Janie Taylor was born in Houston, TX where she began her ballet training at age 2 with Gilbert Rome. She trained at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance in New Orleans from 1993-1996. After attending two years of the summer program at the School of American Ballet, she became a full-time student in the fall of 1996. While a student at SAB she originated a featured role in Christopher Wheeldon's Soiree Musicale for the Spring workshop performance in June of 1998. She received the Mae L. Wien Award at the SAB Annual Workshop and was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet. A month later, she became a member of NYCB's corps de ballet. She was promoted to the rank of Soloist in February 2001 and to Principal in 2005. During her career with New York City Ballet she originated roles in ballets choreographed by Peter Martins and Benjamin Millepied. She also performed featured roles in numerous ballets by George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins, as well as pieces by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Susan Stroman, Twyla Tharp, and Miriam Mahdaviani. Ms. Taylor appeared in the film Center Stage directed by Nicholas Hytner which was released in 2000. She retired from the New York City Ballet on March 1, 2014.
Ms.Taylor is now a repetiteur setting ballets for Justin Peck and Benjamin Millepied on companies around the world and has since started a career in design. She has designed costumes for the New York City Ballet and LA Dance Project.
Aaron Carr began dancing at age six in Pensacola, Florida. He studied ballet throughout high school as an ABT national training scholar before attending The Juilliard School in New York City. Since graduating in 2009, Aaron has been a member of KEIGWIN + COMPANY, and ZVIDANCE. While working with these companies, Aaron toured internationally and cultivated his love for teaching. Aaron has also had the opportunity to dance for Charlotte Bydwell, Jaclyn K. Walsh, The Troupe, Jonathan Royce Wyndham, Emily Schoen and PROJECT RUIN. He joined L.A. Dance Project in 2013.
David Adrian Freeland Jr. is from Jacksonville, FL. He began his dance training at LaVilla School of the Arts under the direction of Michelle Ottley-Fisher and Susan Jennings. He went on to study at the Jacksonville Centre of the Arts, where he received much of his training under the direction of Kezia Rolle. David has attended summer intensives at the Nashville Ballet and The Juilliard School under full scholarship. He later studied at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College. David was a member of Alvin Ailey's second company, Ailey II, for three seasons. During that time, he performed the works of Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Robert Battle, Troy Powell, Dwight Rhoden, and Jennifer Archibald. David has also performed in the 2015-2016 season at The Metropolitan Opera House. David is excited to share the stage with the amazingly talented artists of the L.A. Dance Project.
Rachelle Rafailedes is a native Ohioan that began her formal dance training at an early age. She has since received her BFA from The Juilliard School in 2009, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes, where she was awarded the Martha Hill Prize for excellence in leadership and dance. In her career thus far, Rachelle has been fortunate to perform work by renowned choreographers including: Ohad Naharin, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Merce Cunningham and William Forsythe, as well as guest perform with Keigwin + Company and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. She was a member of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion from 2009-2012 and is a Bessie Award winning collaborator for Mr. Abraham’s The Radio Show. Rachelle joined L.A. Dance Project in 2013.
Nathan B. Makolandra began dancing and choreographing in Greenville, South Carolina. He is a graduate from The Juilliard School under director Lawrence Rhodes. There he performed works by Alexander Ekman, Nacho Duato, Jerome Robbins, Bronsilava Nijinska, Eliot Feld, Sidra Bell, and Jose Limon. Nathan’s work appeared in Juilliard’s Choreographic Honors concert (2009-2012), and is a recipient of the Hector Zaraspe Award for choreography (2012). In 2011 he placed 1st runner up for the Capezio Award for Choreographic Excellence. He collaborated with composer Jared Miller, and choreographed Richard Walters’ music video, “American Stitches.” Nathan created “Attitude du Cage” with fellow L.A. Dance Project member, has choreography featured on So You Think You Can Dance, and is a Fresh Dance Intensive faculty member. Professionally Nathan has performed the works of Benjamin Millepied, William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Hiroaki Umeda, Emmanuel Gat, Danielle Agami, Julia Eichten, and Justin Peck in locations such as Los Angeles’ Union Station, the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and the Gardens at the Palace of Versailles.
Kaitlyn Gilliland trained at the Minnesota Dance Theatre under Loyce and Lise Houlton and at the School of American Ballet, where she received the school’s Mae L. Wien Award for outstanding promise in 2004. From 2006 to 2011, Kaitlyn danced with the New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet and was named the company’s Janice Levin Dancer for 2009-2010. Since leaving the New York City Ballet, Kaitlyn has performed with several New York City-based dance companies, appearing regularly with Twyla Tharp since joining her 50th Anniversary Tour in 2015. Kaitlyn has served on the faculty of the School of American Ballet and the New York City Public School for Dance, and, in May of 2015, she graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Kaitlyn joined L.A. Dance Project in 2017.
