Digital Playbill


While hunting in the forest, Prince Ivan strays into the magical realm of the evil Koschei the Immortal, whose immortality is preserved by keeping his soul in a magic egg hidden in a casket. Ivan falls upon a beautiful Firebird and captures her while she dances among the garden. She begs for him to set her free, and as a token of thanks, she offers him an enchanted feather that he can use to summon her should he be in dire need. Prince Ivan then meets five princesses who are under the spell of Koschei and falls in love with one of them. Koschei sends his minions after Ivan, and as they begin quarreling, Ivan summons the Firebird. She intervenes, bewitching the monsters and making them dance an elaborate, energetic dance (the "Infernal Dance"). Exhausted, the creatures and Koschei then fall into a deep sleep. While they sleep, the Firebird directs Ivan to a tree stump where the casket with the egg containing Koschei's soul is hidden. Ivan destroys the egg, and with the spell broken and Koschei dead, the magical creatures that Koschei held captive are freed and the palace disappears.


Meet Our Choreographer
Rebekah von Rathonyi

A native of Rochester, New York, Ms. von Rathonyi, began her dance training at the age of 8 with the Botsford/Orcutt School of Dance. She studied under Luba Guleava and Maria Moglivesky, both graduates of the Kirov Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet. After her initial training, she studied ballet at the Draper Center for Dance Education, school to the Rochester City Ballet, under Timothy Draper and Sally Steppnes. As a young dancer, she received full scholarships to National Ballet School in Toronto Canada, Pittsburgh Ballet School, and Boston Ballet School. At fourteen years of age, Ms. von Rathonyi joined Compañia Nacional de Danzá in Mexico City under the direction of Fernando Alonso, husband to renowned Cuban ballerina, Alicia Alonso. In 1994, she was accepted into the year-round apprentice/trainee program at The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. She enjoyed her time with the company, performing in many of Pennsylvania Ballet's productions, including several of George Balanchine's ballets. Upon returning to New York, Ms. von Rathonyi joined Rochester City Ballet as a principal dancer performing numerous principal roles in Nutcracker, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Firebird, and Gaite Parisian. At this time, Artistic Director Timothy Draper suggested she start teaching ballet, thus began her extensive teaching career.

Ms. von Rathonyi served as Acting Artistic Director to the Flower City Ballet for two years. During this time, she raised student enrollment, began an inner-city scholarship program for underprivileged children and helped produce a full-length Nutcracker and Spring production. She was invited to join the Rochester City School of the Arts public high school as an Artistic Consultant. While teaching dance to grades 9-12, she formulated a curriculum which included classical ballet technique, pointe, dance history, and music theory.

Ms. von Rathonyi moved to Peoria, Illinois in 2001 to take on a role as the Academy Director to the Peoria Ballet for almost ten years, she also served as Interim Artistic Director for two years. She performed principal roles in Nutcracker, Firebird, Giselle, Dracula, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, and the Principal female in Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie. Ms. von Rathonyi raised the caliber of the Academy by instituting a pre-professional training program for the aspiring dancer and instituted a full class syllabus and curriculum for all levels of ballet. In 2010, she directed Peoria Ballet’s collaboration performance of “Youthful Fusion” with the Central Illinois Youth Symphony. Her students competed in the Youth America Grand Prix International ballet competition, in which many of them placed in the top 12.

Ms. von Rathonyi attended the prestigious teacher training program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada, where she focused on studying the Vagonova and Checchetti syllabus. She is an alumna of The Rock School for Dance Education and feels fortunate to have served as their Artistic Coordinator and a Faculty member. Currently, she is studying with Laura Alonso in the Cuban Methodology course, when finished, she will be certified to teach Cuban Technique in the United States.

