Staff

Katherine Lewis

Artistic Director

Katherine Lewis, Artistic Director of Irish National Youth Ballet, has enjoyed a long and varied theatrical career, which in addition to classical ballet has embraced musical theatre, radio and television appearances, and vast experience as teacher and coach. As ballet consultant to The Opera House, Cork, Katherine has been responsible for the direction of their Youth Dance Performance Programme; during long-term tenures as Ballet Mistress for ballet companies Cork Ballet, Cork City Ballet and Ballet Ireland, she has been able to coach a succeeding generation of performers; as assistant to Brenda Last (Royal Ballet, UK.), Katherine was joint recipient of the Cork Arts Theatre Club Annual Award for ‘Best Production’ (Giselle, 1992).

Katherine began her dance training with the late Myrtle Lambkin in Dublin. At the age of 16, she was the first Irish student to be awarded a place at Britain’s Royal Ballet School; concurrently being the first recipient of a dance bursary from the Arts Council. A year later she became the first Princess Grace Scholar, making her the first Irish dancer to attend the prestigious Acadamie de Danse Classique in Monte Carlo, under the tutelage of the late Marika Besobrasova.

In 1979, Katherine was engaged with Irish National Ballet. For a decade, under the directorship of Joan Denise Moriarty, she performed soloist and principal roles, working closely with the choreographers Charles Czarny and Roysten Muldoon. She danced many roles, foremost amongst which was that of ‘Widow Quinn’ in the acclaimed production of Playboy of the Western World, touring both to London and France. Subsequent appearances in the commercial theatre have included, notably, the lead role of Mavis in Stepping Out (Everyman Palace, Cork), and collaborations with the Irish Operatic Repertory Company, Die Fledermaus, Lilac Time and The Desert Song.

As assistant to Director and Choreographer Domy Reiter-Soffer, Katherine was particularly involved in Roseleen Linehan’s acclaimed production of Mary Makebelieve (1993), at the Gate Theatre, Dublin.

Katherine continues to fulfil regular teaching commitments with the College of Dance, Dance Ireland, Cork City Ballet and Ballet Ireland.

Katherine is one of the founding Directors of Irish Ballet Forum (IBF).

Sarah Thornton AIDTA, Dip HE

Junior Ballet Mistress

Sarah moved to Ireland in 2009 after spending 8 years training and performing in London in both musicals and dance companies.

She started her dance training at a young age in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. In 2001 she was awarded a scholarship to the London Studio Centre where she trained for three years in dance and musical theatre. While at college, Sarah was classically trained by Brenda Last, Jane Sanig and Heather Walker and graduated with a Diploma of Higher Education in Dance and Musical Theatre.

Since graduating, Sarah was a member of the BOP Dance Company directed and choreographed by Dollie Henry, has toured the UK with West End Musicals Godspell, My Fair Lady and 42nd Street and recently performed in Annie and Beauty and the Beast here in Dublin and Cork.

Sarah started her teaching career at the Arts Education Saturday School in London and she now teaches at various schools in and around Dublin. She is delighted to be the Junior Ballet Mistress for INYB and is looking forward to being involved with future productions.

Stephen Brennan

Guest Choreographer

Stephen started dance training at the Elliott-Clarke School in Liverpool, underwent further training at Bush Davies Schools in East Grinstead, Sussex, before graduating from Central School of Ballet, London. His performing career has spanned some twenty-five years, dancing with many of Europe’s ballet companies including London Ballet Theatre, Malmö Stadsteater Balett (Sweden), The National Norwegian Ballet and The Scottish Ballet. Stephen joined Ballet Ireland in 1999 and since his appointment as Education Officer a year later has developed the company’s extensive outreach programme. He has choreographed two short works for Ballet Ireland, Figaro, Factotem (2003) and School for Lovers (2004), and twenty-one works for performance by children and young adults. In addition to his work with Ballet Ireland, Stephen fulfils regular teaching commitments as advisor on men’s training to the College of Dance, Monkstown, and frequently teaches the professional ballet class at Dance Ireland. He has collaborated several times with productions for Irish National Youth Ballet, and The Snow Queen is his sixth commission for the company.

