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Artistic and Executive Bios

Edwaard Liang, Artistic Director

A former dancer with New York City Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Liang has built an international reputation as a choreographer. Over the last decade, he has created work for the Bolshoi Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and Washington Ballet. Born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Marin County, California, Edwaard Liang began his early dance training at age 5 at Marin Ballet. After studying at the School of American Ballet he joined New York City Ballet in 1993, the same year he was a medal winner at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition and won the Mae L. Wien Award. By 1998, he was promoted to Soloist. In 2001, Edwaard joined the Tony Award® winning Broadway cast of Fosse. His performance in Fosse was later televised nationally on PBS’ Great Performances series – “Dance in America: From Broadway: Fosse,” and subsequently released on DVD. By 2002, Liang was invited by Jiri Kylian to become a member of the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater 1. While dancing with NDT 1 Mr. Liang discovered his passion and love for choreography. Since establishing himself as a choreographer, his works have been performed by dance companies around the world and he has won numerous awards for his choreography including the 2006 National Choreographic Competition.

View Edwaard Liang's interview with WOSU



Cheri Mitchell, Executive Director

Dance Academy Columbus OhioCheri Mitchell was named Executive Director in May 2001, having served the three previous years as BalletMet’s Director of Marketing and Communications, and Director of Finance and Administration. Prior to joining BalletMet, Ms. Mitchell was Managing Director of the Contemporary American Theatre Company in Columbus for nearly nine years and the Director of Membership and Education at the Ohio Dental Association for four years. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in Theatre Design and Production at The Ohio State University. Ms. Mitchell currently serves on the Board of Directors for OhioDance and Ohio Citizens for the Arts and represents BalletMet on the Discovery District Development Corporation and Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium.










Hisham Omardien, Ballet Master

Dance Academy Columbus OhioBorn in Worcester, South Africa, Hisham Omardien danced with BalletMet for seven seasons. After training at the Julia Hickman Academy of Dance and graduating from the University of Cape Town Ballet School, he danced nine years with the Cape Town City Ballet and later with State Theatre Ballet and has appeared as a guest artist with both companies. Mr. Omardien, a two-time recipient of the South African Balletomanes Award, received the 2004 Violetta Boft Memorial Award. His favorite roles include the lead in George Balanchine's Who Cares?, the title role in David Nixon's Dracula, and Armand in Veronica Paeper's Camille. He is married to fellow dancer Olivia Clark and together are raising a daughter, Safiyyah. He retired from dancing and is now full time Ballet Master with the Company.










Rebecca Rodriguez-Hodory, Ballet Mistress

Dance Academy Columbus OhioBorn in Manila, Philippines, Rebecca Rodriguez-Hodory danced with BalletMet for nine years, and became Ballet Mistress full time in 2004. She began dancing under the tutelage of Eduardo Elejar at The Cultural Center of the Philippines and attended the Philippine High School for the Arts and The Fabella-Elejar Dance Studios before joining San Francisco Ballet. Ms. Rodriguez-Hodory has danced with Manila Metropolis Ballet, Dallas Ballet, and as a principal with Cincinnati Ballet. She performed as a guest artist at Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theater and Ballet Lubbock.