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WHO'S WHO

EBERTO AMADOR
Chief Executive Director and Executive Producer

Former Consul of Colombia in Houston, holds as B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the Universidad de America in Bogotá, Colombia, and a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Houston, and is a PhD candidate. In addition to his formal engineering education, Mr. Amador received training as a Folklore Investigator by the famous Professor Guillermo Abadia and the well known choreographer and pioneer of Colombian folklore, Ms. Delia Zapata Olivella. Mr. Amador has experienced the life, culture, and folklore of several countries including Angola, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and other Latin American countries where he has lived. In addition to the CFB, while living in Colombia, he founded several folkloric groups including the Conjunto Folklórico Berejú, the Folkloric Group of the Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos, and the Conjunto Folklórico of the Universidad de América. He is or has been director for numerous non-profit organizations in Houston and a panelist for the Houston Arts Alliance (formerly Cultural Arts Council of Houston) programs in several occasions. Mr. Amador, based in Houston, is a Principal for CH2MHILL, one of the largest construction, engineering and environmental consulting companies in the USA, and current Chair for the City of Houston Major’s International Affairs and Development Council-Americas. He has 2 sons, Luis Alejandro (BA Architecture – University of Houston) and Oswaldo “Osvy” Enrique (BS Economics – Texas A&M University).

JAIRO ALBERTO LASTRE
Guest Artistic Director

One of the most prominent and talented dancers that has come from Colombia, began his dance training at age of nine at Incolballet in Cali. In 1986 he joined the Ballet de Cali as a Principal Dancer. With that company, Mr. Lastre danced leading roles in Don Quixote, Coppélia, The Nutcraker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Swank Lake, among others. In 1990, he was a scholarship recipient with the Houston Ballet Academy while being the Artistic Director of the USA’s Colombian Folkloric Ballet. On contemporary and folkloric dances, Mr. Lastre has danced as a soloist in Carmina Burana, Barrio Ballet, Enigma, Serenata Criolla, Alfonsina, and Intermezzi, to name a few. Since his arrival as Guest Artistic Director, Mr. Lastre has transformed The Colombian Folkloric Ballet by raising the artistic level and infusing the company with new energy and vision, and introducing new choreographies to the repertoire. Mr. Lastre is one of the most sought after choreographers of his generation in Colombia having created works for prestigious ballet companies and educational institutions as Incolballet, Ballet Santiago de Cali (Variations and Feelings, 1999; Don Quixote, 2000; Elegie, 2000; What It’s Left, 2002, Without Equilibrium, 2003; The Magic Castle, 2004), Ballet Ciudad de Bogota (Diverse and Ours, 2005; The Waltz, 2006; The System, 2006) and Universidad Javeriana (Tairo, 2000; Four Elements, 2002; Masquerade, 2003; Empire of Fire, 2004), and Instituto de Cultura y Turismo de Bogota (Swan Lake and Coppelia, 2003). He has also served as Artistic Director of Ballet Santiago de Cali and Ballet Ciudad de Bogota, and choreographer for a variety of musicals. He is the proud father of Miguel Angel and Juliana.

PRISCILLA RIVAS
Artistic Director/Choreographer
Born in Houston, Priscilla spent part of her childhood in Cali, Colombia and surrounded herself always with the music, dance and vibrant culture. As a young teenager, Priscilla took classes in ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop. At 17, she joined the Colombian Folkloric Ballet where she trained in authentic Colombian rhythms and other various Latin/African styles. In 2004, she was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director for which she takes pride in sharing a positive image of her beloved country, Colombia. Priscilla also broadened her dance horizons by learning belly dancing and creating a unique fusion of Arabic and Latin dance style which she incorporates into her shows. She is a member of Gypsy Dance Theatre where she performs every year at the Renaissance Festival with her pet snake, Khaleegy. Priscilla holds a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Houston and teaches at the HISD’s John J. Herrera Elementary School.

JOSE ROBERTO CUBIAS
Assistant Artistic Director/Choreographer

Born in El Salvador, he was introduced to dance at a young age participating in many local dance concerts and festivals. Eventually, he became instructor to the teachers who instructed him as a young child. Roberto joined the Colombian Folkloric Ballet in 1997 as a Soloist Dancer and promoted to Principal in 2000. He has extensive experience in folkloric dances from several Latin American countries having participated with many local Folkloric Groups including, among others, Argentina, Peru, Panama, Mexico, and El Salvador. In addition to working as a certified professional massager, Roberto is currently teaching salsa lessons to groups of diverse cultures. He also teaches in several Health Clubs, classes exceeding 60 members, very popular Latin Fusion class, which incorporates popular Latin rhythms in a single setting. He is happily married to Jenny Gimenez. They are the proud parents of a 5-year old boy, Nathan, and a 14-month old baby girl, Evangeline.

