photography: Kenny Johnson

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Jessica Brown - Performer/ Director of Development

Jessica Brown, 2017 Emmy winner of Television Arts and Sciences, received her training at American Dance Center in her hometown of Kansas City and under instruction from Paula Weber, Professor of Dance at the UMKC. She joined the BalletMet Trainee program in 2005 and has worked her way through the years to become a leading artist. Ms. Brown’s roles have included the principal female role in Carousel, Fool’s Paradise, minus 16, Lucy in Dracula, Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, Principal couple in Movements 1 and 3 from George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, Square Dance, Jumping Girl in Who Cares?, Waltz Girl in Serenade, She has enjoyed working with choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, Michael Pink, Val Caniparoli , setters from Ohad Naharin, Jimmy Orrante, Attila Bongar, Kristopher Estes-Brown, James Kudelka, David Nixon, Stanton Welch, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Ms. Brown has had the honor of performing with BalletMet in the Moscow International Contemporary Dance Festival in Russia and at The National Choreographer’s Initiative for their 10th anniversary.

Jessica is in her fifth season with Concept Zero and has performed in every production. She recently originated the lead role of Alice, the dreamer in the premiere of Kristopher Estes-Brown's, Alibi.

Ms. Brown enjoys working with non-for profit organizations, The Benefit Columbus. She currently loves cross-training with Pilates and Gyrotonics.

Aritists

Laura Jones-Wallner - Performer

Laura Jones Wallner, originally from Hamilton, Montana, started dancing at the age of 6. She began attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ School of Dance when she was 14, where she later graduated from their high school Classical Ballet program. During this time, Laura also studied with Boston Ballet and Houston Ballet. After high school, Laura danced professionally with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet II and with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Since moving to Kansas City, she has danced extensively with Quixotic and with Owen/Cox Dance Group. Laura also teaches ballet for American Dance Center and is the company manager of the American Youth Ballet.

Laura is in her first season with Concept Zero.

Malerie Moore- Performer

Malerie Moore, age 19, is originally from Overland Park, Kansas.  She trained with the American Dance Center since age 12 under the direction of Jennifer Tierney. Ms. Moore was a member of the American Youth Ballet directed by Kristopher Estes-Brown where she danced many leading roles in classical and contemporary work including Sugar Plum Fairy and originating the lead in Estes-Brown's Intent for AYB's Solstice Dance Project.  Most recently, Malerie has completed her first year with the Milwaukee Ballet II program and will be dancing with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio for the 2019-2020 season.  

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Kristen Marshall - Performer

Kristen Marshall was born in Plantation, Florida and began her early training in Savannah, Georgia with Madeline Walker Ballet School under the direction of Gaye Baxley. In 2014 She began her career with The Atlanta Ballet. While there she performed in Bruce Wells Snow White, John Mcfall’s The Nutcracker, David Bintley’s Carmina Burana, George Balanchines Allegro Brillante, Marius Petitpa’s Paquita, Yuri Possokhov’s Firebird, and as Rosita in Helen Pickets Camino Real. In 2016 Marshall had the opportunity to perform the title role in John Mcfall’s Sleeping Beauty with Atlanta Ballet 2. In 2017 Marshall joined the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program where she had the opportunity to dance Michael Pinks The Nutcracker, La Bohéme, and Swan Lake as well as works by Kristopher Estes-Brown and Mimmo Miccolis. In 2018 Marshall joined Milwaukee Ballet as an artist and performed Michael Pinks Dracula as well as works by Kenneth Tindall, Enrico Morelli, and Bruce Wells. Kristen is excited to be a part of Milwaukee Ballet’s 19/20 season. 

Ben Rabe - Performer

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Benjamin Rabe received his core training from Westmorland Ballet and The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School with private training from Nicolas Petrov, the founding Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Following graduation, Mr. Rabe joined Rochester City Ballet in 2009 where he danced featured roles in The Nutcracker, Edward Ellison’s Carmen, Waltz Boy in George Balanchine’s Serenade, and the featured soloist in Jamey Leverett’s Gershwin Preludes and 4Play. In 2012, Mr. Rabe joined BalletMet Columbus, While dancing with BalletMet, Mr. Rabe was able to work with many world-renown choreographers including James Kudelka, Christopher Wheeldon, Edwaard Liang, Amy Seiwert, David Nixon, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano.. Mr. Rabe rejoined Rochester City Ballet in 2014 and since then has performed the Cavalier in The Nutcracker and featured roles in Danny Rosseel’s Slightly Sinful and Nikolai Kabaniev’s Bach de Trois. Mr. Rabe has performed many leading roles in David Palmer’s ballet’s including Adiemus, Under the Moonlight, Mist, Follow the Rose, Summer of Love and 52nd Street. Most recently Mr. Rabe joined Concept Zero for Alibi where he originated the role of The Detective.

