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David Bintley joined Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet after graduating from The Royal Ballet School in 1976. He made his first ballet for the company two years later and became Resident Choreographer in 1984. He was a noted character artist, particularly in the ballets of Ashton and De Valois, and won an Olivier Award for his performance in the title role of Petrushka. He left the company ten years later to join The Royal Ballet as Resident Choreographer and Principal Dancer at the invitation of Anthony Dowell, and spent six further years at Covent Garden before leaving to freelance in 1992.

In 1990 Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet relocated from London to the Midlands and became The Birmingham Royal Ballet. In 1995 Bintley succeeded Sir Peter Wright as Director, a post he went on to hold for twenty-four years. He was concurrently the Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Japan from 2010 to 2014.

In addition to the two Royal Ballet companies Bintley’s work has featured in the repertory of many of the world’s great Ballet companies; Stuttgart, Munich, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Sarasota, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Australian, Hong Kong, Bordeaux, Helsinki, P.A.C.T., Star Dancers and NBJ in Tokyo. The recipient of numerous awards, he was made a C.B.E. in the Queens Birthday Honours list in 2001 for services to dance, and Knighted in 2020.

Recent projects include the production of a new full-length production of A Comedy of Errors for Sarasota Ballet, with Music by Matthew Hindson and Designs by Dick Bird.

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Alia Kache (Chattanooga, TN) is a kinetic storyteller, dancer, educator, and costume designer that has dedicated her choreographic voice to creating honest, thought provoking theatrical experiences. She received her early dance training at the Center for Creative Arts and Chattanooga Ballet. A graduate of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. program, she subsequently joined Ailey II. Her other favorite credits include Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Companhia de Dança Contemporânea (Alcobaça, Portugal), Periapsis Music and Dance, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Opera Company Philadelphia, Metropolitan Opera, Pilobolus Creative Services, AIDA and Disney’s The Lion King.


Her choreography spans from self-produced evening-length works in notable international festivals (Cistermúsica in Alcobaça, Portugal, Dance Gallery, and FringeNYC) to commissions for Madison Ballet, Collage Dance Collective, Ballet Memphis, Ailey II, BalletX, Nashville Ballet's 2nd Company, Houston Contemporary, Chattanooga Ballet, and Associação de Dança de Leiria (Leiria, Portugal). During her time as rehearsal director of Ailey II, she assisted in choreographing “Against Their Will” - a sex and labor trafficking PSA for MTVu and industrials for Mercedes at the New York International Auto Show.


Alia is a two-time Lincoln City Fellow and was an artist in residence with RestorationART in Brooklyn, NY. She is BalletX’s 2021 Choreographic Fellow, and choreographed the hit musical “Urinetown” at NYU Tisch… and you can absolutely believe there is MORE TO COME!

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Tsi Hsi Hung is a Taiwanese dancer and choreographer. A graduate of Taipei National University of the Arts, she has worked with dance organizations around the world, including the Australian Dance Theatre, Tasdance, Expressions Dance Company, Chunky Move dancers, and many others.  

Hung’s recent choreographic works have experienced success at various festivals, choreographic competitions, and professional and student dance companies. In 2020, Hung received a Choreography Fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and was selected by the Joffrey Academy of Dance for their Winning Works performance. In 2021, Hung won Western Michigan University’s National Choreography Competition, then premiering a new work in 2022. Additional works that year included a premiere for BalletX through their Choreographer Fellowship as well as an original work inspired by the paintings of Hans Hofmann for Battery Dance Company of New York. Hung was in residence at Kennesaw State University in the summer of 2022 after premiering a new work in spring with Ballet Hispánico Professional Studies’ dance students.  

Hung was recently commissioned by the South Chicago Dance Theatre to create a new work for their 2024 season. She will also continue to work with Taipei National University of the Arts in 2023/2024, teaching and creating new work for their department. Photo Credits: Terry Lin

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Michael Fothergill's journey in the world of dance began at the Betty Hill Dance Studios in Des Moines, Iowa. His training continued under the guidance of Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato from the Harkness and Joffrey Ballets at the Robert Thomas Dancenter, and later on full scholarship at the Milwaukee Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet.

Graduating from high school ahead of schedule, Michael completed his training at American Ballet Theatre and began a performing career that spanned two decades. His artistic pursuits took him across the United States, Europe, and Asia. As a member of the Milwaukee Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, and City Ballet of San Diego, Michael performed leading roles in the classics and in works by Ashton, Balanchine, Baryshnikov, De Mille, Dow, Duato, Fokine, Fosse, Gamonet, Kylián, Massine, MacMillan, Nureyev, Prokovsky, Robbins, Tharp, Tudor, Van Fleteren, and others. His presence was highly sought after across Europe and Japan, where he performed extensively as a guest principal dancer and and worked closely with esteemed companies affiliated with Japan Ballet Association. Michael retired from performing in April of 2017 and was appointed Executive and Artistic Director of Ballet Arkansas in July of the same year. 

