BOBBY WESNER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, began his career as a professional dancer with Ballet Arizona, under the direction of Michael Uthoff (now lb Anderson). During his stay in Phoenix, he had the honor of working with American Classics such as Fredrick Franklin, Daniel Ezralow, Moses Pendelton of Momix, the Artistic Directors of Pilobolus, Kevin O'Day, Jowali Willa Jo Zolar of Urban Bush Woman, and also his wife Brooke Wesner. Other great masterpieces that Wesner has performed are the "Profiteer" in The Green Table by Kurt Josse; "Iago" in The Moore's Pavone by Jose Limon; "Tico" in Company B by Paul Taylor, (also in Taylor's Esplanade); three works of Anthony Tudor: Lilac Garden, Leaves are Fading and Continuo; and The Jester in Earnst Uthoff's Carmina Burana. Independently, Wesner has traveled and performed with various companies all over the northeast region of the US and in Italy. As Director and Co-Founder, Bobby has choreographed four evening length ballets for Neos Dance Theatre and produced an additional ballet by resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn. Neos also performs many of Wesner’s repertory works, including Spinning Plates, Various Principals, Norm and Cleo, and more. Bobby and Brooke live in Ashland, Ohio where they raise their four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn.
Robert Wesner website
BROOKE WESNER, CO-FOUNDER, started dance at age five under Hellie Schussler for her pre-professional training. Her presence on stage has been said to offer "lyrical melodrama" and "a most prominent...elegance"(The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star). After studying with master teachers such as Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Basil Thompson, Brooke started her professional career with the Milwaukee Ballet. With Ballet Arizona she performed the "Snow Queen" and "Arabian" in Ib Anderson's Nutcracker, "Dark Angel" in Balanchine's Serenade, Paul Taylor's Company B; and "Desdemona" in Jose Limon's The Moore's Pavon. Brooke also performed as a soloist in Giselle; the Greentable by Kurt Josse; Lady Lost Found by Danny Ezralow; the original "Bird" in Moses Pendelton's Opus Cactus; HELLBLONDEGROOVE by Kevin O'Day; a "Saloon Girl" in Billy the Kid (while six months pregnant); and Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Rubies, and Serenade by George Balanchine. She performed with Momix in an international tour where she danced for the President of Italy and shared the stage with James Taylor. Brooke has appeared many times with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as a guest artist and with the Arizona Opera in Aida. Her performance quality and technical stamina has intensified now that she is a mother of four. Brooke is the co-founder of Neos Dance Theatre with her husband, Bobby, and they are the parents of four beautiful daughters, Genevieve, Ella, Mekah, and Arowyn.
JULIANA FREUDE is a native of Akron, Ohio and trained for twelve years at The University of Akron Dance Institute where she performed as the soloist in The Snow Maiden and received the Gene Carroll Scholarship. Juliana has appeared with The University of Akron Repertory Dance Company in many roles including a soloist in Onda 9 by Ana Lobe, and Letting Go by Travis Gallin. Juliana performed with Nashville Ballet as a trainee in the Nutcracker and was also an apprentice with the Charleston Ballet Theatre. While dancing with the Charleston Ballet she has performed original works such as Rite of Spring, Sleeping Beauty, and Great Gatsby choreographed by Jill Eathorne Bahr. She has worked with Ohio Dance Theatre performing in ballets such as Swan Lake, Fairy Forest, and has danced with Dancing Wheels performing the leading role of Helen Keller, A Tribute to her Teacher, choreographed by Christopher Fleming, and Alice in Wonderland by Bobby Wesner.
KASSANDRA LEE began her training at School of Ohio Dance Theatre under the instruction of Nancy Brenstuhl and Denise Gula. Kassandra spent many years as a pre-professional dancing alongside Ohio Dance Theatre in annual productions of the Nutcracker. She also performed in many story ballets, including Snow White and Peter & the Wolf. Kassandra took her studies to New York City to the Joffery Jazz and Contemporary summer intensive. Since joining Neos Dance Theatre, Kassandra has performed in Count…the Legend of Dracula, A 1940’s Nutcracker, and Illustrious Disillusion choreographed by Robert Wesner; also works by resident choreographer Mary-Elizabeth Fenn, Nothing In Particular and Nowhere; and guest choreographers work Flight by Penny Saunders.
