Photo by Todd Lechtick
CRAIG WILLIAMS, Choreographer and Ballet Master
Craig began his ballet studies at the age of nine at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. He received his professional training through a Ford Foundation Scholarship to George Balanchine’s School of America Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, and was privately tutored by Ballet Master Vladimir Dokoudosky. Mr. Williams was a professional dancer in New York City for fifteen years as a member of the Joffrey Ballet (under the direction of Robert Joffrey) and The American Ballet Theater (under the direction of Lucia Chase and Mikhail Baryshnikov). Choreographers he has worked under include Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor, Agnes De Mille, Alvin Ailey, Glen Tetley and Twyla Tharp. His performing repertoire also includes works by Balanchine and Kenneth MacMillan. As guest artist he has appeared with many regional companies throughout the U.S. Mr. Williams has been teaching and choreographing original works at PCB since 1990, and he created Solo Fete for PCB in 1992.
PATRICK FRANTZ, Choreographer
Patrick Frantz was born and raised in Paris, France. He began his training at the Paris Opera Ballet School, while as a child prodigy pianist he also pursued extensive musical studies. At the age of 22 he became Premier Danseur with the Paris Opera Ballet, continuing his second vocation as a concert pianist. In 1970, Mr. Frantz moved to the United States where he performed as principal dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet and continued his career as choreographer and teacher. In 1978, he was named Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, where he founded the company school. Mr. Frantz’s critically acclaimed ballets have been performed internationally by Los Angeles Chamber Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Tucson Ballet, and Ballet du Rhin. Mr. Frantz is a faculty member of the Idyllwild Arts Academy, The Maple Conservatory of Dance, and his own L.A. Choreographers & Dancers Conservatory. He is also a frequent guest teacher at the Pittsburgh Balle t Theater School, Point Park University, the Ecole Superieure de Danse Contemporaine de Montreal and Le Conservatoire de Danse de Montreal. Mr. Frantz has guest taught regularly in Montpellier, France, and has been invited to teach and choreograph for the Paris Conservatory, the Dansheus in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Oxford, England
ANTONIO LOPEZ , Choreographer
Antonio Lopez began studying ballet at the age of fifteen in his native Albuquerque, New Mexico. After less than a year, he was offered a scholarship to attend the San Francisco Ballet School. Lopez won an Emmy for his performance in the television special Dance in America – A Song For Dead Warriors. As a principal dancer he danced lead roles in most of the Lew Christensen repertoire including The Nutcracker, Beauty and The Beast, Cinderella, Airs de Ballet, and Don Juan. Other lead roles in Lopez’s repertoire include In The Night by Jerome Robbins, Forgotten Land by Jirii Kylian, Arthur Mitchell’s Manifestations, and John Clifford’s Bolero and Spartacus. He also created lead roles in many of the works by Michael Smuin.
Lopez has choreographed many ballets including Firebird for the New Mexico Ballet and North Coast Ballet, Hupango Clasico for the National Ballet de Mexico, Dancing Between Time for San Antonio Ballet, Haunting Heads for Pasadena Dance Theatre, Love in Blind for University of New Mexico, and Rhapsody in Blue for Loyola Marymount University. He also choreographed Party Like for the Discovery Channel, the film Orange County, and trained Neve Campbell for the film The Company
MARIE-FRANCE LÉVESQUE, Choreographer and Ballet Mistress
Born in Montreal, Canada, Marie-France has trained and worked as a dancer and teacher for 39 years with a legendary array of illustrious ballet masters teachers, star dancers and famous choreographers including: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolph Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Irina Kolpakova,Lar Lubovitch, Twyla Tharp and the list goes on.
After performing principal and soloist roles for three years with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Marie-France was recruited by Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1985 to join the American Ballet Theatre under his directorship where she performed several featured solo and lead roles for eleven years. Marie-France also collaborated in several ballets performed for the Television PBS specials on Dance.
Since relocating to the Los Angeles area in 1996, Marie-France has performed as a guest artist across the US and Canada for three years and she has been choreographing and teaching the highest level of professional instruction in classical ballet extensively in group classes and privately. She has been choreographing 4 pieces /year for the different dance schools and companies where she teaches yearly, such as “Stars and Stripes”. “Boutique Fantasque”, “A night at the Viennese Ball”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker” among others. She has already choreographed “Tango à Trois”, “Salsa on Fire” and “Journey through Ixtlan” for her “Los Angeles Dance Company”.