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 the Alberta Ballet:[6]

School of Alberta Ballet[edit]

Established in 1991, the School of Alberta Ballet is the official training centre of Alberta Ballet. It offers two divisions and multiple program choices.

The School of Alberta Ballet's curriculum based on a combination of the Vaganova System and the Cecchetti Method. It includes complementary dance forms such as modern, jazz, and character dance. The School of Alberta Ballet is committed to diversity.[clarification needed]

Murray Kilgour is the principal and Nancy Kilgour is the senior pedagogue.[7]

Former Alberta Ballet dancers[edit]

  • David Adams
  • Cherice Barton
  • Lambros Lambrou
  • Marianne Beausejour
  • Scott Harris
  • Brian Bender
  • Jay Brooker
  • Claude Caron
  • 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 12 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Senior Personnel" (Press release). School of Alberta Ballet. Archived from the original on 23 June 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 

External links[edit]