ALEXANDRIA (ALI) LEBAY began dancing at a young age with Jete Dance Center, and then Christine Jones Meneer School of Dance. She became a company member with Ballet Theatre of Ohio in 2009 and was promoted to the professional division in 2011. She has performed with the company in numerous ballets such as The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, and Sleeping Beauty. She graduated from Western Reserve Academy in 2013, and has since returned numerous times to set works on the high school dance students there. She has recently returned from a semester abroad in London where she had the opportunity to dance extensively with studios throughout Europe, as well as perform with CoDa Dance Company and Third Row Dance Company in London. Ali is currently a senior at The University of Akron studying English Language Arts Education and Dance.
REBEKAH MAYFIELD began training with Ihde Rather Be Dancing and then in high school she continued her training with the University of Akron Dance Institute. While at the Dance Institute, Rebekah performed as the lead soloist in the 2015 performance of The Snow Maiden. During her four years with the Institute, Rebekah trained under Christina Foisie, Kara Stewart, Kay Eichman, and Frank Kosik. Along with her training at the Dance Institute, Rebekah attended the dance program at Firestone High School under the direction of Kelly Berick. Upon high school graduation, Rebekah stayed in her home town to pursue a BA in Dance with a minor in Business from the University of Akron. Rebekah has also had the privilege of performing works by choreographers such as Robert Wesner, Stephanie Martinez, Penny Saunders, Hernando Cortez, Joseph Morrissey, and David Shimotakahara. Rebekah has performed with Neos Dance Theatre throughout her tenure at The University of Akron.
KALEB REILLY started dancing at age 14 in Milford, MI, before moving to Jackson, MS, to continue his dance studies at Belhaven University. At Belhaven, Reilly received extensive training and performed choreography by Caleb Mitchell (Houston Ballet), Ravenna Tucker Wagnon (Royal Ballet), Stephen Rooks (Martha Graham Company), Durell Comedy (José Limón Company, Mark Morris Dance Group), and Vincent Hardy (Complexions Contemporary Ballet), among others. Reilly toured to South Korea twice as a part of the Bal Malhada dance ensemble (2014-2015) to perform in outreach and performance venues across the country. In Korea, Bal Malhada had the privilege of premiering two works by Sung Yong Kim. In 2015, Reilly made his debut with Neos Dance Theatre during their summer concert series in northeast Ohio, after which he returned to Belhaven to complete his BFA in dance performance, graduating magna cum laude in 2016. Since then, Reilly was a part of Launch: 11 with Northwest Dance Project in Portland, OR, performed as a company artist with Vivid Ballet (Hartford, CT) for the company’s inaugural season, and has now returned to Ohio for this season with Neos Dance Theatre.
ANNA TRUMBO originally from Seattle, Washington, trained at Cornish Preparatory Dance and with Stephanie Saland before continuing her training at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Her most noted performance while at Joffrey was as “Cowgirl” in Agnes De Mille’s “Rodeo,” of which The New York Times referenced her performance saying, it was “danced with verve, with [Anna] as an appealingly wistful Cowgirl...” Other performances during her study in New York included Septime Weber’s “D-Construction,” Kathryn Posin’s “San Cubano” and “Piano Concerto,” and Gerald Arpino’s “Viva Vivaldi,” and the pas de trois from “Italian Suite.” After receiving her BFA from the New School University, Anna moved to San Francisco to dance with the Oakland Ballet. During her time at Oakland Ballet she performed Ron Guidi’s “Nutcracker,” Robert Garland’s “Joplin Dances, “ Carlos Carvajal’s “Crystal Slipper,” and Michael Lowe’s “Double Happiness.” Since joining Neos Dane Theatre in 2011 she has performed pieces by director Bobby Wesner including, “Spinning Plates”, “Homage”, “Searching for the Find”, “Karelia Suite”, and Appalachian Spring, as well as “A 1940’s Nutcracker” and “Count…the Legend of Dracula”, roles Heinz Poll’s “Eight by Benny Goodman”, and in “Flight”, by Penny Saunders. During the centennial year if Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”, Anna performed as a guest with GroundWorks Dance Theater in the premier of David Shimotakahara’s Rite of Spring with the Akron Symphony Orchestra.