Sofia Olga Carreras
Founder and Artistic Director of Intersect Dance Theatre, Sofia Carreras was born in Barcelona, Spain, and received her early training from the Marquis de Cuevas Prima Ballerina Beatriz Consuelo at the Ecole de Danse de Grand Theatre de Geneve. She began her professional career at age 13 at the Geneva Opera House, performing alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov, and working under the direction of Patricia Neary and George Balanchine. Shortly after, Sofia moved with her family to the United States, where she joined Capitol City Ballet, under the artistic direction of Nolan T’Sani, and became a soloist for the Sacramento Ballet. In the early 1980s, she joined the San Francisco Ballet School on full scholarship and performed with the company. She was also among the first group of dancers to train under Alonzo King, who arrived in San Francisco from New York to found Lines Ballet in 1982.
In the mid 1980′s Sofia’s professional career was cut short by injury, but she was eventually able to get back to training with Willam Christensen at Ballet West in Utah, and joined the University of Utah Dance Program for one year. Having then studied English and Theatre at Sacramento State University, Sofia spent a year in the graduate Dance Program at Mills College before transferring to the University of California, Irvine, where she worked under the tutelage of David Allan and Israel “EL” Gabriel.
While completing her MFA, Sofia taught at a number of schools, including Riverside Ballet Arts and Huntington Beach Academy of Dance. She assisted in the premier production of David Allan’s Cinderella, and also trained figure skaters in ballet, artistically coaching and choreographing such luminaries as Naomi Nari Nam, National silver medalist, and Sasha Cohen, Olympic silver medalist.
Sofia’s choreography has been performed at many venues throughout Southern California, at the Varna International Ballet Competition, at the American Grand Prix in New York City, and at the American Dance Festival in Boulder, Colorado. During her tenure as Artistic Director of Huntington Beach’s Ballet Etudes, Sofia choreographed a children’s ballet The Swan Princess, and restaged and choreographed for the company’s productions of La Sylphide, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty. She was invited to choreograph for Riverside City College’s Celebrate Dance concert in 2002, and subsequently joined the faculty at RCC where she is now an Associate Professor of Dance. She teaches ballet to advanced level, dance appreciation, and ballet repertoire. She choreographs for the annual faculty concert and has directed several concerts. Sofia is very proud of her students, many of whom have gone on to pursue degrees in Dance or to professional careers in dance or dance education.
Sofia first conceived the idea of a multi-genre dance company in 2004 and directed the first Intersect Dance Theatre concert, Dancing on Strings, at Landis Auditorium, Riverside, a concert that also featured the choreography of Irene Ko, Richard Gray, and Sofia’s RCC colleague Mark Haines. Plans to develop the new company were shelved in 2006, however, when Sofia was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to endure a year of medical treatment in the midst of which she gave birth to her son, Sebastian. Two years later Sofia gathered a new group of dancers to re-form Intersect Dance Theatre with the help of Mark Haines who served as co-Artistic Director for two years. The new Intersect is now an independent, non-profit, professional company in its fourth season and continues to showcase original choreographic work throughout Southern California.