Artistic Vision

San Jose Dance Theatre’s Artistic Vision is guided by the Artistic Director who takes into consideration current market trends and interests. The primary artistic goal of the organization is to create new classical dance experiences for the San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area audiences. To achieve this, the Artistic Director skillfully designs a strong annual offering of works supporting the growth of the local dance community. 

Artistic Director - Mark Foehringer

Hailed by San Francisco dance critics as “unfailingly musical”, “imaginative and inventive”, Mark Foehringer steps into the position of Artistic Director of San Jose Dance Theatre. He has been part of the dance industry for over four decades. He is a director, choreographer, master teacher, producer, and mentor. Foehringer was born in Minnesota and grew up in Brazil, South America. He received his conservatory dance education at Centro de Dança e Artes Integradas in São Paulo, Brazil. He is a founding member of Cisne Negro Dance Company in São Paulo and toured with them throughout South America and Europe for ten years..

Upon returning to the US, he was appointed to the artistic directorship of Western Ballet in Mountain View, California, a position he held for ten years. While there, he choreographed, staged, and directed 37 productions which included three act ballets as well as mixed bills. He developed the Western Ballet training programs into world class dance education. In 1996 he founded Mark Foehringer Dance Project|SF (MFDP|SF), a contemporary dance organization based in San Francisco committed to creative practices which generate opportunity, inclusion, and collaboration in dance. The company represented the United States on five US Public Diplomacy tours through the US State Department and performed by invitation in New York at the Joyce Theater and Lincoln Center. Foehringer was awarded two Fulbright Fellowships and a Specialist Grant through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Internationally, he worked at Rambert School for Contemporary Dance in London and throughout Brazil. He was an artist in residence at National Ballet of Peru in 2007 and toured throughout Peru lecturing, teaching, and creating dance works for a variety of populations. In 2013 he founded Conservatory for Contemporary Dance Arts (CCDA), a multidisciplinary dance program which prepared serious young dancers for university level dance studies and a career in dance. Foehringer serves as stage director and choreographer for bay area opera companies, amongst them Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, California and Opera San Jose. After eight years as a professor of dance at San José State University, Foehringer is thrilled to take the helm at San Jose Dance Theatre.

Mariana Zschoerper - Ballet Mistress

Mariana trained at The Bolshoi Theater School from 2000-2007 and performed soloist roles in Brazil, Italy, Germany, France, and Russia. She was chosen to do an internship with The Bolshoi Ballet in Russia and received private coaching by Vladimir Vassiliev and Ekaterina Maximova. Mariana performed Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, while completing her internship with The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

Mariana graduated from The Bolshoi Theater School as the Valedictorian of her class, and received a Certificate of Vaganova Method for Teaching. In 2007, Mariana joined the professional Bolshoi Ballet company in Brazil, performed as a soloist. In 2010, Mariana joined Company Ballet in Sao Paolo as a Principal Dancer and competed nationally, receiving many awards for her work in Brazil. She was a Finalist at the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition NYC Senior Division 2015-2016. She won First Place and Honorius at the Bravo Ballet Competition in 2010.

In 2011, Mariana joined the Baltimore Ballet as a Principal Dancer and also coached the advanced dancers in the school. In 2013, she received a merit scholarship to The Boston Conservatory, and in 2017, graduated with her B.F.A. as the Valedictorian.

Mariana Joined SJDT in 2019 as Ballet Mistress.

The Dancers 


Tracy Fuller headshot black & white

Tracy Fuller

A native of Denver, Colorado Tracy Fuller began dancing at age twelve after being inspired by a Nutcracker advertisement. She trained at Colorado School of Dance and Classic Dance Academy and attended Summer Intensives at the Colorado Ballet and Boston Ballet.

At age seventeen she was hired into Colorado Ballet's Studio Company where she performed for three seasons. While at Colorado Ballet she had the opportunity to perform in many incredible productions like Swan Lake and George Balanchine's Serenade. Tracy then spent two seasons as a Soloist at Ballet Fantastique.

During the Covid-19 crisis she co-founded and danced with Fermata Ballet Collective and continued her training with John Grensback. Tracy is excited and honored to begin her second season with San Jose Dance Theater.

Augusto Cesar Francisco da Silva headshot black & white

Augusto Cesar

Augusto Cezar started his dance training when he was 7 years old in Sao Paulo, Brazil. During his eight years as a student at Conservatorio Carlos Gomes and Especial Academia de ballet, Cezar had the Opportunity to perform notable works such as Basilio in Don Quixote, James in La Sylphide where he placed First in the biggest Ballet Competition in South America.

In 2010 he was selected to represent his Country at the USA International Ballet Competition where he won a contract to Nashville Ballet.

Augusto worked as a Soloist with the Nashville Ballet from 2011 - 2017 where he performed key roles such as the Jester in Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling’s Cinderella, Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty, the clever Bonvolio in Vasterling’s Romeo & Juliet and the title role in Vasterling’s world premiere production of Peter Pan. He was also featured in Dominic Walsh’s The Whistling. In addition to being a ballet dancer, Augusto enjoys teaching Ballet, Jazz and Irish step dancing, in which he is also professionally trained.

Elise Holmes headshot black & white

Elise Holmes

Elise Holmes began her training at Pasadena Dance Theatre under Cynthia Young and Laurence Blake. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Pasadena Arts Council Young Artist Award for Dance. She spent summers studying at Ballet Arizona and on scholarship at Boca Ballet Theatre where she performed in Dan Guin’s Coppélia.

She went on to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) where she received her B.F.A in Dance Performance with a minor in Biological Sciences. During her time at Irvine, she was the recipient of the William J. Gillespie Scholarship and performed featured roles in excerpts from La Bayadère, Le Corsaire, and La Sylphide. She also traveled to Shanghai, China as part of UCI’s East Meets West Dance Festival.

Holmes returned to Pasadena Dance Theatre for two seasons as a soloist appearing in their fall gala and their Nutcracker production. In 2020, Elise joined San José Dance Theatre as a Trainee performing roles such as the Coulante Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and being featured in original works by Linda Hurkmans, Michael Pappalardo, and Mariana Zschoerper.

Elise is excited to return to San José Dance Theatre for the 2021-2022 season.

All photos and headshots are thanks to Kyle Adler Photography