Montgomery Ballet

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The Montgomery Ballet began as the Montgomery Civic Ballet in 1958.

Since then, this outstanding artistic entity has provided 53 years of community enrichment. The Montgomery Ballet has been a professional company and member of DANCE/USA, the national organization for nonprofit professional ballet companies, since 1987. The Montgomery Ballet is the only professional ballet company in the city of Montgomery and one of only two in the state of Alabama.

In 2007 Elie Lazar joined the Montgomery Ballet.

The appointment of Mr. Lazar followed a decade of leadership by Priscilla Crommelin-Ball, who continues serving the company as Executive Director.

Elie Lazar, a sought-after professional dancer, teacher and choreographer is critically acclaimed as “narrowing the gap between classical ballet tradition and the cutting edge of dance expression.” As a dancer, Mr. Lazar was the first Israeli to win a medal at the renowned International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. He danced professionally with the Israel National Ballet, the Haifa Ballet, the New Jersey Ballet and has made guest appearances with major companies around the world.

Before founding his own company, LazarBalletNYC, Mr. Lazar directed the Joffrey Ensemble Dancers in New York City, where he organized and trained students from the Joffrey Ballet School. He also designed an educational program of lecture demonstrations to educate school children about the art of ballet and implemented a dance program for inner-city, at-risk youth in New York and New Jersey. His teaching commitments have included classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, New Jersey Ballet, East Carolina University, University of Kansas City, Tokyo City Ballet and the Southeast Regional Ballet Association.

Mr. Lazar is dedicated to accomplishing his goal of putting the Montgomery Ballet on the map as the best professional company and school in the Southeast. Having been very impressed with the training in the Montgomery Ballet School, and also the potential of the Montgomery Ballet Professional Company, Mr. Lazar was eager to begin his new job with the Montgomery Ballet in June of 2007.

Mrs. Crommelin-Ball and the Montgomery Ballet board of directors have been very pleased that Mr. Lazar chose to share his many talents with the Montgomery Ballet and that he has chosen the city of Montgomery as his new home.

The Montgomery Ballet was established in 1958 as the Montgomery Civic Ballet by a small group of volunteers. Directorship changed hands during the first sixteen years quite frequently. Determination and dedication by the Presidents of the ballet and volunteers kept the vision going throughout these years.

The Montgomery Civic Ballet was selected as a member of SERBA (South Eastern Regional Ballet Association) in 1964. Tours to other cities in Alabama and performances in Montgomery relied on guest artists in the early years. In 1966, they presented the Birmingham Ballets production of The Nutcracker under the direction of Richard Englund. Desiring to produce The Nutcracker locally, the Montgomery Civic Ballet began presenting segments of the Christmas classic in 1971. In 1976, a review written by Judith Helms (Weathers) stated that Montgomery had a first Friday night - the complete Nutcracker and more than 1,600 people rose to cheer the accomplishments at Lanier Auditorium.

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