José Soares - Performer

José Soares began his training at 11 years old in Joinville, Santa Catarina in Brazil. He was one of 10 children who were selected to study ballet at Bolshoi School. He trained under Dmitry Afanasiev and Galina Kravchenko and was rehearsed by Vladimir Vasiliev for “Don Quixote”, “The Nutcracker” and the polovtsian dances in the “Prince Igor”. After graduating from the Bolshoi School at age 18, he was accepted into the Trainee program at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. During his two year traineeship at Joffrey Ballet, he danced the Arabian and Russian roles in “The Nutcracker”, “Impulse Within” by Ma Cong, the Lion in “Carnival of the Animals” by Alexei Kremnev.. Following his traineeship with Joffrey Ballet, he was accepted into Milwaukee Ballet’s second company. During his two years in Milwaukee, Mr. Soares performed several leading roles for the second company, such as Basilio in “Don Quixote”, the principle couple in Timothy O’Donnell’s contemporary work, principle couple in Nadia Thompson’s contemporary work, James in “La Sylphide” and the pas de trois from Paquita. He also had the opportunities to perform leading roles with the Milwaukee Ballet main company, such as a Jack in Michael Pink’s “The Nutcracker”, a Demon in Michael Pink’s “Mirror Mirror”, and he also danced in the pas de neuf in Michael Pink’s “Don Quixote”. 

Ransom Wilkes-Davis - Performer

Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Ransom Wilkes-Davis began his dance education in Savannah, Georgia. In 2009, he started his professional training with Columbia Classical Ballet in South Carolina under the direction of Radenko Pavlovich. He danced with the company for one season before he went on to study at The Harid Conservatory under Olivier Pardina, Victoria Schneider, and Svetlana Osieyeva. Wilkes-Davis joined The Joffrey Ballet as a trainee from 2012 to 2014, where he danced with the company in Chicago, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and on tour in over 40 performances. In 2014, he joined Atlanta Ballet where he enjoyed dancing for three seasons. His favorite roles include dancing in Liam Scarlett’s Vespertine, Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Boiling Point, Yuri Possokov’s Classical Symphony, Jorden Morris’ Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet, and being featured as the Prince in John McFall’s The Sleeping Beauty.. In 2017 Ransom joined Milwaukee Ballet, where he has enjoyed dancing in Michael Pink's ballets as the Viscount in La Boheme, Arabian in The Nutcracker, Rothbart in Swan Lake, and Arthur in Dracula. Ransom finished the 18-19 season dancing in Val Caniporoli's Lambarena and Lysander in Bruce Wells' Midsummer Nights Dream. He is thrilled to work with Concept Zero.

Jennifer Tierney / J. Tierney Designs - Costumes

Originally from Sacramento, CA, Jennifer Tierney is intrigued most by lines, movement and creating shapes through space. Fashion, runway & costume design were always waiting in the wings past a 17 yr professional ballet career. Her designs revolve heavily around curves of the body and exploring silhouettes and texturing while delicately recreating the architectural body lines with fabric.

Ms. Tierney’s ballet career included seasons spent with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Oakland, Columbia City, and Madison Ballet; as well as Owen Cox Dance Group. She was an original member of Concept Zero Contemporary Dance.

For over a decade, Ms. Tierney has been the Head Costuming Director/Designer for the American Youth Ballet and Owner of the American Dance Center. As Costuming Director she has led to create seven full-length ballets with between 80-120 dancers in each as well as costuming countless repertory pieces. 

In 2016 Ms. Tierney started her designer brand J.Tierney Designs. Since then she has presented in KCFW S/S ’19 & F/W ‘19, W18th Street Fashion Show 2018 and 2019, Omaha Fashion Week F/W ’19 and JCCC Fashion Show Spring 2019. Ms. Tierney is also a student at JCCC as both a Business and Apparel Design and Tech major. She is thrilled to be the current costume designer for the professional dance company Concept Zero. She will be showing in KCFW S/S ’20 and Paris Fashion Week S/S ’21.