OREGON BALLET THEATRE

Photo: Michael Linsmeier.
Photo by Joni Kabana.

 

INSTRUCTORS

Lisa Kipp

Lisa Kipp began studying ballet in Olympia, Washington, and finished her training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pacific Ballet Theatre, Ballet Oregon, Ballet of Los Angeles, Ballet Chicago and James Sewell Dance, and also performed in the touring company of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Kipp danced principal roles in George Balanchine's Rubies, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Square Dance, Concerto Barocco and Apollo, and appeared as the Cowgirl in Agnes De Mille's Rodeo. Prior to joining OBT, she was the Ballet Department Head for the school of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, as well as the company’s Rehearsal Director.

Lisa Kipp

Gavin Larsen

Gavin was born and raised in New York City and received her training from Dick Andros, Francis Patrelle, the Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. Prior to joining OBT, she danced as a member of Pacific Northwest Ballet and Alberta Ballet and performed as a soloist with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Gavin has danced leading roles at OBT in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Kent Stowell, Christopher Stowell and Christopher Wheeldon, among others. In addition to performing, Gavin teaches for the School of OBT.

Gavin Larsen

Elise Legere

Elise's dance training began at one of only two Denishawn studios in the country. One of her first professional performances was at Jacob's Pillow for Ted Shawn's anniversary tribute in 1972. After graduating from Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts in Natick, Massachusetts, Elise studied under scholarship with the School of Hartford Ballet. She went on to receive her BS in dance at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, studying with Melissa Hayden and Elizabeth Carroll. Elise moved to New York City in 1978 and studied with David Howard, Lawrence Rhodes, and Maggie Black.

Elise’s professional career began with Garden State Ballet in 1978 where she spent three years, dancing several solo roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in their Nutcracker. After marrying and moving to Boston, her career continued with Boston Repertory Ballet and New England Ballet, before moving on to Hartford Ballet. Elise moved with her family to Portland in 1986 where she danced with Ballet Oregon under the direction of Dennis Spaight.

During Elise’s career, she performed ballets from notable choreographers such as George Balanchine, Lew Christensen, William Dollar, Peter Anastos, and Peter Martins. Elise has been in the faculty of Oregon Ballet Theatre since 1998.

Elise Legere

Valerie Limbrunner

A native of Newport, Oregon, Valerie studied at Newport School of Dance, the HARID Conservatory and also attended summer programs at OBT, Eugene Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Hartford Ballet. Valerie was a company member at OBT from 2001 - 2007. Prior to joining OBT, she performed with the Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet and Hartford Ballet, where she was a recipient of the Directors Award. She has danced as a guest artist with the National Opera Ballet de Bordeaux in France and teaches ballet, flamenco and choreography at summer programs in Newport and McMinnville, Oregon and Sitka, Alaska.

Valerie Limbrunner

Kembe Staley

Kembe was born and raised in Portland and received her first serious ballet education from Mary Cain, and then Jacqueline Schumacher of the Portland Ballet School. During her years of training in Portland, she was privileged to study with many well known master teachers: Fleming Halby, Melissa Hayden, Charles Bennett, and John Marshall, to name a few. Performance opportunities in classical dance, in Portland, were limited in the 70's and early 80's, so Kembe turned her attention to musical theatre where she either danced, or played trumpet in the orchestra.

Her background includes eight years of piano studies and ten years of instrumental study and performance. Kembe is married and has three children, a grown son, and two teenage daughters. She has taught for Oregon Ballet Theatre since 1990.

 

 

Jeffrey Stanton

Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Mr. Stanton trained at San Francisco Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. In addition to classical ballet, he also studied ballroom, jazz, and tap dancing. He joined San Francisco Ballet in 1989 and left to join Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 1994. He was promoted to soloist in 1995 and was made a principal in 1996. Jeff Stanton retired in 2011 following a 23-year career.

Highlights in Mr. Stanton’s career include his performance in the role of Demetrius in the BBC's 1999 film version of Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, filmed at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. He originated leading roles in Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVEMore or Less; Stephen Baynes' El Tango; Donald Byrd's Seven Deadly Sins; Val Caniparoli's The Bridge; Nicolo Fonte's Almost Tango and Within/Without; Kevin O'Day's Aract and [soundaroun(d)ance]; Kent Stowell's Carmen, Palacios Dances, and Silver Lining; and Christopher Stowell's Zaïs.

Mr. Stanton has performed as a guest artist for Le Gala des Étoiles in Montreal, Prague Gala of Stars, and the TITAS Command Performance of International Ballet in Dallas, Texas. In 2000, he participated in The George Balanchine Foundation's Interpreters Archive series, dancing excerpts from Balanchine's Episodes, coached by Melissa Hayden. He is also featured on the 1999 danceWORKS fitness video.

Jeffrey Stanton

Katarina Svetlova

Originally from Germany, she received her classical ballet training primarily from Haydee Gutierrez in Florida and continued with Haydee at The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. She also studied at the John Cranko School in Germany and The Princess Grace Academy in Monte-Carlo.

Katarina started her professional career at the age of 15 at Oregon Ballet Theatre, under the direction of James Canfield. During her 7 years at OBT she danced in many works by James Canfield, Balanchine, Peter Martins, Trey Mcintyre, Josie Mosley and many others. In 2002 she accepted a principal contract in one of Germany's leading ballet companies, Deutsche Oper Am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany. There she enjoyed dancing the principal roles in many classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Giselle and others. She was privileged to work closely with international contemporary choreographers including John Neuemeier (Sylvia), Mats Ek, Hans von Manen, Youri Vamos, and many others.

Katarina's teaching career began early alongside her professional career. She has been teaching children of all ages and adults for 17 years now. She is a sought after guest teacher for schools around the nation. It is her mission to teach ballet and creative movement in a supportive and encouraging manner to dancers of all levels, without losing the integrity of the classical technique.

Katarina Svetlova

INSTRUCTORS
Lisa Kipp
Gavin Larsen
Elise Legere
Valerie Limbrunner
Kembe Staley
Jeffrey Stanton
Katarina Svetlova

CONTACT INFORMATION

SOBT Receptionist:
503.227.6890
(will transfer to voice mail during daytime hours; messages will be returned in the late afternoon / evening)
schoolofobt@obt.org

OBT / National Endowment for the Arts Oregon Arts Commission Regional Arts & Culture Council Work for Art Portland Monthly
Work for Art