Megan Kamler and Shannon Rodriguez Named Co-Artistic Directors of Rochester City Ballet

Megan Kamler and Shannon Rodriguez, current dancers with Rochester City Ballet (RCB), have officially been named Co-Artistic Directors of RCB as announced by their Board of Directors.  In this role, Kamler and Rodriguez will be responsible for the overall dance and outreach programs of RCB, providing leadership, vision and direction in the areas of artistic planning and performance.

Said Stephanie Knittel Rynkowski, RCB Board Chair, “Society’s ideas about ballet have shifted through the years.  That’s why we need leaders that will take this time of incredible opportunity to build on RCB’s rich history while bringing it boldly into the future.  The talent, vision and leadership that both women possess for translating desired moods, messages, concepts, and ideas of a piece into the dancers’ movements on stage also makes them perfectly suited for the roles of co-artistic directors.”

Kamler and Rodriguez will work closely with the RCB Board of Directors, company dancers, production and administrative staff, and volunteers to bring the community a diverse repertoire of performances that range from full-length, classical canonical works to original works by established and emerging choreographers.

Both Kamler and Rodriguez joined Rochester City Ballet after receiving training at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education and the University of Arizona where they earned a Bachelors of Fine Art in Dance. Kamler has been a company member of RCB since 2011 and Rodriguez joined RCB in 2015. Kamler and Rodriguez have been featured in several principal and soloist roles for RCB in classical and neoclassical ballets, as well as in contemporary works.

Said Kamler, “Shannon and I plan to continue to elevate the artistic vision of Rochester City Ballet with  a renewed approach of innovation, inclusion, impact and collaboration to drive the company’s artistic excellence to even greater heights.”

Said Rodriguez, “As dancers who trained at Timothy Draper’s school, both Megan and I are honored to be named co-artistic directors of RCB and are inspired to begin an exciting new chapter at the company that he founded.  We are 100 percent prepared to set the artistic vision and strategy for RCB during this time of incredible opportunity.”


Rochester City Ballet welcomes two new Artistic Directors
WUHF Fox Rochester, October 2nd, 2023

The Ugly Ducking performs at Nazareth College Arts Center
WHAM Channel 13, April 27th, 2023





The RPO & Roc City Ballet present The Nutcracker
Spectrum News Rochester, November 18th, 2022

Rochester City Ballet present “The Firebird”
Fox News Rochester, May 12th, 2022

The Kingdom of Sweets comes to Rochester
Campus Times, December, 10th, 2022

Special RCB News Update: Jessica Tretter Announces Retirement


Rochester City Ballet leading dancer Jessica Tretter has announced her retirement from the company after the 2021/22 Season. Ms. Tretter graduated from the Draper Center for Dance Education, the official training school for Rochester City Ballet. She began her professional career at The Houston Ballet and later with the San Antonio ballet. She returned to dance with the Rochester City Ballet in 2007 and has delighted us with her artistry ever since. 

“After a very short fourteen seasons with Rochester City Ballet, I have decided to retire from company life at the end of this season,” Ms. Tretter said. “I can finally say how long I’ve been a part of RCB without feeling old! I am on the older end, and that, along with a gut feeling that it is “time,” is why I’ve finally made the dreaded decision all dancers think about from the moment they get that first job. Or even before. But I will say that, while bittersweet, it is not as scary now as it once was. I have watched my colleagues, who feel more like family, grow and improve and dazzle. They have inspired me to be a better dancer and artist every day I step foot in the ballet studio. Without such amazing coworkers, directors, and ballet masters supporting me, I would not be stepping away feeling so fulfilled. This company is truly one of a kind. I look forward to cheering them on from the audience in the coming seasons! For my next stage in life, I can be found teaching Pilates and ballet, and looking forward to seeing where life takes me!”

As Jessica ended her performance career with RCB, she performed in their production of Firebird, as the lead, and was also featured in a special farewell solo choreographed by Jamey Leverett.

