A ballet dancer since her elementary days, Ruby Karen has worked up the ladder harder than most kids in her dance class. Coming from a family of nine (9) siblings, the luxury of going to ballet class was not afforded to her, rather, she saved up her school allowance to pay for her tuition, and graciously accepted hand-me-down dance attires and pointe (toe) shoes. After advancing enough to be leveled with the apprentices of dance companies, she found herself taking classes with world famous British dancer and teacher, William Morgan, who provided her with the strong fundamental training she now carries till today. It was through Morgan and choreographer, Eric V. Cruz, the latter who discovered her while auditioning for the project, Interior Castle, that greatly contributed to Ruby’s training, which also commenced her professional career as a performing artist.
Having lived in Tokyo for almost a decade, she immigrated to Los Angeles, where she had to start all over. The Hollywood industry was quite different from Tokyo protocol. She focused her attention as a dancer and a choreographer, creating various pieces for individuals and dance companies. As she hungered for new concepts, she continued to aggressively train and meet new challenges including her newly found interests, acro-gymnastics and salsa. She realized that in order to fulfill her passion, she had to break away from limitations and direct her energies as a solo/ independent performer, setting no boundaries to the passion of learning and strengthening her skills in ballet, modern, acro-gymnastics, salsa and Aerial Arts, e.g. Silk/Tissu, Lyra/Hoop and Hammock. In keeping with the commercial aspect Hollywood has to offer, she appeared at various television and theatrical productions, as well as corporate and industrial functions. She was a guest performer at the final episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" 1st Season, and was the assistant choreographer to Alex Da Silva in several salsa routines, with specialty in lift and tricks partnering technique.
As an evolving artist, Ruby Karen didn't stop here, rather... she subjected herself to the mastering the Aerial Arts discipline. It’s been over a decade since she embarked the circus field, and still Ruby Karen actively continues her passion of performing, as she incorporates dance, fitness and aerial arts in her vocabulary. In an effort to share her lifelong passion for the arts, she formed several educational institutions including her school, the Ruby Karen Project Aerial Performing Arts, the Orange County Aerial Arts and her spearheading of the non-profit organization, Aerial Arts America.
Ruby Karen dedicates this website to the many artists who crave nothing more but to be embodied in the form they passionately adore. For her credentials and Aerial Arts background, click HERE
Ruby Karen Project
TheRuby Karen Project stemmed out of projects that Ruby Karen (founder and director) was undergoing in the early 2000 to the present. These included numerous performances and instructions around the globe and in 2009, Ruby Karen saw it fit to established its home base in Orange County. The organization, although mobile in many aspects, mainly renders instructions and performances and serves as the engine and operating arm of its school (also called the school of the Ruby Karen Project) and its performing company, the Orange County Aerial Arts. As a performing arts school, the areas of discipline include Aerial Arts (Tissu, Hoop, Hammock, Vertical Aerials, Trapeze, Corde Lisse, Cube and inventive apparatus) as well as Dance (Ballet, Contemporary, Latin and Theater Arts) as a form of movement to compliment various performing aspects.
RUBY KAREN PROJECT is an educational performing arts school and the engine to the ORANGE COUNTY AERIAL ARTS, a performing arts company for the which the RKP students are derived from. Their mission is to educate, promote & market Aerial Arts in the performing arts industry through instructions, demonstrations, showcases and performances and aims to reach out as the official performing Aerial Arts group in Southern California. It’s discipline is primarily AERIAL ARTS, with Circus Arts and Movement (in the form of DANCE including acrobatics, adagio partnering, acro-gymnastics, ballet, contemporary and latin dances).
The OCAA and its most popular program, the APPRENTICESHIP caters to serious fitness and sports patrons of all ages, who not only wishes to bump up their training with non-repetitious innovative and unique exercises but also engages their creative skills, coordination, strength and endurance. The APPRENTICESHIP is also more commonly known as a pre-professional training program that provides a platform for the students to express their learned skills and apply the same in an audience setting.
Founder of OCAA, Program Designer and Artistic Director, Ruby Karen, together with Technical Director and husband, Luca Cecchini are the fore-frontiers of the Ruby Karen Project and the Orange County Aerial Arts.
ADVENTURES OF THE MORTARS Saturday & Sunday, February 9 & 10 @ 6:30pm & 3:30pm
A world with no rules or structure, three Mortars escape from their precious NADIR, and travel to different dimensions and time, exploring different worlds and understanding how to deal with their chaotic land. They realize that as they see NADIR’S current state, in time they will be extinct. The experiences they learn from Jurassic and Earth gives them the the strength to return and change their world. Written by: Ruby Karen
TALES OF THE GODS
TALES OF THE GODS, Saturday, January 28, 2012
Stemming from Greek mythology, this production featureD the many Greek Gods and their stories presented in a variety of theater arts disciplines including circus and aerial acts as well as dance forms. The apprentice team of the Orange County Aerial Arts starred in this one of a kind aerial performing arts production.
A professional dancer for a continued 30 plus years, Ruby Karen began her training in aerial arts since 2003 in Los Angeles, Rio De Janeiro, Madrid and San Francisco. She currently specializes in Lyra/ Hoop, Hammock, Tissu/Silk and Vertical Aerial and has been performing and continuous to perform aerial arts professionally all over the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. To this day, she continues her training, always searching for new discipline and style while gracing the stage with her professional performances. Although she directs and choreographs for OCAA, she is always on the lookout for outside collaboration & projects, including aerial roles for independent productions such as the touring production of Camerata Tango & her expanding of RKP's aerial syllabus in Asia, including Bangkok's SkyFly and Manila's top performance companies and aerial schools, Airdance & Polecats.
