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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 seventh season with Ballet Kelowna.

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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 fourth season with Ballet Kelowna.

Martine Martell

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 second season with Ballet Kelowna.

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 Allison Lang VANCOUVER, BC

Allison Lang graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School and continued her training with NBS’ Post Secondary Program where she had the opportunity to perform the works of Marius Petipa, Eric Bruhn, and William Forsythe.  Ms. Lang had the pleasure of performing with the National Ballet of Canada in James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker during the 2015/16 season.  Since joining Ballet Kelowna in 2016, Ms. Lang has felt extremely fortunate to perform the works of Simone Orlando, Gioconda Barbuto, Donald Sales, Wen Wei Wang, Alysa Pires, and John Alleyne to name a few.  This is Ms. Lang’s third season with the company.

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 GiselleSwan 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 at the English National Ballet School and attended summer programs at the Boston Ballet School and the San Francisco Ballet School.  This is Ms. Reid’s second season with Ballet Kelowna.

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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 seventh 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.  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. 

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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 first season with Ballet Kelowna.

Saia Kuwata