artist in residence
Silas Farley is a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet. He began his training when he was 7 years old with Sal and Barbara Messina at King David Christian Conservatory in Charlotte, North Carolina. At the age of 9, he was accepted on scholarship into Charlotte Ballet Academy (then The North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance), where his teachers were NYCB alumna Patricia McBride, Kathryn Moriarty, and Mark Diamond. At the age of 14, Mr. Farley attended the summer course at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of NYCB, and was then invited to enroll as a full-time student. A choreographer since age 11, Mr. Farley has created ballets for SAB’s Student Choreography Workshop, SAB’s Winter Ball, SAB’s Summer Choreography Workshop, and for The New York Choreographic Institute. In the summer of 2017, he served as the choreographer for the Practicing Silence workshop at Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan, CT. In the fall of 2017, Mr. Farley was commissioned by MetLive Arts to create a new site-specific ballet that will premiere in the spring of 2019 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2012, Mr. Farley was one of two advanced SAB students selected by Peter Martins for a student teaching pilot program at SAB. Since 2016, he has taught at SAB, first as a Teaching Fellow and now as a consistent guest teacher. He has guest taught for Charlotte Ballet, Ballet Austin, Ballet SND (Slovak National Ballet), Southern Methodist University, and The Hartt School. In both 2016 and 2017, he conducted masterclasses on the teaching and work of George Balanchine at The Academy of the Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia. Mr. Farley was an inaugural Jerome Robbins Dance Division Fellow at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which included his writing an essay that compared the lives and works of August Bournonville and George Balanchine. He has lectured on ballet for New York City Ballet, The New York Philharmonic, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. He is the recipient of SAB’s 2012 Mae L. Wien Award and Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award. In August 2012, Mr. Farley became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in August 2013. Silas serves as Artist in Residence for Ballet Hartford, in which role he regularly teaches the Company, choreographs new works, and advises the Artistic Director and Board.
Caleb Mitchell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he received early ballet training at the age of 16 under Rose Marie Floyd. After graduating cum laude in 1998 with a BFA in dance from the University of Arizona, Caleb joined the Houston Ballet under Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.-emeritus and later Stanton Welch, artistic director. During his tenure with Houston Ballet (1998-2007), Mr. Mitchell performed many featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Christopher Bruce, Ronald Hynd, Lila York, Natalie Weir, Julia Adams, Trey McIntyre, StantonWelch, James Kudelka, and David Parsons. In 2007, Caleb was awarded a Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship (Helen Russell Scholar)at the University Of California- Irvine. While pursuing his degree at UCI, Caleb danced in featured roles by Professor Jodie Gates (Joffery Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet) and William Forsythe. In June 2009, Mr. Mitchell received a MFA in dance, and soon after became full-time dance faculty at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. Currently, at Belhaven University, Mr. Mitchell serves as *tenured Assistant Professor of Dance. Guest teaching and choreographic projects include works set on Neos Dance Company, Hosannah Sacred Arts, dancers from the Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet II, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Ad Deum Dance Company, Le Lien Ballet Theater, Masterworks Art Festival, and University of California, Irvine. He has also served as guest faculty teacher for the Cecchetti SummerInternational Festival at Hope College and Elvis Cirque du Soliel. During his tenure at UCI, Mr. Mitchell was Ballet Master for Professor David Allen (former National Ballet of Canada, Diamond Project), and in 2008 was awarded the Medici scholar grant to do choreographic research with world renowned choreographer Alonzo King (Lines Ballet)and Jacopo Godani (Frankfurt Ballet) for his thesis. Caleb’srecent choreographic project "Sanctuary", a world premiere, was a collaborative with world renowned choreographer Dr. Donald McKayle and performed by the Etude Dance Ensemble and the UCI Symphony Orchestra at UCI Irvine in April 2009. Creations and guest teaching also include SERPA (2013), Adelphi University, Dance Arts Conservatory, Uptown Dance Company, Brigham Young University, and Southern Methodist University.
Born in California, Leyna Woods began her ballet training at the age of twelve at a local studio on scholarship. At fourteen, she was selected to be privately coached by a former dancer of American Ballet Theatre, Christina (Gibbs) Lyon. Under Lyon’s tutelage, Woods attended American Ballet Theater’s Detroit Summer Intensive (2006) and Kirov Academy of Ballet’s Summer Intensive (2008). A generous sponsorship to attend these intensives was provided by David Howard. In 2009, Woods was hired by the Crystal Cathedral to perform as a dancer in the Glory of Christmas productions. From 2006-2010, Woods founded and directed a small troupe of dancers, called Rejoice Ballet Troupe, which ministered to nearby nursing homes and churches. Most recently, Woods received further training and dance education at Belhaven University where she graduated in 2014 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Here she studied under the instruction of Laura Morton, Caleb Mitchell, and Ravenna Tucker. She was awarded the Bezalel Award (2010) and the Daniel Award (2014) and represented the university at two American College Dance Festival Associations (ACDFA). In 2012, she accompanied a group of Belhaven students and faculty to perform and host outreach events in South Korea.
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