Professional dancer, choreographer and teacher for over 15 years, Kristen Cere has spent most of her career working in Europe with companies such as the Netherlands Dance Theater, the Graz Opera Ballet and choreographers from all over the world including Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Alexander Ekman, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon.
Over the past years she has given workshops and taught classes in contemporary dance, choreography, floor work and improvisation in Europe and Canada. She presently teaches for Ballet Divertimento and le College Sainte-Anne.
After graduating from the National Ballet School in 1981, Christine Cyr continued her studies under master teachers of the Paris Opera Ballet. Upon returning to Canada, she danced as a soloist for the Anna Wyman Dance Theatre in Vancouver and for the Atlantic Ballet Company in Halifax. From 1989 on, she worked training young dancers as a Guest Teacher for many schools and workshops. In 2008, she joined the staff of the École supérieure de ballet du Québec (ESBQ). During this time she rewrote the texts for the course of study of the college program and also redesigned for the ESBQ and the Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie the annual reports which are submitted to the Minister of Education. In 2010, she accepted a position in the dance program of Collège Sainte-Anne. Following her studies in history at the University of Montréal, she obtained her Masters in Art Education (specializing in dance) at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Since 2000, she has held the position of President of the board of PPS Dance. Since 2015, she has been Artistic and Educational Director of Ballet Divertimento Montréal.
After many years studying Ballet, Chantal discovered the Humphrey Limón principles in the 90s. She has taught modern dance based on those principles since 1997. She attended her first Limón workshop for teachers in NY in 2009. Deeply involved in the professional dance milieu in Montreal, she continues to deepen her understanding and the teaching of the Limón Technique at the Limón Institute (NY) on a regular basis. Every year since 2013, she has hosted the renowned « Limón workshop for teachers » in Montreal.
Chantal teaches at L’Espace du Mouvement where she acts also as artistic and general director, as well as at Collège Jean-Eudes (Option danse). She is a guest teacher and rehearsal director, for many private schools and professional companies (École Nationale de Cirque, Compagnie Aurée Danse Création, compagnie Zogma). She has worked throughout her career with many dance professionals, most notably: Alan Danielson (Limón Institute, NY), Roxane D’Orléans Juste (Limón Dance Cie, NY), Darryl Tracy (Toronto), Marc Boivin (Montreal), Priscilla Guy (Montreal) et Manuel Roque (Montreal).
Nina is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer with roots in classical ballet and contemporary dance. She is also a singer/ songwriter/ musician and photographer. Born in Montreal, she performed, taught and toured in Europe with ‘La Troupe de Danse Pointépiénu.’She also danced with ‘Howard Richard Danse’ as well as in many multi-media events at prominent art galleriesas a solo-artist. Nina spent many years studying, researching and performing at Earthdance, improvisation sanctuary located in the forests of Massachusetts. Some of her main influences are Andrew Harwood, Martin Keogh and Susan Schell. During her 30 years of teaching contemporary dance and choreographing at Collège Jean-Eudes and Collège Sainte-Anne, Nina has passionately integrated her improvisational skills throughout her work, both in her classes and on stage.
Originally from Ottawa, Philippe-Alexandre Jacques is a graduate as well as past employee of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School where he worked as a choreographer, teacher, and coordinator. His education additionally includes contemporary programs such as Springboard Danse Montréal and the Nederlands Dans Teatre Summer. Since then he has worked independently choreographing, dancing, and teaching in Sweden and Canada. He has choreographed for the likes of Ballet Victoria, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Faouzia, Sharing Dance, and the David Suzuki Blue Dot Tour. He has additionally choreographed for films such as Horizon, the official 360 degree film created in celebration of Canada 150, and dance films that have participated in film festivals worldwide. He has danced for the likes of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Q Dance.
