Choreographers

Donald Byrd a TONY nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer, became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. He has created over 100 modern and contemporary dance works for his own groups as well as for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Aterballetto, MaggioDanza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater.

From 1978 – 2002, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. His non-dance company work has been with some of the most prestigious theater and opera companies in the U.S and abroad, including The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the former Intiman Theater, Center Stage, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Dutch National Opera and the Israeli Opera. He counts among his numerous collaborators an eclectic mix of distinguished artists including stage director Peter Sellars, writer/actor Anna Deavere Smith, and the late great jazz drummer Max Roach.

The New York Times describes him as “a choreographer with multiple personalities … an unabashed eclectic.” Mr. Byrd is equally at home creating cool, abstract pure dance works such as his 2012 work LOVE set to the complete cello suites of Benjamin Britten and the 2011 Euclidean Space set to the music of Amon Tobin, virtuoso sound designer and influential electronic music artist; to his theatrical narrative driven pieces like the ‘carny’ Petruschka and storefront Miraculous Mandarin, his revisionist versions of iconic early 20th Century ballets. Yet he is also known for creating lovely valentines to 19th Century classical repertory including The Harlem Nutcracker (1996) and The Sleeping Beauty Notebook (2005). As well as imaginative choreographic tributes to jazz legends and composers including In A Different Light (2000) set to the lesser known piece of Duke Ellington, Burlesque (2002) created to early recordings of Louis Armstrong, and Jazz Train (1998) to commissioned scores by Vernon Reid, Geri Allen, and the late great Max Roach. These works along with The Harlem Nutcracker with its score by Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn and David Berger were critical and audience successes and toured extensively.

Noelani Pantastico is from Oahu, Hawaii. She trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and attended summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet School from 1994 to 1996. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1997. She was promoted to corps de ballet in 1998, soloist in 2001, and principal in 2004. In 2008, she left PNB to join Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo as a soloist and was promoted to first soloist in 2009. In 2015, Ms. Pantastico returned to PNB as a principal dancer.

In addition to her PNB repertory, Ms. Pantastico danced leading roles at Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Altro CantoLa BelleCendrillonChoréFaustMen’s Dance for WomenOpus 40Roméo et JulietteScheherazadeLe Songe, and Vers un Pays Sage; Marie Chouinard’s Body Remix; Alexander Eckman’s Rondo; Nicolo Fonte’s Quiet Bang; William Forsythe’s New Sleep; Emio Greco and Peter Scholten’s Le Corps du Ballet; Natalia Horeçna’s Tales Absurd, Fatalistic Visions Predominate; Johan Inger’s In Exact; Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort; Pontus Lidberg’s Summer’s Winter Shadow; Matjash Mrozewski’s Pavillon d’Armide; and Jeroen Verbruggen’s Kill Bambi. She originated roles in Maillot’s Casse-Noisette Compagnie and Lac.

Ms. Pantastico was featured in the BBC’s 1999 film version of PNB’s production of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. In 2004, she performed the second movement of Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet as a guest artist for New York City Ballet’s Balanchine Centennial.

Picnic is Ms. Pantastico’s first choreographic endeavor. Follow on Instagram: @hulagurl

Miles Pertl (Choreographer; dancer, Picnic)is from Seattle, Washington. He trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, International Ballet Academy in Kirkland, Washington, and the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, and he attended summer courses at San Francisco Ballet School. Mr. Pertl joined Stuttgart Ballet as an apprentice in 2010 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2011. He next joined Het Nationale Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2012 before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015.

In addition to his PNB repertory, Mr. Pertl performed leading and featured roles at Stuttgart Ballet in Bridget Breiner’s Double Bass Concerto, Marco Goecke’s Black Breath, and Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto. At Het Nationale Ballet, he performed leading and featured roles in Juanjo Arques’ Roulette; Frederick Ashton’s The Dream (Lysander); George Balanchine’s AgonSerenade, and Symphony in C; Jorma Elo’s Shape; Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides;  Marius Petipa’s Giselle (Peasant pas de deux) and Raymonda; and Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty.

