Faculty & Staff
Arantxa Ochoa, School Director
Arantxa Ochoa was born in Valladolid, Spain, where she took her first artistic steps as a rhythmic gymnast. At age 12, she moved to Madrid to study at the Centro de Danza with Victor Ullate. Ms. Ochoa continued her studies at the Academie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo. Three years later, she came to the United States and studied at The School of American Ballet. Her renowned teachers include Stanley Williams, Truman Finney, Suky Schorer, and Marika Besobrasova.
Ms. Ochoa spent three years at Hartford Ballet before joining Pennsylvania Ballet in 1996 as a member of the Corps de Ballet. She was promoted to Soloist in 1999 and to Principal in 2001.
Ms. Ochoa has danced many starring roles, including Odette/Odile in the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Swanilda in Coppélia, Lise in La Fille mal gardée, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, and the title roles in James Kudelka's The Firebird and Marius Petipa's Giselle. Her extensive repertoire of George Balanchine ballets includes the leads in Apollo, Agon, Bugaku, Ballo della Regina, Concerto Barocco, Divertimento 15, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Serenade, Theme and Variations, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?.
Ms. Ochoa has also danced leading roles in Jerome Robbins' The Concert and In the Night, Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room and Nine Sinatra Songs, Peter Martins' Fearful Symmetries and Waltz Project, and William Forsythe's In the middle, somewhat elevated, and has originated many roles in works by Matthew Neenan, Kirk Peterson, Jorma Elo, and Benjamin Millepied, among others.
Ms. Ochoa has had the opportunity to participate in many galas and festivals throughout Europe, including the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, The Stars of the New York Ballet in London, the Sintra Festival in Portugal, the Northwest Phalen Tanz in Germany, and with the Chicago Ballet. In addition to her performing career, Ms. Ochoa has been a teacher, leading master classes in Boston, Philadelphia, and Connecticut. She is married to former Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer Alexander Iziliaev, and they have a son.
Laura Bowman, Instructor
Laura Bowman began dancing at age three in Raleigh, NC. She trained with the Raleigh School of Ballet, where she studied under Ann Vorus and Mary LeGere, a former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist. Her training was supplemented by summer intensives with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Houston Ballet School. Ms. Bowman also had the opportunity to perform Rubies from Jewels with Carolina Ballet, under the direction of former Pennsylvania Ballet Artistic Director Robert Weiss. During the 2000-2001 Season, Ms. Bowman attended The Rock School for Dance Education under full scholarship, and performed in Pennsylvania Ballet's productions of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™, The Taming of the Shrew, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Ms. Bowman became an Apprentice with Pennsylvania Ballet in August 2001 and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in September 2003. Since joining the Company, she has danced the principal role in Agnes de Mille's Rodeo and has been featured in Peter Martins' Barber Violin Concerto, the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake, Margo Sappington's Rodin, Mis En Vie, Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs, George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Raymonda Variations (Variation II), Kevin O'day's Quartet for IV, Paul Taylor's Company B, Matthew Neenan's 11:11 and Penumbra, Jerome Robbins' N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, and William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.
Martha Chamberlain, Instructor
Martha Chamberlain began her dance training at age five at the Fellowship House in Media, Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised. She went on to study with Donna Muzio, Paul Klocke, and Cherie Noble at West Chester’s Dance Center and The School of American Ballet’s Summer Program from 1985 to 1988. She is a graduate of Friends Select and The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Ms. Chamberlain joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice in the fall of 1989 and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet three months later. She was promoted to Soloist in 1997 and to Principal after her premiere as Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet in March 2000.
Ms. Chamberlain has danced several leading roles including Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppélia, Myrtha in Giselle, Dewdrop and Sugarplum Fairy in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, and Helena and Divertissement pas de deux in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has also had featured roles in George Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Western Symphony, Serenade, Apollo and “Rubies” from Jewels; Paul Taylor’s Company B and Arden Court; and Christopher d’Amboise’s Franklin Court. She has created roles for such choreographers as Trey McIntryre, Kevin O’Day, Jessica Lang, Jeffrey Gribler, and Matthew Neenan; and she has had the opportunity to dance internationally in Portugal, England, and Germany.
Ms. Chamberlain has designed costumes for Matthew Neenan’s The Crossed Line, 11:11, As It’s Going, Keep, and At the border as well as for choreographers such as Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Jorma Elo, Helen Pickett Zane Booker, and Meredith Rainey. Her jewelry has been sold in stores in Philadelphia and New York. Ms. Chamberlain retired as a Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet in April 2011, after an incredible 21-year career on stage.
Ainsliewear, The official leotard of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Alexei Borovik was born in Russia and began his ballet training at age 10 at the Perm Ballet Academy. Upon graduating in 1979, he was invited to join the Perm Ballet Theatre. His reputation quickly established itself, and in 1982 he was elevated to Premiere Dancer.
Mr. Borovik was awarded the Second Prize at The Artistic Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1984. In 1987, he won the Gold Medal at The Sixth Concourse International Ballet Festival in Peru and was honored with a decoration as “Merited Artist of Russia.”
A highly sought-after guest artist, Mr. Borovik has made numerous appearances internationally and throughout Russia. In 1997, he toured China with “The Stars of the American Ballet.” He has also toured Europe and Asia with “Stars of the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet.” In 1992, Mr. Borovik was named Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet.
His extensive repertoire includes principal roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, The Taming of the Shrew, and others. Along with the leading roles in the classical repertoire, he has been featured in many George Balanchine ballets: Apollo, Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Tarantella, Serenade, Theme and Variations, and Stars and Stripes. Mr. Borovik has also danced in such diverse pieces as Hans Van Manen’s Grosse Fugue, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk, and he has created roles in many new ballets.
