BRAVA was established to provide mentoring, tutoring and academic enrichment, and instruction in ballet and the performing arts; and to promote and foster an interest in, appreciation for a greater exposure to ballet and the arts, including programs and activities designed to reach non-traditional performers and audiences.


We encourage dancers and non-dancers to learn and grow through the art of dance. BRAVA is proud of our annual performance of David Allan's Nutcracker... our performances highlight professional dancers and feature local dancers from The City of Riverside.


Executive Director BRAVA / Artistic Director Riverside Ballet Arts


At age 15, Glenda Carhart trained on scholarship at the School of the Harkness Ballet in New York City and then with the National Ballet of Canada. She joined the National Ballet of Canada at 17, performing her first professional roles in Rudolf Nureyev’s Sleeping Beauty at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Glenda was in full-length productions of Swan Lake, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, and was featured in Serenade and Offenback in the Underworld. She has worked with top professionals Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Martins, Fernando Bujones, Erik Bruhn, Rudolf Nureyev, Celia Franca and Rudi Van Dantzig.


1977, Glenda returned to Riverside and was a guest artist for several companies and California schools. As the owner of Riverside Ballet Arts, Glenda directs the faculty and staff as well as overseeing the training of approximately 250 students. She continues her training as an instructor through workshops with the National Ballet of Canada and is a certified trainer utilizing Pilates based techniques and apparatus.


From 1997-2003, Glenda taught ballet and the teaching of dance at the University of California, Irvine. In 1993 Glenda was honored with A Woman’s Place is Every Place award by the University of Redlands. The Riverside Arts Council honored her in 1995 with the Arts Angel Award. In 2004 Glenda was honored at a 20th Anniversary Celebration with a proclamation by Mayor Ron Loveridge and a letter of appreciation from Congressman Ken Calvert.


In 2009, Glenda was one of twenty honored teachers for the School of American Ballets’ 75th Anniversary Celebration.


Glenda was the Artistic Director for the California Riverside Ballet from 1984 - May 2010. On June 30th, 2010 Glenda established BRAVA to further her dream of bringing quality ballet to Southern California.



Artistic Director


David Allan was Soloist Dancer and Choreographer with The National Ballet of Canada from (1974-1988). His award-winning choreography is in the repertoires of such prestigious ballet companies as; New York City Ballet, The Hong Kong Ballet (China), Seoul Ballet of Korea, Joffrey Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Hartford Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Ballet, National Dance Theatre of Bermuda, as well as in companies in Japan, France and Italy. During Mr. Allan's distinguished career he has taught, coached and/or choreographed for such world renowned artists as: Rudolf Nureyev, Veronica Tennant, Nikolaj Hubbe, Evelyn Cisneros, Stephen Legate, Peter Boal, Anthony Randazzo, Igor Zelensky, Darci Kistler and Ethan Stiefel. He presently holds the title of Professor Emeritus at University of California, Irvine.


Assistant Director


Kathleen began her dance training in 1979 at Riverside Ballet Arts. She has also studied at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts in Alberta, Canada, Ballet West, and Stanley Holden’s Dance Center in Los Angeles. She appeared as a guest artist at UCR’s faculty dance Concert in Pas De Quartre, and was a member of the Modern Dance Ensemble headed by the late Frank Aguirre. Under the direction of Glenda Carhart and David Allan, Kathleen performed R. Clinton Rothwell’s premier of Concerto in G Minor, the Silver Fairy and Crystal Fairy variations from Sleeping Beauty, Tarantella, Chopin, Classical Symphony, Raymonda, as well as Spanish Dancer, Arabian Dancer, Snow Fairy, and the Dew Drop Fairy in the The Nutcracker. She has also performed works by David Allan, ETC! and Pastel. She has been a faculty member at Riverside Ballet Arts since 1987, and acted as the California Riverside Ballet Administrator from 1996-2001.

Our Leadership


Choreographer- Former Artistic Director of Productions


Michel Gervais, (teacher, choreographer) a native of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, started dancing at the age of 11. He studied with the Ida Sauvé Dance Studios, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and the National Ballet School of Canada. Mr. Gervais has worked extensively as a performer, assistant and ballet master for choreographers David Allan and Juan Antonio. Mr. Gervais has danced for such companies as; Feld Ballet/NY, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Theatre Ballet of Canada, National Dance Theatre of Bermuda, Ontario Ballet Theatre, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Pacifica and California Riverside Ballet. His teaching credentials include: American Ballet Theatre, London Rambert Dance Co., Hong Kong Ballet, Canadian Dance Teachers Association, Ballet Pacifica, University of California’s Irvine and Riverside campuses, York University, and the National Dance Theatre of Bermuda. His choreography has been performed by: University of California, Irvine, American Ballet Theater (summer intensive), Festival Ballet Theatre, California Riverside Ballet and Excalibur.


