Monica Ordoñez, Founding Artistic Director
Monica Ordoñez is originally from Miami, Florida. Monica began taking ballet classes at the age of three. As she furthered her training in jazz, modern, lyrical, and contemporary, she discovered her passion for choreography at a young age. Monica developed and choreographed for an advanced performing group in high school and went on to train at Miami Dade College, The University of South Florida, and Tulane University in Ballet and Modern. She has been actively choreographing in Miami, New York, and New Orleans for the past 10 years. Monica was a choreographer in Revolutions Dance Company, a mixed abilities company in Tampa. Monica earned her BA in Dance Studies and Paralegal Studies from Tulane in 2012 and was selected as a choreographer for the Marigny Opera House New Dance Festival in 2013. She also choreographed a production of West Side Story for St. Martin's Episcopal School in 2013. She is honored to have been nominated for six Big Easy Classical Arts Awards: 2014 for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Modern Dance Presentation, 2015 for Outstanding Modern Dance Presentation (The UpStairs Lounge), 2016 for Outstanding Dance Presentation(Being Human), and 2017 for Outstanding Choreography Evening Length, Journey of Dreamers, and Outstanding Ensemble (Melange). Monica is thrilled to have won her first Big Easy Award for Outstanding Choreography Evening Length, Journey of Dreamers!
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. Alexa got her pet box turtle Mertis, who is older than she is, when she was in first grade.
Photos by Emily Apple.
April grew up dancing in southwestern Pennsylvania and graduated with a BA in Dance from Point Park University. While living in Pittsburgh she performed as a guest artist with H2O Contemporary Dance and The Pillow Project, and taught youth dance classes in the surrounding area. She then relocated to New York City where she danced with Kaley Pruitt Dance, Becky Radway Dance Project, Counter Tides Dance, Mark Dendy Dance and Theater Projects, and many others. Her choreography has been shown at Choreography on the Edge at the Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY and as a part of The Thing About Art, See; A Choreographer's Showcase in Rhinebeck, NY. She also had the pleasure of working in Mark Morris Dance Group's Dance for PD program. She performed nationally and internationally with the New Orleans based Lightwire Theater for several years and now happily calls the Crescent City Home. She works for New Orleans Ballet Association and enjoys helping with their weekly Dance for Parkinson’s class. She also works for Pamela Quinn, a dancer and movement specialist for people with Parkinson’s Disease.
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.
Clinton O. Parfait
Clinton O. Parfait is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. He started his training in Baton Rouge at Louisiana State University in modern, jazz and ballet. At LSU, Clinton was given the opportunity to be a dancer and choreographer of the LSU Dance Ensemble. He also trained in modern and ballet with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre and was part of their corps de ballet in The Nutcracker and Cinderella. Clinton has attended masterclasses with Blakeley White-McGuire from the Martha Graham Dance Company, The Paul Taylor Dance Company (Taylor 2), and Scott Putman from the Virginia Commonwealth University. In Spring of 2011, he danced with Of Moving Colors for their show, Kick it Out, that welcomed children of the Baton Rouge community to dance alongside local professionals. In New Orleans, Clinton is a bartender and can play the oboe and clarinet. He is excited to join Mélange and is proud to be moving again and sharing his passion.
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.
Emily Rose Apple is a graduate of Tulane University, where she earned a B.A. in Dance and premiered two contemporary works of original choreography. She performed with the Newcomb Dance Company and received the Jill Karp Prize for dance choreography. Emily grew up in New Jersey, but now truly considers New Orleans her home while she pursues her artistic journey as a dancer and photographer. She is a certified Zumba instructor and loves teaching at barre3 New Orleans, where athleticism and grace are combined together to balance the body. Emily is a talented photographer working with the New Orleans Dance Network on the Crescent City Duets Project. Emily has always had a passion for sharing her love of art and movement with the community
Hannah Bahney is originally from Myerstown, Pennsylvania. Hannah began taking dance classes at the age of four with Movement Laboratory School of Dance. She has trained in various styles including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, and hip hop. While in high school she participated in three Goodwill thru Dance tours, traveling to Italy, Paris, and New York City. While pursuing a Masters of Architecture degree from Tulane University, she continued her dance training, and performed with the Newcomb Dance Company and other student-choreographed performances. Hannah is currently working at an architecture firm in New Orleans and helping Mélange with her talent as a graphic designer.
Joshua P. Bell
Joshua P. Bell was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Clinton, Mississippi. He is a young man full of many passions, dreams, and visions. One of those passions being dance and movement. In the spring of 2016 he graduated with a bachelor of art in dance from Belhaven University. Under the guidance of Cynthia Newland, Chair of Belhaven’s dance department, he flourished as a performer, choreographer, and overall artist. He had the opportunity to tour South Korea with a small dance ensemble called Bal Malhada the summer of 2015. He has completed his third season with Marigny
Opera Ballet in New Orleans, Louisiana. He worked as a guest artist in a principal role with Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet in 2018. He continues to pursue artistic expression through the medium of dance by connecting with various artist, performers, directors, and choreographers.
