Tag Archives: Cincinnati Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet Announces 2022-2023 Season New Hires and Promotions

CB_logoCompany promotes three dancers, hires two new artists

(May 5, 2022) CINCINNATI, OH — Cincinnati Ballet announces new dancer hires and promotions for the 2022-2023 Season. Two new artists will join the Company with the opening of The Kaplan New Works Series in September. Simon Plant and Lenai Alexis Wilkerson will join as new artists of the Company. Cincinnati Ballet’s artistic leaders also announce three dancer promotions for the 2022-2023 Season. Nikita Boris has been promoted to the corps de ballet. Apprentices Catherine Lasak and Jhaelin McQuay have been promoted from apprentice to new dancer positions in the Company. “It is so gratifying to watch these talented dancers develop their artistry and am pleased to share their promotions. I am excited to watch their continued growth in the Company,” said Artistic Director Victoria Morgan, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 Season. Artistic Director Designate Jodie Gates, who will assume artistic leadership of the Company in August, added her congratulations to the new artists joining the Company. “I am thrilled to welcome Simon and Lenai to this talented group of artists,” Gates said. “Cincinnati Ballet audiences can look forward to incredible performances and opportunities to connect with these two dynamic dancers.”

CB_Simon Plant

Simon Plant in Dwight Rhoden’s BALLAD UNTO, Parma, Italy in 2017. Photography Roberto Ricci.

Simon Plant was born in Sydney, Australia and trained at the Australian Ballet School. Upon graduation, he was a member of The Australian Ballet for two seasons, where he performed works by acclaimed choreographers Wayne McGregor, Kenneth MacMillan, Jiří Kylián, among others. He immigrated to the United States in 2017 and joined New York City’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet under Co-Artistic Directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.

CB_Lenai Alexis Wilkerson

Photo by Cathryn Farnsworth.

Lenai Alexis Wilkerson hails from Washington, D.C., where she attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, under the direction of Norma Pera. Lenai graduated from the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, and then became a company artist with Ballet Hispánico, where she toured internationally for three seasons. Lenai has performed works by choreographers including George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Martha Graham, Barak Marshall, Azure Barton, Anabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, d.Sabela Grimes, and Dwight Rhoden. She is one of the seven 2016-2017 dance scholars awarded a scholarship from Nigel Lythgoe’s DizzyFeet Foundation.

CB_Nikita BorisNikita Boris was born in River Edge, New Jersey. She began her ballet training at the Irine Fokine School of Ballet and Petrov Ballet School. Nikita continued her studies at the Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York. In 2016, she had the opportunity to attend the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. She participated in the Vaganova Prix, received the Artistry Award, and performed in the winner’s gala at the Mariinsky Theatre. Nikita joined Boston Ballet II in 2018 and spent the 2019-2020 Season with New York Dance Project, before joining Cincinnati Ballet.

CB_Catherine LasakCatherine Lasak spent her youth training at the Judith Svalander School of Ballet and Ballet Chicago Studio Company. Following summers at the School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, she joined PNB’s Professional Division on full scholarship. For the 2017-2018 Season, Catherine Grand Rapids Ballet as an apprentice. In 2018, Catherine joined Cincinnati Ballet’s Second Company – CB2 for two years, before being promoted to the Company for the 2021-2022 Season.

CB_Jhaelin McQuay

Aaron M. Conway Photography

Jhaelin McQuay began dancing at age 11 at the Marina Del Rey Magnet School for the Performing Arts. He soon expanded his dance training at the Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy, where he found a love and appreciation for hip hop, modern, tap, flamenco, contemporary, ballroom, and African. In his teens, McQuay seasonally trained at The Rock School, Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet West, and San Francisco Ballet. He performed with Ballet West’s Academy for three years before joining Cincinnati Ballet II in the 2019-2020 season. He has danced for the Oscars and has appeared on stage with Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, Raven Symone, and Debbie Allen, as well as performing works by George Balanchine, Fredrick Aston, Bruce Marks, Dwight Rhoden, among others. In early 2021, McQuay’s choreography placed top five in the YAGP finals.

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Cincinnati Ballet 2021-2022 Season Sponsors:

Victoria Morgan’s 25th Anniversary Season presented by PNC

Rhonda & Larry A. Sheakley, Margaret and Michael Valentine, ArtsWave, Mercy Health, Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation

About Cincinnati Ballet

Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations. With a mission to enrich, expand, and excel in the art of dance through performance, a high-caliber academy, and impactful education and community engagement in local to global communities, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, provides extensive education and community engagement programs, and offers top-level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.

