Artistic Director

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RONDA DEFAZIO (M.Div)

~ Educator, Master Ballet Teacher, Speaker, Mentor, Ordained Minister, Adjudicator, Performance Coach, Movement Artist ~ 


"not for my own glory but for God's Glory Alone" 


Ronda DeFazio trained at Canada's National Ballet School (9-19 yrs), entered the National Ballet of Canada under the famous direction of Erik Bruhn (including Lynn Wallis, Director, Royal Academy of Dance, London) and was quickly promoted to the Rank of Soloist.  She was invited to join the Staatts Ballett Berlin (Gert Reinholm).  A year later, she was personally invited by the iconic Maurice Bejart to work with him in Lausanne, Switzerland in the rank of Principal Ballerina.  Her repertory holds all the Major Classical Ballets including Principal Roles in The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Les Sylphides, La Sylphide, Le Corsaire, as well as leading roles in several ballets by the immortal George Balanchine, Roland Petit; Sir Kennith MacMillan, Maurice Bejart, Peter Wright, Valery Panov, Hans Van Mannen and John Cranko. 

 

Highly regarded as a dancer for her lyrical qualities and exceptional versatility in both Classical, Neo-Classical and Contemporary repertoire, Mrs. Ronda has received critical acclaim throughout the world as she graced the stages of the most prestigious theatres worldwide during her 30 year career, including performing with The National Ballet of Canada (“New York Times” for her “outstanding” performance of “The Prostitute” in Glen Tetley's “La Ronde”); Staatts Ballett Berlin and Ballet Bejart Lausanne (in both companies for her portrayal of “Elue” in Maurice Bejart's “The Rite of Spring”), Alberta Ballet (for her portrayal of “Siren” in George Balanchine's “The Prodigal Son”) and Veronica Tennant Productions (for dancing in film).


Internationally known as a choreographer's “Muse”, Mrs. Ronda has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with a roster of illustrious choreographers and dancers world-wide: working with or having roles created especially for her by renowned choreographers as Celia Franca, Hans Van Mannen, Rudi Van Danzig, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Glen Tetley, Maurice Bejart, John Alleyne, Dominique Dumais, Mark Godden, Helgi Tomasson, Mikko Nissinen, Anna Sokolow, Peggy Baker, David Allan, Veronica Tennant C.C., David Nixon.  Mrs. Ronda is privileged to have worked directly with Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Erik Bruhn, Fernando Bujones, Azari Plisetsky, Michael Denard, Alexander Grant, Peter Wright, Magdalena Popa, Lynn Seymour, Richard Cragun, Eugene Valukin, Natalia Makarova, Marcia Haydee, Reid Anderson, Colleen Neary, Alonzo King, Peter Martins, David Howard, Maggie Black, Gianni Versace, Victor Litvinov, Karen Kain C.C., Sylvie Guillem, Lynn Wallis and partnered by Maurice Bejart, Rex Harrington O.C., Frank Augustyn O.C., Jorge Donn, Gil Roman, Kevin Hagen, John Alleyne, David Nixon, Patrick Aiden De Bana, Aidar Akhmetov, Jannick Bouquin, Peter Shauffus and Julio Arozarena.  


In 2000-2001, she was commissioned by Mikko Nissinen (director of Boston Ballet) and Alberta Ballet to choreograph for the 1st. Canadian Festival of New Works.  In the creation of “Virtues & Vices”, she was responsible for the music,choreography, costume and set design, a cast of 26 dancers (including Mikko Nissinen), and sound text written and recorded especially for her by the Veronica Tennant C.C.  Mrs. Ronda was also invited as a Guest Artist: National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Jorgen and Veronica Tennant C.C. Productions.