Kendra Unique is a performer and creator originally from the DMV area, where she studied theatre and dance at Shenandoah Conservatory. Now based in New Orleans, she dabbles in just about everything, including acting, singing, dancing, choreographing, and directing, all for both film and stage. Her favorite and most frequent discipline is karaoke. Her recent musical theatre forays include playing Lorraine in Hairspray with Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre and choreographing Grease and Willy Wonka at St. Martin's Episcopal School. Kendra can be found in several independent films such as Alien, Baby! and Pink Elephant which is now available on Amazon! Another of her film projects, The God Inside My Ear, will be playing at over a dozen indie film festivals across the US and Canada in the fall of 2018. Kendra is serving on the selection and planning committees for Infringe Fest New Orleans which helps to bring the most bold DIY theatre to many downriver stages.
Kentro Mason Taylor
Kentro Mason is a 24 year old dancer from Baton Rouge, LA. He began dance in highschool at the historic McKinley Senior High in Baton Rouge where he received basic ballet, hip-hop, and jazz training. He then received scholarships to attended Loyola University of New Orleans for Opera and ballet. There he cross trained Vaganova and Checchetti as well as trained at Tulane University in a focus of Vaganova technique. He then continued on to join The Marigny Opera House ballet as an apprentice for a season and joined New Orleans Ballet Theater for a season as well. Throughout his dance career he has performed many recognizable works such as: Giselle, Nutcracker, Street Scene, Don Quixote, and La Bayedere. He has also performed for special artists Tyler Perry and Debbie Allen. August 2018, Kentro joined Melange Dance Company and is delighted to be here for another wonderful showcase.
Kevin Arredondo is a 28 year young danseur hailing from Vicksburg, Mississippi. With years of pre-professional training and additional college mentoring at Belhaven University, he was fortunate enough to become proficient in several classical ballet techniques including RAD, Vaganova, and Cecchetti. In recent years Kevin has performed with The Greensboro Ballet, Winston-Salem Festival Ballet, Georgia Ballet, Ballet Mississippi, Tupelo Ballet, and Missouri Ballet Theatre appearing in notable works including; “Coppellía”, “Dracula”, Nutcracker”, “Le Corsaire”, “Giselle”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and “Snow White”. He has also appeared on live television as a dancer and singer for the annual Miss Mississippi Pageant 4 separate times. Kevin is very excited to have his first appearance with Mèlange Dance Company.
Kevin Macku is excited to join the Melange Dance Company on stage! He is a Cincinnati native, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Dramatic Performance. He went on to study Viewpoints and Suzuki in Saratoga with the SITI Company. In New Orleans, he played Borachio in NOLA Shakespeare Festival’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Mutius in See 'em On Stage's TITUS ANDRONICUS, Yeshua (Jesus) in 24 HOURS IN THE LIFE OF PONTIUS PILATE, and he has performed multiple times as a voice actor on the OLDE TYME RADIO HOUR on WAMF 90.3. He is also an avid devised theater performer, and co-directed and performed in TALL TALES & KITCHEN TABLE TRAVELOGUES at Catapult, and performed in AND THE STARS LOOK VERY DIFFERENT TODAY with SHIFT, an artist collective based here in New Orleans.
Palmer Mills is originally from Houston, Texas. She received her early dance training from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, musical theater, and composition. She furthered her classical dance education through intensives at Point Park University and Perry Mansfield, where she also studied aerial dance. Palmer continued to take classes and perform at Tulane University while studying to receive her BA in Political Science, Sociology, and English. She is currently working at trepwise, a growth consulting firm that works with companies in the non-profit, for-profit, and public sectors to help build a thriving New Orleans community.
Sarah Noelle Prescott
Sarah Noelle Prescott is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher who believes in the intrinsic value of art and the incalculable importance of dance. Prescott achieved a BFA in dance performance and choreography from Belhaven University in 2017 where she graduated with honors and received the Bezalel Award for outstanding artistic achievement. In addition to her work as a performer, Prescott has choreographed numerous original works independently for various showcases, concerts, and festivals including the American College Dance Association Regional Gala Concert, the Mississippi Museum of Art gallery opening of When Modern was Contemporary, The Mississippi Lights Festival, and Artivism Dance Theatre’s MOVEment for Change. Prescott is a former dancer and choreographer for Kinetic Etchings Dance Project with whom she traveled to Malawi, Africa to perform, teach, and engage in cultural dance exchanges. Upon moving to New Orleans, Prescott joined the Marigny Opera Ballet for their 2017-2018 season and is now thrilled be joining Mélange Dance Company as she continues to pursue artistic opportunities to create, share, and inspire dance which challenges and stimulated minds, hearts, and imaginations.
Photos by Hannah Bahney.