Ballet Memphis

Whether your taste is for the classic or the modern, the groundbreaking or the fairytale, the outstanding joys or the ones hidden in your heart, Ballet Memphis is Always Surprising.

New Dance, New Ideas, New Memphis

For more than 20 years, Ballet Memphis has brought top professional talent and choreographers to Memphis so that we can bring new, inspiring ideas to life. In doing so, the company has come to represent more than just artistic excellence in this city: It has become an emblem of hope for our community. With original and thought-provoking work, and a healthy and artistic national image of Memphis, Ballet Memphis is helping to infuse our city with the positive reviews it so richly deserves.

Background

Now celebrating its 24th season, Ballet Memphis is a creative resource to the nation as a maker and interpreter of the South's cultural legacy through dance, production and training. Artistic Director Dorothy Gunther Pugh founded the company in 1986 as Memphis Concert Ballet with two professional dancers and a budget of $75,000. Today, Ballet Memphis employs 19 professional dancers and trainees and has a $3.3 million budget.

The company performs at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis, our Midtown home at the new Playhouse on the Square, and nontraditional venues throughout the city, including our award-winning studios in East Memphis.

National Presence

Ballet Memphis has performed in Paris, New York, Houston and Quebec. The company also has performed as part of the Inside/Out Series at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass., Spring to Dance in St. Louis, and to full houses at the prestigious Joyce Theater in New York and the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington DC. Identified by the Ford Foundation as a "national treasure," Ballet Memphis was awarded a grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore possible initiatives for redefining mid-size ballet companies in the nation.

Local Presence
The Ballet Memphis School trains more than 700 students annually. Performance experience is provided through the Junior Company of Ballet Memphis. In addition, Ballet Memphis offers the only certified STOTT PILATES® and movement instruction at the Pilates Centre in East Memphis. Ballet Memphis' Educational Enrichment Program is made possible in part by the generous support of the Tennessee Arts Commission and ArtsMemphis. The company tours local schools and performs for more than 15,000 students annually.

The combined programs of Ballet Memphis-dance company, ballet school, Educational Enrichment and Pilates Centre – serve 75,000 people each year.
Diversity

Ballet Memphis has long been noted for the various ways we are sensitive to and respectful of our local culture, and we continue to bring a world of diverse thinking and depth to our organization each year. Nearly one third of our professional dancers, one third of our staff and one fifth of our board represent diverse backgrounds - from African American to Asian to Hispanic - helping us to be more reflective of the racial make-up of our city. Within our Ballet School there are two African American teachers as well. But it's what we bring to the stage that we are most proud of.

Ballet Memphis was the first professional company in the U.S. to collaborate on stage with a hip-hop company, Rennie Harris Pure Movement, and an African American dance company, the renowned African American Dance Ensemble. We've brought to the New York stage two African American urban poets from Memphis to incorporate into a work by African American choreographer Thaddeus Davis and danced to commissioned work from Memphis rap musicians. Our original work to the African short story Giraffes Can't Dance became part of the City School curriculum and traveled to schools across the mid-south.

In our original repertoire we've commissioned works based on the Freedom Riders' struggle, African American photographer Andrew Taylor's Cotton Maker's Jubilee, Ernest Wither famous I am a Man photograph, Tom Lee's famous riverboat rescue, and the music of W.C. Handy, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Al Green, Rufus Thomas, John Lee Hooker and many more. On stage we've brought live gospel choirs, jazz orchestras and gospel choirs. And we're not stopping there.

Our Artistic Director is one of only four women in the U.S. to direct professional ballet companies of note, and is becoming a national voice for gender issues long needing addressing in the ballet world. This season we are also introducing the addition of Julia Adam as Artistic Associate to Ballet Memphis, one of the few women successfully choreographing major ballet companies in the U.S. And finally, this season, we are proud to bring to the stage Where the Girls Are, an evening of work based on perceptions of women over the past century and a half.

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Имена

  • Bodenheimer, Lauren
    Классический балет / Trainee
  • Bradley, Travis
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Cao, Alice
    Классический балет / Apprentice
  • Delony, Ben
    Классический балет / Trainee
  • Edmonds, Kathryn
    Классический балет / Trainee
  • Hom, Stephanie Mei
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Jr., Kendall Britt
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Jr., Rafael Ferreras
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Juarez, Marcelino Herrera
    Классический балет / Apprentice
  • Khuner, Cecily
    Классический балет / Trainee
  • Lijoi, Leigh
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • McMahon, Steven
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Muhlbach, Liliana
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Niekrasz, Julie Marie
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Perez, Ibrahim
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Pilgrim, Virginia
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Ramey, Brandon
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Read, Gabriel
    Классический балет / Trainee
  • Shumake, Rachel
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Warner, Benjamin
    Классический балет / Dancer
  • Williams, Stacie
    Классический балет / Dancer