“Jessie is a transcendent artist,” said RCB Artistic Director Robert Gardner. “Her technique, timing, and instincts are impeccable. She has a singular ability to inhabit her roles and connect with audiences allowing us to savor every facet of the music and the character. Offstage, Jessie brings a phenomenal work ethic and is a role model to her peers on a daily basis. My first experience working with Jessie was early in 2020 when I became the Artistic Director of RCB mid-season. Immediately, Jessie took me with her elegant lines, pristine technique, and compelling musicality – a versatile ballerina in command of an eclectic repertoire. I felt so lucky to join the company and be able to work with her. And though I recognize Jessie’s desire to retire, I carry a weight of sadness about her departure. As Jessie takes her final bow on our stage, I have to reconcile the fact I have had too short a time to create for and collaborate with this wonderful artist and remarkable individual.”

Jamey Leverett, Artistic Director of the Draper Center for Dance Education, states, “I was artistic Director of RCB at the time when Jessie decided to return to Rochester and continue her career dancing for RCB. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to have her back. Jessie is a stunning dancer with beautifully long arms and legs that fill the stage. Her extremely quick, articulate footwork and her passionate, warm, and genuine artistry have inspired me throughout the creation of many of my ballets, most notably in Bravo! Colorado, Le Tombeau de Liberace, and The Blood Countess.”

Leverett went on to state, “While I loved creating for Jessie, it’s also been a thrill to watch her in masterworks like George Balanchine’s Serenade and Who Cares. Throughout Jessie’s career, she has amassed an incredible body of work, and her technique and artistry grew with every new challenge. I believe I will personally miss Jessie’s presence on the RCB stage the most every year at the Eastman Theatre, where I look forward to her iconic rendition of the Dew Drop Fairy, a role near and dear to my heart. Jessie, you will be greatly missed, but we are all so grateful for the beautiful memories and the evenings of dance you have made just that much more enjoyable for us all. You have made an incredible impact on RCB and the arts in Rochester, NY.”



Keeping Rochester’s ‘Nutcracker’ holiday tradition going, November 23, 2020

Rochester City Ballet to stream The Nutcracker
Fox Rochester, November 18, 2020

Rochester City Ballet prepares for virtual live performance
Fox Rochester, October 18, 2020

City Ballet finds a wealth of talent in new director
Rochester Business Journal, February 28, 2020

Rochester City Ballet welcomes new artistic director
Fox Rochester, February 21, 2020

Rochester City Ballet to Pemiere ‘Moulin d’Paris’
Messenger Post Media, February 19, 2020


Beyond the Nest reviews Rochester City Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty
Beyond the Nest, May 18, 2019

Julia Erickson talks about Sleeping Beauty
WROC-8, May 13, 2019

Sleeping Beauty previewed on Good Morning Rochester
13-WHAM, May 12, 2019

Rochester City Ballet rehearsal open to the Public
Canandaigua Post, May 10, 2019

Millenial Influence Grows at Rochester City Ballet
Rochester Business Journal, April 12, 2019

Beyond the Nest Reviews Rochester City Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons
Beyond the Nest, March 23, 2019

Lies and seduction
Rochester Business Journal, March 21, 2019

Rochester City Ballet delivers passion
WROC-TV, March 20, 2019

This Week We’re Joined By
James Corey on WPXY, March 5, 2019

Rochester City Ballet seeks BalletROC participants
Messenger Post, Feb. 20, 2019



A Holiday Favorite Returns to Canandaigua
Messenger Post, November 29, 2018

“Nutcracker” returns to Kodak Hall
WROC-TV, November 19, 2018

Dancers prepare for iconic classic Nutcracker
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 18, 2018

Things to do Around Rochester from Nov 8 to 14
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 8, 2018

RPO, Rochester City Ballet prepare for ‘Nutcracker’
Good Morning Rochester, November 2, 2018

Rochester Chamber’s biggest event celebrates Top 100 companies
Democrat & Chronicle, November 1, 2018

