Thomas Vacanti received his dance training at the Festival Ballet of New York, Boston Ballet, and Skidmore College. He danced professionally with The Florida Ballet, Tampa Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet Mississippi, Ballet Michigan and Ballet de Panama. He was one of ten dancers chosen nationally, by the prestigious Jacob's Pillow, to represent the USA in their Russian/American Exchange Program. He worked with internationally renowned choreographers and teachers while performing extensively throughout Russia.
Upon his return to the USA, he became co-director of The North Atlantic Ballet in Boston, staging and choreographing full-length ballets, and was also Artistic Director at the Academy of Performing Arts of Cape Cod. Thomas is currently Co-Artistic Director of the Pioneer Valley Ballet and the PVB Repertory Project in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has received many awards and grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Cape Cod Foundation for the Arts for his choreography and public school work and has choreographed for many theatre and dance companies. Recently, he premiered three original works at the North Carolina Dance Festival sponsored by the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Thomas holds a B.S. in Dance from Skidmore College, an M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Smith College, and a Certificate Degree in Costume Design from Boston University. In additon to UMass Amherst, he is also currently on faculty at Amherst College
A native of Venezuela, Gianni Di Marco began his dance training in 1981 in the Professional Division of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in Canada. He has also studied with The National Ballet of Canada, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba and in Banff.
Di Marco joined Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1988 and was promoted to second soloist in 1990 and then first soloist the following year. He joined Boston Ballet in 1995, retiring in 2005. Di Marco has also danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Germany’s Opera Leipzig Ballet. Providence audiences have been delighted by his guest appearance with Festival Ballet Providence, including Gamache in Don Quixote and the King in The Princess and the Pea.
Di Marco has created a number of works for a variety of institutions throughout the region, including many Boston Ballet fundraising galas, such as Dance on the Top Floor and Raw Dance. Di Marco’s short works—Killing Time, Amphibious Love and Gracias a La Vida—have been performed for Festival Ballet Providence’s Up CLOSE, on HOPE series. His previous commissions by Festival Ballet Providence include Schéhérazade (2005), Azucar (2006) andEl Amor Brujo (2007).
Di Marco was named principal of City Dance in 2005, Boston Ballet’s outreach program which affects more than 3,000 Boston public school children a year, and he also teachesBoston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance Program, created for children with Down Syndrome. He has recently started a new program for kids with Autism. He is co-artistic director of The Boston Conservatory's Summer Dance Intensive.
Andrew Kelley originally trained with Jurgen Schneider and David Shields in Massachusetts. In 1984 he was invited by the choreographer Hans van Manen to move to Amsterdam where he joined Dutch National Ballet under the direction of Rudi van Dantzig. In 1989 he was promoted to Second Soloist after performing the world premiere of a ballet by Carolyn Carlson, who created the leading role for him. Director Wayne Eagling promoted him to First Soloist in 1991.
His repertoire included the leading roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King as well as roles in Four Last Songs, Monument for a Dead Boy (van Dantzig), Five Tangos (van Manen), Seventh Symphony (van Schayk), Voluntaries (Tetley) Symphonic Variations and Cinderella (Ashton). He retired from performing in 2001.From 2001-2003, he was a teacher at the Amsterdam Hoogschool Voor while studying pedagogy with Jeno Gal and Susza Kun, methodology with Eva Ehn, music with Gitta Riech and pas de deux with Adol Hamzin at the Hungarian Dance Academy. He graduated with an MFA summa cum laude in 2004.Kelley was a ballet master with the Hungarian Dance Academy and Hungarian National Ballet from 2003-2009 and with the Bayerisches Stadtsballett in Munich from 2009-2011. Kelley has been a guest teacher for Dutch National Ballet, Ballet Dortmund and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. He joined the faculty of Boston Ballet School in 2014.