A Minneapolis native, Mr. Sewell (he/him) moved to New York and studied at the School of American Ballet with David Howard, and began performing with ABT II. He was a lead dancer with Feld Ballets/NY for six years and has performed as a guest artist with the New York City Ballet, Zvi Gottheiner and Dancers, and Denishawn. He has choreographed more than 100 ballets for companies in the United States and around the world, and collaborated with countless other artists across disciplines.
Projects include the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, the New York State Council on the Arts grant to create “Independence In Dependence” for Feld Ballets/NY; “Aida” (1998) for the Minnesota Opera and 11 other opera companies; James Sewell Ballet’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (1995); “Musical Toys” (1996) and “Nutcracker: The Untold Story” (1997) for the Minnesota Orchestra; “She Loves Me” (2005) and “1776” (2007) for the Guthrie Theater; and "Titicut Follies" (2017) with acclaimed documentarian Frederick Wiseman. James also has received commissions, including “Schoenberg Serenade” (2006) and “Passions” (1998), a work with composer Augusta Read Thomas, for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; “Metamorphosis” (2004) for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus; “Awedville” (2004) for the Wharton Center for Performing Arts and “Turf” (2006) for the Minnesota Orchestra. Mr. Sewell received a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship (2002), a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation (2006), and a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreography (2007). He is a past trustee of Dance/USA and a past director of the American Composer’s Forum.
Eve (she/her) is a dance artist and administrator based in Minneapolis, MN. She grew up training in ballet and modern at Minnesota Dance Theatre, and transitioned to company member in 2007. In 2009, she joined James Sewell Ballet, where she has also served as Artistic Associate (2017-2020) and currently as Executive Director.
She has collaborated with physical theater group Live Action Set, which is pioneering innovative immersive and interactive moving stories. Some of her more memorable performances include roles in Glenn Tetley’s Mythical Hunters; Leralee Whittle’s Displacement Activity; Live Action Set's Unset; and Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar’s Killer Pig. In the summertime, she often teaches at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and has twice served as co-director for their International Ballet Ensemble. She has been teaching various forms of dance for over a decade, and has performed or taught in France, Germany, Denmark, Canada, nationally in 17 states, and in 30+ Minnesota communities. Her choreographic work Any Offered None, developed as part of JSB's Ballet Works Project, was nominated for a 2016 MN Sage Award for Outstanding Performance. Eve also holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota, where she also teaches the advanced ballet course. “Dance should allow people to shed and discover many things about themselves, whether participating on stage or from the audience. The ways in which it can permeate one’s heart are boundless.”
Artist & Company Liaison
Jarod (he/him) is a Minnesota native from Adrian, MN. He started his dance training at Saint Mary’s University where he also obtained his BA Degree in Dance Performance and Studio Art. His formal dance training began at the age of 18 in college where he had the opportunity to train and perform internationally with Rose Bruford College in the U.K. and The Gaiety School of Acting in Ireland. Upon arrival to the Twin Cities, Jarod has worked with several local companies; Contempo Physical Dance, Twin Cities’ Ballet, Collide Theatrical, and St. Paul Ballet to name a few. If he is not in the dance studio, you can find him leading class as a certified barre and yoga instructor or under the big top tent coaching and choreographing for Circus Juventas.
Kaylie received her early training at Kansas Dance Academy. As a student she had the honor of being a Koch Cultural Trust recipient. She attended Texas Christian University’s School of Classical and Contemporary Dance on scholarship, graduating with honors. She recently completed her seventh season with Central Illinois Ballet as principal dancer. During her time with CIB, she had the privilege of dancing a diverse repertoire. Some of her favorite roles include Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, Cinderella in the title role, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Myrtle in Gatsby, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Black Swan pas de deux. In addition, she has performed with Ad Deum Dance Company, Storling Dance Theater, and Common Thread Contemporary. Kaylie has been teaching pre-professional students for over a decade. She also loves creating opportunities to take dance classes into under-served communities.
Javan (he/him) relocated to Minnesota in 2021 by way of Portland, OR. He graduated from Western Oregon University in three years, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Dance and Sociology. At present, he dances with James Sewell Ballet, ARENA Dances, and Rhythmically Speaking. He has previously been a company dancer with Black Label Movement, Collide Theatrical, Threads Dance Project, Dar Vejon Jones Dance Ensemble, and BodyVox. He has also had the privilege of performing as a guest artist for numerous companies such as HATCH Dance, Analog Dance Works, Ballet Co.Laboratory, Heidi Duckler Dance, Cynthia Gutierrez’s Company Movimiento, and Dar Vejon Jones Dance Ensemble. Javan is a certified instructor of The Ellové Technique®; he has taught at many studios in Oregon and Minnesota. This season Javan is teaching at Hothouse MN and Out on a Limb.
