Hannah Bontrager is Ballet Fantastique's Executive Director and also serves as Co-Choreographer Producer and as a dancer in the Company. Hannah graduated at the top of her class (summa cum laude and phi beta kappa) in 2007 from the Robert D. Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon where, as a full scholarship student, she earned concurrent degrees in Dance and English Literature and a minor in Arts Administration, as well as the American Association of University Women Award, the Dance Achievement Award, and the Dean's Award for Service, and was the invited Honors College graduation speaker. Under Hannah’s leadership, Ballet Fantastique has earned touring invitations on behalf of Ballet Fantastique nationally and internationally; grant awards from major foundations; and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and in-kind corporate and individual support. She has overseen both strategic and stunning organizational growth at rates of 25-30% growth per year for each of the past five seasons. Hannah also has extensive experience in print and web design, event planning, media relations, and oversees Ballet Fantastique’s thriving internship program. Hannah has given professional presentations on behalf of Ballet Fantastique for many organizations, was an invited panel speaker for DanceAbility International's film screening of Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq, and has been a featured speaker for the Robert D. Clark Honors College "Bodies & Artifacts" colloquium under Dr. Joseph Fracchia. Hannah is listed among the international Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals, a Comcast Newsmaker, and received the 20 under 40 award in 2017. Hannah also leads a number of educational initiatives for Ballet Fantastique, including Passport to Dance and The EXPERIENCE DANCE! Project, which have brought innovative dance experiences to thousands of schoolchildren across Oregon.
Also a trained professional dancer, choreographer, and performer, Hannah studied the eight levels of the Vaganova Syllabus and Vaganova pedagogy with her mother, Donna Marisa Bontrager, while creating and performing works locally. She also spent two summers at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. under Artistic Director Oleg Vinogradov (also Artistic Director of Russia's Kirov Ballet), and was one of five students invited internationally to join renowned Kirov prima ballerina Mme. Alla Sizova’s advanced class. Hannah spent one season in Denver with coach Inessa Pakri-Plekhanova, concurrently performing with Colorado Ballet Company. Hannah has performed professionally with Ballet Fantastique since its inception, and has also appeared in soloist roles for a number of other companies across the country, including Manassas Ballet Theatre in the Washington, DC metro area (Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker and the lead in Vivandière/Markitenka). Donna and Hannah have collaborated to produce bold cross-disciplinary Ballet Fantastique collaborations, including: an electro-swing, steampunk Alice in Wonderland (with High Step Society, premiere 2018); The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (with Dreos + Gerry Rempel Ensemble, premiere 2017); Aladdin: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Satin Love Orchestra, premiere 2017); Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (with Oregon Mozart Players + international cellist DaXun Zhang, premiere 2017); Scarlet Flower: Beauty & the Beast Retold (with Trio Voronezh, premiere 2016); Dragon & the Night Queen: Celtic Stories (with Gerry Rempel Ensemble and Eliot Grasso, premiere 2016); The Odyssey (with live looping electric violinist-composer Cullen Vance, premiere 2015); An American Christmas Carol (with Halie Loren, premiere 2015); Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Singers, premiere 2014); Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014); the first-ever authorized ballet version of ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and virtuoso violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013); Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, premiere 2013); The Misadventures of Casanova (premiere 2013); Cirque de la Lune (with Betty & the Boy, Troupe Carnivale, and Mood Area 52, premiere 2012); Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet set in 1964 (with Shelley & Cal and the Agents of Unity, premiere 2012); Arabian Nights (premiere 2012); Incendio (with Incendio, premiere 2011); As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (with composer Jeremy DeKyle Schropp, premiere 2011); bossa/brasil (with Jessi Marquez, premiere 2011); String Theory (premiere 2011); Tales of Beatrix Potter (premiere 2008); Visions dAmour: 10 Ballets in Paris (with 25-part orchestra; premiere 2009), and many others. She has also led Ballet Fantastique's creation of commissioned work for Eugene Symphony (Carnival of the Animals and Polovtsian Dances) and the Oregon Mozart Players (Glazunov's Four Novelettes).
Full list of the Bontragers' repertoire for Ballet Fantastique
As a dancer with Ballet Fantastique, Hannah has earned rave critical reviews in soloist and principal roles, including: Alice in Alice in Wonderland: Remix (with High Step Society, premiere 2018); Jen Yu/Hidden Dragon in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (with Oregon Mozart Players + international cellist DaXun Zhang, premiere 2017); The Spectre/the Rose in Scarlet Flower: Beauty & the Beast Retold (with Trio Voronezh; premiere 2016); Rhiannon, the Night Queen in Dragon & the Night Queen (with Gerry Rempel Ensemble + Eliot Grasso; premiere 2016); Cindy in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet set in 1964 (with Shelley & Cal and the Agents of Unity, 2015 performances); Kalypso and Circe in The Odyssey: The Ballet (with live looping electric violinist Cullen Vance, premiere 2015); Christmas Future in American Christmas Carol (with Halie Loren & band, premiere 2014 + 2015 and 2017 performances); The Spirit in The Book of Esther: A Rock Gospel Ballet (with the UO Gospel Choir, premiere 2014 + 2016 performances), The Moon Princess in Tales from the Floating World (with Portland Taiko and international koto player Mitsuki Dazai, premiere 2014 + 2017 performances); Juliana de Romeo, the prissy heartthrob in ZORRO (with the LA-based band Incendio and violinist-composer Kim Angelis, premiere 2013 + 2018 performances); the flippant Lydia Bennette in Pride & Prejudice: A Parisian Jazz Ballet (with Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, premiere 2013), as well as Jane Bennette (2016 performances); Henriette, the feisty writer in The Misadventures of Casanova (premiere 2013); Simone, the Adventurous Dreamer in Cirque de la Lune (with Betty and the Boy, Mood Area 52, and Troupe Carnivale, premiere 2011 + 2015 performances); the Dancing Diva and Motorcycle Girl in Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet (with Shelley and Cal and the Agents of Unity, premiere 2012); Scheherazade in Arabian Nights (premiere 2011); Rosie/Rosalind, the lead in As You Like It: A Wild West Ballet (including on Ballet Fantastique's Italy tour in 2013; original premiere 2011); Peter Rabbit in Tales of Beatrix Potter (premiere 2010); Marguerite, the siren in Love at the Cafe Terrace (with composer Jeremy DeKyle Schropp and orchestra; premiere 2009); Aviary in Carnival of the Animals (including with Eugene Symphony, premiere 2008); the Nymph from Rusalka in "Song to the Moon”; and the Lover in “La Vie en Rose” (Visions d'Amour, premiere 2009).
College: BA, Dance and BA, English Literature, Clark Honors College/University of Oregon (summa cum laude)
Favorite BFan Role:
Scheherazade in Arabian Nights
Almost any candy, almost any book, and Michael Kaiser’s Huffington Post arts admin blog
Pointe shoes: Grishko 2007s
Take Class from Hannah