Mireille Favarel - Artistic Director

Mireille Favarel was born in Toulon, France. After studying with Rosella Hightower at the Centre de Danse International in Cannes, Lydia Menchova from the Bolshoi, Robert Bestonso from the Royal Ballet, and Raymond Franchetti from the Paris Opera, Ms. Favarel began her professional career at the age of seventeen with the Ballet du Rhin in Strasbourg. She subsequently joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium as a soloist, where she performed her first principal ballerina role as Swanilda in the August Bournonville version of Coppelia, at the age of nineteen. Ms. Favarel later joined the Ballet der Deutsch Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany, as a soloist, under the direction of Paolo Bortoluzzi, and the Ballet du Nord in Roubaix, France, as a principal dancer.

In addition to appearing with the Ballet du Nord during many of its international tours, Ms. Favarel represented France in the first New York International Ballet Competition. She was invited to perform in the gala performance for the next competition, and later returned as a coach and teacher for the NYIBC.

Ms. Favarel joined the Milwaukee Ballet as a principal dancer in 1989, where she performed all of the major roles in the company repertoire. The most memorable are her interpretations of Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Coppelia, and Giselle. In 1990, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Strini named her Dancer of the Year” for her interpretations of Swan Lake, Serenade, and Coppelia. During her time with the Milwaukee Ballet, many choreographers created works for her, including Kathy Posin’s Tehillim and Bach’s Lunch, and Simon Dow’s Spartacus. In May of 2000, Ms. Favarel gave her farewell performance, and became Ballet Mistress for the Company in August of that same year.

Mireille Favarel is currently Associate Director of the Milwaukee Ballet II. She also teaches and coaches the Milwaukee Ballet company regularly. Mireille is a frequent guest teacher at major ballet schools and companies in Chicago, Albuquerque, Palm Beach, Kansas City, and in her native country of France. In March of 2012, Ms. Favarel was invited to stage Kathy Posin’s Scheherazade for the National Ballet of Bulgaria, in Sofia. She will stage Scheherazade again, for the Milwaukee Ballet, in September/October, 2016.

Ronald Foster - Artistic Director/Conductor

Ronald Foster is one of the new breed of composer/conductors capable of working within a wide variety of musical genres. Whether it be on the concert stage, in the theater, or with jazz and popular music, Mr. Foster has earned a reputation as a creative, innovative, and sensitive musician.

Mr. Foster has been a frequent guest conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony since 1998, and has served as guest conductor with the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Anchorage Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Traverse Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony, Waukesha Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, Pueblo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Soundscapes Chamber Ensemble, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Orchestra.

Ronald Foster is Co-Artistic Director of An Evening at the Ballet (with Mireille Favarel), a symphonic program for dancers and orchestra, inaugurated during the 2013-14 season.

Mr. Foster is also Artistic Director of the St. Luke’s Chamber Music Series. He has been Composer/Conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony’s Arts in Community Education (ACE) program since 1997, and was Guest Composer with the MSO in January, 2000. In addition, he has been Adjunct Professor at Carroll University since 2009 (American Film Music, The Music of the Movies: Cultural Perspectives), and was Adjunct Professor of Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1999-2006. Mr. Foster was Music Director/Conductor/Co-Founder of the Broadmoor Pops Orchestra from 1992-98, Music Director/Conductor of the Pikes Peak Civic Orchestra from 1989-91 and 1994-95, Music Director/Conductor of the Colorado College Chamber Orchestra from 1990-95, Assistant Conductor of the Pueblo Symphony from 1989-91, and Music Director/Conductor/Composer/Arranger for the Broadmoor Ice Revue Orchestra from 1985-95.

The music of Ronald Foster has been performed and/or recorded by the Milwaukee Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Amarillo Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony (Colorado Springs Philharmonic), National Repertory Orchestra, Garden State Philharmonic, Cape Cod Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Traverse Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Kokomo Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic (Plymouth Symphony), Ohlone Symphony, Pueblo Symphony, Wellesley Symphony, Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony, Lamont Symphony, Bloomington Pops, Broadmoor Pops, Aureole, Da Vinci String Quartet, Eclectix, Juilliard Brass Quintet, Present Music, Stephen Burns, Woody Herman, Bobby McFerrin, Heidi Grant Murphy, Doc Severinsen, David Shostac, The Four Freshmen, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, St. Luke’s Chamber Players, Air Force Academy Band (Air Force Band of the Rockies), Air Force Band of Liberty (Boston), Air Force Band of Flight (Dayton), Band of the Royal Air Force College, and leading chamber, collegiate, and military ensembles. His works include music for orchestra, wind ensemble/ band, brass and percussion ensemble, string quartet, chamber ensembles, solo clarinet, solo guitar, chorus, children’s chorus, jazz band, and electronic orchestration. He is the former Chief Composer/Arranger for the United States Air Force Academy Band.

Ronald Foster attended the University of North Texas and holds degrees from the University of Denver (MA: Orchestral Conducting/Composition) and the University of Southern Colorado (BS: Music Performance: Woodwinds). He studied conducting with Harold Farberman, Vincent La Guardia, and Daniel Lewis, and composition with John Corigliano and Donald Keats. Mr. Foster won the 1993 America the Beautiful Commissioning Project and has received yearly ASCAP Composer Awards since 1992. On the Wings of Angels, a commission for the Dayton Philharmonic and the Air Force Band of Flight, commemorating the 2003 Centennial of Powered Flight, premiered in 2003. His chamber orchestra version of David Carlson’s The Midnight Angel, commissioned by Milwaukee’s renowned Skylight Music Theatre, opened the Skylight’s 2007-2008 season.

