Antonia Franceschi was born in Ohio, on 30th March 1960 but raised in New York City. Antonia started her career performing in ‘Grease’ and then playing a lead in “Fame” Hilary Van Doren. She was then chosen by George Balanchine for The New York City Ballet. Prior to that she danced in Markarova and Company partnered by Sir Anthony Dowell. She moved to London where she had works created for her by Mark Baldwin, Wayne McGregor, Karole Armitage, Michael Clarke, and Anthony Van Laast among others. She won a Time Out Award for ”Outstanding Achievement In Dance”. Antonia created and performed the lead role in the dance-play ”Up From The Waste” at London’s Soho Theatre to critical acclaim. Leading from this Antonia collaborated with Tal Rosner to create a a short film ”There” and then with Mark Baldwin and Ballet Black in the production of POP8 for The Lion and The Unicorn Theatre. Antonia has featured in several dance films for British TV including ‘Point Blank’, ‘Frankenstein’, and ‘Ecco’ and the Merchant Ivory film ‘The Golden Bowl’. Antonia performed ‘The Vagina Monologues’ at The New Ambassador’s Theatre. Antonia produced four programs of The New York Ballet Stars which performed at The Queen Elizabeth and Royal Festival Halls, and then toured the Sintra and Harrogate Festivals. Antonia regularly teaches for The Royal Ballet, Rambert, Random, and The Richard Alston Dance Companie. Antonia has choreographed several works for Ballet Black, The New York Theater ballet, and Ballet New York.She has been interviewed on Radio 4 and for the book ‘Balanchine Then and Now’. Her ballet ‘Kinderszenen’, just received praise from The New York Times (April 2014).
Ayla Schwartz best known for originating the role of Young Elsa in in the world-premiere, pre-Broadway production of