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
NameAlberta Ballet
Year founded1966
FoundersRuth Carse
LocationCalgary
Principal venueNat Christie Centre
Websitealbertaballet.com
Senior staff
DirectorJean Grand-Maître
Artistic staff
Music DirectorPeter Dala
Other
Official schoolSchool of Alberta Ballet

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

Origins[edit]

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

Development[edit]

Carse directed the company until 1975.[1] She was followed by Jeremy Leslie-Spinks (1975-1976), 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.

Choreography[edit]

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.

2016-2017 Season[edit]

The 2016-2017 season featuring Alberta Ballet company dancers included Dracula, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and the World Premiere of Our Canada, a new creation in collaboration with Gordon Lightfoot. Dracula was on-loan from Texas Ballet Theater and choreographed by their Artistic Director, Ben Stevenson (dancer).

Guest company performances included Shadowland (performed by Pilobolus), a mixed bill from dance company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Life (performed by BalletBoyz). [6]

Dancers[edit]

Company artists of Alberta Ballet (2018/19):[7]

Name Nationality
Kira Anderson United States
Eli Barnes United States
Brittany Broussard United States
John Canfield United States
Jason Cao China
Gabrielle Chenard Canada
Tanya Chumak Canada
Zacharie Dun Australia
Melissa Eguchi United States
Alexandra Gibson Canada
Jennifer Gibson Canada
Garrett Groat Canada
Hayna Gutierrez Cuba
Scotto Hamed-Ramos United States
Seira Iwamoto Japan
Mariko Kondo Japan
Alan Ma China
Kelley McKinlay Canada
Reilley McKinlay United States
Sayuri Nakanii Japan
Taryn Nowels United States
Hikaru Osakabe Japan
Allison Perhach United States
Liam Reid Canada
Kuu Sakuragi United States
Yoshiya Sakurai Japan
Luna Sasaki Japan
William Sheriff JR. United States
Christopher Scruggs United States
Heather Thomas United States
Laura Vande Zande Canada

Alberta Ballet School[edit]

The Professional Division at Alberta Ballet School 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. The School's Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream is available to students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who wish to focus on contemporary dance.[8]

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.[9]

Other Notable Artistic Staff[edit]

  • David Adams
  • Cherice Barton
  • Lambros Lambrou
  • Marianne Beausejour
  • Scott Harris
  • Brian Bender
  • Jay Brooker
  • Claude Caron
  • Nicole Caron [10]
  • David Chipman Seibert
  • Svea Eklof
  • Marc LeClerc
  • Mark Mahler
  • Daniel McLaren
  • Barbara Moore
  • Kevin Peterman
  • Michel Rahn
  • Martin Vallée
  • Yumiko Takeshima
  • Greg Zane
  • Jung Min Hong
  • Howard Epstein
  • Clark Blakley
  • Wayne Mcknight
  • Anita Bostok
  • Youri Alechine
  • Stephanie Achuff

References[edit]

  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. ^ Bonfield, Stephan. "Gordon Lightfoot, Dracula a part of Alberta Ballet's 2016-2017 Season". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Company Artists". Alberta Ballet Company. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  8. ^ "About the School of Alberta Ballet". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Investing in Arts Training Programs in Alberta". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  10. ^ Levesque, Roger (October 24, 2017). "Alberta Ballet's Sensual Venture into a Dangerous Seduction". Postmedia. Retrieved 18 June 2018.

External links[edit]