RICARDO SUTHERLAND-CASTRO
Production Manager
Mr. Sutherland, born in Buenaventura, Colombia, moved to the United States at a young age in 1964. He started his college career at Canton College in the State of New York where he received an Associate in Science Degree. Then, he attended Cortland State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Finally, he earned the Master’s of Science in Education from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. Mr. Sutherland had the privilege to be among the co-founders of the CFB, where he had the opportunity to learn extensively about the Colombian culture. His dedication to disseminate Colombia’s cultural expression and artistic beauty has led him to continue his involvement in the visual, sound, lighting, and artistic production of the CFB’s full-length performances. Mr. Sutherland is a teacher for the Houston Independent School District. He is happily married to Cruz Elena Ibarguen with whom he has three lovely children: Elena, Ricardo and Lorena.

BRYAN NORTIN
Lighting Director

Mr. Norton is happy to be designing his first show for the Colombia Folkloric Ballet. His previous work includes: Theatre Under The Stars: The Stephen Schwartz Project; Miller Outdoor Theatre: Dance Asia America’s Splendid China, The 11th Annual Houston Grand Taiko Festival; Main Street Theater: Intimate Apparel; NOVA Arts Project: Hamlet, Oedipus³; Tomball Collage: Moon Over Buffalo, The Heidi Chronicles, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Crimes of the Heart; and at the University of Houston: Raisin in the Sun, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged].

ROBERTA CORTES
Dance Instructor

Roberta was born and raised in Brazil and received her classical ballet training there. She has been in numerous dance performances both in Brazil and the United States where she danced with the HCC Ensemble, the Sandra Organ Dance Company, Lisa Gonsales, and Psophonia Dance Company. She has an Associates Degree in Arts from Houston Community College, where she received the Heinen Scholarship for the Performing Arts in 2005. She has being teaching classical ballet for eight years and also teaches beginning jazz, tap and modern. Roberta teaches at studios through out the city and is also the Children’s Director at Hope Stone. Currently, Roberta performs with Pink Ribbons Project, Inc and with the Sandra Organ Dance Company.

TOMAS DEVIA
Choreographer

Mr. Devia was born in Puerto Berrio Antioquia, Colombia. After receiving his degree in Textile Design at UNITEC College in Bogota, Colombia, he enrolled at the Escuela Ballet Nacional de Colombia to receive intensive training in folkloric ballet dances. Due to his dance skills, he was immediately invited by Ms. Sonia Osorio, the Artistic Director of Ballet Nacional de Colombia Company, to join the Company as member of the Corps de Ballet. He danced with the Company from 1987 through 1992 being promoted to Soloist in 1988 and to Principal in 1990. As a dancer of the Company, Mr. Devia participated in numerous world tours and appeared in television programs in several countries. While in the United States, he served as Contemporary Dancer for the Hanneford Circus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and the Cirque de la Mer in Sea World-Orlando, Florida, and a Flamenco Dancer on the 1993’s "La Traviata" presented by the Central Florida Lyric Opera. Mr. Devia has been Assistant Choreographer for the Miss Colombia Beauty Pageant and Comparsas of the Barranquilla’s Country Club. He is a Volunteer Choreographer for Grupo Folklorico Esmeralda of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since 1996.

JOSE A. VILLALOBOS
Choreographer

Mr. Villalobos was born in Cartagena, Colombia. He began his training in classical ballet, jazz, and modern dance at Escuela de Arte Yamile del Castillo in Barranquilla, Colombia. In 1985, Mr. Villalobos moved to Bogota, Colombia, to receive his intensive training in folkloric dance at the Escuela Ballet Nacional de Colombia where he went on to dance with Ballet Nacional de Colombia Company invited by Ms. Sonia Osorio, the Artistic Director. He danced with the Company from 1985 through 1991 being promoted to Soloist in 1987 and to Principal in 1989. As a dancer of the Company, Mr. Villalobos participated in numerous local and world tours and received countless standing ovations, both at home and abroad, for his outstanding performance as a Principal Dancer of Mapalé. While in the United States Mr.Villalobos have received training in international folkloric dances at the Alejandra Dondines International Folkloric Dance School in New York, modern dances at the St. Petersburg (Florida) Junior College, and jazz with Donald Byrd. In the United States, he has professionally danced with CoMotion Dance Theater and performed for two years in major American cities as a dancer of the American Theatre for the Performing Arts.

ORLANDO GUERRERO
Choreographer and Former Artistic Director

 

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