Summer Intensive Renowned Faculty
Susan JaffeFormer Principal Dancer and Ballet Master at the American Ballet Theater and current Dean of Dance at UNCSA
Michael VernonInternationally-renowned Master Teacher and Chair of the Department of Ballet, Indiana University
Michael Vernon studied at the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet and the Royal Ballet School in London with such legendary teachers as Dame Ninette de Valois and Leonide Massine. He performed with the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera Ballet, and the London Festival Ballet before coming to New York in 1976 to join the Eglevsky Ballet as ballet master and resident choreographer. He was artistic director of the Long Island-based company from 1989 to 1995.
He has choreographed many ballets for the Eglevsky Ballet, in addition to ballets for many other professional companies in the United States and worldwide. Mikhail Baryshnikov commissioned him to choreograph the successful pas de deux In a Country Garden for American Ballet Theatre (ABT). His solo S'Wonderful was danced by ABT principal Cynthia Harvey in the presence of President and Mrs. Reagan and shown nationwide on CBS television. He also served as the assistant choreographer on Ken Russell's movie Valentino, starring Rudolph Nureyev and Leslie Caron.
Vernon continues to teach classes at New York-based Steps, works regularly for the Manhattan Dance Project, and is artistic advisor to the Ballet School of Stamford. Since 2000, he has taught and choreographed the ballet company and ballet school at the Chautauqua Institute. His annual activities also include a long association with Ballet Hawaii.
Vernon was company teacher for the ABT from 2001 to 2002 and worked as a company teacher for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet from 1994 to 1998. He was also a guest teacher for the Juilliard School in 2001 and has had long associations with Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Alvin Ailey Company and School.
Robert WeissCompany Artistic Director
Robert Weiss began his career as a professional dancer at the age of 17, when he joined the New York City Ballet at the request of George Balanchine. He remained with the company for 16 years, rising to the rank of Principal Dancer. During this time he performed principal roles in over 40 ballets, some of which were created for him by both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. His career took him next to the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, where he served as Artistic Director for eight years.
As a choreographer, Mr. Weiss has created over 20 ballets, including commissions by American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th Century, The Caramoor Festival, the Palm Beach Festival, Stars of American Ballet, and Philadanco Dance Company, among others. He is also the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships for choreography. His other achievements include choreography and staging for the New York City Opera as well as choreographing and acting for a feature film starring Anthony Quinn.
Mr. Weiss has received great critical and audience response for his Carolina Ballet world premieres including Romeo & Juliet, Messiah, Stravinsky’s Clowns, Carmen and The Kreutzer Sonata, and in 2001 the brand new Nutcracker and Firebird were added to that impressive list. In 2002 he premiered Stravinsky’s Clowns and Grosse Fuge; and in the 2003-2004 season he premiered Des Images, based on the paintings and sculpture of Edgar Degas, and Reflection, an homage to his mentor George Balanchine. During the 2004-2005 season Weiss premiered Symposium to rave reviews and critical acclaim. In May 2005, Robert Weiss premiered a new full-evening Swan Lake created on Carolina Ballet and he received the Medal of the Arts from the City of Raleigh Arts Commission. During Carolina Ballet's eighth season Robert Weiss created Petit Ballet Romantique to selections from Leo Delibes' ballet scores in October 2005; he choreographed Tempest Fantasy in February 2006 to the Pulitzer Prize winning score of Paul Moravec; and he created a brand new Cinderella in May 2006 to a commissioned score by Karl Moraski. The company was invited to tour China in fall of 2006 (September 28-October 15 including the cities of Beijing and Shanghai) and a summer residency was established on the campus of UNC Wilmington for Carolina Ballet to start in July 2007.
Tyler WaltersProgram Director
Tyler Walters was selected by Robert Joffrey to join the Joffrey Ballet in 1984. As a leading dancer with the company for many years he was featured in performances around the world. He was also Principal Dancer with the Atlanta Ballet and principal guest artist with numerous companies including Pennsylvania Ballet and the National Ballet of Iceland. Mr. Walters is currently Associate Professor of the Practice of Ballet at Duke University and co-director of Duke University Ballet Repertory Ensemble. He has been a guest teacher for such professional companies and training programs as the Joffrey Ballet, Random Dance Company, Ballet Preljocaj, the Joffrey Ballet School, The Julliard School, North Carolina Dance Theatre School, Princeton Ballet School, and Regional Dance America. As a choreographer, Mr. has been honored with awards from the Choo-San Goh and Richard H. McGee Foundation, and the New York Choreographic Institute. His choreography has been commissioned by ABT Studio Company, the Joffrey Concert Dancers, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. He has also created seven commissioned ballets for Carolina Ballet and works with the company on a regular basis as Teaching Associate.
Julie Janus WaltersAssistant Director
Julie Janus Walters was chosen by Robert Joffrey to join the Joffrey Ballet in 1982 where she was a leading dancer for more than a decade. She has been featured in performances around the world as well as on national and international television. She was also Principal Dancer with Atlanta Ballet and Principal Guest Artist with the National Ballet of Iceland. Julie is currently Assistant Professor of the Practice of Ballet at Duke University and co-director of Duke University Ballet Repertory Ensemble. She was an instructor of ballet at UNC-Chapel Hill for 10 years and is a partner and teacher at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill. She has been a guest teacher such professional companies and training organizations as the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Random Dance Company, Joffrey Ballet School, Princeton Ballet School, North Carolina Dance Theatre School, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and Regional Dance America.
Marin BoieruBallet Master
Marin Boieru began his ballet training in Romania and later trained at the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad. He has performed as a principal for such companies as the Pennsylvania Ballet, Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th Century, Roland Petit’s Ballet Company of Marseilles, France and Opera of Bucharest. He is the winner of the gold medal at the prestigious Varna and Moscow Ballet competitions. He came to Carolina Ballet after seven years as principal dancer for the Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella. Mr. Boieru has been Ballet Master for Carolina Ballet since its founding in 1998. He has also been a guest master teacher for the North Carolina School of the Arts and the South Carolina Governor’s School.
Debra AustinBallet Master
Debra Austin received a scholarship to the School of American Ballet when she was 12, and at 16 was hand picked by George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet. While at New York City Ballet, Debra danced many principal roles by both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She has also been a principal dancer with Zurich Ballet in Switzerland, and Pennsylvania Ballet and has danced principal roles in works by all of the major choreographers. She went on to assist Lynne Taylor-Corbett in Ms. Taylor-Corbett’s ballet The Dancing Princesses, and in Florida was a preliminary judge for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. Ms. Austin has been Ballet Master for Carolina Ballet since its founding in 1998. She has also been a guest master teacher for the North Carolina School of the Arts and the South Carolina Governor’s School.
Faculty will also include additional guest teachers and artists from Carolina Ballet.