Monica Ordoñez, Founding Artistic Director
Monica Ordoñez is a Big Easy Award-winning choreographer based in New Orleans. Originally from Miami, Florida, she discovered her passion for choreography at a young age, rooted in a harmonious connection between movement, music, and cohesive narrative. Shortly graduating from Tulane University with a double major in Dance and Paralegal studies, she was selected by the Paul Taylor Dance Company as one of six choreographers to present work at the Marigny Opera House’s 2012 New Dance Festival, catapulting her into the dance scene in New Orleans. In 2014, Monica conceived Mélange’s mission and cofounded the company with Alexa Lambert. Monica pours enormous thought and meticulous research into her works to fulfill a vision that is purposeful, truthful, theatrical, and dynamic. She has choreographed numerous big easy award nominated productions that each uniquely integrate storytelling, history, and themes of humanity that inspire, educate, and entertain, often bringing little known stories to the forefront.. Monica is grateful to have worked with so many talented dancers, musicians, collaborators, and artists that help achieve a rich vision and is excited to continue growing and inspiring positive change in the world through dance.
Alexa Erck Lambert, Founding Executive Director
Alexa Erck Lambert is originally from Wilmette, Illinois. Alexa began taking ballet class at the age of 12 and studied at the Center of Creative Dance and Ballet Chicago. She performed with Ballet Entre Nous and Kinesis Dance Company before heading to Tulane University where she studied Cellular Biology, ballet and modern dance and performed with Newcomb Dance Company. In New Orleans, Alexa performed with Tsunami Dance Company, New Orleans Dance and Alternative Collaborations. Alexa also had the opportunity to work with teenagers at New Orleans Hope Stone to facilitate the choreography of a ‘public health’ dance. Alexa is an epidemiologist and contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adrienne Simmons is excited to be joining Mélange for the first time in their production of Fantômes. She has performed in countless productions with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre and has trained in a variety of dance styles at programs across the nation. Adrienne also works as an actor in theatre and film while studying business management and theatre at the University of New Orleans. She is currently stage managing Is God Is by Aleshea Harris with Theatre UNO, showing this November. @adriennecsimmons
Bayleigh grew up in Draper, Utah where she began dancing in a neighbors' basement to selections from The Little Mermaid. Later, after being ignored by a dance teacher when she refused to dance, Bayleigh decided that dancing is always better than not dancing and has not stopped. She studied contemporary dance, sociology, and theatre arts at Brigham Young University (BYU). There, she trained with various choreographers and artists from around the country and Europe. She's certified to teach Promethean Spark Methodology (a method of teaching life skills through dance) and worked as a coordinator for the Utah Chapter of Promethean Spark International for two years. After graduating from BYU, Bayleigh moved to New Orleans to teach 5th Grade Social Studies--which is a fun way to get a headache daily ;). In addition to Mélange Dance Company, Bayleigh dances with ELLEvate dance company and trains in Waacking and Krump with local mentors. Bayleigh is passionate about making change through dance.
Cailyn O'Hara holds a BA in Music Industry Studies with a minor in Dance from Loyola University New Orleans, and is a dance instructor at New Orleans Dance Academy. She started dancing in high school, training in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, and contemporary, and has performed in concerts at Loyola University, in Southern Voices: Dance Out Loud, Et Tu? A Show of Life, Death, and Rebirth, and Inferno. She has also performed in many musical theater productions including Loyola University's production of A Grand Night For Singing, Bay Area Houston Ballet Theater's Thoroughly Modern Millie, East End Theater Company's Catch Me If You Can, and most recently in East End Theater Company's production of Mamma Mia! as Sophie Sheridan.
Elle Ciccarone Jones
Elle C. Jones began her artistic journey in State College, Pennsylvania, where she was inspired by the rolling hills, deep forests, and rich mixture of arts culture at Penn State University. She grew up training and dancing with a pre-professional company, and went on to receive her BFA in dance from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi where she was awarded the Bezalel Award for outstanding artistic achievement. From there, she and her husband moved to New Orleans, where she directs her own dance company, ELLEvate Dance. Along with directing, Elle performs with Mélange Dance Company and The Marigny Opera Ballet, and also teaches dance and yoga at a variety of different programs in the city. In her sparse spare time, Elle takes her Chiweenie on long walks in whatever nature she can find hidden in the Big Easy.