A Midsummer Night's Dream

The World Premiere of an Extraordinary New Ballet Featuring Contemporary & Classical Indian Dance, Based on Shakespeare’s Time-Honored Classic.

A Midsummer Night's Dream 

Choreography

Gabriel Chajnik

Based on William Shakespeare’s comedy about the romantic misadventures of two mortal couples and the king and queen of the fairies.
 A Midsummer Night’s Dream will open the inaugural season of Monmouth County’s first professional Ballet company: Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater.


With delightful choreography by AXCBT Director GABRIEL CHAJNIK and the captivating musical score
by FELIX MENDELSSOHN, this charming production will follow Puck through a family-friendly comedy of errors, as mischief reigns and entangled love runs wild in Shakespeare’s classic tale. Featuring a cast of 40 dancers and orchestra conducted by Jason Tramm. 

Production Staff

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Gabriel Chajnik was trained under the tutelage of Maestro Hector Zaraspe and is an alumnus of the Juilliard School.

 

Gabriel is a former dancer with American Repertory Ballet. His teaching credits expand from Argentina to Europe and the United States at Brooklyn Music School, Princeton Ballet, the Academy of Dance Arts and Gotta Dance in New Jersey. Gabriel’s work has been featured at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., Alice Tully Hall, the Clark Theater at Lincoln Center, MMAC, and the Lambs Theater.

 

Gabriel is also the Artistic Director for TranscenDanceGroup, whose TDG Holocaust Awareness performance has reached school students throughout the tri-state area. Gabriel has been honored by the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, & Warren Counties.

AXCBT Founding Director/Choreographer 

Gabriel Chajnik

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José Solis has designed for iconic brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Emanuel Ungaro, and Ralph Lauren, but is mostly known for launching Bill Blass New York. Recently, José was honored to collaborate directly with designers Vera Wang, Jenny Packham, and Cynthia Rowley on their licensed bridal businesses. José also lately designed costumes for Gallim Dance Company who was recently named the first resident artist of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visuals and Costume Designer

José Solis

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Clients include celebrities, corporations, cultural foundations and museums: Hermès • Christian Dior • Lady Gaga • Peugeot • The Gorbachov Foundation • Harrods • Coca-Cola • also stylists, DJs, body builders, theatres, ballet companies, performers and party beasts, TV shows and ad agencies worldwide.

Headpiece Creation

Tentacle Studios

Music

Cast

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Jason C. Tramm’s work in the operatic, symphonic and choral realms has received critical acclaim throughout the United States and abroad.  Maestro Tramm serves as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the MidAtlantic Opera with whom he made his Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium) in 2015 with his critically acclaimed "Prayer for Peace" concert.  He also serves as the Music Director/Principal Conductor of Teatro Lirico d’Europa, a touring professional opera company, with whom he will conduct Madama Butterfly (Puccini), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Rigoletto (Verdi) and Aida (Verdi) in the 2017-18 season in theaters in Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Massachusetts.  He will also be returning this season as guest conductor for Opera New Hampshire and Palmetto Opera (South Carolina).  Last season’s tour repertoire included Turandot (Puccini), Madama Butterfly (Puccini), La Traviata (Verdi) and Carmen (Bizet).

     An accomplished educator, Tramm serves on the faculty at Seton Hall University as Director of Choral Activities, where he leads the University Choir, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, and teaches voice and conducting. He is also actively sought as a clinician and regularly presents lectures.  Dr. Tramm was named the 2017 University Faculty Teacher of the Year by Seton Hall University.   He holds degrees in music from the Crane School, the Hartt School, and a DMA in Conducting from Rutgers University, where he was the recipient of their prestigious Presidential Fellowship. In 2003, he joined the ranks of Metropolitan Opera Stars Renee Fleming and Stephanie Blythe in being honored with the Rising Star Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association.  

      Tramm led the NJ State Opera as principal conductor and Artistic Director from 2008 to 2012, where he collaborated with some of the finest voices in opera, including Samuel Ramey, Vladimir Galouzine, Angela Brown, Gregg Baker, and Paul Plishka. His 2009 HDTV broadcast with PBS affiliate NJN of "Verdi Requiem:Live from Ocean Grove," garnered a regional Emmy Award nomination.

     A frequent guest conductor, he has led operatic and symphonic performances in Italy, Romania, Albania, and Hungary, where he recorded an album of rarely heard French operatic arias with the Szeged Symphony.   This past season he invited to conduct on the Narnia Arts Festival (Narni, Italy), where he will conduct fully-staged performances of Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schichi at the Teatro Communale di Narni.  

