AD&M Performance Group Artists
Founder, Artistic Director
Carrie Diamond returned to California in 2002 after many years as dance professional in New York City. She founded Ballet Santa Barbara in 2005, a professional ballet company and training venue for local dancers including an annual summer intensive program for young dancers. She began her career in Los Angeles, dancing with the Storie-Crawford Dance Theatre Ensemble and studying ballet with Don Hewitt. In New York City, she studied with such luminaries as Margaret Craske, Benjamin Harkarvy and Jacque D’Amboise and performed and toured extensively with the New York Theatre Ballet. She has particularly enjoyed dancing principal and soloist roles in the works of such choreographers as José Limón, Kurt Joos, Ohad Nahirin, and Benjamin Harkarvy. In 1990, she founded the New American Ballet Ensemble, a New York City company that promoted new music and choreography, commissioning two ballets by Harkarvy as well as choreographing many of her own. She has taught ballet for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and for the 92nd St Y and was the Co-Director for the Harkness Youth Ballet. Ms. Diamond holds an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a certified teacher for children through DEL (Dance Education Laboratory). She has choreographed locally for several musical productions including the Santa Barbara Theater production of Peter Pan and student productions at Dos Pueblos High School, the Crane School, and Santa Barbara City College.
A native Manhattanite, Eric Valinsky has, for more years than he would like to admit, maintained dual careers in computer systems design and music. He was educated at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois, finally achieving his DMA in music composition from Columbia University. He studied composition with Walter Aschaffenburg, Salvatore Martirano, Jack Beeson, and Darius Milhaud; piano with Sara Crawford Drogheo and Emil Danenberg; and conducting with Harold Farberman. While living in Los Angeles, he became music director and composer-in-residence or The Storie-Crawford Dance Theatre Ensemble. Returning to New York, he served in a similar capacity for Danny Buraczeski's Jazzdance, Uris Bahr and Dancers, and The New American Ballet Ensemble as well as composer-in-residence for The Rachel Harms Dance Company, Opera Uptown, and the Dance Department at City College of New York. He currently moonlights as founder and partner of Plainwrap Solutions, a strategic Internet consulting company.
Guest Teacher and Choreographer
Lizabeth Skalski has been the Associate Director at Main Street Ballet in Woodbury, CT since 1999 where she teaches ballet, pointe and is the principal choreographer for the dance company. Her guest teaching credits include: The Hartford Conservatory; School for Creative and Performing Arts, Cincinnati, OH; Covenant Dance Studio, Brooklyn, NY; as well as schools in Canada, Taiwan and China. Rather than instructing students in any single ballet technique, Ms. Skalski’s teaching style uses the best aspects of the Ceccetti, School of American Ballet, French, and Russian schools which is reflected by her training from New York’s most innovative ballet teachers: Lawrence Rhodes, Finis Jhung, Nadine Revene, Igal Perry, Melissa Hayden and modern dance teachers Lar Lubovich, David Gordon, Lynn Simonson,Don Redlich, and Robyn Cutler. Ms. Skalski has created over twenty-five original contemporary ballets and original choreography for Oklahoma, Phantom of the Opera, Three Penny Opera and Oliver which have been presented throughout New York, Connecticut and by Ballet Santa Barbara. Critics in Dance Magazine, The New York Times and New York Newsday have heralded her work. As a dancer, Ms. Skalski performed throughout the United States and Asia with New York based Chen & Dancers, Baba Dancers as well as with Downtown Ballet, New American Ballet Ensemble, Santa Barbara Ballet Theatre and Carlton Smith Ballet Chicago. Ms Skalski holds a MFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Benjamin Harkarvy is recognized as one of the major figures of international ballet. Founder of the Nederlands Dans Theater, he was also artistic director of the Dutch National, Pennsylvania, Royal Winnipeg, and Harkness Ballets. Mr. Harkarvy created works for the Joffrey Ballet as well as most of the companies with whom he was associated. Critic Clive Barnes wrote that he “possesses a rare quality of perceptiveness and taste that has made him one of the world’s greatest ballet masters”. At the time of his death in 2002, he was director of the Dance Division at the Juilliard School.
BRIAN CAREY CHUNG
A choreographer and poet, Brian Carey Chung was a principle dancer with Karole Armitage’s Armitage Gone! Dance, and a company member of Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet and Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He has toured throughout Europe and the United States with said companies, and has taught master classes for both Lines and Complexions on tour. He was on faculty at Lines’ San Francisco Dance Center and has danced and/or lectured on dance at New York University, University of Hawaii, University of Arizona, and Stanford University. He served as ballet master to Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco, and was choreographic assistant to Dwight Rhoden for his 2005 New York season. As a writer, Brian’s publications include poems in Spoon River Poetry Review, Fourteen Hills, Modern Words, Open City, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian where he was a winner in its annual competition. He currently attends New York University on full fellowship as an MFA candidate and adjunct professor in creative writing, and is a member of the famed Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Brian’s television credits include a guest appearance on the Whoopi Goldberg Show, four national commercials for VH-1, and a national ad campaign for Pfizer.
