Desiree Bortolussi KELOWNA, BC
Desiree Bortolussi is a graduate of The Canadian School of Ballet and has performed in 14 productions of CSB’s The Nutcracker with appearances in many principal roles. Ms. Bortolussi has participated in summer dance programs at Canada’s National Ballet School, The Boston Ballet School, The Cincinnati Ballet School, and The School of Alberta Ballet. She has also studied at the Okanagan Summer Dance Intensive program under Paul Destrooper and Stephane Leonard. During summer 2015, Ms. Bortolussi took part in The Banff Centre’s Summer Professional Dance Program where she had worked with choreographer Gabrielle Lamb and Lindsay Fischer. With Ballet Kelowna, Ms. Bortolussi has worked with David LaHay, Brian Macdonald, Kay Armstrong, Raelynn Heppell, Simone Orlando, Heather Myers, and James Kudelka. This is Ms. Bortolussi’s sixth season with Ballet Kelowna.
Kurt Werner SCARBOROUGH, ON
Kurt Werner graduated from The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Program. He has danced in the work of George Balanchine, Michel Fokine, William Forsythe, James Kudelka, John Neumeier and Arthur Saint-Léon. Mr. Werner recently received the Brian Macdonald Dance Award and participated in The Banff Centre’s 2015 Summer Professional Dance Program. During his time with Ballet Kelowna, Mr. Werner has been featured in works by Simone Orlando, David LaHay, James Kudelka, Heather Myers, Shawn Hounsell, Kay Armstrong, Brian Macdonald and Brydon Paige. This is Mr. Werner’s sixth season with Ballet Kelowna.
Valentin Chou PARIS, FRANCE
Valentin Chou graduated from the Paris Opera Ballet School in 2013. He has performed works by Rudolf Nureyev, Maurice Béjart, and George Balanchine and has worked under the direction of Claude Bessy, Violette Verdy, and Nils Christe. Upon graduation, Mr. Chou joined Canada’s National Ballet School’s Post-Secondary Program performing works by Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, John Neumeier, Nacho Duato, Robert Binet, Demis Volpi and Aszure Barton. Mr. Chou participated in The Banff Centre’s Summer Professional Dance Program and premiered a new work by Gabrielle Lamb. This is Mr. Chou’s third season with Ballet Kelowna.
Allison Lang VANCOUVER, BC
Allison Lang was born in Vancouver and raised in Coquitlam, BC. She left home at age 10 to train at Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto, going on to graduate and attend the Post-Secondary Program. Ms. Lang has had many opportunities to perform at NBS, including roles in Giselle, Swan Lake and as The Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty. She participated in summer exchanges with Houston Ballet and The Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ms. Lang danced professionally with The National Ballet of Canada in James Kudelka's The Nutcracker during the 2015/16 Season. This is Ms. Lang's second season with Ballet Kelowna.
Charlotte Reid TORONTO, ON
Charlotte Reid attended Canada's National Ballet School graduating in 2015. While there, she had the opportunity to perform roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, and the Bluebird Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty. Ms. Reid spent one year in the RBC apprentice program with the National Ballet of Canada and through the course of the year participated in youth outreach programs performing the Pussy Cat Pas de Deux from the Sleeping Beauty, the Pas de Deux from Flower Festival in Genzano as well as pieces choreographed by Lindsay Fischer, Ian Rowe, and Dylan Tedaldi. Additionally, Ms. Reid danced with the company in Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, and Giselle. She trained in England for one year with English National Ballet School and attended summer programs with Boston Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School. This is Ms. Reid's first season with Ballet Kelowna.
Kelsey Hanna CALGARY, AB
Kelsey Hanna has attended various ballet summer schools including Joffrey Ballet in New York, and Alberta Ballet summer schools. She joined the School of Alberta Ballet and graduated from the Professional Graduate Program, training under Murray Kilgour and Edmund Stripe. While with the school she participated in tours throughout Alberta, showcasing the joys of ballet and performing professional repertoire. Ms. Hanna danced with Citie Ballet for two seasons under the direction of Jorden Morris. She has performed a diverse repertoire of choreography ranging from Les Sylphides to original contemporary work by Yukichi Hattori. Ms. Hanna has also competed in festivals and competitions around the world, including the 2014 International Genée competition in Antwerp, Belgium. This is Ms. Hanna's first season with Ballet Kelowna.
William Hall GEORGETOWN, ON
William Hall started dancing with the Joffrey Concert Group in New York City after training in Ontario, Canada. He has performed works by Gerald Arpino, Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Africa Guzman, Robert Battle, and Gabrielle Lamb. Mr. Hall recently traveled to Salzburg, Austria to participate in the SIBA ballet workshop led by Peter Breuer, Artistic Director of Salzburg Ballet. This is Mr. Hall's first season with Ballet Kelowna.
Yuka Otsuki Hyogo, Japan
Yuka Otsuki moved to Victoria, Canada from Japan when she was 15 years old to further her training at Victoria Academy of Ballet in their Professional Training Program. In June 2017, she graduated from their Post-Secondary Bridge Program and is looking forward to working with Ballet Kelowna this season. While at Victoria Academy of Ballet, Ms. Otsuki was fortunate to work with many guest teachers such as Adam Sklute (Ballet West), Bengt Jorgen (Ballet Jorgen), Kristen Wicklund (Ballet BC), Wen Wei Wang (Wen Wei Dance) and Alysa Pires (Alysa Pires Dance Project). Ms. Otsuki placed in the top 12 in the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Seattle, Washington in 2015 and 2017.
Seiji Suzuki Mie, Japan
Originally from Japan, Seiji Suzuki attended the Professional Training Program at Victoria Academy of Ballet and graduated from their Post-Secondary Bridge Program in June 2017. In 2014, Mr. Suzuki received a scholarship to participate in the International Summer School in Melbourne, Australia hosted by Cecchetti Ballet Australia. He was chosen for featured roles in The Gift by Ballet Victoria, The Nutcracker by Alberta Ballet, and guest artist with Island Circus Space. This past summer, Mr. Suzuki was selected to participate in a Choreographic Lab under the direction of Wen Wei Wang and hosted by Dance Victoria.