In 2007, Mr. Pertl won the Youth America Grand Prix Semi-Finals in San Francisco and Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York. He also has performed as a guest artist for gala performances in England, Italy, Moscow, and New York. He has choreographed works for the Noverre Society in Stuttgart, Danza Estate in Gubbio, Italy, and New Moves in Amsterdam.

Bruno Roque was born in Lisbon. At 13 he was accepted by audition into the National Conservatory in Portugal in dance. After graduating, he trained on scholarship at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia, until 1996, when he was offered a contract with the National Ballet of Portugal, quickly becoming a soloist. In 2001 he joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp, and from 2004 to 2016 was a first soloist with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. During his dancing career, he performed works of celebrated choreographers and worked directly with many of them. Since 2007, when his first creation, Ai Que Vida, was made for a young choreographers evening at Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, his numerous pieces for the company have met with much success. Bruno has also been responsible since 2015 for the choreography, staging and artistic direction of a pedagogical project, supported by the Ballets de Monte Carlo and the Monegasque Ministry of Culture, involving 100 plus children from Monaco primary schools in acting, singing and dancing, giving them the opportunity to experience the demands of creating and performing live in a professional setting. He most recently choreographed for Whim W’Him at their 2017 Choreographic Shindig.

Buy Tickets

Guillaume Basso is from Dijon, France. He trained with Sylvain Boniface at the Conservatory of Dijon and with Bernard Boucher at the Paris Opera Ballet School, and he attended a summer course at Houston Ballet School. Mr. Basso joined Houston Ballet II in 2010 and the Joffrey Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2012 before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015.

In addition to his PNB repertory, Mr. Basso danced leading and featured roles while a member of Houston Ballet II in Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli’s Giselle; John Neumeier’s Nijinsky; Marius Petipa’s PaquitaRaymonda, and Swan Lake(Black Swan pas de deux); Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker; and Stanton Welch’s BlueBrigade, and Long & Winding Road. At Joffrey Ballet, he performed leading and featured roles in Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31, Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, and Yuri Possokhov’s RAkU.

Mr. Basso was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Prix de Lausanne and 2014 Jackson International Ballet Competition. He also has performed as a guest artist with the Grand Theatre of Dijon.

Nancy Casciano is from Atlanta, Georgia. She studied at the School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and she attended summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. Ms. Casciano joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2014 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2015.

Christopher D’Arianois from Yonkers, New York. He studied at Ballet Tech, the School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and he attended summer courses at Ballet Tech, Boston Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He was the recipient of the School of American Ballet Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Mr. D’Ariano joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2017.

While a student, Mr. D’Ariano performed corps de ballet roles with Pacific Northwest Ballet in George Balanchine’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon; Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/The Dreamer and West Side Story Suite; and Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling. He also performed a leading role in Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie and originated a role in a new work by Ezra Thomson for Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s annual School Performance, and he originated roles in works by Angeli Mamon & Dammiel Cruz and Jerome Tisserand for PNB’s NEXT STEP.

Mr. D’Ariano also has danced with Lunge Dance Collective, and he has choreographed for the Seattle International Dance Festival.

Cecilia Iliesiu is from New York, New York. She studied at the School of American Ballet and also with Francois Perron and Deborah Wingert at Studio Maestro. She attended summer courses at Boston Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Chautauqua Institute, San Francisco Ballet School, and William Forsythe’s ART of workshop under Kathryn Bennetts. Ms. Iliesiu joined Carolina Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2009 and was promoted to soloist in 2014. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015.

Amanda Morgan is from Tacoma, Washington. She studied at Dance Theatre Northwest and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and she attended summer courses at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Boston Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. She participated in PNB School’s exchange with the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, where she also performed with Dresden Semperoper Ballett. Ms. Morgan joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2016 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2017.

Dylan Wald is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied at Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute, where he became an apprentice in 2012, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He attended summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet, the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Mr. Wald joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2014 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2015.

In addition to his PNB repertory, Mr. Wald danced works at Minnesota Dance Theatre by Lise Houlton, Loyce Houlton, and Emery LeCrone. In 2017, he participated in the Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive.

Buy Tickets