Jason Tramm

King Oberon, Narek Martirosyan 

Queen Titania, Anne Sandefur 

Helena, Gabriela Soto 

Lysander, Garrett McCann 

Hermia, Michelle Joy 

Demetrius, Stefano Arrieta 

Puck, Emmanuel Martirosyan 

Cowslip, Olivia Miranda 

Mustard Seed, Shoko Fujita 

Summer Fairy, Audrey 

Queen Hippolyta, Jen Roit 

King Theseus, Ray Keller 

 

GARRETT MCCANN 

Born in Akron, Ohio, Garrett McCann attended Firestone High School, graduating with a Performing Arts degree. Garrett studied dance at the University of Akron’s Dance Institute and spent a summer at Point Park University's International Summer Dance program while enrolled in the program. Following graduation from Firestone's Visual and Performing Arts program, Garrett joined Verb Ballets in Cleveland, Ohio under the direction of Margaret Carlson and Richard Dickinson. After a year and two summers with the company, Garrett went on to pursue his education at SUNY Purchase in the Conservatory of Dance, where he graduated with a BFA in dance performance. During his time at Purchase, Garrett studied under Stephanie Tooman, Wallie Wolfgruber, Nelly van Bommel, Kevin Wynn, and many others. He has performed works set by Amy Miller, Nicolo Fonte, and attended the American Dance Festival, where he worked with Twyla Tharp. Garrett became a member of Ballet des Amériques under the direction of Carole Alexis in 2015.  

 

 

 

NAREK MARTIROSYAN 

Narek Martirosyan trained at Yerevan State National Choreographic College upon graduation, after serving in the Armenian army for 2 years he joined the Armenian National Ballet Theater as a principal dancer, Mr. Martirosyan was awarded The Movses Khorenatsi Medal by the President of Armenia for his significant contributions to the development of culture and his outstanding staging of the Ballet Spartacus Choreographed by Yuri Gregorovich. Mr.Martirosyan was a principal dancer with the Israel Ballet Company,and The Musical Teacher of Republic of Karelia. Narek Martirosyan has been a principal dancer with New Jersey Ballet Company since 2014. 

 

EMMANUEL MARTIROSYAN 

Emmanuel Martirosyan trained at the Yerevan State National Choreographic College.He was an apprentice at the National Ballet Theatre of Armenia. Mr. Martirosyan has placed in several International Ballet Competitions. In 2015 he received a full scholarship from Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Emmanuel Martirosyan has been a company member of New Jersey Ballet since 2016. 

 

ESTEFANO ARRIETA 

Estefano Gil was Born in Caracas, Venezuela where he began his training at Ballet-Arte School. In 2005, he joined Ballet Teresa Carreño performing demi-soloist and soloist roles. In 2007, he joined Caracas Contemporary Ballet under the artistic direction of María Eugenia Barrios. In 2008, he traveled to Colombia where became a member in Colombian ballet company INCOLBALLET directed by Gloria Castro, performing as a soloist. He has been part of international ballet festivals in Cali, Colombia and his native Venezuela. He has performed with these companies in Belgium, Holland, Russia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, among others. Since 2012, he has performed as a guest artist in Staten Island Ballet, New England Ballet, and FJK Dance company. His repertoire includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Our Waltzes, among others.  

 

 

MICHELLE JOY 

Michelle Joy is originally from Arcata, California where she began her dance training at The Dancers Studio; she was later selected to attend Houston Ballet Academy on a full merit scholarship. At her graduation performance Michelle received the John Smither scholarship award of excellence.  Throughout her career she has danced in professional ballet companies including: Colorado Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, American Repertory Ballet and The Metropolitan Opera. She has also performed in the International Tour of Phantom of the Opera. Aside from dancing, Michelle currently studies French and loves to travel. 

 

ANNE SANDEFUR 

One sentence: Anne Sandefur was awarded gold and silver medals at the Youth America Grand Prix and has performed with Orlando Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Boston Ballet, and TranscenDance Group. She graduated from Duke University and received her juris doctor degree from the Charleston School of Law. 

Paragraph: Anne Sandefur began her training at the Orlando Ballet School under the tutelage of Yan Chen and Peter Stark. At the Youth America Grand Prix, she was awarded gold and silver medals at the regional level and placed in the top twelve at the finals in New York City. Throughout her professional career, she has danced with the Orlando Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Boston Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, CelloPointe, and TranscenDance Group. She received degrees in dance and psychology from Duke University and received her juris doctor degree from the Charleston School of Law.  

