After ten years with Portland Ballet, Nell Shipman assumes the role of Artistic Director and School Director. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance Performance with High Honors from Butler University, and has performed and shown choreography in Portland, New York, Chicago, Boulder, Indianapolis and Tbilisi, The Republic of Georgia. Nell has taught for studios throughout the country, including Regional Dance America's Mid-States Festival in St. Louis, Missouri, and Kansas Regional Ballet's Summer Intensive. In addition to appearing in numerous Portland Ballet performances, Nell has also appeared as a guest artist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, The Good Theater, 2008 Best of Broadway, PORTOpera as both dancer and choreographer, and with Ballet Conservatory of South Texas. Her choreography for Portland Ballet includes The Victorian Nutcracker, Jack the Ripper, Halloween Spooktacular, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, Dance for the Cure, Spoke of the Wheel, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and works for the 2004-2008 Portland Dances! Choreographers showcase. Her choreography for Bowdoin College includes Triumph of Aphrodite and Les Noces, and the 2006, 2008 and 2011 Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ Halloween Concert.
Sabir Yapparov received his academic and ballet training at the Perm Ballet Academy, Russia and studied with some of the finest teachers in his country, including Julius Plahkt. He was a soloist with the Sverdlovsk Academic Theatre of Opera & Ballet and with the Bolshoi Theater in Uzbekistan, and was a principal with the Odessa Academic Theater of the Opera and Ballet in the Ukraine. His repertoire included leading roles in the classical, neoclassical and contemporary ballets: Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Star in Masquerade, Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty and Ivan in Hunchback Horse. Mr. Yapparov worked with prominent teachers and artists such as A. Messerer, M. Plisetskaya and V. Gordeev. He was invited as a guest principal throughout the former Soviet Union, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Finland, India, Spain and Canada. He was also awarded the rank of Honored Artist of the Ukraine. Mr. Yapparov worked as a ballet master with the Sarasota Ballet for eleven years, serving one year as Associate Artistic Director. In 2003-2004 he was a Visiting Professor in the Dance program at the University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance, and was a guest faculty member at North Carolina School of the Arts in 2007-2008. Mr. Yapparov recently was both a ballet teacher and the Assistant to the Artistic Director at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. He was the director of Portland School of Ballet’s pre-professional CORPS program from 2011-201 2. Most recently, he served as Principal at the School of Cincinnati Ballet.
Amy Baxter began working with costumes at Portland Ballet 10 years ago when her children performed in their first Victorian Nutcracker. After several years asa back stage volunteer she stepped into the role of costuming assistant. In 2014 she assumed the role of Costume Manager/Mistress, working with both the company and the school to ensure that the dancers have costumes that are visually pleasing, easy to dance in and serve as an important part of the storytelling.
Nate is the visual voice behind Portland Ballet. A photographer, writer & director he creates the imagery & brings the grace & power of Portland Ballet to the market.
Brianna Wing is a native of South Portland, Me. She holds her B.A. in Visual & Performing Arts with a concentration in Theater from Stonehill College. She has worked professinally in Boston, New York, Florida & Maine as a production & stage manager.