Orlando Ballet will entertain, educate and enrich the cultural growth throughout our community through the highest quality of dance.
This year, Orlando Ballet
achieved the following:
The Performing Arts Company of Florida, was founded by Kip Watson, Barbara Riggins and Patti Watson Walsh, in 1974, with twelve young, non-paid dancers and only $4,000. The first full-length performance was of Cinderella, presented at the Civic Theatre to 7 sold-out houses. In 1978, the company launched a touring program, and changed its name to Southern Ballet Theatre, and found a new home at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. It took two years, but the Ballet finally got their first six professional dancers, and started their first subscription series. In 1982, the Southern Ballet opened a ballet school to meet the demand for dance instruction. We launched our first community engagement program called Scholarship Training for the Enrichment of Primary Students (STEPS), in 1992, which is a full dance focused program for at-risk children. In 2001, The Ballet School received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the company changes its name to Orlando Ballet. In 2009, Robert Hill joined as artistic director and Dierdre Burger became the new school director in 2010. In 2014, Orlando Ballet celebrated its 40th Anniversary, of celebrating dance throughout Central Florida.
Today, Orlando Ballet employs a company of 23 professional dancers from across the country and around the world. The Orlando Ballet School (OBS) is one of five schools in the nation to have earned the distinction as an American Ballet Theatre Certified School. OBS trains over 1,200 students annually through its year-round and summer programs and distributes over $300,000 in scholarship assistance. The organization reaches over 60,000 students annually through its various outreach programs.
With a dedicated staff, exceptional company of dancers, committed instructors, and a proactive board of directors, Orlando Ballet is looking forward to the 2016-2017 season.
Orlando Ballet will continue to expand and diversify its audience base, stimulate interest in ballet training, increase educational and outreach, and provide a unique showcase for artists.
Orlando Ballet serves several counties including Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Volusia, and Duval and is part of the larger geographic area referred to as Central Florida. The Central Florida area supports a diverse population of more than 3 million. Orlando Ballet also offers a two-week summer intensive training program for students in Jacksonville, FL (Duval County) in partnership with The Florida Ballet.
The Orlando Ballet will focus on
the following elements:
For the 2016-17 Season, Orlando
Ballet has outlined the following strategies to reach the aforementioned goals:
Orlando Ballet has recently hired a new Executive Director and School Marketing & Community Relations Coordinator, both of whom are scheduled to begin in late summer 2016. Additionally, Orlando Ballet is actively searching for a Sr. Director of Philanthropy and a Development Coordinator.
Since its inception in 1974, the Orlando Ballet has been bringing the best in professional ballet to Central Florida and has become an integral part of its cultural heritage. Today, under the artistic direction of Robert Hill, the Ballet is recognized for its innovative programming, development of new work, and extensive education and outreach programs.
Each season, more than 100,000 captivated theatre-goers, residents and visitors, are spellbound by the originality, vitality and spirit that have earned the organization its critically acclaimed reputation. The Company produces year-round entertainment featuring main stage productions including meticulous staging of timeless masterpieces such as Le Corsaire, Swan Lake and Giselle,innovative contemporary world premieres, ballets for young audiences,The Nutcracker featuring a live orchestra, performance lecture series, and extensive education and community outreach programs.
Moving forward the Company is focused on expanding ballet audiences by expanding programming to more diverse target audiences and attracting new audiences.
The Orlando Ballet is a five-time winner of prestigious competitive awards from the National Endowment for the Arts for Artistic Excellence in dance. Its 2009 NEA award was one of only five awarded in the state of Florida in dance. The other four awards went to Miami-based dance companies.
According to the Cultural Tourism Audience Research conducted by the Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau when asked “Has this event increased your awareness of the Orlando area as an Arts and Cultural Destination?” more than 76% of the audience responded in the affirmative.
Bobby Ball, Executive Director of the Colorado Ballet noted in his 2010 evaluation of Orlando Ballet’s FDCA grant “Terrific organization. Have witnessed its steady growth over the years. Amazed at its continuous development in a market that is very competitive for the entertainment dollar."
The School and its two satellite programs provide year-round professional classic ballet training for students ages 2-adult, performance and touring opportunities, summer intensive training, workshops and master classes, and teacher training programs.
The Orlando Ballet II and the School Trainee Program enable pre-professional students to perform new and classic works for more than 60,000 young and underserved audiences each year, as well as to perform with the Orlando Ballet Company. Graduates of the Orlando Ballet School have gone on to pursue a professional career in dance with many major dance companies including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Orlando Ballet to name a few.
Orlando Ballet School is training more than 1,200 students annually. Orlando Ballet School is one of only five schools to be named an American Ballet Theatre Certified School. This year, two Orlando Ballet School students won Encouragement Prizes at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition and were the only two American dancers to win an award in this prestigious international competition. The recent graduating class received the following offers: full scholarships to The Royal Ballet School of England, Stuttgart Ballet School, Butler and Vassar Universities and more. They received employment with Columbia City Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet among others.
