Ballet Evolution's Artistic Collective



   Jonathan Tabbert,

    Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer


    Mr. Tabbert began his dance training at the Dayton Ballet School and then received a scholarship to study at The Harid Conservatory, where he was awarded a number of dance honors. In 1999 Jonathan completed his training at the School of the Hartford Ballet with additional training from the Houston Ballet Academy and American Ballet Theatre. Jonathan had an illustrious performance career as a principal dancer with the Charleston Ballet Theatre as well as being a guest artist for the North Carolina State Ballet and the Greenville Ballet. After twelve years of being a valued staff member of the Charleston Ballet School he became the director of the Palmetto City Youth Ballet. He also held the title of company teacher for the Charleston Ballet Theatre, with his choreography being a staple in the repertoire as well as receiving a performance grant from the Harkness Foundation for his ballet “Jubilee”. Other credits include Guest Teacher and/or Choreographer for the Gem City Ballet, Victoria Ballet Theatre, Burklyn Ballet Theatre and The Charleston County School of the Arts. Jonathan is also currently the Co-Founder/Director of the official school of Ballet Evolution the Charleston Dance Institute.





   Stephen Gabriel,

    Ballet Master/Artistic Associate


    Mr. Gabriel trained extensively with master teachers Michael Simms of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Elizabeth Hard of the Kansas City Ballet and was awarded full scholarships from both Duke University and Stephens College where he earned his B.F.A degree in dance. His professional performing credits include seasons with the Richmond Ballet, Ballet Omaha, and as principal dancer for Orlando’s Southern Ballet Theatre and the Charleston Ballet Theatre. Throughout his career he danced lead roles in many of the classics as well as works by Lambros Lambrou, Mauricio Wainrot, Lew Christensen and NYCB’s Christopher Fleming. Stephen has also performed for renowned modern choreographers Doug Varone, Peter Pucci, Mark Taylor and the Humphrey-Weidman Repertory Company. During his time with the Charleston Ballet Theatre he served as the company’s Ballet Master. Also during his tenure, he had the honor of working closely with Repetiteurs of the George Balanchine Trust in the staging and coaching of the company’s Balanchine Repertory.




   Sandra Nikolajevs,

    Musical Director


    Born and raised in central Massachusetts, bassoonist Sandra Nikolajevs began her formal musical education at the Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in Ohio and continued studies at the Juilliard School in New York City and at the Paris Conservatory. Ms. Nikolajevs participated in the National Repertory Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center summer music festivals and worked with such notable conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez and Robert Spano. She performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Ms. Nikolajevs is currently Principal Bassoonist of the Savannah Philharmonic and has held the same position with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic and Augusta Symphony. She is President and Artistic Director of Chamber Music Charleston.



    Claire Ahlin

     Lighting Designer/Administrative Assistant


      Claire is a native of the Charleston area. Her foray into lighting design began while a dance major at Charleston County School of the Arts. She graduated Cum Laude from College of Charleston in 2016 with majors in Arts Management and Theatre: concentrating in Lighting Design. During her senior year, she completed a 120 hour internship in arts administration with Ballet Evolution. While at the College, her lighting design of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" earned her a nomination in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival's Design Competition for Region IV. She also presented "Lighting for Dance: A Collaborative Process" at the 2016 American College Dance Festival at Emory University. In addition to her lighting design residency with Ballet Evolution, she has also designed for the Charleston Dance Institue, Mt. Pleasant Performing Arts Company, Coastal Ballet USA, Charleston Southern University, and Annex Dance Company.