A native of West Chester, PA, Ms. Page trained at a young age at The Dance Center under the direction of Donna Muzio and was promoted to principal dancer with the Brandywine Ballet during her high school years. She won full scholarships to train with the Milwaukee Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet upon graduation. She apprenticed with the Pittsburgh Ballet before accepting a company position with Florida Ballet, where she danced the Gold Medal Pas de Deux choreographed by world-renowned choreographer Norbert Vasak. She later became a member of the Tampa/Colorado Ballet, dancing solo and principal roles in classical and contemporary works. Ms. Page eventually accepted principal positions with Sarasota Ballet and Ballet Eddy Toussaint USA, dancing many original, contemporary ballets that were set on her as well as performing the various classics, such as Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker.
Ms. Page returned home in 1993 to perform as Principal Dancer with the Brandywine Ballet. In 1994, she danced the title role in the company's premiere of David Kloss' Cinderella, with long-time partner Steven Jackson. While dancing full-time with Brandywine Ballet, Ms. Page continued to guest alongside professional dancers from Ballet West and Joffrey Ballet and also performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet. In 1998, she was the first Principal Dancer in the newly formed Brandywine Ballet Theatre, the professional arm of the company, dancing alongside Zdenek Konvalina (presently with the English National Ballet) for two years.
In 2000, she had the pleasure of working with the Samuel Barber Foundation to set one of her first ballets, Voices, to his magnificent score Adagio for Strings. In 2008, the Brandywine Ballet collaborated with the Brandywine Singers, and Ms. Page choreographed Mozart’s Requiem, bringing together a powerful array of dancers, vocalists, and musicians. Ms. Page has also choreographed several full-length ballets, such as Dracula, which has been performed numerous times since 2004, Beauty and the Beast, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and most recently The Rock Ballet, another collaboration, performed with vocalists and musicians from the School of Rock. In addition, Ms. Page is a principal teacher at The Dance Center, Official School of Brandywine Ballet, and continues to mentor and train dancers at The Dance Center and Brandywine Ballet.
Tim Early is celebrating his 27th consecutive season with the Brandywine Ballet as a Principal Dancer. In addition to performing, Tim has choreographed for the company and has been on faculty at The Dance Center, the official school of the Brandywine Ballet. Highlights with the company have been his performances in Nancy Page’s Dracula, Ronen Koresh’s Beyond the Steps, Balanchine’s Serenade, and Eddy Touissant’s Souvenance. Together with Donna Muzio, Mr. Early founded Brandywine Contemporary, a modern-based arm of the Brandywine Ballet. Mr. Early is also co-director of the Philadelphia-based modern company Opus I Contemporary. He has choreographed for Lafayette College, Moravian College, and West Chester University. In addition, Tim Early has headed the dance department at the Performing Arts Institute in Wilkes-Barre, PA, for the past ten years. Tim also began a new position with Brandywine Ballet in 2018 as the Production Manager, coordinating performance efforts for the organization.
MEREDITH REFFNER CALLENDER
Brandywine Ballet Company Class Instructor
Born in Annapolis MD, Ms. Reffner grew up in the Baltimore/D.C. area. Her early dance training included ballet, tap, jazz, Hawaiian, and competitive Scottish Highland dancing. While studying with Ms. Edna Lee Kuhn, she studied the Cecchetti method of ballet and won numerous awards such as Dance Masters of America’s Junior Miss Dance, the East Coast Cecchetti Council scholarship, and the National Cecchetti Council of America scholarship two summer’s in a row.
At 13 Ms. Reffner decided to put her primary focus on ballet and attended the Washington School of Ballet, in Washington D.C., where she trained with such world renowned teachers as Lupe Serrano, Patricia Berrend, Rudolf Kharatian and Mary Day. She would then spend her summers at the School of American Ballet in NYC and the Chautauqua Institute, dancing with their Festival and professional ballet companies. While finishing up her last years of schooling Ms. Reffner was awarded with the Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts Award, a Level I award from the National YoungArts Foundation and the highly prestigious Presidential Scholar of the Arts award which won her an invitation to perform for and meet President Clinton.
After graduating high school Ms. Reffner started her professional career with the Washington Ballet, where she had the opportunity to work with Ms. Suzanne Farrell and perform in the Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary celebration. She then moved on to work for Paul Mejia at the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet in Texas where she performed several soloist and principal roles. Later, Ms. Reffner moved back to the east coast to work with the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, again having the opportunity to perform several soloist and principal roles. Some of Ms. Reffner’s favorite roles included the Siren in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, the Swan in Chris Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals, and Coffee in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
Ms. Reffner retired from the stage in 2010. She has been teaching ever since and has also been working hard to further her teaching certifications through the Cecchetti Council of America in which she is a member. Between teaching her classes Ms. Reffner can be found enjoying her free time with her husband, fellow dancer/teacher, Rick Callender and their two daughters.