Chase Buntrock is from Chicago, Illinois. After attending Chicago Academy for the Arts, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Juilliard School. Following graduation, Chase was a dancer with Ballet BC under the direction of Emily Molnar. He has internationally performed works by Crystal Pite, Sharon Eyal, Merce Cunningham, Roy Assaf, and more. Chase currently resides in New York City. Other than dancing, Chase dedicates his time to styling and movement directing for various digital shoots and live performances.
Photo by Skye Schmidt
Ariel Clarke is a dancer, educator, model, and most recently a 2023 Ballare Carmel Inaugural Fellow under the direction of Lillian Barbeito. She has accumulated a wide range of educational and performative experiences through various different programs, both national and international. From multiple Gaga Labs, to BODYTRAFFIC’s full-length summer program, to Springboard Danse Montreal’s 20th edition in 2022, where she had the opportunity to perform works by Juliano Nuñes with Ballet Jazz Montreal and Kelly Ashton Todd. Ariel has performed new creations by Alex Ketley, MiCaela Taylor, Rena Butler, Clementine Deluy, Niharika Senapati, Gabrielle Clarke, and Gianna Burright.
Being a creator, Ariel has presented multiple works for different festivals and has branched into the film industry in partnership with several music artists and The Raven Foundation for their educational film series exploring the Theory of Mimesis, something she is extremely proud of. She finds great joy in sharing her passion for dance and has taught for many years to a variety of different ages and levels at numerous institutions. Drawing inspiration from all aspects of her life, her hunger and curiosity for new information and understanding propel her to constantly question and step beyond her own boundaries within her pursuits and creative explorations.
Performance artist Javon “Ja’Moon” Jones discovered his love for movement in his hometown of Detroit, MI. Following his graduation from Cass Technical High School he went on to train, traditionally, at The Juilliard School. During his college tenure “Ja’Moon” has performed works by some of the leading names in the concert dance community; Crystal Pite, Jose Limon, Bill T Jones and more. “Ja’Moon” took a leave from his formal studies to join in the thoughtfulness of A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham. He has had the privilege to dance works that have allowed him to move audiences from stages at The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Peter J. Sharp, and Ralph Freud Playhouse. “Ja’Moon” is developing his own sacred illustrations as an independent performance artist while also continuing to expand through his ventures as a bi-coastal freelance artist.
photo by Skye Schmidt
Morgan Reed McDaniel (Buffalo, NY) began dancing at the age of 3 at Buffalo City Ballet under Marvin Askew and continued her dance training at Configuration School of Ballet under Joseph Cipolla. In 2020, Morgan graduated summa cum laude from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. While at Ailey, she worked with esteemed teachers and choreographers including Ana Marie Forsythe, Gabrielle Lamb, Adam Barruch, Milton Myers and Francesca Harper and performed excerpts of iconic works by Alvin Ailey. After graduating, Morgan moved to Chicago to join South Chicago Dance Theatre as an emerging artist. Soon after, she joined Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre where she worked with choreographers including Monique Haley, Shannon Alvis, Katlin Bourgeois and Stephanie Martinez. In 2021, Morgan joined Visceral Dance Chicago as a company artist where she performed works by Nick Pupillo, Marguerite Donlon, Mike Tyus, Harrison McEldowney and Erin Kilmurray. Morgan currently works as a freelance artist based in Chicago.
Natalie Leibert trained at various dance schools in the Los Angeles area including Westside Dance Project in Redondo Beach and Pacific Festival Ballet in Agoura Hills. She continued training at the Miami City Ballet School and Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. Leibert has attended workshops and programs at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, the Joffrey Ballet School, the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Juilliard School, Nederlands Dans Theater and Batsheva Dance Company. Natalie joined Hubbard Street 2 Dance Chicago in August 2014, and danced there through 2017. She danced with LA-based BODYTRAFFIC, where she worked from 2017 through 2020. She currently freelances based in LA, and has done projects such as LA Opera’s Tannhauser and work with James Gregg. Natalie joined Ballare Carmel in September 2021.