Connor (he/him) is a Twin Cities dancer, performing artist, and IT specialist. He received training at Stage Left Dance Center, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, the TU Dance School, and the University of Minnesota. Connor has previously danced with TU Dance and Threads Dance Project. Additionally, he has performed works by artists such as Marcus Willis, Kjara Wurst, Gregory Dolbashian, Berit Ahlgren, Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, Will Couture, Carl Flink, Sidra Bell, and Maurya Kerr among others. Alongside performing, Connor has worked for several arts organizations across the Twin Cities in IT and web development and is also teaching ballet and modern classes for Eleve’ Performing Arts Center. He will receive his BA in Dance with a minor in Computer Science from the University in the Fall of 2021.
Artist & Marketing Associate
Hettie (she/her) grew up dancing with the Hopkins Youth Ballet in Minnesota. She graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College with a BA in Cognitive Science. While at Carleton, Hettie performed with the college’s modern dance company, Semaphore and modeled for Jennifer Bader’s Ballet in Motion: A Moving Visual Guide to Performing Ballet Technique. After college, Hettie trained for a year with the Limón Dance Company and interned with the José Limón Dance Foundation in New York City. Other training highlights include summer intensives at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Ballet Austin. Hettie recently earned an MEd in Learning Technologies from the University of Minnesota.
Born and raised in Minneapolis Minnesota, Olivia (she/her) trained at Hopkins Dance Company for 15 years under the direction of Leslie Daly. Olivia’s pre-professional training included summer programs with Milwaukee Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet. After graduating in 2018, Olivia continued her dance education at The University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. Majoring in Ballet Performance, Olivia had the privilege to dance roles in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations, Cinderella, Balanchine’s Serenade, and several other modern pieces. In 2020, Olivia joined Ballet Fantastique as an Apprentice for the 2020-2021 season and continued dancing with Ballet Fantastique as a Company Corps in 2021-2022. Olivia will be continuing her work at Grand Jete as a pointe shoe fitter as well as teaching at Hopkins Dance Company this season. Olivia is grateful to be dancing back home and excited to be joining JSB.
Guest Dancer & featured Choreographer on BREATHE and EMBRACE programs
Michael is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He attended The Juilliard School in New York City before dancing professionally with Nederlands Dans Theatre, Frankfurt Ballet, and Lyon Opera Ballet. During that time he has had the pleasure of working with an array of influential choreographers and perform on stages around the world. He then decided to take a sharp turn to redirect his artistic pursuits in the direction of theatrical arts. He attended and graduated from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. Since then Michael has had the pleasure of performing on stages in the West End of London as an actor. He is delighted to be a guest artist with James Sewell Ballet this season and make his return to the stage as a dancer in over ten years!
Guest Performer & featured Choreographer on BREATHE program
XINA is a 23-year-old, multi-disciplinary artist based in the Twin Cities. If you ask what she does, she'll simply say "arts and crafts," an umbrella term for her expansive roles as a singer/songwriter, dancer, choreographer, producer, director, designer, and entertainer. With both hands on every aspect of the process, she creates genre-bending music with intensity and vulnerability balanced with a sophisticated mystique. By exercising her intuitive finesse across a growing body of work and into rich, inventive live performances, XINA is proving impossible to ignore.
Admin & Marketing
Ashley discovered her passion for dance at the Hawkins School of Performing Arts in Folsom, CA under Deirdre Hawkins and Erin Hogan. Upon receiving a Youth America Grand Prix scholarship from Adam Sklute, she trained with Ballet West, then Ballet Austin, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Her dance credits include "Titicut: Follies - The Ballet" in the Festival de Danse de Cannes, Nu·topia: Tour the Mystery!, HATCH: Danceworks in Progress, RDT’s Emerge, Utah Ballet, SACDT’s Sign of Life, and Lexus GS Japan’s Kaleidoscope Commercial. Ashley is the Director's Assistant for Incheon Global Campus
- International Ballet Summer Intensive, a Performing Associate Instructor for University of Utah - Ballet Summer Intensive, and a former faculty member for Ballet West Academy. She has taught/choreographed at St. Paul Ballet, Reif Dance Center, Co.Mo. Collective, Northern Force Dance Company, Foothills Dance Academy, and Hawkins School of Performing Arts. Ashley graduated from the University of Utah with a Ballet, B.F.A. and a Strategic Communications, B.S. She holds certifications in ABT® National Training Curriculum, Progressing Ballet Technique, and University of Minnesota’s UX/UI Design Program.
Hector is the CEO and Partner of Snack Media Group, a creative engine with the goal of making snack-able content to help people and businesses reach their audiences. People-centric and brand-building are the names of the game. Hector has helped JSB with various marketing projects since 2014 and most recently crafted our outdoors “Winter” romp into a joyful artistic piece. He has previously worked with Hecco and Woodchuck USA, has a B.S. in Applied Economics, Business Administration and Management from the University of Minnesota, and originally hails from Rochester, MN.