2012 Benefit Gala Performance - Photo by Norbert Schramm
2019-2020 Season Performers:
Ensemble Director: Elisa Angeli
Armen Agaian, Jake Bennett, Angela Chiang, Sarah France, Kate Gauthier, Jennifer Gruver, Theron James, Valerie Levine, Freddie Moore, Matej Silecky, Aaron Singletary, Matt Thomas and Sally Jeanne Watkins. Figures performer Kate Mangiardi. Apprentice: Annabelle Farris.
Guest Performers: Elladj Baldé, Zabato Bebe, Julien Dulière and Liz Schmidt
ELISA ANGELI is an Italian ice dancer with recognition from the Italian Federation for Ice Skating, who studied Ballet with Ludmilla Vlassova (Bolshoi) and Giovanna Franzosi in Milan, and with Christine Wright at the Gibney Dance Center. She also studied Modern and Contemporary Dance at the Open Dance Center, New York, and at the Music, Art and Shows School, Milan. She studied Aerial Silks at the Streb Lab and at the Trapeze School in New York. Elisa had several years of contortion and extreme flexibility classes with J. Noan and O. Karmansky. Her expertise as a circus arts specialist allows Elisa to bring a unique element of excitement when skating as a principal performer and aerialist with Ice Theatre of New York®. In 2009, Elisa participated with ITNY at the Premiere of “Wintuk” by Cirque du Soleil at Madison Square Garden. In Italy, she was an aerialist with the tour “Italian Champions on Ice,” with Ghiaccio Spettacolo, and performed in Munich with Spotlight Productions. Elisa has been with ITNY since 2008, and was on ITNY’s 2008 tour in France. In 2015 she became ITNY’s Ensemble Director. Elisa also works with Cirque-tacular Entertainment as an aerialist (since 2014), with which she performed in the show “The Art of Circus” in September 2016.
ARMEN AGAIAN has been ice skating since 2002. Armen was a 5-time National Champion in Georgia and participated in the Junior World Championships three times. He has also participated in the 2013 Youth Olympic games, the Junior Grand Prix (2012-2015) and 2016 European Championships. Armen is now a skating coach in New York and is thrilled to have been a part of Ice Theatre of New York® since 2018.
When Zabato was a little boy, performers on stage, who were capable of mesmerizing the audience with their tricks, their looks and their ability to tell a story, fascinated him. Growing up in Vienna, Austria, and being the son of a professional African dancer and a Professor of Arts, he was always very interested in creatively combining different forms of art and entertainment.
During his career as an athlete he competed in many national and international competitions. The next step for him was to perform in ice shows.
Since making the transition from amateur skating to professional skating, Zabato has excited audiences all over the world. Some of these include, Israel, Paris, Germany, Qatar, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Canada almost every state in the USA and more. Being exposed to art, dance, acrobatics and acting during his time as a child and teenager, allows Zabato, to experiment with his abilities everyday as artist and choreographer, while currently being on tour with Cirque du Soleil.
ELLADJ BALDE is a frequent guest performer with ITNY. Elladj just finished a very successful international competitive skating career for Canada.He was born November 9, 1990 in Moscow to a Russian mother and a Guinean father, Ibrahim, from the village of Tombon, near Labé. His elder sister, Djulde, died from leukemia. After a year in Bonn, Germany during his sister's treatment, the family moved to Quebec, Canada in 1992. Elladj was introduced to skating at the age of seven by his mother. Though at first he would hide his skates in an attempt to avoid practice, he began to love skating when he was ten. He is a 7-time Canadian National Senior Competitor and is the winner of the 2015 International Nebelhorn Trophy. He speaks English, French, and Russian.
JAKE BENNETT is a British Pairs skater, who has recently relocated from the UK to New York City. He is a three-time National pairs champion and competed at the Junior World Championships. After a shoulder injury and subsequent operation Jake turned his passion for skating towards coaching which he has been doing full time for over a decade, he has coached skaters from first steps to ISU international level and hopes to continue his success in the US. Jake was delighted to join ITNY in 2018.