Kilian O'Callaghan

Guest Teacher & Choreographer

Kilian O’Callaghan returned to Ireland in 2008 after many years working overseas. Born in Cork, he attended Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, attended training with Irish Ballet Company, and performed in several productions with Cork Ballet Company. After attending Royal Ballet School in London, he joined The Scottish Ballet in 1982 where he performed in Peter Darrell’s productions of Giselle, Swan Lake, Tales of Hoffmann, Cinderella, Carmen, and many other ballets. Wanting to see what else was out there, Kilian joined West Australian Ballet in 1986, and then joined Royal New Zealand Ballet in 1988, where he danced as Principal Dancer until 1994. He danced many leading roles, including Franz in Coppelia, James in La Sylphide, Prince in Nutcracker and in Cinderella, Albrecht in Giselle, and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. He also performed the title role in Hamlet and in Wolfgang Amadeus, as well as leading roles ranging from Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments to Cranko’s Pineapple Poll, as well as many new works. Kilian has performed around the world, including USA, Hong Kong, Australia, and Europe.

From 1997 to 1998, Kilian tutored fulltime at the New Zealand School of Dance. He has also been a guest tutor there on several occasions. In 2001, Kilian toured with Ballet Ireland as Ballet Master on their Nutcracker tour. Kilian has choreographed several works for the ballet companies he has worked with, as well as two musicals and the opera La Traviata for Opera New Zealand in 1995. When teaching for Wakatu Dance Theatre in (Nelson NZ), he staged several works, including excerpts from Swan Lake (2001), and a complete Sleeping Beauty incorporating classical, contemporary, hip-hop and jazz students in the production (2003). Kilian choreographed Girls Night Out for INYB’s Spring into Summer season in 2009, and String Serenade in 2010. The Company also performed String Serenade at the Firkin Crane in Cork for Cork City Ballet’s tribute evening in honour of Professor Aloys Fleishman. He has also restaged Waltz of the Flowers and the Arabian dance for the Company’s production of The Nutcracker. Kilian currently works in education, responsible for quality assurance of courses.

Breandán de Gallai

Guest Choreographer

Breandán’s professional dancing career began with Riverdance in Eurovision ‘94, and spanned 10 years. As Principal Dancer for 7 of those years, he performed in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and led the company at the opening ceremony of the World Special Olympic Games in 2003.

He has shared the stage with the principals of The Royal Ballet, Darcy Bussell and Wayne Sleep and has shared headline status with José Carreras. He has performed live for Presidents McAleese and Robinson of Ireland. He has also performed for the late King Hussein of Jordan, the Emperor of Japan, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Rainier of Monte Carlo and Queen Sonia of Norway. In 2007 he returned to Riverdance as Dance Director.

He regularly presents TV programs for RTÉ and TG4 and was external examiner for the MA in Irish dance performance in the University of Limerick from 2004 until 2008.

Breandán has completed Balor, a 90min contemporary Irish dance show to music composed by Joe Csibi.

Breandán won a scholarship to study Ballet and Modern dance at the Gus Giordano dance academy in ‘87 and holds an honours degree in Applied Physics from DCU.

He is delighted to be a student again, studying an MA in Ethnochoreology in the University of Limerick where he is the artist in residence.

Patricia Crosbie M.A.

Guest Teacher

Patricia Crosbie was born in Cork and commenced her early dance training in the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance. A member of Irish National Ballet for six years, she worked with many choreographers including Anton Dolin, Peter Darrell, Hans Brenaa, Nils Christie, Charles Czarney and Royston Maldoom. Her varied roles included Odette/Odile, Sugar Plum Fairy/Snow Queen and Cinderella and Widow Quin in Joan Denise Moriarty’s acclaimed production of The Playboy of the Western World. In London, Patricia made guest appearances with London Ballet Theatre and Vienna Festival Ballet. She performed worldwide with the renowned rock band, The Kinks, choreographing and dancing in their concerts and music videos.

