Jose Carreno and Melanie Hamrick

April 20-21, 2013

Melanie Hamrick was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she began her ballet training at Eastern Virginia School of the Performing Arts continuing on to the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. After attending the summer program of American Ballet Theater she was asked to join ABT’s Studio Company in 2003. She then became a member of the company in April 2004. Hamrick has danced many roles in ballets including Apollo, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Moyna in Giselle to name a few.

Mr. Carreño was born in Cuba to a family with an established tradition of classical dance; José was just ten when he began studying with Alicia Alonso, Lázaro Carreño and Loipa Araujo. He trained at the Provincial and National Ballet Schools in Cuba, and immediately joined the National Ballet of Cuba where he soon became an established favorite among Cuban dance cognoscenti.

José Carreño won the prestigious Gold Medal in the New York International Ballet Competition (1987) and was later awarded the coveted Grand Prize at the Jackson Mississippi Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, (1990) from which he accepted an invitation of Ivan Nagy to join English National Ballet as a Principal Dancer. In 1993 Sir Anthony Dowell (Director of England’s Royal Ballet) invited Carreño to become a principal dancer with Royal Ballet. He delighted and astonished audiences with the depth of his interpretation and technical flair in virtuoso roles in Don Quixote, Aston’s Midsummer Night Dream and the Sleeping Beauty.

In 1995 Carreño was invited by American Ballet Theatre’s artistic Director, Kevin Mckenzie to join American Ballet Theatre as Principal dancer. At ABT Carreño further expanded his repertory to include roles as diverse as Balanchine’s Apollo, Theme and Variations, Prodigal Son, Symphony and C, Afternoon of the Faun, Danilo in The Merry Widow, Frank in Coppelia, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty, Solor in La Bayadere, Albrecht in Giselle and Don José in Carmen among others.

Carreño has danced with most of the great ballerinas of recent years, including Alicia Alonso, Carla Fracci, Alessandra Ferri, Viviana Durante, Nina Ananiashvili, Susan Jaffe, Julie Kent, Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Alina Cojocaru, and Tamara Rojo. Carreño has danced many works by Jerome Robbins, Roland Petite, and George Balanchine. He has also worked with some of today’s greatest choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Jiri Kylian, Boris Eifman, Nacho Duato, Alexei Ratmanksy, and Christopher Wheeldon, and all regard him as an outstanding interpreter of their choreography.

Carreño is an acclaimed Guest artist around the world dancing in Galas and with companies such as Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Royal Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Berlin Staatsopera Ballet, Teatro Alla Scala, Opera di Roma, National Ballet of Canada, Teatro Colón (Argentina), Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and Ballet de Monterrey (Mexico).

José Carreño was nominated for a dance ‘Oscar’ as one of the world’s supreme male classical soloists of the new Millennium (Monte Carlo 2000) and Dance Magazine awarded him as the Male Dancer of the year in 2005. Carreño was a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre and now he is a Guest artist starring around the world. In the fall of 2011 José became a member of the Board of Directors for Youth America Grand Prix.