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Cincinnati Ballet introduces ‘Pay What You Can’ Thursday at BOLD MOVES FESTIVAL

CB_Bold Moves Festival 2022 logoNew concept means anyone can enjoy ballet, whatever their budget

Cincinnati, OH (May 18, 2022) – Money should never stand in the way of enjoying the arts. As part of Cincinnati Ballet’s commitment to accessibility, all tickets to the Thursday, May 19 7:30 pm performance of Bold Moves Festival are ‘Pay What You Can.’ Festival Ticket prices range from $29 to $99 for performances. Those interested in attending the Thursday performance can set their own ticket price, based on their budget. “Our mission is to share the love of dance with our entire community,’ said Scott Altman, Cincinnati Ballet President and CEO. “We recognize the arts and entertainment can be a luxury for many, especially during these challenging economic times. We want everyone to have the opportunity to experience world-class ballet.” Attendees can secure their tickets at the Aronoff Center Box Office before the performance, by calling the Ballet Box Office at 513-621-5282 or online at cballet.org.

The Company’s inaugural Bold Moves Festival at the Aronoff Center is an immersive dance experience featuring six diverse, rotating mainstage productions accompanied by a variety of audience extras and interactive events. Thursday’s performance of Program 2 features Artistic Director Victoria Morgan’s Boléro, along with a world premiere, Our Story, from Company soloist David Morse, who drew his inspiration for the emotional work from the survivors of the Holocaust as well as performance from Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), a culturally diverse contemporary dance company rooted in the African American experience.

The Festival, which runs through Sunday, May 22 at the Aronoff Center also features Minus 16 from Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharinthe regional premiere of Helen Pickett’s colorful and energetic Petal, as well as legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs on Program 1. More information about each program can be found at cballet.org.

The Festival also marks Victoria Morgan’s final production as Artistic Director of Cincinnati Ballet and culminates a season-long celebration of her 25 years with the Company. “Our Company has grown so much over the last two-plus decades,” Morgan said. “We have created world-class classical and contemporary dance and established the Company as a true leader in the local and national arts communities. The Bold Moves Festival is the latest incredible step on this journey that I am profoundly grateful to have been a part of for 25 glorious years.”

In addition to the Festival’s mainstage performances, audiences can attend panel discussions, master classes, after-parties and more designed to deepen their Festival experience. 

Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit cballet.org.

WHO: Cincinnati Ballet
WHAT: BOLD MOVES FESTIVAL
WHEN:

Program 1:

  • Friday, May 20 at 8 pm
  • Saturday, May 21 at 2 pm

Program 2:

  • Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 21 at 8 pm
  • Sunday, May 22 at 2 pm

WHERE: Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, Ohio

TICKETS: Call 513.621.5282 or visit cballet.org

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Pones and Partners Reimagine GRAPHIC, a Walking/Dance Tour of Downtown Murals as Part of Cincinnati Ballet’s 2022 BOLD MOVES FESTIVAL

PONES_Graphic logo(Cincinnati, OH) Pones will partner with Exhale Dance Tribe, Yarroway Productions, Revolution Dance Theatre, Heroes Rise Street Dance Academy, and Q-Kidz Dance Team to reimagine Graphic, originally produced by Pones in 2016, as an interactive dance experience that includes a walking tour of our city’s iconic downtown murals.

Dance pieces will be performed in front of the murals, extending these backdrops off their walls, telling stories inspired by the visuals and related to issues and subjects vital to each company and our community. The presentation will be featured as an add-on experience in the Cincinnati Ballet’s 2022 Bold Moves Festival.

“I am most excited about the enthusiasm of so many local companies in coming together and showcasing the wide range of dance diversity our city has to offer. It’s not something that has happened in the past decade, and we all agree it has potential to be the start of an annual coming together of the Cincinnati dance community,” said Kim Popa of Pones.

Carolyn Guido Clifford of the Cincinnati Ballet shared her reason for including this revival in Bold Moves: “In 2016, Graphic was one of my first introductions to the Cincinnati arts scene – not only to the fabulous performances and beautiful murals, but the incredible conversations our community was having at the time and continues to have today. I hope remounting it as part of the Festival, with so many members of the Cincinnati dance community, will provide a similar introduction to Cincinnati Ballet’s subscribers and patrons. As Cincinnati Ballet moves into a season of growth and discovery, what better way than by celebrating and promoting the diversity of the dance scene that already exists in our city!”