Today Patricia is Ballet Mistress with Cork City Ballet where she has choreographed many ballets including Eva, Purple Rain, Sisters and the jazz ballet Bodyguard, which she reproduced for INYB in 2008. She teaches ballet, jazz ballet and ISTD modern dance theatre on the Diploma in Dance course at Colaiste Stiofan Naofa in Cork. Further teaching and coaching credits include masterclasses with INYB, Crux Dance Theatre, Siamsa Tire, Alan Foley Academy of Dance, CADA, Cork City Ballet Associates Programme, and open professional ballet classes at Dance House in Dublin and the Firkin Crane in Cork. Patricia has just completed her Masters Degree in Dance at the University of Limerick, where she is now guest teacher at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

Dr. Ciarán Crilly

Guest Conductor

Ciarán read music at King's College London, studying violin with Gerhard Schmidt at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has a masters degree from Goldsmiths, University of London. He studied orchestral conducting under Jaroslav Vodňánsky at the Prague Conservatory of Music, and his other conducting teachers have included Dominique Rouits, Gerhard Markson, Peter Eötvös and Salvador Mas Conde. His training has been generously supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, who have helped fund attendance at courses in Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. Between 2002 and 2005, Ciarán was an IRCHSS Research Scholar at University College Dublin, where he lectures on orchestral conducting and 20th-century music. In 2008, UCD awarded him a PhD in musicology based on his thesis entitled "The (Syn)Aesthetics of Modernism: Music and Visual Art in the Early Twentieth Century".

Ciarán became Principal Conductor of the Dublin Orchestral Players in 2007 and he has been Artistic Director of the UCD Symphony Orchestra since its foundation in 2002. In 2005, he was highly commended by the selection jury of the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors. Ciarán has also worked with the Dublin Symphony Orchestra, Dublin Screen Orchestra, Savaria Symphony Orchestra, Cadaqués Orchestra, Miró Chamber Orchestra, Baden Sinfonietta, RIAM Symphony Orchestra, RIAM Wind Ensemble, Dublin County Choir, UCD Choral Scholars, UCD Philharmonic Choir, EAR Ensemble, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Hibernian Orchestra and the Dublin Baroque Players. He has conducted studio recordings of feature film and television scores, music for live film screenings and is an external examiner in orchestral conducting for the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

As a violinist and violist, Ciarán's experience includes performances with RTÉ, Irish Film Orchestra, Orlando Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Dvořák Festival, Irish Sinfonia, Serenata String Quartet and the Alpha Quartet. Popular music acts that he has played with include Brian Kennedy, Alison Moyet, Vyvienne Long, Paul Weller and Elton John.

Nathan Sherman

Guest Conductor

Nathan Sherman graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2005, and went on to study with Paul Silverthorne at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and with Ashan Pillai at the Escuela Superior de Musica de Catalunya.

Nathan frequently performs with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and has played with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and the European Union Chamber Orchestra. He was invited to be guest leader of the Valles Symphony Orchestra in Barcelona.

From 2006-2008 he was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra where he had the privilege to work with world renowned conductors and soloists. He is also an active chamber musician performing regularly with his group The Ficino Trio. In 2011 he was awarded a bursary from NUI Maynooth for an MA Musicology, where he researched links between Baroque and Modern violin pedagogy.

As a conductor, he has conducted the Dublin Symphony Orchestra, and his own group the Orchestra of the Four Provinces. He is also involved in conducting many community orchestras.

Ewa Figaszewska

Guest Photographer

Ewa was born in Poland and graduated from the University of Silesia in Katowice. She moved to the UK in 2003 where she started to photograph. Photography has quickly become the greatest joy in her life. In 2007, after mastering her photography skills in the UK, Ewa moved to Ireland and started cooperating with dance theatre. Capturing dance and movement has become her addiction and real passion. So far she has cooperated with Irish National Youth Ballet, Dublin Youth Dance Company, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Monica Loughman Ballet, Flamenco Ireland, Dance Theatre of Ireland as well as independent dance projects such as The House of Crossed Destinies at Project Arts Centre in Dublin, Nic Green Dublin edition of Trilogy during ABSOLUT Fringe Festival, All Ireland Dance Experiment at Helix Theatre, Admit One, a dance film, a part of RTE Dance on the Box series and many more.

