Guest Artist Bio
- Performs with the Oregon Symphony at the Waterfront Concert September 1, 2016, during their 7 pm performance.
Oregon Ballet Theatre is committed to sharing our passion for the expressive power of ballet, inspiring an enduring appreciation of dance, and connecting in meaningful ways to our community through excellence in performance, training and educational programs. OBT is the largest professional ballet company in Oregon, employing nearly 200 people and attracting artists from around the globe with a reputation for excellence. The company is rooted in the traditions of classical ballet, with a repertoire that ranges from the great classics to premieres from some of the most exciting choreographic voices in the field today. Our mission is dedicated to the vitality of, and access to, world-class ballet performance and training in our region.
Jaqueline Straughan, principal dancer, and Candace Bouchard, soloist
Founded in 1989 by James Canfield, a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, OBT quickly developed a distinctive style and unique repertoire that grew to comprise over 80 ballets. From 2003-2012, under the direction of Christopher Stowell, OBT presented nearly 350 performances and added 51 ballets, including 20 world premieres, to its diverse body of work. In June 2013, we were delighted to name Kevin Irving as the company’s third Artistic Director. Irving brings over 25 years of experience performing with and managing world-renowned cultural organizations and dance companies, including The Göteborg Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and Compañia Nacional de Danza (Spain). His tenure has been marked by a commitment to collaborative partnerships with other Portland artists and organizations, including the Portland Art Museum, Multnomah County Library, Kenji Bunch, and Pink Martini. He has expanded the company’s classical repertoire – with the premieres of Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella and August Bournonville’s Napoli – while preserving OBT’s legacy and restoring major works such as James Canfield’s Romeo & Juliet. At the same time, he continues to build a diverse body of work with world premieres from internationally acclaimed, contemporary choreographers such as Nicolo Fonte, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and James Kudelka.
Under Irving’s leadership OBT seeks to develop a unique approach to American ballet in the 21st Century that promotes a greater affirmation of the art form’s connection to the world around us.
Learn more about OBT's upcoming season.
Jacqueline Straughan | Principal Dancer
Joined OBT in 2016
Oregon Ballet Theatre’s newest Principal Dancer Jacqueline Straughan is a native of Carson City, Nevada. She studied at the National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada where she was also the recipient of the Peter Dwyer Scholarship and Christopher Ondaatje Award for dance excellence.
Ms. Straughan began her professional career in 2000 with the National Ballet of Canada under the directorship of James Kudelka. While with the company she performed his works and others by John Cranko, Sir. Frederick Ashton, Sir. Kenneth MacMillan, Glen Tetley and Matjash Mrozewski.
In 2006 Ms. Straughan joined Ballet West where she quickly moved up the ranks to First Soloist, adding an array of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works to her repertoire. Ms. Straughan’s notable principal roles include the title role of Giselle, as well as principal roles in Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels, Jiri Kylián’s Forgotten Land & On An Overgrown Path, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and George Balanchine’s Rubies. Nicolo Fonte, OBT’s newly appointed Resident Choreographer, created Presto and several other ballets on Ms. Straughan during their respective time with Ballet West. She has also appeared in featured roles in ballets by Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Ben Stevenson, Willam Christensen, Val Caniparoli, Mathew Neenan, Helen Pickett, and OBT’s founding Director James Canfield. While at Ballet West, Ms. Straughan simultaneously pursued her higher education goals, graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Green & Sustainable Enterprise Management.
Candace Bouchard | Soloist
Joined OBT in 2003 | Soloist since 2008
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Candace Bouchard began dancing at the age of 5. She joined OBT as an apprentice in 2003, became a full company artist in 2004, and was promoted to soloist in 2008. Some of her favorite roles include William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and The Second Detail, Helen Pickett’s Petal, and Dew Drop in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.