Guest Artist and Choreographer
Carlos Fittante is a dance artist of remarkable diversity who specializes in Balinese and Baroque dance. He is a graduate of the School of American Ballet and has a BA in Dance from Empire State College (SUNY). He studied with ballet master Benjamin Harkarvy who created two ballets on him while dancing with the New American Ballet Ensemble. Other ballet credits include New York Theatre Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea. Since 1990, he has been the artistic director of BALAM Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company inspired by Balinese theatre and founded by Islene Pinder. He has performed internationally and studied extensively in Bali and Indonesia. As a Baroque dance specialist he has been featured in a number of Baroque operas including soloist roles for New York City Opera’s production of Rinaldo, and the Boston Early Music Festival’s production of Thesée. He danced principal roles with the New York Baroque Dance Company during the period of 1989-2002 and also served as rehearsal director. His choreographic work in East/West fusion, contemporary, and baroque styles has been presented at a number of New York festivals and venues including DUMBO Dance Festival, COOL Festival, and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors. He teaches Mask & Gesture at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and Balinese and Baroque dance at Peridance Center in New York.
Melinda Horwitz, choreographer, has performed and choreographed nationally and internationally over the past 30 years. Trained in ballet, jazz and modern dance techniques, she is also a certified instructor in both Pilates and Gyrotonic. She is currently on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Dance Arts and the Idyllwild Arts Song and Dance Program.
Susan Shaberman, choreographer, has been hooked on modern dance since she was cast as the matador in Ferdinand the Bull when she was 8 years old. Her other passion as a child was horses. After raising her own children, she continued her dance training at the University of California, and went on to earn her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Trying to satiate her cravings for more dance, she has studied extensively in the techniques of Graham, Cunningham, Limon, and Hawkins. In 1995 she formed an interdisciplinary , Interplay, and became known for her trigger pieces, using electronic drum triggers to create instantaneous sound accompaniments, including musical tones, poetry, and musical tones, for her movement. Ms Shaberman’s work has been seen on both local and international (Avignon, Mexico, and Edinburgh) stages. Most recently she has performed her work in New York and Boulder, CO. She has yet to fulfill her other dream of owning a horse.
Daniel Levitan is the composer of numerous works for percussion ensemble that are regularly performed at colleges and universities across the country and around the world. He studied composition at Bennington College (BA, 1976) with Henry Brant, Vivian Fine, and Marta Ptazynska; and percussion privately with Phil Ford and Ray Spiegel (tabla), Frank Malabe (conga and latin percussion), and Tom Hemphill (mallets). Mr. Levitan, a graduate as well of the North Bennett Street School (1975), works as a piano technician in New York City, and writes and lectures on tuning topics for the Piano Technicians Guild.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Kenji Bunch currently resides in New York City, where he enjoys an active career as a performer, composer, and teacher. As a violist, he frequently performs solo, chamber, orchestral, contemporary, and experimental music in a wide variety of contexts and venues. He is a member of the Flux Quartet and continues to support new music as a member of The Nurse Kaya String Quartet, new music group Continuum and the performing composer group Ne(x)tworks. He also plays fiddle in the New York-based bluegrass band Citigrass. As a composer, his works are regularly performed and broadcast worldwide, and have been recorded on the EMI, Helicon, Pony Canyon, RCA and Cristal labels. He has served as composer in residence for the Mobile Symphony, Young Concert Artists, Inc. and Music at Maple Mount. Kenji studied viola with Toby Appel and composition with Robert Beaser at the Juilliard School, where he now teaches both these subjects in the school's Pre-College division.
JOSE LUIS GRECO
José Luis Greco is the son of the Spanish dancers José Greco and Nila Amparo. As a youngster, he studied piano and guitar and performed as an actor (in, among others, the Broadway production of A Gift of Time with Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland, and as guest star in an episode of the TV series Flipper) and dancer (the title role in Balanchine's NYC Ballet production of The Nutcracker and ten years with his father's company, The José Greco Spanish Ballet). He obtained his BFA from City College of New York and his MFA from Columbia University, where he studied with Mario Davidovsky, Jack Beeson, Chou Wen-chung and George Edwards. He first achieved recognition in the 1980s as composer, performer and co-founder of Cloud Chamber, an Amsterdam-based multi-media dance/theater/music company. Since then, he has received numerous commissions in the Netherlands and Spain and has released several CD recordings.On February 3rd, 2006 he was admitted into The Royal Spanish American Academy of Science, Arts and Letters (Spain). Mr. Greco currently resides in Madrid.
David Noon was born in 1946 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor's degree at Pomona College in 1968, where he studied composition with Karl Kohn. Noon later studied composition with Darius Milhaud, Yehudi Wyner, and Mario Davidovsky. Following Noon's undergraduate education, he attended New York University to study medieval music. After receiving an M.A. in musicology at N.Y.U., Noon attended Yale University, where he received an M.M.A. and a D.M.A. in composition. In 1972–73, Noon was a Fulbright fellow in composition at the Music Conservatory in Warsaw. From 1973 to 1976, he taught music theory and composition and supervised the advanced ear-training program at the School of Music at Northwestern University. In 1976–77, he was composer in residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. From 1996 to 1998, Noon was composer artist in residence at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP, BMI, Yale University, and the Aspen Music Festival. Since 1981, Noon has been on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he is chairman of the music history department and is the dean of academics. Noon, who is an avid bridge player, spends his summer months composing on the Greek island of Crete. He has written seven string quartets, diverse chamber music, ballet, songs, liturgical music, and a piano concerto, as well as a one-act comic opera.