Sylviane Junod had her professional career mainly in the United States where she danced in New York with the New York City Ballet, Kozlov and Friends and Karol Armitage, among others, as well as the Sarasota Ballet in Florida. After a career ending injury, she taught ballet for several years. Following this, she became certified in the Gymnastique sur table T.C.P. method where she could explore and deepen her knowledge of the body in movement from a physiological and anatomical point of view. Since 2005, Sylviane has taught classes in “Force and Flex” in Ballet Divertimento’s Dance-Study program.
Odette Lalonde began her performing career as a member of the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens corps de ballet. In 1974 she joined Ballets Jazz de Montréal as a principal dancer, where she remained until 1991. She has toured extensively, performing and holding master classes in more than 50 countries. She also directed the professional development program and served as pedagogical director of the École des Ballets Jazz de Montréal. She taught for several years at École Secondaire Pierre-Laporte where she also coordinated the dance program. She joined the Ballet Divertimento faculty in 2004.
Carol Lanctôt, AD, CSC (Associate Diploma, Cecchetti Society of Canada) has over 40 years of teaching experience: adult ballet, creative dance for children, exams in Cecchetti, and floor barre as well as performing in Ballet Ouest’s production of ”Nutcracker”.
Mme Lanctôt has studied with Seda Zaré, le centre professional de la danse de Montréal (diploma in Anatomie Pratique- Floor Barre); Natasha Izbinsky, Vaganova Method; and workshops at National Ballet School of Canada, École supérieure de ballet du Québec, Oleg Briansky (Bournonville, Vaganova & Balanchine methods).
She has taught at École supérieure de ballet du Québec, Conservatoire de la danse de Montréal, l’école FACE, Studio Bizz, Collège Jean-Eudes and Studio de ballet Carol Lanctôt. She joined Ballet Divertimento in 2017.
A member of BJM (Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal) for 17 years, Eric J. Miles has performed frequently throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. He has worked with such world-renowned choreographers as Crystal Pite, Aszure Barton, Mia Michaels, Debra Brown (Cirque du Soleil), and Ulysses Dove (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater). As a visiting professor, Eric J. Miles has taught master classes in contemporary jazz and modern techniques in Canada and abroad. His choreographic works have become part of the repertoire of major companies including BJM (Montreal), Arts Umbrella (Vancouver), Wright State University (Ohio), Vineland Regional Dance Company ( New Jersey ) and the Domaine Forget (Charlevoix) . He joined the Ballet Divertimento faculty in 2009.
In addition to the National Ballet of Canada, Owen Montague had an international career as principal dancer with such prestigious companies as Netherlands Dance Theatre, Aterballeto, Ballet BC and Alberta Ballet. He has received many awards including two bronze medals at the first International Ballet competition in Jackson Mississippi, USA and a silver medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, USSR. Owen Montague also received a bursary from the Canada Arts Council and the Peter Dwyer Scholarship. For the last 15 years, Owen has worked as an independent artist and has explored his interest in choreography, photography and costume design for motion and artistic production. He returns to Canada after 6 years as an associate professor of the department of dance and music, at the Kobe Jogakuin College of Japan. Today, Owen Montague is Senior Professor of the Professional Program and Choreographer in Residence at Ballet Divertimento in Montreal.
Marie Parisella studied dance at UQAM and traveled to Spain in order to improve her art of choice, Flamenco. She started her career in one on the first ballet schools in Quebec, Les Lacasse-Morenoff, and was a member of Arte de Espagna Company as a dancer, choreographer and a coach for decades. With more than 25 years in showbiz and teaching, she joined Ballet Divertimento in 1993.
Initially trained at the ÉSBQ, Marisa completed her studies at the Rosella Hightower International Dance Center in Monte Carlo before joining the “Jeune Ballet International” in France. Her eleven years dancing for Les Grands Ballets Candiens saw her artistry evolve in both classical and contemporary works. She retired in 2010 to pursue other aspects of dance. She worked notably as the ballet mistress for the internationally renowned “Lalala Human Steps” and was named assistant to the artistic director Gradimir Pankov of Les Grands Ballets for its Nutcracker productions.
