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Gregory Amato

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Gregory Amato has a wide breadth of experience in the international world of ballet. Mr. Amato has performed in over 50 countries, including for the Queen of England, two presidents, numerous ambassadors, dignitaries, and prime ministers.

 

He was selected by New York City Ballet principal dancer Edward Villella to become a founding member of the Miami City Ballet, before performing with the Ballet du Nord in France. He was then similarly chosen by Michael Smuin as a founding member of Smuin Ballet. While dancing there, Michael Smuin created several ballets on Mr. Amato, including "Frankie and Johnny,” and "Cyrano." He also appeared in the movie, "The Fantastics," which Smuin choreographed.

 

Mr. Amato's primary teacher and inspiration was New York City Ballet soloist Nolan T'Sani. He studied on full scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.

 

Mr. Amato competed and won the gold medal in the Fred Astaire International Ballroom Dance Competition. Despite his impressive ballet career, his personal highlight was his experience as the featured dancer at Carnegie Hall for the 100th Celebration of George Gershwin’s birthday.

 

Mr. Amato has been the Artistic Director at Peninsula Ballet Theatre and PBT Conservatory since 2017, where he has created over 40 original works, including full-length productions of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Carmina Burana, Carnival of the Animals, and Carmen.

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Nina Amato

BALLET MISTRESS

Nina Amato is a former principal ballerina with the Sacramento Ballet and has danced the lead role in such ballets as Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Cinderella, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee, Les Sylphides, Sleeping Beauty, and Juliet in Ron Cunningham’s Romeo and Juliet, a role which was created specifically for her. She has also danced and created roles in a wide range of contemporary works by renowned choreographers, and the lead in several ballets by George Balanchine.

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Chloé Watson

SCHOOL MANAGER & TEACHER

Chloé Watson* was born in Dallas, Texas, where she trained at the Dallas Ballet Center and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with a concentration in ballet at SUNY Purchase, graduating cum laude. She previously danced with American Midwest Ballet and Ballet Vero Beach.

 

Chloé returns to Peninsula Ballet Theatre for a sixth season. Her notable repertory with the company includes the title roles in Giselle and Gregory Amato's Cinderella, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Ron Cunningham's Incident at Blackbriar, and premiere works created specifically for her by Mr. Amato. As a choreographer, Chloé has been commissioned by Ballet Vero Beach, and recently directed her first dance film, Ophelia, an official selection at the Vero Beach Film Festival.

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Léna Alvino

SCHOOL CO-DIRECTOR & TEACHER
Léna Alvino* is originally from Switzerland. She joined Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program in San Francisco, then moved to Santa Barbara, where she danced with State Street Ballet’s Professional Track Program and taught at Momentum Dance Company and Westside Dance. She is loving being back in the Bay Area, performing with Peninsula Ballet Theatre and Ramm Dance. Throughout her years at PBT, she is honored to have danced Myrtha in Giselle, Rose in The Nutcracker, Faith in Carmen, Fortuna in Carmina Burana and Constanza in Mozart. Léna has been teaching children and adults at Peninsula School of the Arts and Petits Pas Studio for many years. She is excited to now co-direct Peninsula School of the Arts with Gregory Amato.

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Masha Baratoshvilli Amato

Bio coming soon

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Katelin Foley

Katelin Foley began her training at the Nancy Doizé School of Dance in the South Bay, where she studied Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. Katelin graduated from DePaul University in 2018 where she was a part of the DePaul Dance Company's Tap and Lyrical Teams. While in Chicago, she choreographed and produced for Synergy Dance Company, which specialized in bringing dance to all levels and abilities. For the past several years Katelin has been working as a dance teacher and choreographer for Starting Arts where she teaches students from ages 5 to 25. She also performs locally around the bay in various nusical theatre productions. Her passion is bringing dance positivity to all people no matter their age or abilities.

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Kelley Hashemi

Kelley Hashemi* grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas where she studied ballet before going on to pursue degrees in engineering. She performed a range of roles with several companies before settling in the Bay Area and joining Peninsula Ballet Theatre in 2018. Her repertoire with PBT contains many roles in Gregory Amato’s productions including Maribel—the female toreador of Carmen, Love in Carmina Burana, and a stepsister in Cinderella. Other notable roles include the title role in Giselle, the Sugar Plum Fairy (and occasional Rat King) in The Nutcracker, and works by other choreographers such as Chloé Watson, Marika Brussel, and Ron Cunningham.

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Hannah Jiang

Hannah Jiang has been dancing at Peninsula Lively Arts for six years. She has performed in many productions such as The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Carnival of the Animals, and Adventures in Neverland. She loves dance and music and is excited to begin teaching at Peninsula School of the Arts.

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Melia Kramer

Melia Kramer has been a part of the Peninsula Lively Arts community for the past 10 years and has been dancing with Peninsula Ballet Theatre as an apprentice for the past five seasons. In addition to training and teaching with Peninsula School of the Arts, she has also trained under the American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet School. She has performed in a variety of productions including The NutcrackerCinderellaPaquitaCarmen, and many more.

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Alyssa-Marie Muña

Alyssa-Marie Muña* grew up in Millbrae, California, training with Ayako School of Ballet and Peninsula Youth Ballet. She moved to Southern California at the age of 17 to study with the School of International Ballet, and received additional training through intensives with American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Manila, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Joffrey Ballet School. Alyssa-Marie is happy to return to the Bay Area to join Peninsula Ballet Theatre.

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Verónica Quevedo

Verónica Quevedo loves art, music, and all kinds of dance. As a child, she started with gymnastics, but with time fell in love with jazz, tap, and ballet. She trained and performed at Guillermo's Maldonado Conservatory, Isabel's Beteta School, and Oscar's Carapia School. Verónica went on to study teaching Royal Academy, and Imperial (ISTD) styles along with Cuban technique, also taking workshops in Cuda and Canada. Verónica shares, "I think it is wonderful that we, teachers, have the opportunity to guide children, teens, and adults to express all kinds of emotions through their body, through dance. To feel the music, the rhythm, the energy of their classmates and audiences."

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Minna Rogers

Minna Rogers has been professionally trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance. Her personal style of dance and teaching is to integrate technical excellence with emotional expression. She began her professional studies in Tucson, AZ, and has studied at master classes and workshops at the University of Arizona, Vienna Opera Ballet School, Vienna Conservatory Ballet, among many others. She teaches ballet and musical theatre dance at Peninsula Ballet Theatre and choreographs and performs locally in musical theatre and dance productions.

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Matthew "Ninja" Sutton

Matthew “Ninja” Sutton was born in San Carlos, CA. He started breakdancing at Dance Mode Studio in 2010 and has since grown to do almost all styles of hip-hop. After many studio competitions, he was invited to join Tribe Crew, which is an all-adult hip-hop-based team. Currently, Ninja is a choreographer for Poise’n Brigade (Tribe’s youth team) and has helped make sets for competitions such as Prelude Norcal, Collaboration, World of Dance Bay Area, and World of Dance Championships. He also performs as leading roles for theater shows such as Hip-Hop Halloween: The Monster Mashup, and Stuck Sander’s Hip-Hop Nutcracker.

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Angela Valeros Barrera

Angela is a Bay Area Native from East Palo Alto. She has trained with different groups, starting with Dance Connection Hip Hop Crew, Troupe Dance Company and she currently is a member of Syndicate. Throughout her journey, Angela has built experience with styles like Reggaeton, Amapiano, Dancehall and Street dance. 

* PBT Company Dancer

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