Axel Ibot began his dance training at age seven at a small dance school in the suburbs of Paris. In 1996, at age ten, he entered the Paris Opera Ballet School. In 2003 he joined the Paris Opera Ballet’s Corps de Ballet. He was promoted to “Coryphée” in 2007, and to “Sujet” in 2012. He has danced soloist and demi-soloist roles in many of the great classical ballets of Paris Opera Ballet’s repertory, including Giselle, Swan Lake, Paquita, The Nutcracker, Raymonda, and La Source. He has also danced in ballets by renowned 20th and 21st century choreographers, including George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, and Justin Peck. Axel also created roles in works new to the Paris Opera Ballet repertory, among them Romeo (Sasha Waltz), Clear Loud Bright Forward (Benjamin Millepied), L’Anatomie de la Sensation” (Wayne McGregor), Kaguyahime (Jiří Kylián), Psyché (Alexei Ratmansky), Seasons's Canon (Crystal Pite), and Drumming (Anne Teresa de Keersmeaker). He has collaborated with the Maeght Foundation for a special performance as well as director Salvatore Calcagno in the context of the Kunsten Arts Festival. Axel joined L.A. Dance Project in 2017.
Patricia Zhou was born in Canada and raised in the United States, she started her formal ballet training at the age of 13. She received four years of training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C., where she graduated with the president's award - honoring excellence in both academic studies as well as artistry. Patricia competed in a few international competitions including the Prix de Lausanne, which as a prize winner led to an apprenticeship at the Royal Ballet in London and a spotlight segment on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars". Patricia joined Staatsballett-Berlin in 2012, and has since danced many lead and solo roles in both classical and contemporary pieces, and has been hailed as one of the most interesting and versatile dancers in the company. Patricia joined L.A. Dance Project in 2017.
Daisy Jacobson is a French-American born in Manhattan Beach, CA and a recent graduate from The Juilliard School. She is a 2013 Youth America Grand Prix Finalist, National Young Arts Winner, and Presidential Scholar in the Arts. While attending Juilliard, Daisy performed new works by Takehiro Ueyama, Loni Landon, Zvi Gotheiner, Matthew Neenan, and Benjamin Millepied. She performed leading roles in masterworks such as Merce Cunningham’s BiPed, Jiri Kylian’s Symphony of Psalms, and Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero. Daisy attended programs with Houston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Nederlands Dans Theater, Batsheva/gaga Barcelona, ChuThis, BodyTraffic, Ballet BC/ArtsUmbrella, and Springboard Danse Montreal. During these programs, Daisy was privileged to perform works by Alexei Ratmansky, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, and Aszure Barton. Her own choreographic works premiered in Juilliard Choreographic Honors 2015 and 2016. Daisy joined L.A. Dance Project as an apprentice in 2017.
Miranda Wattier was born in Long Beach, California. At the age of nine, she began her dance training at Dance West in Los Alamitos, California. In 2014, Miranda enrolled as a student at the Coburn Dance Academy. She studied at Colburn for three years under the leadership of former New York City Ballet principal dancers Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette. During her time as a Colburn student, Miranda performed works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and originated a featured role in a ballet by Benjamin Millepied. Miranda has attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She joined L.A. Dance Project in 2017 as an apprentice.
Sébastien Marcovici began his ballet training at age eight with local teachers, and at age 12 he enrolled at the School of the Paris Opéra Ballet. During the summer of 1993, while studying with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride at the Chautauqua School of Dance, Mr. Marcovici was invited by Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins to take Company class with New York City Ballet at Saratoga Springs. In November of 1993, he was invited to join New York City Ballet's corps de ballet. Mr. Marcovici was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1998 and to principal dancer in May 2002.
Mr. Marcovici has performed featured roles in numerous ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins and additional works by David Parsons and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Mr. Marcovici also originated roles in Robbins' Brandenburg and West Side Story Suite as well as in works by Peter Martins, Mauro Bigonzetti, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Robert Lafosse, Miriam Mahdaviani, Benjamin Millepied, Angelin Preljocaj, Twyla Tharp and Christopher Wheeldon.
Mr. Marcovici retired from New York City Ballet in March 2014. He worked as a ballet master with Paris Opera Ballet from 2014 - 2016. He currently works at L.A. Dance Project as a Ballet Master and sets ballets for Benjamin Millepied on ballet companies around the world.