 

GABRIELA SOTO 

Gabriela M. Soto began her dance training at Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico. She is a graduated of the Ailey School Certificate Program. Gabriela has had the privilege of performing works by Sidra Bell, William Forsythe, Francesca Harper, Jae Man Joo, Lar Lubovitch, Mike Esperanza, Bradley Shelver, Elisa Monte, Alvin Ailey, Matthew Rushing, and Robert Battle. She also performed in the New York City Center Production of Brigadoon directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Gabriela is also a dance educator in various schools in the Tri-State area, she is thankful to continue to dance and share her passion with the younger generation of dance.  

 

 

RAY KELLER 

Ray Keller began his dance training at age 19 with the Fort Wayne Ballet under the directorship of Karen Gibbons-Brown. Upon graduation from high school, Ray relocated to Boston, Massachusetts where he attended Harvard University.  While at Harvard, Ray had the honor of working with such inspiring teachers as Heather Watts, Damien Woetzel, Ruth Andrien, Jennifer Scanlon, Matthew Rose, Mary MacLeod, and Christine Dakin.  Ray regularly performed featured roles with the Harvard Dance Program and the Harvard Ballet Company, and he competed with the Harvard Ballroom Dance Team.  During his sophomore year, Ray assumed the artistic directorship of the Harvard Ballet Company, and he led the company, in coordination with the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, to produce the largest classical and modern dance production in Harvard's history.  Ray graduated from Harvard with honors in 2008. 

Ray made his professional stage debut in 2009 at a limited engagement of 'Victor /Victoria' in New York's own Bleecker Street Theatre.  Since 2010, Ray has danced with TranscenDanceGroup, under the artistic direction of Gabriel Chajnik and under the mentorship of Hector Zaraspe.  Ray continues his work with this company, in addition to various freelance projects. 

 

OLIVIA MIRANDA  

Originally from Robbinsville, NJ, Olivia grew up dancing at local studio Ballet Technique under the direction of Julie A. Caprio, performing classical ballet works. Pursuing a double major in English and Dance, Olivia attended Fordham University and the Ailey School in fall of 2014. While at the Ailey School, Olivia worked with choreographers such as Tom Gold, Jaclyn Buglisi, Kanji Segawa, and Breton Tyner-Bryan as well as performed works by Alvin Ailey including excerpts from Night Creature and Revelations. In June of 2017, Olivia performed in the Alvin Ailey Spirit Gala at Lincoln Center, debuting choreography by Tracy Inman, Robert Battle, and Ari Mayzick. During fall of her junior year, Olivia accepted a contract with Ballet Hispanico’s second company (BHdos) under the direction of Nicholas Villeneuve and Johan Rivera. At Ballet Hispanico, Olivia learned and performed repertory by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Eduardo Vilaro, Pedro Ruiz, and Talley Beatty, performing at the Apollo Theater. She has attended summer intensives at BalletX, American Ballet Theater, and Koltun Ballet Theater to name a few. While in New York, Olivia also pursued her passion for fitness, teaching cardio-based rowing classes downtown at Current Fitness. Olivia graduated magna cum laude from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program in May of 2018. Currently, she is freelancing with professional dance companies in the New York area, as well as teaching dance in New Jersey. 

 

 

SHOKO FUJITA 

Shoko Fujita graduated with highest honors from the Japan Women’s College of Physical Education, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Movement Science with a specialty in Dance Studies. She attended summer dance intensives at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and the Joffrey Ballet School, and in 2012, moved to New York City to dance. Shoko has performed for Paris and Wizard in MOMA’s Japan Exhibition, at the Whitney Biennial 2014, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2015, and at CES2016 Intel Keynote. She has performed at a charity benefit by Alan Cumming and Emma Stone for Guilda’s Club at The Box in 2017. 

 

 

JENNIFER ROIT 

Proud of her West Coast origins, Jen Roit received a BFA from NYU’s Tisch, working with choreographers Karole Armitage, Bill Young, and Dwight Rhoden. She continued a diverse dance career with Jennifer Archibald/Arch Dance Company, Nathan Trice/Rituals, TranscenDance Group with Gabriel Chajnik, Mark Dendy, the Park Avenue Armory, and Randy James/10HL Projects. Jen was recently selected for the Breaking Glass Project, a mentorship program for emerging female choreographers. Under her dance company, Armada, she has presented work for BalaSole, Spoke the Hub, Judson Church, NYU’s Alumni Choreographic Workshop with Stephen Petronio, Jennifer Mueller’s HATCH, Amalgamate Artist Series, Dixon Place, WAXworks at Triskelion, the Outlet Dance Project’s International Film Festival, and Ticino in Danza in Switzerland. She is the editor for Dance Magazine’s College Guide, project manager for the TERP system, founder of The Broke Dancer, and film director for National Choreography Month. 

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