ANGELA CHIANG grew up in New Jersey but now calls New York City home. Her passion for figure skating started as soon as she stepped on the ice at the age of four. Angela credits her accomplishments in skating to her mother and grandmother’s encouragement. Both dreamt of becoming graceful figure skaters. After retiring from her competitive career in 2000, Angela joined ITNY as a young apprentice and became a full-fledged cast member on and off with the company since 2003. She has found skating with ITNY to be truly instrumental in developing her artistry and is thrilled to perform with the cast this season! Angela is a USFS double gold medalist, a graduate of NYU with a B.A. in Journalism and Metropolitan Studies, a former instructor for the Figure Skating in Harlem, a former member of the NHL’s New York Rangers City Skaters squad, House of Mauro performer. She continues to devote herself to her students and her love of coaching at Chelsea Piers for the past eighteen years.
ANNABELLE SCHNEIDER-FARRIS grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado and comes from a skating family. Her grandfather, mother, siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins all are skaters. She began to skate when she was a toddler and went on to compete in singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. She has earned gold medals in moves, solo free dance, free skate, pairs, ice dance, free dance, and international dance. In addition to being a talented skater, Annabelle is also a talented artist and some of her art has earned rewards and recognition. Annabelle joined ITNY as an apprentice in the fall of 2019.
SARAH FRANCE originally comes from Pittsburgh, PA, but now splits her residences between New York, NY and Saint Paul, MN, where she has been an ice dance coach and choreographer since 1998 working with Regional, Sectional, National and International competitors across all skating disciplines. Before taking the ice, Sarah started her love of movement studying ballet and eventually transitioned to performing professionally in modern dance and several other disciplines as well as skating and teaching. Sarah is a five-time US Open Professional Figure Skating Championships competitor, US Figure Skating triple gold medalist, and national ice dance competitor. She is honored and excited to be performing with ITNY, having followed Ice Theatre of New York® since she was inspired by it as a young skater herself. Sarah debuted with ITNY in the spring of 2019.
JENNIFER GRUVER fell in love with the sport of figure skating at the age of six and with the love and support of her family, coaches, and directors, that love has not wavered in her 22 years of skating. A Colorado native, Jennifer spent 16 years competing in the Southwestern Region before following her dreams of becoming a professional performer. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology, Jennifer spent 5 years traveling the world with Disney On Ice. She wrapped up her touring career in December 2016 to pursue more of her dreams in New York City. In the short time she has lived in the city, she finds herself coaching, choreographing and performing more than ever. This is her second season as a member of the Ice Theatre of New York® Ensemble.
THERON JAMES (TJ) is a Middletown, CT native who currently resides in New York City. Theron – nicknamed TJ - began figure skating at the age of 12 after his mom won a raffle at his brother’s middle school auction for lessons at the local ice arena. TJ competed on the national level until he joined his first touring ice show in 2009 and has worked for multiple companies such as Holiday On Ice, Disney On Ice, and Royal Caribbean. His Unique style and technical abilities have been entertaining and performing for audiences around the world. He has 10+ years coaching experience both locally and overseas. He made his ITNY debut in the 2019 City Skate Concert Series.
VALERIE LEVINE has been dancing tap, jazz and ballet since she was 4 years of age and started roller-skating at that time. After begging her parents for figure skating lessons, she started training at 11. She auditioned for Disney On Ice during high school and was accepted but decided to get her bachelor’s degree in college first. She went on to get her Senior Ladies Moves and Pre-golds in ice dance by 19 and skated as an ice girl for the NHL teams the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders during those years. She furthered her dance knowledge while in college getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Product Management Textiles from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She minored in dance and trained at the Broadway Dance Center in many dance styles, which led her to her current career as a professional belly dancer, ballroom dancer, Brazilian samba dancer, fire performer and the like. Valerie has collaborated on ITNY events for the past decade. You can find out more about Valerie Levine on her website: Valerinadance.com
Performer - Figures
KATE MANGIARDI is a USFSA gold medalist in Moves in the Field. She has been coaching throughout the tristate area for over 15 years and enjoys working with all levels. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar and MFA in painting from RISD, she has been exhibiting her work in various museums and galleries. In 2009, Mangiardi was awarded the W.K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts. Kate merges her experience as a skater into her art through exploring the connection between the etching a skater leaves behind on the ice and creation of a drawing. Kate is excited and grateful for the opportunity to explore this direction in her work with ITNY.
