Ballet Evolution's Artistic Collective

Jonathan Tabbert
Jonathan Tabbert, Artistic Director/ Resident Choreographer

Mr. Tabbert began his dance training at the Dayton Ballet School and then received a scholarship to study at The Harid Conservatory, where he was awarded a number of dance honors. In 1999 Jonathan completed his training at the School of the Hartford Ballet with supplemental training from the Houston Ballet Academy and American Ballet Theatre.

Jonathan had an illustrious performance career as a principal dancer with the Charleston Ballet Theatre as well as being a guest artist for the North Carolina State Ballet and the Greenville Ballet. After twelve years of being a valued staff member of the Charleston Ballet School he became the director of the Palmetto City Youth Ballet. He also held the title of company teacher for the Charleston Ballet Theatre, with his choreography being a staple in the repertoire as well as receiving a performance grant from the Harkness Foundation for his ballet “Jubilee”. Other credits include Guest Teacher and/or Choreographer for the Gem City Ballet, Victoria Ballet Theatre, Burklyn Ballet Theatre and The Charleston County School of the Arts. Jonathan is also currently the Co-Founder/Director of the official school of Ballet Evolution the Charleston Dance Institute.

Stephen Gabriel
Stephen Gabriel, Ballet Master/Artistic Associate

Mr. Gabriel trained extensively with master teachers Michael Simms of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Elizabeth Hard of the Kansas City Ballet and was awarded full scholarships from both Duke University and Stephens College where he earned his B.F.A degree in dance. His professional performing credits include seasons with the Richmond Ballet, Ballet Omaha, and as principal dancer for Orlando’s Southern Ballet Theatre and the Charleston Ballet Theatre.

Throughout his career he danced lead roles in many of the classics as well as works by Lambros Lambrou, Mauricio Wainrot, Lew Christensen and NYCB’s Christopher Fleming. Stephen has also performed for renowned modern choreographers Doug Varone, Peter Pucci, Mark Taylor and the Humphrey-Weidman Repertory Company. During his time with the Charleston Ballet Theatre he served as the company’s Ballet Master, a teacher in the CBT School, and as the Founding Director of the critically acclaimed Broadway Dance Project that has produced seven successful premieres to the Charleston community and Piccolo Spoleto audiences. Also during his tenure, he had the honor of working closely with Repetiteurs of the George Balanchine Trust in the staging and coaching of the company’s Balanchine Repertory. He has also been a guest teacher for the Tallahassee Ballet, Westport Ballet, and the Charleston County School of the Arts.

Laura Ball
Laura Ball, Artistic Associate

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Laura is an arts activist, performer/composer and noisemaker dedicated to creating a greater awareness of cultural identity and spreading joy through musical collaborations. The UNED!TED series grew out of her desire to inject a spirit of playful investigation into the typical concert format and to find a way of bringing all of her best artistic friends and cohorts under one umbrella to see what magic could be made.

Five years later, she is still finding new and creative ways to build bridges through unique artistic collaborations, interdisciplinary performances and community events. Currently, Ball is exploring the roles of mythology and symbol in storytelling practices as she crafts original scores for new ballet works based on classic childhood tales and creation stories.

Photo: Fia Forever Photography

Sandra Nikolajevs, Artistic Associate

Born and raised in central Massachusetts, bassoonist Sandra Nikolajevs began her formal musical education at the Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in Ohio and continued studies at the Juilliard School in New York City and at the Paris Conservatory. Ms. Nikolajevs participated in the National Repertory Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center summer music festivals and worked with such notable conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez and Robert Spano.

She performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Ms. Nikolajevs is currently Principal Bassoonist of the Savannah Philharmonic and has held the same position with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic and Augusta Symphony. She is President and Artistic Director of Chamber Music Charleston.

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