Beyond the Nest Reviews Tutus & Tango
Beyond the Nest, October 1, 2018

New Martine Series Features Ballet
Evening Tribune, September 30, 2018

Rochester City Ballet Presents Tutus & Tango
13-WHAM, September 27, 2018

Dance Tutus & Tango
City Newspaper, Sept. 27, 2018

New Heights for Rochester City Ballet

WROC-TV, September 26, 2018

Beyond the Nest Reviews Stravinsky/Bowie
Beyond the Nest, May, 2018

Longest Standing Member of Rochester City Ballet to Leave

Democrat & Chronicle, May 15 2018

Rochester City Ballet to present Stravinsky/Bowie
The Post, May 9, 2018

Rochester City Ballet presents Cinderella
13-WHAM – March 8, 2018

Ballet dancer lands dream role
WROC-TV – March 6, 2018

Two ballerinas tell what it’s like to play Cinderella
Democrat & Chronicle – February 23, 2018

Classical: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake
Rochester Business Journal – February 7, 2018

Rochester City Ballet performs in Elmira
18News – January 23, 2018

Rochester City Ballet performs Dr. Seuss classic for kids
WENY – January 24, 2018

Radio Interview with Artistic Director David Palmer
WPHD – January 22, 2018

Rochester City Ballet to perform at Clemens Center in Elmira
Press-Sun Bulletin – January 16, 2018


Holiday Magic
Democrat and Chronicle – November 19, 2017

Local Stars Headline 30th Anniversary of The Nutcracker
Fox News – November 14, 2017

Rochester City Ballet dancers fuse dance and craft beer
Democrat & Chronicle – October 17, 2017

Rochester City Ballet Receives Shubert Grant
Rochester Business Journal – June 7, 2017

Three Rochester Arts Organization Receive National Grant
Democrat & Chronicle – June 7, 2017

Rochester City Ballet to perform ‘Green Eggs & Ham’
Victor Post – March 22, 2017

Rochester City Ballet to perform ‘Summer of Love’
Penfield Post – March 10, 2017

‘Dark Side of the Moon’ eclipsed by Summer of Love
Democrat & Chronicle – March 6, 2017

Rochester City Ballet pays visit to College Town
Campus Times – February 27, 2017

Masquerade Ball to Benefit Rochester City Ballet
Fairport-East Rochester Post – February 15, 2017


Five Things to Do this Weekend
Post-Messenger – December 1, 2016

Rochester City Ballet Brings “The Nutcracker” to Canandaigua
Daily-Messenger – November 24, 2016

Rochester City Ballet and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Team Up for The Nutcracker
Spectrum News – November 24, 2016

Choice Events
City News – September 8, 2016

Interview about Slightly Sinful
The Justin Reilly show – September 4, 2016

Rochester City Ballet to open season with ‘Slightly Sinful’
Democrat & Chronicle – September 2, 2016

Arts Beat: Behind the scenes at Slightly Sinful
Democrat & Chronicle – September 2, 2016

Interview with guest choreographer Danny Rosseel and David Palmer
Mark Gruba on WROC – August 31, 2016

Rochester City Ballet to premiere ‘Slightly Sinful’
Webster Post – August 22, 2016

Guest Bartenders to support Rochester City Ballet
Democrat & Chronicle – August 16, 2016

Rochester City Ballet Debuts Bowie Dance
Democrat & Chronicle, May 13, 2016

Rochester City Ballet: Dancing on the ‘Edge’
Democrat & Chronicle – May 6, 2016

Rochester City Ballet readies Bowie dances
Democrat & Chronicle – May 6, 2016

Miami City Ballet Dancers to Perform in Ballet on the Edge
Irondequoit Post – May 5, 2016

Rochester City Ballet prepares David Bowie-inspired show ‘Ballet on the Edge’
Fairport-East Rochester Post – May 4, 2016

Blog post
Rocgirlgang – May 4, 2016

Rochester City Ballet to hold Bowie-themed performance
Democrat & Chronicle – April 23, 2016

The City Seen
City Newspaper April 17, 2016

Dancer Jim Nowakowski coming to Nazareth College in May
Democrat & Chronicle – March 25, 2016

25 Top Things to do in Rochester

No Plans? Masquerade Ball This Weekend! 
Democrat & Chronicle – Feb. 15, 2016

RCB Masquerade Ball
WROC TV – Feb. 16, 2016

In Series and Washington Ballet team up for Carmen in Havana
DC Theatre Scene – Feb. 8, 2106

A marriage of opera and ballet in ‘Carmen in Havana’
The Washington Post – Feb. 7, 2016

