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The Louisville Ballet is a ballet school and company based in Louisville, Kentucky and is the official state ballet of The Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is currently led by Artistic and Executive Director Robert Curran. More than 100,000 people attend the company's productions annually of which most are accompanied by the Louisville Orchestra. The company performs at three venues in the city, The Brown Theatre, The Kentucky Center, and, rarely, The Louisville Palace.
The Louisville Ballet was founded in 1952 and it achieved professional status and admitted its first students in 1975. It is the only regional company with which Mikhail Baryshnikov has performed in repertoire productions (He danced with the company during the 1978–79 and 1979–80 seasons). The Ballet has more than 60 world premieres to its credit with a repertoire of about 150 pieces choreographed by the likes of Sir Frederick Ashton, Erik Bruhn, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, John Cranko, Jack Carter, Kurt Jooss, Choo San Goh, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Eugene Loring, Saeko Ichinohe and Domy Reiter-Soffer, along with Fokine and Bournonville ballets. The Ballet also presents several full length ballets each year including Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Giselle and Don Quixote. In addition to the regular subscription series, the Louisville Ballet presents The Nutcracker each holiday season in association with the Brown-Forman Corporation.
The Louisville Ballet building, designed by Louisville architects Bravura Corporation, is a $2.2 million facility built in 1995 houses two large rehearsal studios and administrative offices. The Louisville Ballet Center received the Honor Award for Excellence in Architectural Design by the Kentucky chapter of the American Institute of Architects and was featured in the May 1997 edition of Architecture Magazine. It is located at 315 East Main St. in downtown Louisville.
The Louisville Ballet School is the official school and training center connected with the Louisville Ballet. The Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble is the student performing group of the School. Alumni of the Ensemble have gone on to dance professionally with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, American Ballet Theatre, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet Magnificat!, Barcelona Ballet (formerly Corella Ballet), Boston Ballet II, Colorado Ballet, Ft. Wayne Ballet, Houston Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Peridance and Sarasota Ballet, and those who have continued their dance education at NYU, Fordham (Ailey), Butler University, Florida State, University of Arizona, Ohio State University, Pointe Park University and Southern Methodist University. Many students also went on to study with professional training programs including Boston Ballet, Harid Conservatory, Next Generation Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and the School of American Ballet. The school also hosts a summer camp for aspiring dancers.
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