Verb Ballets presents its annual Fresh Inventions project as a live stream in studio on June 26, 2020 at 7:00pm featuring works by the dancers and guest choreographer Bobby Wesner. The performance is approximately one hour. Reflections by Producing Artistic Director Dr. Margaret Carlson and Associate Artistic Director Richard Dickinson, MFA will occur between pieces. The biographies of the choreographers are below in order of appearance. To read the bios of the dancers click here. Thank you to everyone that supported our GoFundMe campaign to make this show possible.
Still Moving (2020)
Kate Webb, Choreographer and company dancer
Kate Webb grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she danced both as a student and as a trainee with Richmond Ballet. She trained around the country at numerous intensive programs such as Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Upon graduating from Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts, she attended Butler University on both dance and academic scholarships. While dancing with Butler Ballet, she performed in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. After fulfilling her degree in three years, she graduated cum laude in May of 2015 with a BS in Dance-Arts Administration and high departmental honors. Kate joined Verb Ballets in 2015 and has been featured in works such as Peter Pan and Aposiopesis.
Bobby Wesner, Guest choreographer and Artistic Director of Neos Dance Theatre
Bobby began his career as a professional dancer with Ballet Arizona, under the direction of Michael Uthoff (now Ib Anderson). During his stay in Phoenix, he had the honor of working with American Classics such as Fredrik Franklin, Daniel Ezralow, Moses Pendleton of Momix, the Artistic Directors of Pilobolus, Kevin O’Day, Jowali Willa Jo Zolar of Urban Bush Woman, and his wife Brooke Wesner. Other great masterpieces that Wesner has performed are the “Profiteer” in The Green Table by Kurt Jooss; “Iago” in The Moor’s Pavone by Jose Limon; “Tico” in Company B by Paul Taylor, (also in Taylor’s Esplanade); three works of Anthony Tudor: Lilac Garden, Leaves are Fading and Continuo; and The Jester in Earnst Uthoff’s Carmina Burana. Independently, Wesner has traveled and performed with various companies all over the northeast region of the US and in Italy. As Director and Co-Founder Bobby has choreographed 6 evening length ballets for Neos Dance Theatre. Neos also performs many of Wesner’s repertory works including Spinning Plates, Various Principals, Norm and Cleo, and more. Bobby and Brooke live in Ashland, Ohio and are proud of their four daughters Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn. They look forward to becoming grandparents in the summer of 2020. Wesner recently accepted a position as Senior Ballet Instructor and Resident Choreographer at Belhaven University.
The Deafening Words Unspoken (2020)
Hunter Hoffman, Choreographer and company dancer
Hunter Hoffman is a first generation American raised by his Cuban family and born in Miami, Florida where he trained at the Mencia Pikeiris School of Dance and the Miami Youth Ballet. While studying on scholarship to receive his BFA in Dance Performance from Mercyhurst University, Hunter had the opportunity to work with The Mercyhurst Dancers, Lake Erie Ballet, New World Connection, and Ballet Concerto performing roles such as The Cavalier and Spanish in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. He also spent a summer in Texas studying under Margo Dean, founding member of Texas Ballet Theatre. He has trained under other prominent dancers and choreographers such as Nilas Martins of New York City Ballet, Maria Caruso of Bodiography, and Tauna Hunter of Ballet West. He is excited to join Verb Ballets as an apprentice for the 2019-2020 season.
Tumultuous Rest (2020)
Antonio Morillo, Choreographer and company dancer
Antonio is a first-generation Cuban American born in Orlando, Florida. He received his Associate of Arts in Dance Performance from Valencia College and his BFA in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida. Antonio has performed with the Patel Conservatory’s Next Generation Ballet as well as Tampa City Ballet. He has performed works by Jon Lehrer, José Limón, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Robert Moses’ Kin, and Maurice Causey. Antonio joined Verb Ballets in 2016 and has been featured in works such as Andante Sostenuto and Aposiopesis.
With a Little Help (2020)
Choreographed by Lieneke Matte, Choreographer and company dancer
Lieneke Matte grew up in the Bronx and received her early training at Ballet Tech and the School of American Ballet. She then attended Fiorello H. La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York. Lieneke studied for a semester at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A in dance from SUNY Purchase College in May of 2013. There she also received the President’s Award for the dance conservatory. She has performed in works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Nicolo Fonte, Nicholas Villeneuve and Xiao-Xiong Zhang. Lieneke was also a dancer in the documentary No Dominion: The Ian Horvath Story which included re-stagings featuring dancers from Verb Ballets, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet and Ballet Tucson. Lieneke joined Verb Ballets in 2013 and has been featured in works such as Duet and Laura’s Women.