As the program director, co-founder and artistic director of the Orange County Aerial Arts and its managing division, the Ruby Karen Project, together with husband, Luca Cecchini, produce one of the kind aerial dance shows geared to introduce aerial arts, dance & fitness as a form of performance arts to the locals.
Born and raised in Italy, Luca has a long standing career (25 years) as a restaurant owner and Chef in the Liguria/ Riviera area with back to back role as a Producer, Event Organizer and Stage Constructions of concerts and festivals, including a one month open space festival for the World Cup Series in 2006. He now shares with OCAA his technical skills, including installation and maintenance of the company's rigging needs, creation of props and sets, and invention of aerial apparatus as sees fit. He is OCAA's technical director and resident certified master rigger.
Caitlin Terry - Performer and Instructor
Caitlin Terry laid the foundation for her dancing at the age of four when she took her first ballet class. She was extensively involved in her ballet training until age 16. In May, 2010, she had the desire to dance again, and walked into a dance studio. She was hoping to resume her ballet and jazz training, but instead saw Ruby Karen teaching an aerial class and became intrigued. At her first class, she couldn’t even climb the tissue, and found herself extremely sore the next day. But she was hooked! About a month after taking her first class, Ruby recommended she do the apprentice program. Through the aerial classes and Ruby Karen’s apprentice program, Caitlin has developed into the aerial dancer and artist she didn’t even know she had the capability to be. She continues to learn from Ruby and her husband, Luca, not only in dance and performance, but also the life lessons of hard work, consistency, and being passionate about the things you love.
Going into the future, Caitlin has grown with The Ruby Karen Project and Orange County Aerial Arts, not only in aerial training but also in acro, acro-partnering, and different forms of ground dancing. Caitlin feels gratitude and excitement for the opportunities and life experience that Orange County Aerial Arts has provided. With hard work and the instruction and inspiration of Ruby Karen,
Aside from being an OCAA professional aerialist, Caitlin now teaches the aerial classes at the School of the Ruby Karen Project.
Enrique Escajeda - Aerialist
Enrique has spent the past 3-4 years intensively studying aerial arts specifically Rope and Silks and has been with the Orange County Aerial Arts since its inception, having performed in most of its public and private engagements. If not doing silk you can catch Enrique performing in local stunt shows around Orange County.
Check out our Schedule of Classes for Enrique's upcoming workshops and commencement of Rope aka Corde Lisse classes
McKenzie Prewitt - Aerialist & Acrobat
As an elite competitive Acrogymnast for 10 years, Kenzie, traveled all over the world competing in several international competitions in countries including Poland and Belgium. In her last competitive years, her trio team became the National Champions in 2004, and was part of the USA Gymnastics National team. I attended school at CSU Sacramento and earned a BS degree in Kinesiology exercise science, she returned to Orange County in August 2010, began training with the Ruby Karen Project's Aerial School and became a part of the OCAA apprentice team, to expand my skills and growth in the field of aerial arts, both as an athlete and performer.
COMING SOON: the Apprentice Team
Apprenticeship Program: Students undergo intensive training geared to prepare them for performances. Training not only consist of aerial and dance training, but also undergo other production areas including costumes and make-up, rhythm,timing, musical cueing and synchronizing of movements, stage presence and interpretation, and working with a partner or a group within a choreography. You can watch our apprentice group in several of our showcases and productions. See Upcoming Events
Here is a video clip of our Apprentice team - the future OCAA members
INTERNATIONAL DANCER, AERIALIST & CHOREOGRAPHER
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Ruby studied ballet continuously since she was 8 yrs old (Manila, Tokyo, New York, Zurich & Los Angeles) in addition to modern, jazz, circus aerials and gymnastics. She has and currently travels around the world, performing and teaching dance. She is a world title holder in three categories namely salsa, ballet and acro-gymnastics and has won several awards in choreography and sports both on the national international and regional level.
At age 8, Ruby Karen began her ballet training at her neighborhood school under the tutelage of Yolly Ureta. She then continued at the American School of Ballet (Edgar Valdez), Effie Nanas School of Ballet, the Cultural Center of the Philippines School of Dance and William Morgan. Then, at age 14, she became a member of Dance Concert Company’s corps de ballet headed by Vela Damian and Eric V. Cruz, after which she was promoted to principal dancer with Dance Concert Company, dancing to several roles from classic ballets to original company repertoires.
An advocate of good health and core training, Ruby Karen explored the competitive arena of bodybuilding and powerlifting as a medium of understanding her body.She also took gymnastics and was a varsity swimmer in college.These athletic sports coupled with formal education in biomechanical studies assisted her in strength, endurance and technique training as well as aided in her designing and development of class/ workshop programs.
Ruby Karen is measured as a total package in the field of performing arts. Not only does she physically delivers the art form, she also passionately creates movement whether for herself or for individuals and organizations. She is driven by her wide vocabulary fusing a variety of choreography influences from her background (ballet, contemporary dance, modern, jazz and athletic routines) producing new forms in the performing arts language. Even with the given resources provided to her, she believes that there are no boundaries when it comes to crafting movements.
Like other Filipinos, Ruby Karen was exposed to music since she was a little girl, performing with her siblings under the group, Tender Trap. She continuously got involved in several groups and consistently performed in concerts, events, and private functions as well as did studio recordings.
"She has all the characteristics of a successful performer – very solid and strong technique, compelling and beautiful stage presence, and the emotional and physical stamina to withstand any obstacles thrown her way."full testimonial