Artistic Staff

José Manuel Carreño, Artistic Director

José Manuel Carreño trained at the National Ballet School in his birthplace, Cuba.  In 1987, he received the Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition.

At the USA International Ballet Competition in 1990, Carreño won the Grand Prize and then joined The English National Ballet as a principal dancer.

In 1993, Carreño joined The Royal Ballet as a principal dancer, where he astonished audiences with the depth of his interpretation and technical flair.  In 1995, Carreño joined American Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer, performing all major principal male roles until his retirement in 2011. 

Carreño received the 2000 dance 'Oscar' awarded to the world's top male dancers. Dance Magazine stated, “Carreño brings unequaled gifts to the stage.

He has secured his place in ballet’s pantheon with his incredible magnetism and astonishing technique. Carreño has shown that he can be passionate, mischievous and gentle, with sizzling energy.”

Raymond Rodriguez, Associate Artistic Director

Raymond Rodriguez was born in New York City and began tap dancing at the age of six.

While attending the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan, he studied ballet and also began training at the American Ballet Theatre School on a full scholarship, later joining ABT as an apprentice. Rodriguez joined Cleveland Ballet in 1981 as a principal dancer.

During his tenure with the company - later known as Ballet San Jose - Rodriguez held a wide range of artistic roles.

Karen Gabay, Artistic Associate

Karen Gabay was born in San Diego, California and began her ballet training at the age of eight at the California Ballet School, and later studied at the School of American Ballet in New York City. A principal dancer with Ballet San Jose until 2013 when she was named Artistic Associate, Miss Gabay's diverse repertoire included creating the role of Juliet in Dennis Nahat's Romeo and Juliet; Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; the title role in Giselle; Swanilda in Coppélia; the pupil in Flemming Flindt's The Lesson; the title role in Roland Petit's Carmen.

Principal Dancers


Corps de Ballet



Photos by Chris Hardy