Murals and Performance Pieces:

  • At Visionary Reality Threshold by Saya Woolfalk (1005 Walnut St), Exhale Dance Tribe will perform “#thisisOTR,” choreographed by Missy Lay Zimmer & Andrew Hubbard and featuring music by Ian Forsgren, Ian Gullet, and Jai Washington
  • At Homecoming (Blue Birds) by Charley Harper (119 E Court St), Yarroway Productions will perform “Where Creation Has Been Drawn,” choreographed by Katie Chal and featuring music by Rob Keenan
  • At Self-Portrait, Elizabeth Nourse by Elizabeth Nourse and Still Life by Tom Wesselmann (811 Main St), Pones will perform “Her,” choreographed by Glenda Figueiredo and featuring music by Preston Bell Charles III
  • At Black Box by Michael A. Coppage (Walnut St at Gano St), Revolution Dance Theatre will perform “Say Their Names,” choreographed by David Choate and Kim Popa and featuring music by Galen Tipton
  • At Vibrant Minds, Colorful Lines by KiiK Create and Jenny Ustick, Heroes Rise Street Dance Academy will perform “Antiviral Still,” choreographed by Julius Eclypse Jenkins and featuring music by Flying Lotus, Abiyah, and Nathan Singer
  • At The Genius of Water by Ferdinand Von Miller (Tyler Davidson Fountain at Fountain Square, Vine St at Fifth St), Q-Kidz Dance Team will perform “Just Boom!” choreographed by Mariah Jones, Chariah Jones, and Marquicia Jones-Woods featuring music by Cary Davenport

About the Partners:

  • Exhale Dance Tribe, named among the 2008 “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, is rooted in rhythmic storytelling existing to leave an emotional imprint on our audiences, uniting our community through the universal language of dance and creating a hypnotic human experience. org
  • Yarroway Productions comprises a trio of local artists: a dancer, a painter, and a musician. Katie Chal, formerly of Nashville Ballet and DeLa Dance Company, now works as a Cincinnati Waldorf School teacher and independent dance artist. Patricia Chal studied painting at NKU and DAAP, but her most rigorous schooling has been from her three young children. She teaches an art class for adults that aims to reignite the inner child. Rob Keenan, a guitarist and singer-songwriter, studied music at Berklee College of Music and played guitar and synthesizers for beloved local duo Dawg Yawp. He is currently working as a farmer at Rose Hill Farm and pursuing his solo music project.
  • Pones provides artistic opportunities for community growth by creating engaging new ways for audiences to experience dance. The company creates site-specific performances through a fusion of movement and dance with other art forms. Pones performers use their bodies to speak their minds. The collective uses its signature pedestrian-inspired movement to spark collaboration, connection, and community. Pones believes that art creates powerful change. org
  • Revolution Dance Theatre, Cincinnati’s ONLY African American Dance company in residence at the prestigious Aronoff Center for the Arts, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building cultural diversity in the world of dance. Intent on inclusion in ballet, RDT is committed to work that raises the level of access, visibility, and representation of American Americans in dance. com
  • Heroes Rise Street Dance Academy teaches a comprehensive curriculum of fundamental street dance movement along with history and culture, striving to set a new standard for what is expected of street style dance and street style dance teachers and to share the beauty of the street dance arts. Heroes Rise Always. com
  • Q-kidz Dance Team improves the lives of Cincinnati youth through dance instruction and educational programs that build strong character, confidence, teamwork, and a mindset for success. The organization plays an essential role in the community by offering youth a safe and supportive platform for creative expression, communication, and accountability. Q-kidz.org

Performance Schedule:
Performances will take place Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 2022, with tours beginning at the Fifth Third Bank Theater at the Aronoff Center for the Arts (corner of Seventh and Main Streets). Start times are 11:15, 11:30, and 11:45 am both days. Each tour will last approximately 70 minutes, and the total distance walked will be 1 mile. For reservations, visit https://bit.ly/Graphic2022.

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Cincinnati Ballet Debuts Landmark BOLD MOVES FESTIVAL at the Aronoff, May 12-22

CB_Bold Moves Festival 2022 logoMulti-program Festival marks Artistic Director Victoria Morgan’s last production