Photo by Lee Gumbs
Matt Luck is a contemporary dancer and choreographer based in Los Angeles, CA. Presently, Luck dances as a part of The TL Collective. Recent performances include works premiered at Vilar PAC’s Residency Program, Jacob’s Pillow, Springboard Danse Montréal, and The Wallis Center for Performing Arts, each choreographed by Micaela Taylor. In addition to other international performances, Luck has traveled throughout the United States and Europe instructing classes. He is currently training alongside performing artist Adam Linder in Los Angeles and producing stage work for the band Fig’s Vision. Matt is represented for commercial work by Clear Talent Group and is looking forward to his fourth season with The TL Collective. He started dancing with Ballare Carmel in 2021.
Anthony Pucci, born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, began his dance training at Studio Dance under Michele Burke. He attended the University of Iowa, where he received a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography. Anthony has danced with Ballare Carmel, NW Dance Project, PARA.MAR Dance Theatre, and Post:Ballet. He has been privileged to create new works with choreographers such as Ihsan Rustem, Stephanie Martinez, Patrick Delcroix, Wen Wei Wang, Cayetano Soto, Danielle Agami, Luca Vegetti, and Jennifer Archibald. He will appear as the soloist in a dance film by the visually stunning Tori Lawrence & Co later this year. Anthony is also a 200-hour certified yoga instructor through the Yoga Alliance. He is a founding member of Ballare Carmel.
Photo by Michael Slobobian
Skye Schmidt is a dancer and photographer hailing from Southern California. She trained in Vaganova method classical ballet at Southland Ballet Academy with Salwa Rizkalla from the age of 4. She earned a BFA in Dance Performance from UC Irvine, where she was the recipient of the William J. Gillespie Scholarship and awarded for Excellence in Dance Performance. Skye danced professionally with Festival Ballet Theatre from 2012-2018, where she performed principal and soloist roles in classical ballets and contemporary works. She has also danced for BalletRED, Benita Bike’s DanceArt, Contempo Arts Productions, MULTIPLEX Dance, and Re:borN Dance Interactive. Skye is a founding member of Ballare Carmel and was commissioned to choreograph and perform a multimedia piece for the company in 2021. Some of Skye’s favorite performances include: Florence + The Machine “Spectrum” music video, YAGP’s “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” tour, motion capture for Kena: Bridge of Spirits, and American Ballet Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Mark Baer
Hope Spears was born in Vietnam and grew up in West Palm Beach, FL. She trained at various local dance studios including Bak Middle School of the Arts and Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. She attended George Mason University where she received her BFA in Dance in 2021. During her college career, Hope performed works by Kyle Abraham, Micaela Taylor, and Hope Boykin as well as works by her peers and faculty at Mason. Hope has continued her training at summer programs with Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, NW Dance Project, and Ballare Carmel as well as the virtual intensives of BODYTRAFFIC, the TL Collective, And Doug Varone. Since graduating, Hope has worked with Coalesce Virtual Dance Company, based in Chicago, LA Dance Project directed by Benjamin Millepied, and now, Ballare Carmel.
Photo by Lorrin Brubaker
Bio coming soon.
Photo by Martin Linss
Bio coming soon.
Photo by Lindsay Rosenberg
Babatunji Johnson was born in Portland, Oregon and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. He received his formal dance training from Center Stage Dance Studio and the University of Hawaii in Hilo before moving to San Francisco to train at the LINES Ballet Training Program on full scholarship.
Babatunji has performed works by diverse choreographers such as Sidra Bell, Amanda Miller, Gregory Dawson, and Maurya Kerr. He has performed overseas in Japan and China and danced with Philein/ZiRu productions, Maurya Kerr’s tinypistol, and Dawson|Wallace Dance Project. Babatunji joined LINES Ballet in 2013 and danced with the company for six years before returning as a guest artist in 2021. Currently, he also dances with Post:Ballet and SFDanceworks in San Francisco.
Photography © RJ Muna
As a project-based company, we are ongoingly expanding our network of artists. If you are interested in dancing with Ballare Carmel, please send your materials (photos, resume/biography, and video links) along with a brief statement of interest to: Lillian@carmeldancefestival.org