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Alexandra DamianiArtistic Director
Ms. Damiani was named Artistic Director in Spring 2014. A native of France, Ms. Damiani studied ballet at the Geneva Dance Center with David Allen and Claudine Kamoun before moving to Paris where she trained with Attilio Labis and Patricia Alzetta, thanks to the support of Francis Lalanne. After winning the International Competition of Marseilles, Damiani was invited to dance with the stars of the Paris Opera Ballet in Budapest and was awarded a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, prompting her to move to New York.
Since 2005, after a 15-year dance career as a soloist with Complexions, Donald Byrd/The Group and Les Ballets Jazz of Montreal, Ms. Damiani has been the Ballet Master of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.
Ms. Damiani is honored to have worked with artists and innovators both in her work with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet as well as independently, such as Donald Byrd, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Jacopo Godani, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Rodrigo Pedereinas, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Victor Quijada, Dwight Rhoden, Jo Strømgren, and Didy Veldman among others.
Ms. Damiani is frequently invited to conduct master classes in the U.S. and around the world with such dance institutions as the Juilliard School, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and Ballet Junior de Geneve. Also, since 2008 she has served in the advisory board of the New York Theatre Ballet.
Ms. Damiani is now a 22nd generation Taoist Dragon Gate lineage holder. She is an avid student and teacher in the ancient healing practice of Qigong.
Jon Bond (Joined Cedar Lake in 2007) of Southern California began his training at age 10 with Center Stage Dance Academy. In 2004 Bond spent eight weeks as a Winners’ Circle Finalist on Star Search on CBS. That same year, he served as an ambassador of dance representing the United States at the annual Australian Dance Championship, where he won International First Place Soloist in the Battle of the Stars. His work as a performer also includes the WNBA Sparks’ Sparkids; Fiona Apple’s “Paperbag” video; Featured Soloist at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theater, and Guest Artist for the Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo. Prior to joining Cedar Lake, he was a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s DTH Ensemble. As a choreographer, he was invited to perform his work at the Seventh Annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, California, where he won the Jean Ann Hirschl First Place Solo Award. Bond has also choreographed numerous award-winning competition pieces throughout the nation.
Nickemil Concepcion (Joined Cedar Lake in 2003) comes from New York, where he received his early training at Broadway Dance and the New Ballet School in New York City. At age 13, he began his professional career by performing in a Broadway production of Cinderella. He went on to be featured in the 1993 film Avenue X and George C. Wolfe’s 1996 Off-Broadway production of On the Town. Concepcion then joined Ballet Tech, where he performed for seven years.
Navarra Novy-Williams (Joined Cedar Lake in 2010) was born in New York City and was fortunate to receive her early training from Elaine Kudo and Buddy Balou in Verona, New Jersey. She graduated from The Juilliard School with a BFA in 2006. She joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal in 2006 where she performed works by choreographers Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Stijn Celis, Mats Ek, Mauro Bigonzetti, Jean Christophe Maillot, Shen Wei, Didy Veldman, Christopher Wheeldon, and George Balanchine. In 2009 she moved to Israel where she spent the year dancing in the Batsheva Ensemble.
Matthew Rich (Joined Cedar Lake in 2005) hails from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he studied at the Dance Zone under the direction of Jami Artiga and Kaydee Francis. Rich graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts, during which time he was the recipient of several regional and national competition titles, as well as convention and workshop scholarships. Choreographers Rich has worked with include Ohad Naharin, Lauri Stallings, Jacopo Godani, Adam Houghland, Crystal Pite and Stijn Celis. He also works extensively with dance schools across the country, giving master classes and workshops as well as choreographing solos and ensemble pieces for competition.
Joaquim de SantanaDancer
Joaquim de Santana (Joined Cedar Lake in 2011) was born in Brazil in 1985. Joaquim studied dance from the age of 14 with the Balé Folclórico da Bahia. For three years he trained, performed and toured both nationally and internationally with the company, which took him across North America and Europe. At the age of 17, he was awarded a fellowship to study further at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem Artez, in the Netherlands. In 2004, he joined Introdans Youth Ensemble, where he danced works by Hans van Manen and Jiří Kylián, Robert Battle among others. In 2005, he joined Scapino Ballet Rotterdam where he worked extensively with the choreographers Marco Goecke, Ed Wubbe and Georg Reischl on creations, as well as, repertoire pieces. In 2008 he joined Cullberg Ballet working and dancing pieces of Johan Inger, Mats Ek and Crystal Pite.
Vânia Doutel VazDancer
Vânia Doutel Vaz (Joined Cedar Lake in 2010) was born in Setúbal, Portugal and trained at The National Conservatory School of Dance in Lisbon, working with ballet master Georges Garcia and choreographer Rui Horta. Her professional career in Portugal includes Vasco Wellenkamp’s Contemporary Portuguese Dance Company and freelance work with theater director Miguel Moreira and choreographers Luís Guerra de Laocoi, Rui Lopes Graça and Romulus Neagu. She continued her dance and theater training with Vera Mantero, Margarida Bettencourt, João Fiadeiro, Francisco Camacho and Emmanuelle Huynh; in Madrid, Spain, on a feature film from director Carlos Saura, “Fados;” in London; and as a dancer in Push 04 under the artistic direction of Josette Bushell-Mingo. Prior to joining Cedar Lake, Vaz was a member of Nederlands Dans Theater, where she performed works by such choreographers as Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot/Sol Léon, Alexander Ekman and Marco Goecke.