Since this time, Marisa has devoted her time to teaching and obtained an AEC diploma in collaboration with the Cegep du Vieux-Montréal et the École Superieure de ballet du Québec. She is regularly invited as a guest teacher throughout Quebec and elsewhere. In the fall of 1028, Marisa joined Ballet Divertimento to teach in the Dance-study program.
Seryozha Petrosyan began dancing at the Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Spendiarov in Yerevan, Armenia, and was a teaching assistant at the Yerevan Ballet and Choreography College (YAOBT). From 1973 to 1986 he performed leading roles in a wide repertoire that included Gisele, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and La Fille Mal Gardée at YAOBT. In addition to teaching at the Yerevan Ballet Academy, he choreographed a number of ballets for television and stage. He was bestowed the title Artist Emeritus of the Republic of Armenia in 1978. Retired from performing since 1988, Mr. Petrosyan joined the Ballet Divertimento faculty in 2001 and currently focuses on teaching and choreography.
Born in Laval, Daphne began dancing at a young age and went on to graduate from Ballet Divertimento’s professional program in 2019. During her studies she worked with well-known choreographers from Canada and Europe, such as Hélène Blackburn and Fabrice Maufrais and took part in two exchanges with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In the fall of 2019, Daphne was admitted to the Université de Québec à Montreal (UQAM) into the teacher training program in dance. Her university degree will qualify her to teach students between the ages of 5 and 17 years of age. So, we are very happy Daphne is returning to us after her first year of studies to join the staff of Ballet Divertimento’s Youth Program.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Zack Tang holds a diploma from The High School for Performing and Visual Arts (07). Upon receiving his BFA from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes, Zack won the Hector Zaraspe Prize for choreography. He has worked with choreographers Victor Quijada, Peter Chu, Alexander Ekman, Stijn Celis, Larry Kegwin, Mark Morris, and Darrell Grand Moltrie, Andrew Skeels, and has performed works by José Limón, Anthony Tudor, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and Bronislava Nijinska. In 2012, Zack was listed in Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch”. Before joining RUBBERBANDance Group, he spent two years with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. During his time in Montreal, Zack has been casted as a guest artist for events and advertisements for Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize, Street Parade, Aldo, Running Leap Pictures, and Andrew Skeels. This is Zack’s sixth season with RUBBERBANDance Group.
Victoria Yakobov earned a ballet degree in Baku, Azerbaijan and subsequently obtained an undergraduate degree in teaching the French language. In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, she has performed with Azerbaijan State Theatre Opera and Ballet Company, and the Azerbaijan National Ballet. She went on to teach ballet in Russia and Israel. A highly experienced teacher, she has helped shape the careers of ballet performers at all levels and has taught at Ballet Divertimento since September 2003.
Fabrice trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School. He danced with the Nantes Opera Ballet and Scottish Ballet where he danced a wide range of soloist and principal roles from the classical and contemporary repertoire.
Fabrice originally taught at the Dance School of Scotland and at the English National Ballet School. This academic year he joined the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland faculty after spending the past 10 years in Canada as the pedagogical director of the École Supérieure de Ballet du Quebec. He has also worked internationally as a guest teacher in Japan, Australia and France.
He was presented with the Dame Beryl Grey Award in 1998 by the Royal Academy of Dance through gaining the highest mark in the RAD teaching qualification.
Amélie Rajotte holds a degree in choreography from the Conservatoire National de Région de Grenoble in France. She then went on to perform with many leading choreographers, dancers and teachers in Paris. In 2006 she obtained a Diplôme d’État (state qualification) in contemporary dance pedagogy from the CEFEDEM, Normandy. She is trained in Laban movement analysis and Bartenieff fundamentals, and studied experiential anatomy with Trisha Bauman at the Centre National de la danse de Pantin in Paris. In Quebec she studied choreography at UQAM. Amélie has taught at Ballet Divertimento and Collège de Montréal since 2007 while also pursuing a career as a dancer, performer and choreographer.