Cincinnati, OH (May 2, 2022) – Cincinnati Ballet is pleased to announce the launch of its inaugural Bold Moves Festival at the Aronoff Center, May 12-22. The immersive dance festival features six diverse, rotating mainstage productions accompanied by a variety of audience extras and interactive events. The Festival also marks Victoria Morgan’s final production as Artistic Director of Cincinnati Ballet and culminates a season-long celebration of her 25 years with the Company. “Our Company has grown so much over the last two-plus decades,” Morgan said. “We have created world-class classical and contemporary dance and established the Company as a true leader in the local and national arts communities. The Bold Moves Festival is the latest incredible step on this journey that I am profoundly grateful to have been a part of for 25 glorious years.” Program 1 of the Festival will feature Ohad Naharin’s seminal work, Minus 16, the regional premiere of Helen Pickett’s colorful and energetic Petal, as well as legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs. Program 2 of the Festival features and the return of audience favorite, Victoria Morgan’s Boléro, along with a world premiere, Our Story, from Company soloist David Morse, who drew his inspiration for the emotional work from the survivors of the Holocaust. The second program will include performances from two amazing guest companies. California-based AXIS Dance Company and Ohio’s own Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC). AXIS collaborates with high-profile choreographers and disabled and non-disabled artists to create virtuoso work that challenges the perception of dance and disability. DCDC is culturally diverse contemporary dance company rooted in the African American experience and committed to reaching the broadest audience through exceptional performance and arts-integrated education. In addition to these amazing performances on the mainstage, audiences have a menu of guest artists, talks, dance classes, after-parties and more to choose from to expand and deepen their Festival experience. Tickets are on sale now.

Tickets start at $29 and are on sale now. For more information visit cballet.org.

Audiences are no longer required to wear face coverings or show proof of vaccination for Cincinnati Ballet performances at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. All Cincinnati Ballet dancers and Academy students are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will perform without face coverings. Please refer to cballet.org for the very latest Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.

WHO: Cincinnati Ballet
WHAT: BOLD MOVES FESTIVAL
WHEN:
Program 1:

  • Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 14 at 8 pm
  • Sunday, May 15 at 1 pm
  • Friday, May 20 at 8 pm
  • Saturday, May 21 at 2 pm

Program 2:

  • Friday, May 13 at 8 pm
  • Saturday, May 14 at 2 pm
  • Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 21 at 8 pm
  • Sunday, May 22 at 2 pm

WHERE: Aronoff Center for the Arts
650 Walnut St.
Cincinnati, Ohio

TICKETS: Call 513.621.5282 or visit cballet.org

Cincinnati Ballet 2021-2022 Season Sponsors:

Victoria Morgan’s 25th Anniversary Season presented by PNC

Rhonda & Larry A. Sheakley, Margaret and Michael Valentine, ArtsWave, Mercy Health, Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation

About Cincinnati Ballet
Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations. With a mission to enrich, expand, and excel in the art of dance through performance, a high-caliber academy, and impactful education and community engagement in local to global communities, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, provides extensive education and community engagement programs, and offers top-level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.

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Cincinnati Ballet to Celebrate Victoria Morgan’s Retirement with Huge Dance Party!

CB_Victoria MorganClub B – Saturday, April 23, 8 pm to midnight

Cincinnati, OH (April 18, 2022) – Cincinnati Ballet is celebrating Artistic Director Victoria Morgan’s 25th and final season with Club B at the Cincinnati Ballet Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance, April 23 from 8 pm to midnight.

Club B presented by Mercy Health is Cincinnati Ballet’s largest fundraiser of the year and Cincinnati’s biggest dance party. Every year, about a thousand people dance the night away to a special theme; years past have included an 80s theme at the American Sign Museum and a Latin themed Club B at a private airplane hangar. This year, attendees will party exclusively inside Cincinnati Ballet brand-new studios as the incredible Center for Dance will be transformed into an incredible silver dance factory. Guests will arrive and walk the silver runway hosted by drag artists Brock Leah Spears and Lady Phaedra, then head upstairs for incredible dance performances, Q102 dueling DJS and emcee Mollie Watson, DJ Etrayn, Millennium Robots, celebrity guests, giveaways, open bar, delicious food, and much more. Attendees should dance in their chicest silver as we honor Victoria Morgan’s Silver Anniversary Season sponsored by PNC. Tickets start at just $50 and are on sale now. For more information visit cballet.org.

Attendees at are no longer required to wear face coverings or show proof of vaccination for Cincinnati Ballet events at the Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance. Please refer to cballet.org for the very latest Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.

WHO: Cincinnati Ballet
WHAT: Club B
WHEN: Saturday, April 23, 8 pm to Midnight
WHERE: Cincinnati Ballet Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance – 1801 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio
TICKETS: Call 513.621.5282 or visit cballet.org

Cincinnati Ballet 2021-2022 Season Sponsors:

  • Victoria Morgan’s 25th Anniversary Season presented by PNC
  • Rhonda & Larry A. Sheakley, Margaret and Michael Valentine, ArtsWave, Mercy Health, Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation

About Cincinnati Ballet
Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations. With a mission to enrich, expand, and excel in the art of dance through performance, a high-caliber academy, and impactful education and community engagement in local to global communities, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, provides extensive education and community engagement programs, and offers top-level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.

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