Chamberlain Ballet is celebrating the careers of three Texas-born dancers. The artistic staff at Chamberlain Ballet, based in Plano, Texas, highlighted three unique and talented dancers with Texas connections to work with their company dancers.
"At Chamberlain Ballet, under the artistic leadership of Kathy Chamberlain and myself, we have curated a season that celebrates the Hispanic heritage and the amazing artists that are born and bred here," said Associate Artistic Director Parisa Khobdeh.
Here are the three dancers:
Roman Mejia was born in Fort Worth, Texas and began studying ballet at age three. At age 13, he entered the Mejia Ballet Academy, then attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB), New York City Ballet’s official school, in 2014 and 2015 before entering SAB full-time for the 2015 winter term. In August 2017, Mejia became an apprentice with New York City Ballet, and he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in November 2017. Mejia was promoted to the rank of soloist in October 2021 and Principal Dancer in February 2023.
In 2019, Dance Magazine featured Mejia as one of their “25 To Watch” picks and he became a recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Foundation - USA Dance Fellowship. In 2020, Mejia was named a Clives Barnes finalist.
His repertoire includes leading roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon among many others. Most recently, he starred in Twyla Tharp’s TWYLA NOW and Tiler Peck’s Artists at the Center at New York City Center. Mejia was the Vail Dance Festival’s 2022 Artist in Residence.
Mejia will debut as Prince Cavalier in Chamberlain Ballet's The Nutcracker this Thanksgiving weekend at the Eisemann Performing Arts Center November 24-26, 2023.
Graciano's choreography has been commissioned by renowned organizations and performed at venues such as Gibney Theater, WestFest Dance Festival, Battery Dance Festival, Austin Dance Festival, Provincetown Dance Festival, and the Nantucket Dance Festival.
In 2022, the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Contenidos Artisticos invited Francisco to teach Taylor technique and create a new work, “Bach Dance Project,” for the 50th Annual Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico, uniting live musicians, local dancers, the Taylor legacy, and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Graciano is commissioned to create a new contemporary ballet for the Chamberlain Ballet company this December. This work will premiere on April 20 and 21 at the Bank of America Hall Theater at the Eisemann Performing Arts Center. Graciano plans to celebrate his Hispanic heritage by working with the music of Los Panchos.