Mrs. Ronda has consistently been involved in creating dance for television on both the international and national scene, including Pyramides by Maurice Bejart, Television Suisse Romandes; La Ronde by Glen Tetley, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with past Canadian Governor General,Adrienne Clarkson Presents.  She was featured in Flamenco at 5:15 directed by Cynthia Scott  (Academy Award for Best Documentary). She has created two original roles in dance films, choreographed/directed and produced by Veronica Tennant C.C: “TRIO” (Gemini Award) and “Northern Light: Visions and Dreams.”   


Among her honours and awards, she is a recipient of Canada Council Grants and The Peter Dwyer Award of Excellence; received her Master of Divinity (Trinity College, University of Toronto).  She was ordained as an Anglican Minister in 2008 and devoted herself to serving as a pastor; prison and youth ministry,  an advocate for social justice (poverty, homelessness) and church planting in rural Canada. While serving inner-city Toronto at Yonge Street Mission as Associate Pastor and a member of Jean Vanier’s “L’Arche/Daybreak: The Spirit Movers, Alumni of Trinity College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto she developed curriculum for Yonge Street Mission: The Arts in Worship, Worship & Dance, Prayer as a Way of Life, Benedictine Spirituality, Moving the Psalms and Dance & Drama in the Liturgy.


She was selected as one of “20 up-and-coming Women in Toronto” by “The Catherine The Great Society” of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada where she danced/choreographed among the paintings of Emily Carr. She has collaborated with “The Arts and Letters Club - Toronto” in multi-disciplinary works and was a favorite headliner as a Featured Artist/Dancer in Veronica Tennant's C.C. “Invitation to The Dance” with celebrated Canadian concert pianists Robert Kortgaard and Peter Tiefenbach; “Songs for Survival” produced/choreographed/directed by Veronica Tennant C.C. and Andrew Parker (director Chatanooga Ballet) with the Oriana Singers and danced with students of Canada's National Ballet School where she conducted the women's choir through dance; Moses Znaimer's Idea City; “Carmen La Gitana” (Producer/Director: Veronica Tennant C.C.) in the Ballet/Flamenco/Contemporary/Theatre role of Micaela and Manuelita opposite Rex Harrington O.C., Soprano Jean Stilwell and Veronica Tennant C.C.


Mrs. Ronda has been consistently teaching and choreographing for 23 years and continues to be in high demand from dance schools, companies and competitions as a judge in the genres of Classical Ballet, Lyrical, Modern and Contemporary.   


She was on the faculty of Grant McKewan College as a Master Ballet Instructor, Artist-in-Residence at Belhaven University as a Guest Master Teacher and Choreographer, is Guest Faculty for Ballet Mississippi, Adjudicator for Jackson IBC Dance School Audition. 

  

All of Mrs. Ronda's students benefit from her experience of excellent training, teaching, adjudicating and performing within the Classical Ballet genres of Enrico Checcetti (Betty Oliphant, National Ballet School), Royal Academy of Dancing (Lynn Wallis, director RAD London, Lynn Seymour, Alexander Grant, Peter Wright, Christine Anthony), Cuban Style (Laura Alonso, Julio Arozarena), Aggripina Vaganova (Victor Litvinov, Azari Plisetski, Eugene Valukin, Rudolf Nureyev), Paris Opera Ballet (Denis Ganio, Maurice Bejart, Sylvie Guillem, Michael Denard), August Bournonville (Erik Bruhn, Peter Schauffus, Eva Evdokimova) and George Balanchine (Joysanne Sidimus, Victoria Simons, Peter Martins, Colleen Neary, Kevin Hagen) She is exceptionally versed in the styles of National,Character, Modern, Contemporary, Liturgical Dance: Martha Graham, Maurice Bejart, Glen Tetley, Jiri Kylian, William Fosythe and Roland Petit. 

Mrs. Ronda especially enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for Dance; 

giving what she has been given by The Greatest Giver + encouraging all who are captured by the Love of Dance...


"The gift is great, but the Giver is greater still. Thou, O God, art the Giver and in thee is the Life that never dies. Amen.”


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