Alberta Ballet Company

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Alberta Ballet
Three-storey sandstone building with Georgian windows
Nat Christie Centre, home of the Alberta Ballet
General information
Name Alberta Ballet
Year founded 1966
Founders Ruth Carse
Location Calgary
Principal venue Nat Christie Centre
Senior staff
Director Jean Grand-Maître
Artistic staff
Music Director Peter Dala
Official school School of Alberta Ballet

The Alberta Ballet (also known as the Alberta Ballet Company) is located in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. It is Canada's third largest dance company.[1]


The Alberta Ballet was founded by Muriel Taylor and Dr. Ruth Carse in 1958 and became a professional company in 1966.[2][3]


Carse directed the company until 1975.[1] She was followed by Jeremy Leslie-Spinks (1975), Brydon Paige (1976–1988), and Ali Pourfarrokh (1988–1998). During Pourfarrokh's tenure, in 1990, the company merged with the Calgary City Ballet and moved into the Nat Christie Centre in Calgary. Since then, it has performed in both Edmonton and Calgary.

Former San Francisco Ballet dancer Mikko Nissinen then directed the company until 2002. Nissinen introduced Balanchine works, while continuing to commission new works from Canadian and international choreographers. He toured the company to China, Finland, and Egypt.[1]

Jean Grand-Maître was then appointed as artistic director. Alberta Ballet continues to tour throughout North America and China.


Artistic director Jean Grand-Maître has choreographed Carmen, which toured China, and Fiddle and the Drum, a collaboration with Joni Mitchell while at the Alberta Ballet. In the spring of 2010 the company built on its ballet and pop collaboration by staging an Elton John production named Elton:[4] Love Lies Bleeding.[5] Elton John reportedly was so moved by Fiddle and the Drum that he asked Alberta Ballet to produce a ballet for him.

Alberta Ballet was the first Canadian company to stage a ballet by Christopher Wheeldon of the New York City Ballet. Wheeldon choreographed A Midsummer Night's Dream with the company. It also commissioned two pieces from Jorma Elo, of the Boston Ballet.

Canadian choreographer Sabrina Matthews has created pieces the company as well.

2009-2010 Season[edit]

The 2009-2010 season featured the following ballets: Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Moulin Rouge: The Ballet (performed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet), the World Premieres of Songs of a Wayfarer and The Seven Deadly Sins, and the World Premiere of ELTON, a new creation in collaboration with Sir Elton John.


Company artists of Alberta Ballet (2017/18):[6]

Name Nationality
Eli Barnes United States
Brittany Broussard United States
John Canfield United States
Jason Cao China
Nicole Caron Canada
Gabrielle Chenard Canada
Tanya Chumak Canada
Zacharie Dun Australia
Jared Ebell Canada
Melissa Eguchi United States
Alexandra Gibson Canada
Jennifer Gibson Canada
Garrett Groat Canada
Hayna Gutierrez Cuba
Seira Iwamoto Japan
Mariko Kondo Japan
Alan Ma China
Kelley McKinlay Canada
Reilley McKinlay United States
Shino Mori Japan
Sayuri Nakanii Japan
Taryn Nowels United States
Hikaru Osakabe Japan
Kuu Sakuragi United States
Yoshiya Sakurai Japan
Luna Sasaki Japan
Christopher Scruggs United States
Heather Thomas United States
Laura Vande Zande Canada

School of Alberta Ballet[edit]

The Professional Division at the School of Alberta Ballet is a full-time dance and academic training program for students in grades 7 through 12, with a part-time, dance-only option for those in grades 5 and 6. Launched in September 2015, the Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream is available to students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who wish to place more of their training focus on this dance style.[7]

The School is led by Artistic Principal Ashley McNeil and, in 2018, was recognized by Canadian Heritage, for its national impact in training artists for professional artistic careers, at the highest levels.[8]

Former Alberta Ballet dancers[edit]

  • David Adams
  • Cherice Barton
  • Lambros Lambrou
  • Marianne Beausejour
  • Scott Harris
  • Brian Bender
  • Jay Brooker
  • Claude Caron
  • Nicole Caron [9]
  • David Chipman Seibert
  • Svea Eklof
  • Marc LeClerc
  • Mark Mahler
  • Daniel McLaren
  • Barbara Moore
  • Kevin Peterman
  • Michel Rahn
  • Yumiko Takeshima
  • Greg Zane
  • Jung Min Hong
  • Howard Epstein
  • Clark Blakley
  • Wayne Mcknight
  • Anita Bostok
  • Youri Alechine
  • Stephanie Achuff


  1. ^ a b c Crabb, Michael (August 2005). "Alberta Ballet's Dramatic Moves". Dance Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Anderson, Jack (17 October 1997). "From Alberta, a Troupe Both Lyrical and Dramatic". New York Times. New York City, United States. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 91. 
  4. ^ "AMA Home Page - AMA". AMA. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Company Artists". Alberta Ballet Company. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  7. ^ "About the School of Alberta Ballet". Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  8. ^ "Investing in Arts Training Programs in Alberta". Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  9. ^ Levesque, Roger (October 24, 2017). "Alberta Ballet's Sensual Venture into a Dangerous Seduction". Postmedia. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 

External links[edit]