Neil Sochasky discovered contemporary dance via philosophy, and studied dance science at York University under Dr. Donna Krasnow MSc PhD. Immersing himself in anatomy and somatic studies, he developed uncommon abilities for analysis and synthesis which have enabled him to overcome major injuries and pursue parallel careers in multiple fields. His approach to technique applies to classical, modern and contemporary dance, and artists often call upon him to resolve persistent injuries. He has taught anatomy at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal and at the École supérieure de ballet du Québec.
Michael Watts is an international artist based in Montreal who’s worked as a dancer, choreographer and artistic coach. A former soccer player; he started his independent learning in Toronto and quickly moved to Montreal to continue training in different contemporary forms of movement, including forms of floorwork and improvisation. He toured internationally with Dave St.Pierre, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, T.r.a.s.h. Dance/Performance Group, Dana Gingras, and also performed locally for Dorian Nuskind-Oder. Along with his career path as a dancer and choreographer he has been a guest teacher internationally and within Canada, notably at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, l’École Supérieur de Ballet du Québec, Ballet Divertimento, Training Society of Vancouver, Circuit-Est Centre Chorégraphique, EnPiste, TransFormation Danse, Danse à la Carte and more. Michael has also become a new creative face in the Montreal circus scene, and is a regular collaborator with The National Circus School of Canada, and more recently with Les 7 Doigts de la Main. This year he will be presenting work at the CIRCa Festival of Contemporary Circus.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies at Capilano University in Vancouver, Ivan Bamford moved to Montreal where he continues to be involved in many different projects. He has played all over North America, from major centres such as New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver, to the far reaches of the Yukon. In France he has performed in Paris, Rennes, Reims and Nantes, and in Romania with Gadzhi-Gadjo. In 2005, Ivan Bambord appeared with Russian pianist Katya Sourikova in London and Baku, Azerbaijan, and again six years later in Berlin. Since 2013 he has played with the Kumbia Gypsy Orchestra, touring the province of Quebec and many towns in Colombia. He also teaches drums and percussion with the Coopérative des Professeurs de Musique de Montréal. He has accompanied contemporary dance classes at Ballet Divertimento since 2012.
Julie Choi is an alumna of McGill University and received her Bachelor of Music in Piano performance and a minor in composition as well as a Master of Music in Collaborative piano performance — both with high distinction. With Opera McGill, Choi was the répétiteur, music director and conductor for several productions. Choi received the prestigious SSHRC grant for her research on Korean art songs amongst numerous scholarships. Currently Choi is a staff pianist and vocal coach at McGill University as well as a Program Director for cultural events at Kin Experience.
Dr. Dallaire has followed a double career as a pianist and as a clarinettist.
As a pianist, he has played for the most important studios in Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the ESDQ, the School of Ballet in Ottawa and for Kay Armstrong) He was also “on staff” at the School of Dance – Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia.
As a clarinettist, he has been a member of several orchestras in Canada, Australia and Hungary, as well as Kuwait. Chamber music holds a special place in his heart and allows him to achieve his most personal expression. A successful teacher of wind instruments; his students have performed in many music festivals throughout Europe, Japan and Kuwait.
In the dance studio, his vast repertoire adds an extra quality of inspiration in movement and artistic expression.
Tom Mennier is a keyboardist, teacher, performer, arranger, composer and producer. The list of international artists he has played and recorded with includes Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Martha Wainwright, Emmylou Harris, Antony Hegarty, JC Hopkins, Amy Moses, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. He has worked with the National Theatre School of Canada, Segal Centre, Charlottetown Festival, Banff Centre and contributed to many film projects. He currently divides his time between recording, production, composition and teaching.
Versatile and essentially self-taught, Francis Pomerleau transitions easily between many musical styles. He plays percussion instruments of diverse origins, especially those from Cuba (bongos, congas), South America (cajon, Tamböa), Africa (tar, djembe), and Ireland (bodhran). Since 2006 he has accompanied many teachers at the Ballet Divertimento School. He currently is the drummer for the Blue Gypsy Swing jazz quartet (Gypsy jazz-swing-blues-R&B) which he founded in 2012 with other members of the group.