Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Chairman of Faculty and Artistic Director Peter Martins

The Mae L. Wien Awards

2012 Wien Awardees

The School of American Ballet is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2012 Mae L. Wien Award:


Sean Lavery


Harrison Coll
Silas Farley
Claire Von Enck

From Left: Peter Martins and Sean Lavery
From left: Harrison Coll, Olivia Boisson, Peter Martins, Claire Von Enck and Silas Farley; Photos by Paul Kolnik

SEAN LAVERY grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and studied at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet as a young boy before moving to New York to train with Barbara Fallis and Richard Thomas. After performing with both San Francisco Ballet and Frankfurt Opera Ballet, he was invited by George Balanchine to join New York City Ballet in 1977. He quickly rose to principal rank and danced leading roles in most of George Balanchine’s ballets as well as in works by Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins and others. He began to teach at the Company and the School in the late 1980s, joining SAB’s permanent faculty in 2003. In the fall of 2011, Sean retired from both SAB and NYCB, where he had served as assistant to the Ballet Master in Chief, teaching, staging ballets, and overseeing the preparation of repertory schedules since 1989.

OLIVIA BOISSON started ballet classes near her home in Queens, New York, before receiving a scholarship to train at Dance Theatre of Harlem School at age 7. In the fall of 2004, Olivia, then 12, auditioned and was accepted into SAB’s Children’s Division. The next year, she performed with NYCB as the “teen party girl” in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Olivia, now 19, has progressed through seven training levels over the past 8 years to reach SAB’s most advanced girls class. She has danced in SAB’s Student Choreography Workshop, the New York Choreographic Institute, and in lecture-demonstrations for SAB and NYCB. She graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in 2010 and enrolled at Marymount Manhattan College part-time for the 2010-11 academic year while continuing to train at SAB. Olivia danced in Scènes de Ballets and Who Cares? at the 2010 and 2011 Workshops, respectively. In 2012, she performed a featured role in Les Petits Riens.

HARRISON COLL, a native of New York City, enrolled in his mother’s creative movement classes when he was 6 and also excelled at gymnastics. Harrison auditioned and was accepted into SAB’s beginner’s class at the age of 8. As he rose through the Children’s Division, Harrison performed numerous times with New York City Ballet—most prominently as the Nutcracker/Little Prince in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker when he was 13. As an advanced student, Harrison has participated in NYCB’s lecture demonstration program and danced in both SAB’s Student Choreography Workshops and the New York Choreographic Institute. He is currently a senior at Professional Children’s School and in his spare time plays guitar and studies piano with SAB’s music instructor Jeffrey Middleton. Harrison performed in Who Cares? and Les Gentilhommes for the 2011 Workshop and danced featured roles in Cortège Hongrois and Les Petits Riens in the 2012 Workshop Performances.

SILAS FARLEY took early dance classes with Sal and Barbara Messina in Charlotte, North Carolina, and, at 9, enrolled at North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance, where his teachers were Patricia McBride, Kathryn Moriarty and Mark Diamond. At 14, Silas received a scholarship to SAB’s 2008 Summer Course and was invited to enroll as a full-time student that fall. Silas, now 18, has progressed from the Intermediate to the Advanced division while also exploring his passion for choreographing and teaching. A choreographer since age 11, Silas created ballets to music by Gustav Holst for SAB’s 2010 and 2011 Student Choreography Workshops. He was one of two advanced students selected by Peter Martins this year for a student teaching pilot program at SAB. Silas is the 2012 recipient of the Jeffrey Lawrence Award for Excellence in all Subjects at Professional Children’s School, where he is a senior. In the 2012 Workshop Performances danced a leading role in Cortège Hongrois.

CLAIRE VON ENCK, 19, began her dance training with Joanne Morscher at the Royal School of Ballet in North Royalton, Ohio, at the age of 7. In Cleveland, Claire frequently performed children’s roles with ABT and other visiting companies. After attending the Cleveland School of Dance for one year, Claire enrolled in SAB’s Summer Course at the age of 16 and was invited to continue her training starting with the 2009-10 Winter Term. Over the past three years, Claire has progressed to SAB’s most advanced girls’ class. She has participated as a dancer in SAB’s 2010 and 2011 Student Choreography Workshop and in three sessions of the New York Choreographic Institute. Claire is currently one of four student Community Development Assistants in SAB’s on-site residence hall. Claire performed in the 2010 and 2011 Workshops, and in 2012 she danced principal parts in Cortège Hongrois and Les Petits Riens.