Jean-Philippe Malaty has been instrumental in building Aspen Santa Fe Ballet from the ground up. He was born in the Basque region of France, and is now a United States citizen. After receiving his degree in dance, he accepted scholarships to train at Europe's prestigious Mudra (Maurice Béjart's school in Brussels) and John Cranko's ballet school in Stuttgart. At the invitation of David Howard, Jean-Philippe traveled to America to train at the David Howard Dance Center in New York City. He then performed soloist roles as guest artist with various companies throughout the U.S., including Joffrey II, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Ballet Hispanico of New York, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is in great demand as a guest teacher and has taught at schools and universities throughout the country. Jean-Philippe is dedicated to asserting the prominence of the arts in the West, spearheading initiatives to bring dance into the community, and fostering programs that introduce children to the arts. He continues to provide invaluable creative assistance in all facets of the company's operations. Jean-Philippe is equally proud to have forged a company based on an American ideal of energy, invention, popularity, eclecticism, and precision in what's been called the "all star, no star" system. "Dance is a celebration of the human spirit, and not a celebration of steps. Here at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, we foster the spirit and the love of dance." In 2010, Jean-Philippe received Joyce Theater Foundation award in recognition of his contribution to the field of dance.
Viki Psihoyos studied at the School of American Ballet from the age of eight, and in 1971, she was invited to join New York City Ballet. For thirteen years, she performed in almost 70 ballets and toured in the US and abroad. Since retiring in 1983, she has taught ballet and choreographed throughout the United States and abroad. She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Colorado.
Robert Sher-Machherndl, a native of Vienna Austria, has worked as principal dancer, choreographer, master-teacher and artistic director. He has been granted the privilege of the US Visa type, "Alien of Extraordinary Ability" allowing him permanent residence in the US. Robert worked with and danced the works of Rudolf Nureyev, Jiri Kylian, Hans van Manen, Ulysses Dove, George Balanchine, Sir Fredrick Ashton, Rudi van Dantzig, John Neumeier, Ed Wubbe, Ben Stevenson, Maurice Bejart, and John Cranko. As principal dancer, he performed leading roles for Dutch National Ballet and Bavarian State Ballet to include Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Onegin; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Nuages, Apollo; Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Serenade; Symphony in C,Diamonds, Concerto Barocco, Agon, La Valse, Divertimento No. 15 (Mozart), Hammerklavier, Grosse Fuge, and Bad Blood. He also danced with Nederlands Dance Theater. Robert partnered ballerina Jolinda Menendez of American Ballet Theater and Evelyn Hart of Royal Winnipeg Ballet and was featured in the documentary Moment of Light with Evelyn Hart. Robert appeared on the cover of Dance Magazine while performing with Bavarian State Ballet at Lincoln Center. Robert was co-director of Salzburg Ballet and assistant to the artistic director Ed Wubbe at Scapino Ballet. He taught at Ballet Rambert and for the Matthew Bourne production of Swan Lake. His work was featured in Young Choreographers Workshops at Bavarian State Ballet and Scapino Ballet, Salzburg Ballet, Colorado University at Boulder, Colorado State University; Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and Ballet Nouveau Colorado. Since founding Lemon Sponge Cake his full-evening works include UnCut, Point, PlastikPaket, StrangeLands, LoveCrimes, AustriaPop, Where Is The Love, AustriaPop Vol 2, Vertigo, Le Ballet Star; TigerLilly, Anilla, Mozart 250, Alien Nation, Leopoldstadt 22, Project Peace, Gala 2007, I Am Happy For This Moment, This Moment Is Your Life, I Trust You To Kill Me, A Strange Land, Liquid-Space, Vertical Migration, and Bach 260. The work has been performed at the Alvin Ailey Theater, New York; The Santa Fe Dance Festival, New Mexico; The National Performing Arts Convention, Denver; The Dance on Camera Festival, New York; The Chautauqua Summer Series, Colorado; The Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Denver; The Alexander Theater, Helsinki and various festivals throughout the United States. Robert Sher-Machherndl is a four-time winner of the New York Ballet Builders choreography award and has recently been featured on MTV's Emmy awarding reality TV series MADE.
Martha Wirth trained in Modern dance under Joanne Emmons who was a former student of Jose Limon. She has worked with dance companies and studios around Colorado choreographing, performing, and teaching, as well as lecturing, performing alongside recording artist Shannon Wexleberg, and directing The Thorn in Denver.