Mr. Foster is represented exclusively by Price-Rubin and Partners.

Yumelia Garcia - Dancer

Since retiring from Joffrey Ballet in 2014, Yumelia Garcia has not let the grass grow under her feet. While currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she also continues to make guest performances, from Florida to Alaska. Ms. Garcia continues her close collaboration with the Jacksonville Symphony this holiday season as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, after stunning performances in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella during Jacksonville’s 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Garcia was included in the Chicago Sun-Times best performances of the year 2015, for Day of the Gypsy at the Harris Theater, a ballet created by Gordon Pierce Schmidt. She recently worked in New York with Kathryn Posin Dance Company and Meredith Monk in a commissioned ballet for the Harkness Dance Festival in Manhattan.

Yumelia has taught for Joffrey Ballet’s teaching workshop in San Antonio, TX, and the Joffrey Academy in Chicago, as well as teaching and coaching for ballet schools across the country, from Buffalo, NY, to Los Angeles, CA. Yumelia Garcia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her professional training at the Escuela de Ballet Gustavo Franklin (Vaganova school). Graduating with honors, Vicente Nebrada invited her to join the National Ballet of Caracas at the tender age of 15, and promoted her to soloist one year later. Ms. Garcia began her U.S. career with Heinz Pohl at Ohio Ballet, and soon thereafter she joined Milwaukee Ballet and became principal dancer. In her tenure with Milwaukee Ballet, Kathryn Posin created Scheherazade on Garcia, and she performed the classical principal roles of Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Carmen, a breath-taking performance
elevating Garcia to a Milwaukee favorite. Garcia later moved on to Ballet Florida, where she was featured in contemporary and classical works, including Cleopatra, by Ben Stevenson. In 2009, Ms. Garcia was invited by Ashley Wheater to join Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, where she hit the stage to critical acclaim in principal roles such as Valencienne in The Merry Widow and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Most notably, her performance in Ashton’s Cinderella was featured in Point Magazine as one of the “Best Performances of the Year 2010,” and the Chicago Tribune included her as one of the best dancers of the year for 2010 and 2011.

Yumelia Garcia’s remarkable versatility, technical prowess, and intensity have given her extensive experience with works by choreographers that include Alonzo King, Choo San Goh, David Parsons, Jean Paul Comelin, Mark Godden, George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre, Jimmy Gamonet, Christopher Wheeldon, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Robert Joffrey and Val Caniparoli.

Oğulcan Borova - Dancer

Oğulcan Borova was born in Turkey, and recognized there as the First Prize Winner at the 3rd National Rotary Clubs Dance Competition. Since then, he has established an international career.

His awards include a Bronze Medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition (Bulgaria) and “Star Dancer of Turkey,” from the Dokuz Eylül University of Izmir, where he trained with Shavkat Tursunov. Borova has also garnered prestigious Gold Medals at the New York International Ballet Competition and the Seoul International Dance Competition. Oğulcan has made guest appearances with the Korea World Ballet Stars Gala, The 21st Gala des Etoiles in Montreal, Turkish National Ballet, Vail International Dance Festival, Gala de Esteralles Venezuela, Stars of the Kirov & Bolsohi Gala in Germany, Universal Ballet of Korea, National Ballet of Panama, Tokyo Igor Kolb Gala, Russian National Ballet, International Ballet Gala of Florida, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, Peoria Ballet, Rockford Dance Theatre, Alexandria Ballet, Delta Festival Ballet, Central Wisconsin Ballet and Ballet Des Moines.Cincinnati Ballet welcomed Borova as a principal dancer in 2008. Previously, he danced with Ballet Internationale Indianapolis (1999-2005), which he joined in 1999 and where he was promoted to principal in 2001. He toured with Ballet Internationale to China, Canada, Germany, Taiwan, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and many other cities in the USA.

Mr. Borova worked with Eldar Aliev, Irina Kolpakova, Sergei Brejnoi, Victoria Morgan, Michael Pink, John McFall, Oleg Vinagradov, Victor Polatnikov and Vladilen Semenov.

Simon Dow - Choreographer

SIMON DOW graduated from the Australian Ballet School. Simon has danced all the major leading roles in the classical repertoire and company affiliations include Principal Artist with the Australian Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Washington Ballet, and dancer with the Stuttgart Ballet. Simon was also a frequent guest artist internationally and danced works by Balanchine, Forsythe, Ashton, MacMillan, Bèjart, Kudelka, and many others. Simon has choreographed over fifty works for companies internationally, including five full-evening narrative works. His La Bohème toured Australia and Asia.

Simon has been Artistic Director for the Milwaukee Ballet, West Australian Ballet, and Associate Artistic Director for the Washington Ballet. Simon has been on the international juries of the USA International Ballet Competition, Helsinki International Ballet Competition, and South African International Ballet Competition, among many other competition juries. He has been a member of the Dance Board of the Australia Council and has participated on boards for many organizations. Simon has a reputation as a master teacher internationally, is currently senior faculty at the Australian Ballet School, and is a freelance choreographer and creative director.
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