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Masters in Dance Series

Introducing St Paul Ballet’s first ever Masters in Dance Series this summer! As dancers it is important to be able to move in different ways. This series will give SPB students, both teen and adult, an opportunity to learn different genres of dance.

Master in Dance class will be held on select Saturdays at the Fairview Ave Studio at a Drop-In rate of $15. See details on each class below. FREE parking at the studio!

Ages 9-14 OR Levels 3 & 4

Ages 15+ OR Level 5, 6 & adult students

Saturday, June 27 – Afrobrazilian dance with Marciano Silva dos Santos, Director of Contempo Physical Dance

Saturday, July 11 – Musical Theater with Sean Cackoski, recent graduate of Rider University and alumni of St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists

Saturday, August 1 – Improvisation with Max Levy, professional dancer with Staatstheater Nürnberg

Saturday, August 22 – Juggling and Mime with Peter Davison, Guest Choreographer with SPB Company

Dance Series Guest Instructors:

Marciano teaching

Marciano Silva dos Santos is a native of Brazil. He studied theater and dance at FAFI, a professional performing arts school in Vitória, Brazil. It was from this school that he found himself in contemporary dance. After his dramatic performance of the moon character in Frederico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding, he began to observe and study the body in order to develop his own dance vocabulary, a precise handling, authentic and technically defined movement style based on his own personal research. In Vitória, he was involved in three different dance companies: an Afro-Brazilian dance company (NegraO), a ballet company (Bale da Ilha), and a contemporary dance company (Homem Cia de Danca). His work for these companies earned him international critical acclaim as a dancer and had a profound impact on his artistic trajectory.

In 2006 he was recognized by the American Folkloric Society as a Brazilian folk artist of unique and exceptional ability, and since that time he has been sharing his expertise with the Minnesota dance community. Through an invitation by Patrick Scully of Patrick’s Cabaret and Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, former Alvin Ailey dancers, he joined TU Dance, led by Toni and Uri, where he was a company member for five years. He also danced for Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater and in Penumbra Theatre’s Black Nativity. Marciano quickly gained recognition for the high quality of his professional work. He was named “Best Dancer” by City Pages in 2009 and “one of the most graceful movers on any Twin Cities stage” by the Star Tribune in 2010.

Over the past couple years Marciano has received support for his choreographic work including a Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant in 2010 to research the intersections of contemporary dance and capoeira and a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Arts Activities Grant in 2011 to produce his first-full length work, Motirô, for Contempo Physical Dance. In June 2011 he was selected by the Cowles Center to attend the Minnesota Dance Lab, a part of the National Dance Project’s Regional Dance Development Initiative, at the College of St. Benedict. Through his extensive research, Marciano has developed a distinct and irresistible fusion of Afro-Brazilian dance, capoeira and contemporary dance. His movement style has been named an “original dance language.” He utilizes this style as artistic director and choreographer for Contempo Physical Dance, and his style continues to grow. Marciano’s artistic philosophy is that contemporary dance is an art of movement, and that movement ideas should be developed at every instant. He is interested in constantly pushing the limits of human physicality and challenging the body with vibrant new movement and detailed sensibilities. In addition to the work with his company, Contempo Physical Dance, Marciano also teaches Afro-Brazilian contemporary dance for the University of Minnesota dance program, and offers workshops and residencies at various educational institutions.

Mary Coats – Due to an unforeseen event Mary won’t be able to join us on Saturday but she has invited a bright, new talent, Sean Cackoski to conduct the musical theater workshops. We are fortunate Sean is in the Twin Cities for the summer and he is excited to work with SPB.

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Sean Cackoski
 is a performer and creator in the theatre. A recent graduate of Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, he has performed and created work across the United States and abroad. At Rider he created movement for Machinal, Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, and assistant directed The Lucky Stiff and The Human Heart Cabaret. He created a one-man devised physical theatre piece, Why Should the Fire Die?, which was performed in London and the 
United States. As a performer, Sean has appeared at the Guthrie Theatre, the Ordway Theatre, and regionally across the U.S. His studies will continue this autumn at École Internationale de Théàtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France.    Sean’s website


Max Levy was born in Japan, where he began his ballet training. He moved to Colorado in 2001, training at the Boulder Ballet School under the direction of Peter Davison, Ana Claire, and Rob Kuykendall before he completed his studies in 2008 at the Trainee Program with San Francisco Ballet under Lola de Avila, Jorge Esquivel, Parrish Maynard, and Jean-Yves Esquerre. In 2007 and 2008, he took part in Forsythe Improvisation Workshops taught be Amy Raymond and Natalie Thomas. In the same year, he was engaged with American Repertory Ballet before joining North Carolina Dance Theater in 2009. Since 2011 he has been dancing with the State Ballet of Nuremberg. He has danced works by Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger, Crystal Pite, Nacho Duato, Jon Neumeier, Goyo Montero, Jiri Bubeniceck, and Twyla Tharp.

Max grew up dancing at Boulder Ballet with Artistic Director/Company Dancer Zoé Emilie Henrot and Company Member/SPB Communications Manager Brittany Adams.


Peter Davison is from Santa Monica, California. His boyhood idols were Alexander Calder and Batman, influences that led to training in visual art, juggling and dance. While a teenager, Peter began his career street performing in Los Angeles, and appeared as one of ten white-faced jugglers in the movie “Xanadu” with Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John.

Peter moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1980 and began his dance training: ballet with Larry Boyette, Ana Claire, Barbara Demaree, Finis Jhung and Donald Mahler; modern dance with Danelle Helander, and tap with Susan Hadley and Lynn Dally, among others. In 1982 Peter became a founding member of the juggling/movement company Airjazz, with whom he toured for ten years, appearing at venues such as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, Hong Kong Arts Festival, and on national TV programs in seven countries, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Peter has also performed as a dancer with the David Taylor Dance Theater, Jan Justis Dance Company, Kim Robards Dance, 3rd Law Dance/Theater, and has performed principal character roles with Boulder Ballet since 1987.

As a solo performer, Peter has appeared at festivals and theaters throughout the United States and internationally including the Carmel/California Performing Arts Festival, Utah State Arts Tour, Cincinnati Playhouse, Encuentro de Malabaristas in Spain, New England New Vaudeville Festival, Seattle’s Moisture Festival, and the 5-3-1 Festival of New Juggling and Object Theater in Finland. His solo TV appearances include the CBS, BBC and Fox networks.

Peter has received numerous awards and grants including the 1982 National Juggling Championships (First Place), 1995 Arts Innovation Award (Colorado), 1997 Colorado Arts Council Fellowship, and the 2009 Ballet Builders Award for New Choreography from New Choreographers on Pointe (New York City).

Also an active educator, Peter has been a teacher in residence at Celebration Barn Theater (Maine), The Lecoq Theater Program of Naropa University (Boulder), and the national circus schools of France and Quebec, under the direction of Cirque du Soleil director Guy Caron. He has taught numerous workshops in public schools, and as a faculty member of Boulder Ballet School (Colorado), Peter teaches multi-disciplinary movement, including the unique Boyz Dance program that introduces male students to the world of dance through physical theater and object manipulation.

Since 2004, Peter has been Co-Artistic Director of Boulder Ballet, a professional company based in Boulder, Colorado. He has choreographed numerous works for Boulder Ballet and several other dance companies. Excerpts from his ballet with objects Cirque D’Amour were performed at the 2009 Ballet Builders Showcase at the Dicapo Opera Theater in New York City.