The Nutcracker Ballet Creative
Director and ChoreographerMonique Foster
Monique spent ten years working in New York City as a model, singer, dancer and actress. She eventually returned to her home state of New Mexico where she has been a successful studio owner for over two decades. Monique has trained extensively with many of the world’s top dance instructors including Franco De Vita, Raymond Lukens, David Howard, Peter Schabel, Madame Darvash, Chet Walker, Frank Hatchett, and Germaine Salzburg. In New York, Monique expanded her repertoire by studying at the Singer’s Forum and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. (She completed her BA in Theatre Arts at NMSU.) She is the only instructor certified through Level V in the American Ballet Theatre’s rigorous National Training Curriculum in the region and holds a teaching certificate from the legendary David Howard’s Teachers Training Program. She is also a certified health coach from The New York Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Monique has choreographed extensively for regional musical theatre groups and has additionally worked as professional choreographer for feature films.
A Grammy Award winning artists and nominated for two other Latin Grammys, Jorge Martinez-Rios studied viola and piano at the Conservatorio de las Rosas in Morelia, Mexico where he graduated with honors under the tutelage of Professor Gela Dubrova. In 2003, he completed his Master of Music degree in Viola Performance at Western Michigan University. In 2007, he completed another Master of Music Degree in Chamber Music and studied conducting under the instruction of Dr. Frank Wiley. Maestro Jorge Martinez-Rios has conducted the Contemporary Music Ensemble in Morelia Mexico, Camerata de Coahuila, Orquesta del Estado de Durango, Las Cruces Symphony, CMI Chamber Orchestra in San Antonio, New Horizons Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Michoacán, and Paso del Norte Chamber Orchestra. While at WMU, Mr. Martinez was awarded one of the university’s most prestigious awards, namely, the All University Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Award. It was the first time in the history of the university that the Graduate College bestowed such recognition upon the School of Music. Mr. Martinez specializes in chamber music and he is the violist and founding member of the La Catrina Quartet, which has been hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as Wonderful ambassadors for music. He has performed in Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Aruba, El Salvador, and all of the United States. Recent appearances include, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall and Symphony Space, NY; Meany Hall World-Series, Seattle WA; Chicago Center for the Arts, IL; UCLA Concert Series, CA; Festival Internacional Chihuahua, Mexico; Palacio de Bellas Artes and National Center for the Arts, Mexico City; San Miguel de Allende Music Festival and Festival Internacional Cervantino, Guanajuato Mexico; just to mention but a few. Recently, Mr. Martinez-Rios was invited by the National Endowment for the Arts in Mexico to be part of a historical recording compilation where he recorded the String Trio and the Sonata for Viola and Piano by Jose P. Moncayo. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the New Mexico State University Department of Music, artistic director for New Horizons Symphony and Borderland Arts Foundation, and maintains a busy performing, conducting and recording agenda for the coming seasons.