FREDDIE MOORE is a Brooklyn native and U.S. Figure Skating triple gold medalist. She currently coaches skaters of all ages, and has performed alongside Beth Woronoff in her company Calle Ouvert. Outside of her love for performing and coaching, Freddie has a B.A. in Creative Writing and has published her work in Electric Literature and Hazlitt, among other places. One of her favorite quotes from Walt Whitman is: “And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?” She first performed with Ice Theatre of New York® as a child, and is thrilled to continue showing her love for skating with the ITNY company.
Elizabeth (Liz) is a Japanese/German American skater from Chicago, IL, currently residing in San Francisco, CA. She is a U.S. Figure Skating Double Gold medalist in Freestyle and Moves in the Field, and a Silver medalist in Ice Dancing. Luscious edges, artistic dynamic movement, and traditional ice dancing informs her skating and professional career which began in 2013 at the age of 18, performing internationally in Germany and across the US. She received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2018, and is exhibiting work across the Bay Area.
MATEJ SILECKY was a Skating Pro & the Runner-Up on ITV’s 2018 series, Dancing on Ice. He is the 2012 USFS Collegiate Junior Men’s Champion, USFS Nationals Competitor Championship Pairs, Ukrainian National Team member and a triple gold medalist, USFS and Skate Canada. Matej is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Team Captain of the Cal Figure Skating team and also developed and taught a college course on the interdisciplinary aspects of figure skating. He even has a couple of award-winning published research papers on esoteric topics. If you can find them, ask Matej to buy you a coffee! Matej has performed in numerous shows with Woodstock Ice Productions & Ice Theatre of New York. Outside of coaching and skating, he is an accomplished filmmaker, digital artist and photographer, whose first film, the documentary feature Baba Babee Skazala has recently screened at US and European film festivals. Matej previously collaborated on special events for ITNY and he made his debut as a company member in the spring of 2019.
AARON SINGLETARY grew up in Pennsylvania skating for the Penguin Figure Skating Club and started his national competitive career training with Craig Maurizi. Over the years Singletary has had many internationally revered coaches and singling one or two would be a disservice to the others. Each left a prominent mark on his approach to skating. Aaron earned gold in moves-in-the-field as well as freestyle singles. Aaron now coaches primarily in Newburgh, NY at Ice Time Sports Complex. His students include National medalists Jacob Sanchez and Olivia Alexander. He dreams to further his knowledge so that one day he too may be an internationally recognized performer and coach. The 2019 Home Season marks his debut with Ice Theatre of New York.
MATT THOMAS grew up skating in Syracuse, NY, where he was introduced to skating through the Learn to Skate Program. He continued to train as a figure skating competitor and in 1998 he became the Eastern Sectional Champion, before moving on to his current career as a Skating Coach. He has always loved being on the ice and considers himself blessed to still be skating, 29 years later. He remembers seeing ITNY perform at Rockefeller Center as a young boy, and now feels privileged to have been a member of the educational outreach and performance groups of ITNY for the last three years. Matt is also a professional saxophonist, holding a Bachelor's degree in music from SUNY Buffalo, performing regularly both in NYC and internationally.
SALLY JEANNE WATKINS
SALLY JEANNE WATKINS is a U.S. Figure Skating triple gold medalist and holds an Intercollegiate National Senior Ladies title. While Sally enjoys skating professionally, she also loves coaching and exploring the aerial arts. She earned her Bachelors in Engineering-Physics and Chemistry from Miami University and her Masters in Environmental Engineering from NYU. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she currently lives in New York City. Sally has been performing with ITNY since 2012.