member at the World Ballet Competition and has taught summer intensives with Dance Theater International, Allen Conservatory, and Boston Ballet School. In the coming year, she will be a guest artist at the Mozart Woche in Salzburg, Austria.
Rie Ichikawa started her ballet training in Nagano, Japan, under the direction of Teruyo Kurashima. After winning gold medals in Japanese competitions in 1990 and 1991, she decided to leave Japan to study in the Arts Educational London Ballet school in England in 1992. She has won the Markova Award (1994) in London England. In 1995 she was recommended to go to study in Houston Ballet under the direction of Clara Cravey and Steve Brule. She joined the top class of Houston Ballet School and was soon offered a position in Ballet Arizona under the directorship of Michael Uthoff in 1995. He molded her talent, gave her many opportunities, and then promoted her to principal after only one year. After 4 years with Ballet Arizona, Rie was hired as a corps de ballet dancer with Boston Ballet under the direction of Anna-Marie Holmes in 1999. Since the arrival of Mikko Nissinen in 2001, she has danced most of the soloist parts in all the major classical ballet productions and contemporary ballets. Her artistic highpoint to date has been performing the soloist role in Jiri Kylian’s Bella Figura. Outside of her dance career, her greatest achievement and joy comes from her two beautiful children from her husband and former dancer Peter Freedberg.
Her repertory includes Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake (Pas de Trios, Pas de Cinq, For Cygnets), The Nutcracker’s (Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen), Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fill Malgardee (Lisa), Cinderella (Autumn Fairy), George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Symphony In Three Movements (Turning Girl), Divertimento No. 15 Theme and Variations, Serenade (Waltz Girl), Apollo, The Four Temperaments (Sanguinic), John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew (Bianca), William Forsythe’s The Second Detail, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Florence Clerc’s (La Bayadere (Manu, Three Shades), La Sylphide (Mazurka Girl), Jiri Kylian’s Bella Figura, Symphony of Psalms, Petite Mort, Falling Angels, Helen Pickett’s Etesian, Eventied, Jose Martinez (Resonance) Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camelias Lambarena, Jorma Elo’s Plant to B, In on Blue, Break the Eyes. Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces, Mark Morris’s Up and Down, Drink to Me, Hans van Manen’s Black Cake and Yury Yanowsky’s Li3.
Rie has been a guest teacher at SSBT for the past three years, working with our Pre-Professional dancers.
Courtney Nitting was born in Lafayette, New Jersey and began her dance training at the age of 3 at The New Jersey School of Ballet on scholarship. After nine years at NJB, she was invited to continue her training at The School of American Ballet. It was at SAB that Ms. Nitting received a review from critic Alastair MacCaulay for her featured role in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments during the annual workshop. Over these years, she also attended summer programs such as American Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Boston Ballet. After graduating from SAB on scholarship, she performed with Eglevsky Ballet, Neglia Ballet, and Tom Gold Dance. Ms. Nitting then went on to join Pennsylvania Ballet II for the 2017-2018 season performing in ballets such as Angel Corella’s The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. She joined KCB for the 2018-2019 season where she performed featured roles in William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and David Parsons’ A Play for Love. She also had the privilege of performing in Septime Webre’s world premiere of The Wizard of Oz, Devon Carney’sThe Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, along with KCB’s New Moves where she choreographed her work Men in Red, and danced in Gary Abbott’s Parallel Lives. Ms. Nitting was featured in a new work Umbrachoreographed by Myles Thatcher for the 2020 New Dance Partners. She was featured in 2019 February/March Pointe Magazine article 200 Auditions, 1 Contract, along with a featured article in 2020 June/July issue of Dance Magazine titled Are Young Dancers Specializing Too Soon?
Carol Roderick recently retired as Director of Dance of the Hartt School Community Division at the University of Hartford, CT. She was an assistant professor of ballet and pedagogy at Colorado State University (Fort Collins) previous to coming to Connecticut. She has taught, coached, and trained students and teachers for professional companies, universities, and prestigious schools in the United States, Canada, Japan and and Europe.
She received her early training in Boston, and later at Butler and Indiana Universities. Her formal pedagogical training was with the late Jürgen Schneider (Bolshoi Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre) and Gabriela Komleva (Kirov/Mariinski Ballet).
She was a member of the professional division faculties of Boston Ballet School, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and The Harid Conservatory. She directed the Colorado Ballet School, Tulsa Ballet School, and Academy of Ballet Idaho. She was principal teacher of AIS Ballet in Kobe, Japan for two years. She was the Program Manager for the Bolshoi Ballet at Vail, and also served as ballet mistress for the Cleo Parker Robinson New Dance Ensemble in Denver, Colorado. For many years, she ran her own pre-professional training program in Denver – Classical Ballet Ensemble.
Ms. Roderick has also developed her own Teacher Training Program, which she presents annually at the Hartt Community Division and as a guest lecturer in other locations.
She has coached and prepared students for the Prix de Lausanne, Japan Grand Prix, New York International Ballet Competition and the USA International Ballet Competition, (Jackson), as well as local and regional scholarship competitions throughout the USA. She has been a guest teacher for many schools and companies, including The Harid Conservatory, Kansas City Ballet School, Boston Ballet, St. Paul City Ballet, Kumamoto Ballet (Japan), City of Osaka (Japan), and University of Utah.
She is known as a meticulous, skilled and inspirational teacher. She is also a knowledgeable and precise coach and stager of classical repertoire. Her students are known for their clarity and strength of technique, musical expressiveness, and beautiful movement quality. Many of her students have gone on to professional performance, choreographic, and teaching careers.
A former soloist with Boston Ballet under the direction of Founder, E. Virginia Williams, Ms. Woodies toured the US and Europe with Dennis Wayne’s DANCERS, and was a Guest Artist with New York Dance Theater at Lincoln Center. Her musical theater credits include: “Cassie” in A Chorus Line directed by Michael Bennett; Principal cover in On Your Toes directed by George Abbott; “Flo” in The Mystery of Edwin Drood with author/composer Rupert Holmes; and, created the role of “Kathleen” in Drumwright opposite John Cullum. Film work: Jolly, Echoes, A Chorus Line – the movie, Disney’s Aladdin, and Bender.
As a choreographer and director: California Music Theater, Long Beach Civic Light Opera, Lifetime, the Disney Channel, Paramount, Disney World, Brown University and Walnut Hill School. Ms. Woodies has received DramaLogue and Robby Awards, an IRNE Nomination, and the Dennett Distinguished Career Award. Leslie was pleased to accept an appointment to Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Visiting Lecturer in Dramatic Arts. A faculty member of: the Boston Ballet School, Boston Conservatory, and Emerson College. Director of What the Dickens for Deb Mason’s CYDP at the John Hancock Theater, and was the first Associate Artistic Director for Tony William’s Urban Nutcracker.