In June 1997, Mr. Borovik had the prestigious honor of being invited to return to his homeland of Russia to appear as Principal Guest Artist in The Perm Ballet Theatre’s productions of Don Quixote and Giselle in celebration of their 125th Jubilee. Mr. Borovik retired as a Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet in 2006.
Zachary Hench was born in Loysville, PA, and began his training at age seven at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, where he studied for eight years. From there, he went on to train at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC.
Mr. Hench became a member of Boston Ballet II in 1993 and was invited to join Boston Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1994. He was promoted to Soloist in 1996 and Principal in 1998. While there, he danced many principal classical roles including Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrecht in Giselle, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Ivan in Christopher Wheeldon's The Firebird, Cavalier and Snow King in The Nutcracker, and featured roles in George Balanchine's Symphony in C, Serenade, Who Cares, Tarantella, Divertimento 15, and Valse Fantasie. He also danced leading roles in contemporary works such as Mark Morris' Malestrom, Merce Cunningham's Breakers, Christopher Wheeldon's Corybantic Ecstasies, Twyla Tharp's Waterbaby Bagatelles, Lila York's Celts and Ode to Joy, and Eliot Feld's Contrapose.
In 2000, Mr. Hench joined San Francisco Ballet as a Soloist, and was promoted to Principal in 2003. His repertoire of principal roles grew to include Albrecht in Helgi Tomasson's Giselle, Tomasson's Prism, Jerome Robbins' Fanfare, and Balanchine's Ballo della Regina, Allegro Brillante, and Diamonds and Emeralds in Jewels. His featured roles in contemporary ballets include Wheeldon's Continuum and Polyphonia, Peter Martins' The Waltz Project, Robbins' Glass Pieces, Nacho Duato's Without Words, and Mark Morris' A Garden.
He joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a Principal Dancer in April 2004 and danced the role of Siegfried in Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake in June 2004. Mr. Hench has also danced the lead role of Romeo in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, Colas in Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, James in La Sylphide, Dracula in Stevenson's Dracula and Oberon in George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Additional contemporary ballets include Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room and Push Comes to Shove; Hans Van Mannen's Five Tangos; Jerome Robbins' In the Night; and Matthew Neenan's 11:11, As It's Going, Keep, Carmina Burana, and At the border. Mr. Hench has also performed throughout Spain with Angel Corella's Foundation and traveled to Beijing and Shanghai in 2006 to appear with Nilas Martins' Dance Company in Don Quixote and Peter Martins' A Fool For You. Mr. Hench is married to Principal Dancer Julie Diana. They have a daughter and welcomed their second child, a son, in September 2011.
Born and raised in Sterlitamak, Russia, Alexander Iziliaev began his ballet training at age 11 at The Perm Ballet School. Upon graduating in 1992, he won the Moscow International Competition and the Perm Competition. That same year he traveled to the United States and joined the Hartford Ballet. Immediately cast in principal roles, Mr. Iziliaev also originated many roles in Kirk Peterson ballets, and he continued his training with Truman Finney.
In 1995, he was invited by Peter Martins to join the New York City Ballet. There his extensive repertoire of featured roles included George Balanchine’s Tarantella, Allegro Brillante, and The Four Temperaments; and Peter Martins’s Fearful Symmetries. Mr. Iziliaev also originated roles in Kevin O’Day’s Badchonim and Richard Tanner’s Schoenberg/Wuorinen Variations.
Mr. Iziliaev joined Pennsylvania Ballet in September 2000 as a Principal Dancer. His roles with the Company included Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppélia, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew, Prince Ivan in The Firebird, Frederick in Dracula, and James in La Sylphide. He has also danced principal roles in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Agon, Serenade, The Nutcracker and Western Symphony. Mr. Iziliaev has also performed in Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk; and has made numerous international appearances in London, Paris, Scotland, Brazil, and throughout South America. Mr. Iziliaev retired as a Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet in 2011, transitioning to his current role as the Company’s photographer and videographer.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Amy Aldridge is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and had the privilege of studying with Alonzo King, Jacques d’Amboise, Melissa Hayden, and Arthur Mitchell. Ms. Aldridge began her dance training at the School of Richmond Ballet and continued with The School of American Ballet and the Boston Ballet School.
Ms. Aldridge rose through the ranks at Pennsylvania Ballet to a promotion to Principal Dancer in 2001. Ms. Aldridge has performed principal roles in numerous works, including The Taming of the Shrew, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Sleeping Beauty, La Fille mal gardée, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, and Square Dance. She has also performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Allegro Brillante, Theme and Variations, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Apollo, Who Cares?, and Ballo della Regina. In addition, Ms. Aldridge has created original roles for Dwight Rhoden’s 2x7, Trey McIntyre’s Plush and Cantilena, Matthew Neenan’s Keep and At the border, and Jorma Elo’s Pulcinella.
Ms. Aldridge has appeared internationally as part of the Sintra Festival in Portugal, the Northwest Phalen Tanz Festival in Germany (with choreographer Kevin O’Day) and with the Stars of New York Ballet in London. In May 2004, she performed as a guest artist with New York City Ballet dancing Tarantella as part of the George Balanchine Centennial Celebrations. She has also appeared with BalletX in Matthew Neenan’s Broke Apart, Jorma Elo’s Scenes View 2, and at Jacob’s Pillow in Summer 2006.
Ainsliewear, The official leotard of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.