Dani Rowe | Artistic Director
From 2001-2015, Dani Rowe, born in Shepparton, Australia, was a Principal Dancer with the Australian Ballet and Houston Ballet and danced with the prestigious Nederlands Dans Theater. She originated roles in creations by Paul Lightfoot/Sol Leon, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Alexander Ekman, Crystal Pite, and Medhi Walerski and worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Bruce. Rowe has also performed in works by Kenneth McMillan, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Mark Morris, and Nacho Duato as well as the title roles in Giselle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.
Lisa Kipp | Executive Rehearsal Director
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. 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 in 2004, she was the Ballet Department Head for the school of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, as well as the company’s Rehearsal Director.
Kipp was OBT’s Ballet Mistress beginning in 2004 before being promoted to the company’s rehearsal director, and senior rehearsal director in 2022. As a ballet master, she has assisted James Kudelka, Lar Lubovitch, Lola DeAvila, Nicolo Fonte, Francia Russell, Bart Cook, Christine Redpath, Christopher Stowell, Yuri Possokhov, and Helgi Tomasson. She has staged George Balanchine’s Rubies, Square Dance, and Who Cares? for OBT, and is responsible for the corps de ballet in OBT’s classical repertoire.
Raúl Gómez-Rojas | Resident Music Director & Conductor
Member of the 2018 class of the prestigious Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (League of American Orchestras), Raúl Gómez-Rojas inspires audiences and artists of all ages and backgrounds to use music as a vehicle to connect, pursue excellence, and spread joy. Lauded as a “visionary conductor” (Oregon ArtsWatch), Raúl has built a reputation as an insightful leader that “captivates both performing musicians and audiences alike,” and whose “positive attitude and enthusiasm make him a joy to be with” (C. Mumm, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, NY).
In high demand as a guest conductor, Raúl is equally at home on stage and in the pit, leading professional orchestras in the USA and Latin America, new music ensembles, youth, and community groups, and collaborating with a vast array of guest artists across many genres and disciplines. Recent highlights include performances with the Oregon Symphony, 45th Parallel Universe, Fear No Music, Third Angle New Music, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oregon International Ballet Academy, jazz violinist Regina Carter, Steward Copeland, Boyz 2 Men, Lyle Lovett, The Tenors, Kermit Ruffins, Rick Springfield and more.
As Music Director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony in Portland, Oregon, Raúl leads a team of 12 conductors serving over 500 students in 14 ensembles. He has led the organization to new artistic heights while creating “concert programs that any forward-looking orchestra should envy.” (Willamette Week). Raúl’s skills to “inspire children and young adults to make music to the best of their ability are astonishing” (D. Seldis, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra).
A native of Costa Rica, Raúl received full scholarships for graduate studies at Louisiana State University in violin/viola (MM) and conducting (DMA). Beyond the podium, his work extends to frequent engagements as a violinist/violist, clinician, public speaker and, since 2020, as a Contributing Host and Producer for On Deck with Young Musicians on All Classical Portland.
Jane Green | Artistic Manager
Jane comes to Oregon Ballet Theatre with over 30 years of experience in Production and Stage Management with major ballet companies and within the performing arts. Originally from Seattle, Jane graduated from the University of Washington, then went on to work with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and, most recently, 18 years as the Production Stage Manager for San Francisco Ballet. Many years of touring experience around the world has fed Jane’s passion to travel to even more remote and interesting areas of the world, including the Amazon and Madagascar.
Michael Mazzola | Lighting Director
Michael Mazzola’s critically acclaimed lighting and scenery has been seen in venues all over the U.S., Europe, and Asia, ranging from opera houses to amphitheaters, from circus tents to hay barns. The three-time New York Dance and Performance Award winner has designed lighting and scenery for Oregon Ballet Theatre; Pacific Northwest Ballet; San Francisco Ballet, Whim W’Him of Seattle, Queensland Ballet; National Ballet of Finland; Stuttgart Ballet; Grand Rapids Ballet; Ballet West; Ballet Nacional de Cuba; Trey McIntyre Project; The Washington Ballet; Houston Ballet; Rachel Tess Dance at the Wanas Foundation in Sweden, Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC and LMCC’s River to River Festival, Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Bebe Miller Company – with whom he has worked since the mid-80s, and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. At the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, he designed lighting and video for the 2015 Presidential Scholars Awards. Mazzola has also designed scenery for two Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts, and the 2015 Lincoln Awards at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for Uplight, Inc, based in NYC. His performance photography has been published in Liz Lerman’s book Hiking the Horizontal, as well on the websites and marketing materials for Bebe Miller Company and Rachel Tess Dance.
Jamie Lynne Simons | Stage Manager
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jamie received a BFA in Applied Theatre Arts from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Their career has varied from large stage opera to black box puppetry, from Las Vegas style shows with pyrotechnics, dancers in feather backpacks, magic, and aerial artists – to, now in the Covid era, also calling remote live-stream and hybrid productions. With nearly five years on Carnival Cruise Lines, Jamie went as far west as Melbourne, Australia and as far east as St. Petersburg, Russia. Tour: Hundred Days (production stage manager). Other local credits: Jefferson Dancers, Portland Opera, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Rail Repertory, Portland Playhouse, Profile Theatre, Chamber Music Northwest, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Third Angle New Music, and Oregon Health & Science University. Jamie is both a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and Actors’ Equity Association.
Peter Pan Guest Artist
Photo by Alexander Reneff-Olson
Niel DePonte | Arranger and ComposerNiel DePonte, arranger and composer for Peter Pan, was the founding conductor of the OBT Orchestra and was the music director and conductor for OBT and its predecessor, Pacific Ballet Theatre, from 1985-2022. He has guest-conducted for Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Mussorgsky Theatre (Maly Theatre) of St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Nureyev Ballet Festival in Kazan, Russia. DePonte has also conducted symphonic, ballet, pops, and youth concerts with the symphonies of Oregon, Syracuse, Dayton, Spokane, Charlotte, and the Kennedy Center Orchestra, among others. He was the artistic director and conductor of the Young Artists Debut! Concerto Competition for MetroArts Inc. (which he founded in 1993) through 2021.
DePonte was born in New York City and received his graduate training at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he earned a Master of Music degree and the Performer’s Certificate in Percussion. He was a 2003 GRAMMY Awards nominee in the category Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with orchestra) for his performance of Tomáš Svoboda’s Concerto for Marimba with the Oregon Symphony. In 2020, he stepped down as principal percussionist of the Oregon Symphony after a 43-year tenure in that position to form DePonte Creativity Partners (DCP) his latest creative platform. DCP produces arts and education programs and concerts including The Concerts At The Barn, a summertime concert series in Beaverton (performing concerts this July and August at www.theconcertsatthebarn.com.
DePonte began working with Trey McIntyre on the score for Peter Pan in 1999, arranging a three-act score made up of excerpts from 22 works of the prolific British composer Sir Edward Elgar for Houston Ballet that premiered in 2002. For this score, he also composed original instrumental interludes and other material throughout the ballet. The 2024 revised score retains most of the original music for Peter Pan but is slightly abridged, with two new scenes having been created by McIntyre. OBT’s production of Peter Pan marks the world premiere of the new two-act score.