Apart from dance theatre Ewa has also cooperated with festivals including: Festival of World Cultures, ABSOLUT Fringe Festival, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival and charity & social events.

She has had the great pleasure of working with Irish musician and song-writer Luka Bloom, taking all photographs promoting his 2010 worldwide tour, as well as for the 2011 2 Meter Sessies Theatre Tour in Holland with Luka Bloom and JD Kroeske. Her photograph appears on the latest Luka Bloom album cover, Dreams in America.

Over the years Ewa has developed her individual & unique style. She loves monochrome photography and seldom shoots in colour.

Ewa is a member of Visual Artists Ireland, IAA UNESCO & WPJA Wedding Photojournalist Association.

Brenda Last OBE

Guest Teacher

Trained by Biddy Pinchard, Brenda won the Adeline Genee Gold Medal and spent one year at the Royal Ballet School. In 1957 she was one of the founder members of Western Theatre Ballet which later became the Scottish Ballet.

In 1963 she joined the Royal Ballet becoming a principal dancer in 1965, dancing all major roles and appeared in Ashton's film "The Tales Of Beatrix Potter".

From 1977 - 1980 she was Artistic Director of the Norwegian National Ballet. She has taught throughout the world for the R.A.D. and given classes to the English National, Scottish, Royal New Zealand and Australian Ballet Companies. She has worked extensively with Noriko Kobayashi Ballet in Tokyo where she mounted works from the Royal Ballets repertoire. She has also been an advisor on the Dance Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Olivier Awards.

A Vice President of All England Dance, she is currently Director of Training and Fellow of the British Ballet Organisation, Patron of the Louise Browne Yorkshire Scholars, Patron of Kate Simmons Dance and Artistic Director of the Molly Lake Award. She is also a Trustee of the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund. She regularly teaches the Michael Clark Company where many of the dancers are her former students.

In December 2012 she received and OBE for Services to Dance.

Stephen Lade

Guest Pianist

Born in London, he studied Piano and Composition at the Royal Academy of Music and, later, Conducting with George Hurst. After graduating he joined the Royal Ballet's educational company Ballet for All and then transferred to Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet as Company Pianist and Staff Conductor. In 1990 he became freelance, appearing as guest Conductor with Kobayashi Ballet Tokyo, Bavarian State Ballet in Munich, Canadian National Ballet and English National Ballet. In 2005 he conducted the world premiere of Adam Cooper's "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" in Tokyo and, shortly afterwards, at Sadlers Wells. He has composed syllabus music for the British Ballet Organisation. He also tours regularly as Company Pianist with Rambert Dance.

Nolwenn Collet

Guest Pianist

Jane Magan

Guest Teacher

Brian Dungan

Guest Conductor

Brian holds a Masters (Distinction) in Music Pedagogy and Choral Conducting from the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy, Budapest, and a First Class Honours B. Mus. Ed. (with Gold Medal) from Trinity College, Dublin. He has diplomas in both piano and percussion from Trinity College, London.

Brian studied conducting with Peter Erdei in Hungary and with Bernie Sherlock as part of his college training. Via various conducting courses he has also studied with Georg Grün, David Lawrence, Volker Hempfling, Ragnar Rasmussen, Ildikó Kócsar and Robert Houlihan. Brian's conducting experience is chiefly with choirs, and he is currently the musical director of Cantairí Óga Átha Cliath Junior Choir. He is also the assistant conductor of the RIAM Percussion Ensemble. In 2014-2015 he was the conductor of Trinity Orchestra whom he conducted both in Dublin and on tour in Prague. Brian is presently studying for a Masters in Percussion at the Royal Irish Academy of Music with Richard O'Donnell (Principal Percussionist, RTÉ NSO). As a freelance percussionist he plays regularly with leading Irish ensembles including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, and Crash Ensemble.

Also a keen singer, Brian is a lay vicar choral in Christ Church Cathedral and sings on a freelance basis with many other groups. He is assistant conductor of and sings bass in the award- winning chamber choir New Dublin Voices.

Brian teaches musicianship at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and percussion at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Aside from music, Brian enjoys reading, sports of many kinds, and is very passionate about Irish language and culture.