Ballet Arkansas has since evolved into a dynamic institution, curating an eclectic repertoire that includes the classics, masterworks of American Dance, and original works by the world's most daring dancemakers. In fewer than 5 years, Michael transformed the organization's vision and programming, eliminated its debt, and doubled its gross operating budget to exceed $1.3M. Today, the organization is ranked among the Top 100 Ballet Companies in America and has been twice named Best Performing Arts Organization in Arkansas by the Arkansas Times. 

In his role as Executive and Artistic Director, Michael oversees all elements of operations for Ballet Arkansas's 16 member professional company and its affiliated school, the Ballet Arkansas School for Dance. He's added vibrant works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Gerald Arpino, Agnes De Mille, Ma Cong, Madison Hicks, Simon Kuban, FLOCK (Alice Klock and Florian Lochner), Yuka Oba-Muschiana, Maddie Falconer, Yury Yanowsky, Yoshito Sakuraba, Ashley Green, and Mariana Oliveira to Ballet Arknasas's repertoire, showcasing a dynamic blend of classical and contemporary works that captivate audiences and critics alike. Michael has created several full-length productions for Arkansas audiences including Dracula, Sleepy Hollow, The Great Gatsby, The Nutcracker, Wonderland: Alice's Epic Adventure, and Cinderella, each to rave reviews. In the fall of 2017, Michael launched the Ballet Arkansas Children's Series, a highly-popular series of interactive and educational productions designed for young audiences, and subsequently founded Live @ The Plaza and Movement in the Parks, two free concert series that activate green spaces through the arts across Little Rock and North Little Rock. His pandemic-era holiday programming received national accolades from CBS for its innovative and inclusive approach, and the organization's broadcasts reach audiences in all 50 states and in more than 60 countries.  

In addition to his work at Ballet Arkansas, Michael is a sought after choreographer, dance educator, and consultant. His choreography has been performed throughout the United States and in Iceland, Australia, France, Romania, Dubai, Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and in Japan, and his work for film was featured within Dance the Dream at 50, an international documentary produced by acclaimed filmmaker Richard Karz. Michael is the founding director of the Cecchetti Council of America's Enhanced Men's Training Program and regularly serves on the faculty of CCA's International Summer School. He has sat on the juries of the Hokkaido Ballet Competition and CCA Classical Ballet Competition and has coached numerous dancers to success at national and international competition. Over the course of his career, Michael has taught for dozens of professional companies and schools across the USA and abroad. Notable teaching engagements include Steps on Broadway, Peridance Capezio Center, Samford University, and Belhaven University, where he was most recently a guest artist in residence. In Arkansas, Michael has lectured at UA-Little Rock, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, the Walton Arts Center, and UA-Pulaski Technical College's Center for Humanities and Arts. In recognition of his business acumen, Michael has received accolades, including being named one of the Top 100 Professionals in Arkansas in 2020 and recognized as one of the Top Influencers of 2022 by Arkansas Money & Politics Magazine. Soirée Magazine further acknowledged his impact by naming him one of only 25 Men on a Mission statewide in 2023. His accomplishments were further underscored with his induction into Who's Who in America in 2022, solidifying his status as an influential figure in today's dance world.

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Fei-Fei Dong

Winner, 2014 Concert Artists Guild Competition
Finalist, 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), pianist Fei-Fei is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She continues to build a reputation for her poetic interpretations, charming audiences with her “passion, piquancy and tenderness” and “winning stage presence” (Dallas Morning News), both in the US and internationally, including her native China.

Fei-Fei’s concert tours have taken her across the globe in concerto performances, recitals and chamber music collaborations alike. Recent projects include artist-in-residence with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic touring in Germany, a Carnegie Hall performance and tour of Spain with the New York Youth Symphony, a 19-city tour of China with her Aletheia Piano Trio, as well as concerto engagements with the Costa Rica National Symphony, Shenzhen Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Amarillo Symphony orchestras. Her 2022-23 season highlights include performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at Lincoln Center with the Pegasus Symphony as well as performances of lesser-represented repertoire such as concertos by Leroy Anderson, Florence Price, Clara Schumann, and Xiaogang Ye. 

Additional career highlights include performances with the Fort Worth Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Austin Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, Anchorage Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, and the Juilliard Orchestra. Internationally, she has performed with Canada’s Calgary Philharmonic, Germany’s Rostock and Baden-Baden Philharmonic orchestras, and in China with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and China National Symphony orchestras. 

Fei-Fei was showcased prominently as a Cliburn finalist in the documentary film, Virtuosity, about the 2013 Cliburn Competition, which premiered on PBS in August 2015. Deeply committed to sharing her joy for music and connecting with communities, Fei-Fei also engages students and community audiences through frequent school and outreach concerts and masterclasses. Born in Shenzhen, Fei-Fei began piano lessons at the age of 5. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she studied with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky, and is currently pursing Doctoral of Musical Arts degree with pianist Yefim Bronfman at Manhattan School of Music. Fei-Fei is also a member of the piano faculty at John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University and teaching associate of pianist Yefim Bronfman at Manhattan School of Music beginning in Fall 2023.

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