Mascots compete in “Ugly Duckling” competition
WROC TV – February 3, 2106

Red Wings, Knighthawks Mascots Keep Ballet Dancers On Their Toes
Time Warner Cable News – February 3, 2016

RCB Presents The Ugly Duckling
WROC TV – February 2, 2106

The Ugly Duckling and the Rochester City Ballet Four Parts
Fox Rochester – January 26, 2016

An Old tale with a Timeless Message of Tolerance
Arts Air & Explore – January, 2016

Rochester City Ballet holds studio performance
Democrat & Chronicle – January 23, 2016

No Plans? Check out the Rochester City Ballet
Democrat & Chronicle –  January 19, 2016

Ballet Leaders Plan New Moves for 2016
Rochester Business Journal – January 8, 2016

Rochester City Ballet to peform “The Ugly Duckling”
The Webster Post – January 6, 2016

Rochester’s new leaders share their vision for 2016
Democrat & Chronicle – January 2, 2016


Janet Lomax previews The Nutcracker
WHEC-TV – November 26, 2015

Mark Gruba on The Nutcracker
WROC-TV – November 24, 2015

Palmer settles in at Rochester City Ballet
Democrat & Chronicle – November 20, 2015

New Director of Rochester City Ballet
Good Day Rochester WHAM-TV – October 23, 2015

Rochester City Ballet holds Open House
Democrat & Chronicle – October 25, 2015

The Washington Ballet’s David Palmer Joins Rochester City Ballet Staff
Broadway World – October 19, 2015

Rochester City Ballet Hires Artistic Director
Democrat & Chronicle – October 17, 2015

Rochester City Ballet Names Artistic Director
WXXI – October 17, 2015

Rochester City Ballet searches for artistic director
Democrat & Chronicle – September 18, 2015

Webster reality TV star returns home
Democrat & Chronicle – September 4, 2015

Ballet performs for kids with special needs
Democrat & Chronicle – August 1, 2015

Art inspires Tyzik music and Leverett ballet
Democrat & Chronicle – May 2, 2015

Rochester City Ballet’s latest In Studio session
Democrat & Chronicle – April 30, 2015

Concert review: ‘A Night of Dance’ with RPO is magical
Democrat & Chronicle – March 13, 2015


Bill Evans choreographs piece for Rochester City Ballet – May 16, 2013

RCB celebrating 25 years with spring performances
YNN (video clip) – May 17, 2013

Preview of Past, Present & Future
City Newspaper – May 15, 2013

“Brighton’s Balletrista” – Interview with Jessica Tretter
Brighton Pittsford Post – May 15, 2013

On air interview with Jamey Leverett & Jessica Tretter
WHEC News – May 13, 2013

Bill Evans choreographs piece for Rochester City Ballet (includes videos)
Democrat & Chronicle – May 12, 2013

Video and interview at our studios
13WHAM News – May 8, 2013

Mid-sized community features mighty cultural clout
Democrat & Chronicle – May 5, 2013

Career in ballet dancing requires combination of emotion, technique
Democrat & Chronicle – – April 5, 2013

Rochester City Ballet heading to Jacob’s Pillow
Democrat & Chronicle – March 12, 2013

Concert Review: RPO & RCB “New York Cityscapes”
City Newspaper – Music Blog – February 2, 2013


Alesi lands 1.3M for area hospitals, arts
Democrat and Chronicle – December 13, 2012

Rochester City Ballet company members guest artists for The Nutcracker – Illinois – December 7, 2012

Review – The Nutcracker, a lush treat for Thanksgiving weekend
Democrat and Chronicle – November 23, 2012

Interview – Jesse Campbell & William Moore, Jr.
WHEC – News 10 – November 19, 2012

Ballet Dancer overcomes injuries to give athletic performances
Democrat and Chronicle – November 18, 2012

One of a Kind – William Moore, Jr.
Democrat and Chronicle video link – November 18, 2012

Emma Hodson joins Rochester City Ballet
Fairport-East Rochester Post – September 28, 2012

Eureka Teen to study at Rochester, NY ballet company – Bloomington, Illinois – August 12, 2012

RCB Announces 25th Anniversary Season
Irondequoit Post – August 2, 2012

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