Ms. von Rathonyi and her husband Joshua co-founded Cornerstone Academy for Performing Arts in April of 2012. In 2015, along with their Board of Directors, created Central Illinois Ballet, the only professional ballet company in downstate Illinois. Over the past 10 years, the company who houses 10 professional dancers with an Academy of 120 students, produced numerous ballets including Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, Anne Frank, Women of History, Gatsby and so much more! Additionally, Rebekah and Joshua developed a scholarship program for any child in need of financial assistance. Their mission and vision is to bring dance into the Peoria community and surrounding areas, through outreach, Lecture demonstrations, in house performances and scholarships. Over the past 6 years, collaboration has been a key element in reaching even more audience members. CIB and CAPA enjoy performing with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and the Mithilli Classical Indian Dance school. The 2021-2022 season marks the 10th anniversary for CIB and CAPA, and as Artistic Director, Rebekah and Joshua are beyond proud and grateful to have so much support.


Rebekah holds a special place in her heart for the Peoria community. She has enjoyed participating in local events including CASA's annual "Dancing with the stars", Luthy Botanical Garden's "I Love Luthy", IGNITE Peoria, Relay for Life, Frolic with the Fairies, and choreographed Cornstock Theater's 2011 production of "Cats". She is honored to be a 2006 recipient of Peoria's 40 Leaders Under 40 award.


Cast List


The Firebird

Natalia Serra (Saturday)
Madison Jayne Cole (Sunday)

Prince Ivan

Malachi Squires


Trey Luciano

Princess Katerina

Kayleigh Danowski (Saturday)
Tayla Kelley (Sunday)

Rena Bernardini
Emma Hernandez
Nova Gaffney
Angela Wentling


Rena Bernardini
Madison Jayne Cole (Saturday)
Kayleigh Danowski (Sunday)
Emma Hernandez
Tayla Kelley (Saturday)
Nova Gaffney
Natalia Serra (Sunday)
Pamela Veltri
James D. Walters
Angela Wentling
Lilly Hall
Natalie Sheehan


Alexandra Romeo


Jaycee Birkemeier
Caroline Bixler
Skylar DeVore
Magdalene Ramich


Kayleigh DeLoria
Susanna Faries
Amelia Glocker
Riley Hammond


Artistic Staff


Katherine Johnson
Artistic Director

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Rebekah von Rathonyi
Assistant Artistic Director

The Dancers
(Click Photo for Bio)

Madison  Jayne Cole


Natalia Serra


Kayleigh Danowski


Tayla Kelley


Trey Luciano


Nova Gaffney


Rena Bernardini


Angela Wentling


Emma Hernandez

Guest Artist 
Malachi Squires

Trained at Houston Ballet Academy and Marin Dance Theater. Most recently appeared in Day of the Gypsy by Gordon Pierce Schmidt presented at the Harris Theater, Brigadoon with the Goodman Theater in Chicago, RPM Production's La Journees de Tsiganees, and an American Portrait. Carmen and La Clemenza di Tito at the Chicago Lyric Opera. Among the dancer's many credits with Les Grandiva Ballets performing in New York, Seoul and over 70 cities in Japan with an appearance on National television in the leading male roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty. He has appeared in numerous works with Fort Worth Dallas Ballet including Four Last Songs and West Side Stories. He has also danced with Paul Sanasardo, EZ Credit Dance Theater, Lawrence Pech Dance Company. Guest engagements have included the Madison Ballet, Ballet Quad Cities, Chicago Civic Ballet, Hilton Head Dance Theater, Rochester Dance Company, and Marin Dance Theater. Choreography includes The Restless Hours which he also produced, he has also choreographed for Mesopotamia Night Chicago, Dance in the Parks Chicago, Bitteroot Dance Academy, Dance Drama Collaborative, 12 Min. Max Dance Festival, and the Houston Artist of the Year Awards. As a teacher he has been associated with Joel Hall Dance Center, Ruth Page, Minnesota Youth Ballet, a number of schools in the Chicago area and the Houston Arts in Education Program.

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Office: (585) 203-1763 

Cell: (585) 704-1903 



PO Box 201, Pittsford, NY 14534


Studio Location:

821 Fairport Rd. E. Rochester, NY 14445




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