mr. Nicolas Pacaña
Nicolas Pacaña is Artistic Director of Atlanta Festival Ballet Company and Atlanta Festival Ballet School. He teaches and choreographs for the company and the school and often performs principal roles with the company as well. Mr. Pacaña began dancing under Fe Sala Viliarica of Cebu City in the Philippines. After studying on scholarship with Patricia Stander in Los Angeles, he made his professional debut with the Honolulu City Ballet. In 1976, Mr. Pacaña joined The Boston Ballet as soloist and quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. He became recognized among the finest classical danseurs.
Highlights of Mr. Pacaña's career with The Boston Ballet include Colas in La Fille Mal Gardee during a 12 week tour in China, the Middle East and Europe; his debut as Albrecht in Giselle for which he won critical acclaim; a tour of Europe with Rudolph Nureyev and The Boston Ballet that included such cities as Brussels, Milan, Rome, Sicily and London; and his performances of Espada and the Gypsy Boy in Don Quixote.
Mr. Pacaña joined the Atlanta Ballet in 1982 as a principal dancer and became well known for his interpretations of Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty; Taverna in Carmina Burana, and lead roles in Balanchine ballets such as Tarantella, Raymonda Variations and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. He established himself as the lead danseur for the Atlanta Ballet for 11 years, while charming and fascinating audiences with his technical and artistic talents. In 1987, he was called upon to replace an injured Mikhail Baryshnikov in the Don Quixote Pas de Deux with only four hours notice during Baryshnikov's Atlanta tour. Mr. Pacaña has performed and taught all over the world. In 1985, he returned to the Philippines to perform with the Philippine Ballet Theatre at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Pacaña has had the distinguished pleasure to work with the following directors and choreographers:
Ben Stevenson (former director of The Houston Ballet), Sara Caldwell (former director of the Boston Opera), Yasuki Sasa from Japan, Violette Verdy (former director of Paris Opera and Boston Ballet), Choo San Go (former resident choreographer of the Washington Ballet), Glenn Tetley, Lynn Taylor Corbett, Michael Lavrosky (The Bolshoi Ballet), Pierre Locatte (Paris Opera Ballet), Tom Pazik, Bruce Wells, Dennis Nahat, Eric Cruz, Gener Carringal, Bronson (Denmark), Robert Barnet (Director Emeritus The Atlanta Ballet), Virginia Williams (founding director Boston Ballet).
In 1993, Mr. Pacaña traveled again to the Philippines to teach and choreograph in his home country. In 1994, he returned to the U.S. and was named as Co-Artistic Director of Atlanta Festival Ballet and Atlanta Festival Ballet School. Mr. Pacaña has been prolific in developing stunning new ballets for the company. His Paganini was chosen to close the GALA at the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association Conference in 1994 and received stunning reviews. His ballet’s such as Peter Pan, The Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Tchaikovsky have been commissioned around the world.
In 2001, Mr. Pacaña was invited by his former director and teacher Fe Sala Villarica to return to the Philippines to guest dance and choreograph. Since that time he has returned annually to stage productions of repertory programs as well as The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland and The Nutcracker for Balletcenter in Cebu, The Royeca Schools of Ballet, Davao City, Tagum City and General Santos City.
In 2006, Mr. Pacaña was named Co-Artistic Director with Gregory Aaron, of Balletcenter Cebu, located in Cebu City, Philippines. The same year, Mr. Pacaña and Mr. Aaron introduced the International Summer Series in Cebu, which attracted students from all over the Philippines. Mr. Pacaña continues to direct Atlanta Festival Ballet. He remains in great demand as a guest artist and teacher. His reputation as an outstanding choreographer continues to grow throughout the southeast and the world.