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Alberta Ballet

Alberta Ballet

Alberta BalletAlberta Ballet is a professional association with a rich past that continues to meet its mission to inspire individuals through teaching and performing ballet. Over the years, countless individuals have worked hard to contribute to the growth of the organization.

In 1958, a small amateur ballet troupe formed and called themselves Dance Interlude. Under the direction of founder and artistic director Ruth Carse, the troupe grew in size and conducted performances along with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Edmonton Opera. By 1960, the company incorporated as the Edmonton Ballet Company and the touring mandate expanded throughout the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The name, Alberta Ballet Company, was adopted by the dance group in 1966 and was later shortened to Alberta Ballet.

Ruth Carse became director of Alberta Ballet in 1971, and since that time, many dedicated individuals have helped with the running of the company. Jeremy Lesley Spinks, Bryden Paige, Ali Pourfarrokh, and Mikko Nissinen are the driven individuals who, as directors, helped oversee the operation of the Alberta Ballet Company. The company is renowned for extraordinary performances, attending international festivals and receiving prestigious awards. At the Commonwealth games in Edmonton in 1978, Alberta Ballet gave a performance for Queen Elizabeth II. In 1977 and 1979, respectively, Alberta Ballet represented Canada in the International Ballet Festival of Havana and the International Festival of the Arts in Cypress. During their first national tour in 1985, the troupe was honoured with the Sir Frederick Haultain Prize for excellence in the performing arts. The Alberta Ballet Company expanded and thrived during the 1980s and celebrated their 20th anniversary during 1986, with a record 99 performances.

Featured Audio
Featured Audio

Jeremy Leslie Spinks speaking about his involvement in the Alberta Ballet and his dancing career. Listen Now

Alberta Ballet and Calgary City Ballet became one company through a merge that occurred on July 31, 1990. The company took residence in the Nat Christie Centre where it continues to reside. Administration offices are located in Edmonton and Calgary. The Alberta Ballet has always been committed to the teaching of quality dance and on July 1, 1991, a second school was opened. The Lindsey Walsh School of Dance became the Alberta School of Dance in Calgary and provided many extensive dance programs, a similar school operates in Edmonton. Both schools offer accredited junior and senior high performing arts classes as well as an apprentice dance program. Currently, the official school of the Alberta Ballet is the School of Alberta Ballet, founded in 1991. The School of Alberta Ballet is one of the leading dance training institutions in Canada that offers pre-professional and post-secondary programs, allowing students to work beside Alberta Ballet professionals. The University of Calgary offers the only dance degree of its kind in Canada. Dance related courses provide information on the following areas: kinesiology, human anatomy, fundamentals of rhythm, dance history, movement principles, design for dance, dance and culture and dance teaching techniques.

Alberta Ballet is comprised of many individuals occupying diverse roles. Dancers, choreographers, scenic artists, costume designers and photographers all work together to create a visually appealing performing art and make the performances a success. Dancers from Europe, North America and Japan perform to an ever-expanding repertoire composed by talented choreographers. The resident production staff is responsible for maintaining costumes, scenery, properties, audio, video and lighting equipment. The ballet company often embarks upon tours throughout different locations. Touring allows for the company to display its amazing talent and also allows for an opportunity to attract well-known dancers and choreographers. The company brings a portable Rosco dance floor to various touring locations where it forms a temporary covering on a stage.

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