Laura Careless is a graduate of The Royal Ballet School, London; the Ecole-Atelier Rudra Bejart, Lausanne; and The Juilliard School, New York. She is a founding member of Company XIV and has performed with the company most recently as the Sugar Plum Fairy in their sold-out New York run of Nutcracker Rouge; as Bukowski’s women in Lover. Muse. Mockingbird. Whore; and as the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio at the Edinburgh Festival. She also teaches dance at Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech school for children and works as an assistant to Company XIV Director Austin McCormick, setting his choreography on dancers from other companies and colleges and assisting in the creation of new Company XIV productions and commissions.
Marisol Cabrera is from Santa Barbara, California. She is a graduate of UCLA and The Conservatory of Baroque Dance, where she and Austin became Baroque dance partners at the age of eight. Marisol lived and worked as a professional Classical Spanish and Flamenco dancer in Madrid. She earned her Master’s degree in Arts Education at NYU’s Gallatin School. Marisol has participated in the home productions of Le Cirque Féerique, Nutcracker Rouge, Snow White, Judge Me Paris along with traveling with the company to Puebla, Mexico.
Jeff Takacs is an actor and writer. Appearances with Company XIV include Nutcracker Rouge, Le Cirque Feerique, Judge Me Paris, Snow White and Lover.Muse.Mockingbird.Whore, which the New York Times called a “brilliantly rasping…pitch-perfect” performance. Films include Other Plans and Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty. His plays include Kaintuck and The Dogs Will Run.
Sean Gannon was born and raised in Toms River, New Jersey. Sean holds a BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College, New York. While at Marymount he performed works by Susan Marshall, Takehiro Ueyama, William Soleau and Kate Weare. He also choreographed for their DAW Student Showcase and freshman orientation which lead to the opportunity to choreograph for Dumbo Dance Festival 2011. Sean has performed works by Adam Barruch in New York and at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and with Lane Gifford Dance Company. He attended Springboard Danse Montreal where he apprenticed with Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal performing repertory by Aszure Barton as well as Shannon Gillen. Since joining Company XIV Sean has performed in Pinocchio at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland as well as Nutcracker Rouge, Dances of Vice, Denouement and Snow White. He was featured as Paris in Judge Me Paris. He is thrilled to be a part of Company XIV.
Cailan Orn grew up in Maple Grove, Minnesota. After graduating highschool she went on to study dance at Point Park University where she earned her BFA. While attending Point Park she had the great privledge to perform works by Martha Graham, Toru Shimazikis, Doug Varone, Kristofer Storey and many others. Cailan has also performed works by Marina Mascarell and Gregory Dolbashian. She is honored to have the opportunity to be a part of Company XIV.
Brett Umlauf is an American soprano living in New York. She has a degree in Classics from Dartmouth College and has completed additional coursework in languages, music and opera at Columbia University and Mannes College of Music. Since 2005, she has held the position of soloist at 10th Church of Christ, Scientist. She is a founding member of Charites, a female trio which performs unique programs of medieval, renaissance and baroque music with gesture and poetry. Brett is also a principal artist and member of the board of directors at Morningside Opera, where she has performed as Edonide in Hasse’s Alcide al Bivio and T in a new Handel pastische entitled Atra. Brett has lectured on women and Bellman’s music at Columbia University and received grants from both the Swedish Institute and the Swedish Women’s Educational Association in support of her Bellman research and performances.
Katrina Cunningham is an Oregon-grown performer and creator, who initially ventured to New York to study with the Joffrey Ballet as a Trainee. A 2011 graduate of Purchase College, she holds a BFA in Dance and has also participated in many other programs including the Movement Invention Project, Springboard Danse de Montreal, and a semester abroad at Taipei National University of the Arts. She is currently employed by Company XIV, the Mettin Movement Collective, Daniel Russo Dance Company and has danced works by Marie Chouinard, Paul Taylor, Kyle Abraham, Jiri Kyllian, Diane McIntyre, Louise Bedard, Robert Moses and Nelly Van Bommel. She has also shared her work in various venues including Reverb-APAP, the Hoover Dam Collective, the Vis A Vis Project, the Bowery Poetry Club, Dizzy’s Jazz Lincoln Center, and Birdland. She is dedicated to unifying her many creative passions of which dance, poetry and music are a few. Forever indebted to the Faye and Kennith Gang Dance Scholarship, Adopt-A-Dancer Fund, Nutcracker Scholarship, and the Sherry and Robert Weiner Scholarship for Dance, she feels blessed to be a member of Company XIV, where she is surrounded by artists of a kindred gratitude, intellect and madness.
Lea Helle was born and raised in in Germany, where she not only attended music school, but also started dancing for “Art in Motion” as well as the “New York City Dance Company”.
Upon moving to NYC, she has graduated from The Next Stage Project’s certificate program in 2012 and had the the privilege to perform and collaborate in works of Kevin Wynn, Maija Garcia, Jana Hicks, Marijke Eliasberg and many others. As the recipient of the Jim Garvey Scholarship through Dance New Amsterdam she had the opportunity to present her own choreography at the DNA Faculty Showcase in 2011.She also has been assisting Jana Hicks at the Joffrey Ballet School, continues her journalistic work through two National German Newspapers and is honored to be a part of Company XIV.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Austin trained with the Jefferson Dancers and Northwest Dance Project. He is a 2012 graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Austin has had the pleasure of performing works by artists such as: Aszure Barton, Kate Weare, and Séan Curran.
Jeff began his dance training at the age of 16 under the tutelage of Marilyn Budzynski. He graduated High School from University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Susan McCoullough. At UNCSA, he had the opportunity to perform works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. In 2011, Jeff graduated from
The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhode where he worked with Ohad Naharin, Larry Keigwin, and Jill Johnson. Jeff is currently residing in New York City where he is a member of Company XIV, TAKE Dance, and has previously danced with Ballet Hispanico and MOVE: the company. Jeff would like to thank his family for their unwavering love and support throughout his dance journey.
Steven graduated from the University of Iowa, double majoring in Dance and Vocal Performance in 2012. He started dance in 2007 with National Dance Academy in Iowa City, and started taking classical ballet from the University of Iowa Youth Ballet in February ’08. In approximately four years of college, Steven has had the opportunity to participate in two operas, performed for Martha Clarke, Hubbard Street 2’s work choreographed by Clebio Oliveira, and Trisha Brown. Steven has studied on full scholarship at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Lou Conte Dance Studio and at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City as well. Steven is honored to join Company XIV.
Since 2007, Shien Lee has provided creative event services to a diverse range of clients including Google, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Empire Hotel, Blue Note Jazz Festival, Grand Life Hotels, 13th Street Entertainment, Bowlmor Lanes and The Ace Hotel. Her innovation in creating outstanding events has garnered worldwide recognition by such media as the New York Times, MTV News, SPIN Magazine, Wall Street Journal and major international media networks including NHK (Japan), TVBS (Taiwan), Prosieben (Germany), Espresso (Italy) and more.
In 2010, Shien Lee founded Shien Lee Creative Group, a full service event planning agency specializing in highly stylized themed events. SLCG grew from a passion for extraordinary and immersive entertainment that enriches social functions and delivers breathtaking sights and sounds. To learn about the event and entertainment services provided by Shien Lee Creative Group, visit shienlee.com.