McKeely Borger SASKATCHEWAN MÉTIS NATION, REGINA
McKeely Borger is a member of the Saskatchewan Métis Nation from Regina, Canada. She pursued her dance career at Adelphi University in New York under full Merit Scholarship, Coastal City Ballet in Vancouver, Atlanta Ballet, and in France at Le Ballet de l’Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Metropole as a soloist. She was an Original Cast Member of the MainStage production of Mickey & the Magician at Disneyland Paris in 2016. Ms. Borger spent the past two years in Florida with Ballet Palm Beach, dancing roles such as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in Balanchine’s Who Cares? as the ‘One and Only’. Happy to be back in Canada, this is her inaugural season with Ballet Kelowna!
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 worked with choreographer Gabrielle Lamb and Lindsay Fischer. With Ballet Kelowna, Ms. Bortolussi has worked with David LaHay, Brian Macdonald, Simone Orlando, Heather Myers, and James Kudelka. This is Ms. Bortolussi’s eight 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 fifth season with Ballet Kelowna.
Kelsey Hanna CALGARY, AB
Kelsey Hanna has attended summer dance programs at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, and the School of Alberta Ballet. In 2013, she entered the Professional Graduate Program at the School of Alberta Ballet, 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 third season with Ballet Kelowna.
Yuka Otsuki HYOGO, JAPAN
Yuka Otsuki moved to Victoria, BC 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. 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. In the summer of 2017, Mr. Suzuki was selected to participate in a Choreographic Lab under the direction of Wen Wei Wang and hosted by Dance Victoria.
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 eight season with Ballet Kelowna.
Saia Kuwata OSAKA, JAPAN
Saia Kuwata is originally from Osaka, Japan where she began her training. In 2016, Ms. Kuwata moved to Victoria, Canada to continue her training in the Post-Secondary Bridge Program at the Victoria Academy of Ballet, which she graduated from in the spring of 2018. While at the Victoria Academy of Ballet, Ms. Kuwata had the opportunity to work with many guest teachers such as Alysa Pires, Wen Wei Wang, Jorden Morris, and Christopher Anderson. Ms. Kuwata placed in the top 12 at the Youth American Grand Prix semi-finals in Seattle, Washington. She has performed in Ballet for the Future (2014, 2015) under the direction of Gen Horiuchi (Artistic Director of the Saint Louis Ballet Company), as well as Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker (2017), and Ballet Kelowna’s A Streetcar Named Desire (May 2018). This is Ms. Kuwata’s second season with Ballet Kelowna.
Donaldo Nava MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
Donaldo Nava began his professional training at the National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance in Mexico City. He moved to Victoria, Canada to continue his training and graduated from the Victoria Academy of Ballet (VAB) Post-Secondary Bridge Program in 2019. Mr. Nava worked with many guest teachers including Alysa Pires (Alysa Pires Dance Projects), Jorden Morris (former Artistic Director, Citie Ballet), John Alleyne (former Artistic Director, Ballet BC) and Christopher Anderson (Associate Artistic Director, Alberta Ballet). He has performed with Ballet Kelowna in John Alleyne’s A Streetcar Named Desire in May 2018 and again on tour in October 2018. This past year, he participated in Dance Victoria’s Choreographic Lab under Justine Chambers and Susan Elliot.
Anri Hirota HIROSHIMA, JAPAN
Anri Hirota moved to Victoria, Canada to further her training at the Victoria Academy of Ballet (VAB) in the Professional Training Program and graduated from their Post-Secondary Bridge Program in 2019. While at VAB, Ms. Hirota worked with many guest teachers including Alysa Pires (Alysa Pires Dance Projects), Wen Wei Wang (Artistic Director, Ballet Edmonton), Jorden Morris (former Artistic Director, Citie Ballet), John Alleyne (former Artistic Director, Ballet BC) and Christopher Anderson (Associate Artistic Director, Alberta Ballet). She has performed with Ballet Kelowna in John Alleyne’s A Streetcar Named Desire in May 2018 and again on tour in October 2018. This past year, Ms. Hirota placed in the top 12 in the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Seattle, Washington.