Lighting Director


Don Guy is a prolific lighting designer for dance theater, industrials, themed entertainment and architecture. He has been the lighting designer for David Allan’s Nutcracker for over twelve years. A few of his dance design credits include: David Allan’s Cinderella; Holberg Suites; ETC! ; Fiesta; Pastel and Concerto Grosso. He has worked as lighting designer for St. Louis Ballet’s Giselle; Swan Lake; Serenade; More Morra; Brahms Quintet and the Nutcracker as well as over 350 dance pieces for numerous choreographers and dance companies across the country.


Head of Wardrobe/Design


Illah is the magic and creative force behind many of the most beautiful tutu and costumes of RBA’s “Nutcracker”. Illah will be the Head of Wardrobe and working with other talented seamstresses, will be working with David Allan and Michel Gervais to design the complete new wardrobe and costumes.


Technical Director


Eric is currently the full-time Technical Director for Chapman University’s College of Performing Arts and a Riverside native. With a B.A. in Technical Design and Production from Cal State San Bernardino, he has since been involved with various college apprenticeship programs as a trainer and staff member. Before arriving at Chapman, Eric served as Production Manager/Designer for the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company at California Lutheran University, Assistant TD/Designer at Mt. San Jacinto College, Stage Manager/Adjunct Professor at the University of Redlands, and Assistant Stage Supervisor/ASM for the prestigious Santa Fe Opera Other notable credits include technical work for Starway Productions, Ballet Pacifica, Golden State Ballet, MTV (Remote Productions), Wheel of Fortune Wheel-Mobile Crew, Scenes Too, Performance Riverside, Theatrical Arts International, Stage One Players, and X103.9 fm. Eric is honored be able to work with the talented and inspirational production team assembled by Glenda for this unique Riverside tradition.

Our Beginnings

May 22, 2011


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


BRAVA, Ballet Resource Active Volunteer Association would like to take this opportunity to share with you the collaborative programming that our new 501(c)(3); Riverside Ballet Arts and our Artists have produced this first year. Our goal, to further capitalize on our 50 years experience in the Riverside Community and around the globe, is to provided mentoring, tutoring and academic enrichment, and instruction in ballet and the performing arts; Promote and foster an interest in, appreciation for and greater exposure to ballet and the arts, including programs and activities designed to reach non-traditional performers and audiences; Foster, encourage and engage in, by all proper and legitimate means within the context of the purposes stated above, certain charitable, educational, civic, and similar causes for the public welfare.


In the first six months of our organization, we successfully completed 12 Outreach Performances of the Groovaloos and Nutcracker before approximately 1800 students at Freemont and Beatty Title one Elementary Schools. Furthermore, we donated over 1,000 seats to underprivileged children and their families for our “David Allan’s Nutcracker” Ballet. We provided music appreciation classes and a tour of the RCC campus to 5th and 6th grade underserved children and provided buses and tickets for 1300 students to see David Allan’s holiday classic, the Nutcracker. In February our Directors collaborated with Sofia Olga Carreras, Director of Intersect Dance Theater and BRAVA dancers performed with the Riverside Lyric Opera in the performance of La Traviata. In March Jessica Adams choreographed and BRAVA performed “Leave me Breathless” in a collaborative project with Art Vulups (Land use planning and sustainability project) for Artwalk and for Councilman Melendrez at “An Evening of Music”. We also began rehearsals for the program you see today including our new commissioned piece, Hoedown, Choreographed by our Artistic Director, Michel Gervais.


BRAVA began our first collaboration of the “Art for the HEART” dance program for title one schools in April, by providing Fremont Elementary with movement classes for 74 “Heart” after school program students. Artist Cristina Benedetti of The Groovaloos as well as Michel Gervais and assistant JoAnna Mazzacane taught dance movement and we auditioned students and selected 10 scholarship students from this title one school.


We are proud to report that we met all of our initial goals as BRAVA, including the building of our props and all of our beautiful new costumes (thank you Illah Kline). We are very proud of our Inaugural Production of David Allan’s Nutcracker staring Sterling Hyltin, Principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, the addition of Michel Gervais as our Artistic Director and our beautiful and talented ballet mistresses Kathleen Riker and Alexandra Espana. We thank Bob Torrez, our company photographer for documenting and producing such wonder photos and dance films for such an important year. We thank Michael Arnot and our Development Team who are writing grants and working on building capital for our future.


Last but not least, we thank our dancers, talented artists and all of those individuals who have helped BRAVA and for the commitment and trust in us to provide the very best. We thank Shoshanna Tochia and Megan Cook for the development of our Boosters. We invite you to join us as we move toward our next phase, that is to expand awareness and support for the Arts in Riverside through the creation of a Performing Arts Center. It is such great fun to have you with us!


Glenda Carhart

Executive Director




In The News

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