Ebony Williams (Joined Cedar Lake in 2005) comes from Boston, Massachusetts, where she trained with the Boston Ballet from age eight through high school. She also attended the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts. She is a May 2005 graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Williams has performed works by such choreographers as Donald Byrd and Luis Fuente. Being a versatile dancer has given her the opportunity to also work in the commercial world with artists such as Rihanna, Fergie, Ciara (Love, Sex, Magic, featuring Justin Timberlake) and Beyoncé. As one of the dancers in the 2009 MTV video of the year Single Ladies, Williams also performed with Beyoncé on her promo tour, the American Music Awards, the “Today Show” and “Saturday Night Live.”
Rachelle Scott (Joined Cedar Lake in 2012) was born in the city of Montpellier, France. Upon moving to New York City, she received her dance training from The Alvin Ailey School and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts. At the end of her high school studies, she received the YoungArts/New York Regional Award in DANCE/Modern and the Eiger Scholarship Award. Ms. Scott then attended The Juilliard School, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Throughout her dance career, she has danced works by Merce Cunningham, Hofesh Shechter, Alexander Ekman, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Andonis Foniadakis, Jiří Kylián, José Limón and Bronislava Nijinska, among others. After graduating from University, Rachelle became a member of the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City. Rachelle has been a guest choreographer for Atlanta Ballet and the Juilliard Ensemble. Ms. Scott is the recipient of a 2013 Princess Grace Award.
Billy Bell (Joined Cedar Lake in 2012) was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. After graduating from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Billy continued his training at The Juilliard School where he performed works by José Limón and Sidra Bell. He has worked in many commercial dance forms, ranging from Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” video to appearing on FOX’s “HOUSE” in a scene choreographed by Mia Michaels. He has worked as a demonstrator/faculty member on JUMP Dance Convention, Assistant Choreographer and Artist with Cherice Barton (New York City) and as a member of José Navas’ Company Flak (Montréal, Quebec). He is also the founder of Lunge Dance Collective (New York City).
Ida Saki (Joined Cedar Lake in 2012) hails from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Booker T. Washington Performing Arts Center and Dance Industry Performing Arts Center and continued her training at New York University. She has received such accolades as modern dance winner from the National Foundation’s YoungArts, Texas Young Master, and has received national recognition from various organizations, including New York City Dance Alliance’s outstanding dancer of the year. The National High School Dance Festival recognized her choreographic talents and awarded her the outstanding choreography award. She was also the only female dancer to be selected by the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program to meet President Obama and be named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2010.
Jin Young WonDancer
Jin Young Won (Joined Cedar Lake in 2012) Won hails from Seoul Korea. She studied at SunHwa Art High School in Seoul. During her third year of school she won the Prix de Lausanne, Switzerland. She was then offered an apprenticeship with Nederlands Dans Theater II (NDT II), in The Hague, Netherlands and a scholarship to join a summer term with American Dance Festival. She later danced professionally for NDT II under the direction of Gerald Tibbs and Ballet Basel with Richard Wherlock. Won has worked with choreographers: Jiří Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot/Sol Leon, Hans van Manen, Stijn Cellis, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman, Angelin Preljocaj, Mauro Bigonzetti, Marco Goeke, Henrique Rodovalho and Gustavo Ramirez, Jorma Elo, Rami Be’er, Sagi Gross and Wherlock. She has toured throughout Europe, South America and Korea. Other credits include winner of the 9th Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition (Tokyo, Japan 2005) and prizes from Korean national dance competitions.
Joseph Kudra (Joined Cedar Lake in 2012) was born in Chicago, Illinois. Kudra began his training at the age of nine at the American Dance Center under the direction of Jack and Kathleen Villari. He has worked with River North Chicago Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, and most recently Luna Negra Dance Theatre. Kudra has performed works by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Christian Spuck, Edgar Zendejas, Robert Battle, Alex Ketley, Fernando Melo, Fernando Hernando Magadan and Asun Noales.
Guillaume Quéau (Joined Cedar Lake in 2012) was born in France in 1992. Quéau studied dance from the age of 10. He trained at The National of Contemporary Dance in Angers, France, for three years. He then joined Ballet Junior de Genève (Switzerland) in 2010, where he studied contemporary dance, ballet and improvisation. He worked with such choreographers as Stijn Celis, Hofesh Shechter, Ken Ossola, and Alexander Ekman during his two years with the Ballet Junior de Genève.
Madeline Wong (Joined Cedar Lake in 2013) was born in Australia. She moved to Holland at age 16 to pursue her training and passion for dance at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag where she received her Diploma of Dance. She joined Scapino Ballet Rotterdam for an apprenticeship before dancing with the Ballet du Grand Théàtre de Genève in Switzerland from 2006-2013. She has worked with such choreographers as Mats Ek, Saburo Teshigawara, Andonis Foniadakis, Benjamin Millepied, Paul Lightfoot and Amanda Miller.