The show's name, La Nouba, translates into "party" or "to live it up." "It is a world where dreams and reality intertwine as the urban and circus worlds meet on stage," according to www.cirquedusoleil.com.
La Nouba has an international cast of about 70 artists, and performs two shows daily, five days a week. Cirque du Soleil was founded by Guy Laliberte in 1984 with 20 street performers. It has grown into a company of more than 4,000 employees (1,000 of them artists) and has locations in over 40 different countries.
Yates started dancing at the New England Dance Conservatory in East Longmeadow. She attended East Longmeadow High School her freshman year, but at the age of 14, she auditioned and was accepted into the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, N.C. There, she studied ballet along with her high school curriculum and graduated in 1994. From high school, Yates moved to the Orlando area to dance for the Orlando Ballet (formerly known as Southern Ballet Theater). She has performed many principal roles with the company, including the dual leading roles in "Swan Lake," Titania in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker," "Giselle," "Serenade," "Raymonda," "Agon" and "Lark Ascending," choreographed by Bruce Marks (formerly the director Boston Ballet).
For the Orlando Ballet's 30th Anniversary Gala, she performed with the late, great Fernando Bujones in a piece he choreographed from the storyline of the "Phantom of the Opera." In 2005, Yates represented the Orlando Ballet at the International Ballet Festival of Miami, where she preformed her signature roll of the Dying Swan. She has also been a guest artist with the Universal Ballet Company, based in South Korea, and has toured extensively with them throughout Asia and Europe.
Yates is excited about her new opportunity with Cirque and about her continued work for the Orlando Ballet for its 2009-10 season. This will be her 16th season with the Orlando Ballet, giving her the most seniority among the artists, and also the dancer with the longest career in the history of the company.
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