In keeping with the Orlando Ballet’s philosophy that all children should have the opportunity to dance, arts education and community outreach remain an annual priority. Orlando Ballet provides transportation, dance attire and instruction to more than 50 underserved, low-income second and third graders in Central Florida. Additionally, the Ballet offers adaptive dance to children with Downs Syndrome. This gives the children a structured creative movement and music experience. The Intro to Ballet Program gives more than 16,000 public school second graders the opportunity to attend performances throughout the year. Finally, the Ballet School offers more than $300,000 in scholarship assistance to deserving students.
Since its inception in 1992, the STEPS program has reach more than 1,200 students and the program has been shown to reduce the incidence of at-risk related behavior, with approximately 80% of participants showing improvement on a comprehensive scale of academics and behavior.
STEPS Program participants are evaluated by academic teachers in the school system as well as parents/guardians prior to the start of the program and again at its conclusion. The program has been shown to reduce the incidence of at-risk related behavior, with academic schoolteachers reporting 80% improvement in marked memory and behavior, 82% improvement in motor skills, 85% improvement in academics, and 92% improvement in self-esteem among participants. Students also receive semi-annual evaluations on their progress in dance class from the OBS faculty.
ORLANDO BALLET II (paid professional ensemble of pre-professional dancers who train at OBS): Presented 7 Lecture/Demonstrations and performances to more than 16,000 Orange County Public School 2nd graders in 2015, as well as participating in the Orlando Philharmonic lecture/demonstration program reaching more than 48,000 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students in Orange County.
In addition to providing professional ballet performances throughout the region, Orlando Ballet provides performances and programming that make ballet an integral part of the region's arts and cultural offerings.
Orlando Ballet provides curriculum-based programming directly to public school students in classrooms throughout Orange County (literacy programs, lecture demonstrations and master dance classes), through field trips, family inclusive performance opportunities, STEPS and scholarship programs. The Ballet's Community Outreach Programs have ensured students are exposed to the arts despite curriculum programming cuts necessitated by State of Florida budget cuts.
Caroline Miller comes to the Orlando Ballet from Dance UK
where she led the national body for the professional dance industry in Britain
for ten years. Miller is bringing an impressive list of accomplishments and
accolades with her to Orlando. Under her leadership, Dance UK became the
pre-eminent advocacy organization for the industry. Over the last five years
she developed a radical new business model successfully merging Dance UK with
three other dance charities. Her work was recognized in January 2016 when
she was awarded the prestigious De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in
Dance at the National Dance Awards in London. Miller was included on the
2014 Evening Standard list of 1000 most influential Londoners
for her role in the team establishing the ground-breaking National Institute of
Dance Medicine and Science and was an international Fellow of the DeVos
Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC between
2011 and 2013.
Caroline began her career as a box office assistant in 1994, going on to become a theatre marketing manager and a publicist for major arts venues in London, England including the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Southbank Centre and Sadler’s Wells. In 2006, she won a fellowship for outstanding female emerging arts leaders and completed a Masters in Cultural Leadership at City University, London.
A former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Robert Hill became Artistic Director of Orlando Ballet in 2009, establishing a vision for the company to make ballet relevant to today’s audiences. His guidance prompted the Florida Sun to state: “Hill has surprised and delighted audiences with his ability to showcase the company’s edgier side.” Shortly after accepting the post, he was voted one of the “100 Most Influential People in Florida” by Florida International Magazine.
Mr. Hill founded Robert Hill Dance in 2000 with the mission to create and perform new works of dance theater with a particular focus on the classical ballet tradition and vocabulary. His works have been created at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), the ABT Studio Company, Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino, Ballet de Monterrey, as well as other companies. Numerous companies have performed his works including Royal Ballet of Flanders, Minnesota Dance Theater, The Royal Ballet School, and, of course, Orlando Ballet.
Mr. Hill was the Artistic Director of Ballet de Monterrey for four years. During that time, he elevated the company from a local school-based entity to an internationally acclaimed company. His choreography for Ballet de Monterrey gave the company a unique artistic identity while serving to raise the artistic and technical level of the performers. The newspaper,El Norte, recognized the company under the artistic direction of Robert Hill as “one of the great accomplishments in Monterrey in 2006,” noting a record-breaking, sold-out production of Swan Lake as well as the international touring the company undertook for the first time in its 16-year history.
In addition to dancing with American Ballet Theater, Mr. Hill was a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet and the New York City Ballet. As a guest artist, he appeared with numerous companies including the Scottish Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, and the Australian Ballet. Mr. Hill’s interpretation of the title role in John Cranko’s Onegin, opposite Julie Kent as Tatiana, presented at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center by American Ballet Theatre, was selected by the New York Timesas one of the “Ten Best Moments in Dance” in 2002.
A renowned teacher and coach, Mr. Hill has taught for American Ballet Theatre, Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, the ABT Studio Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and Orlando Ballet School, among others. He has served as a panelist for the Dance Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.
Mr. Hill is especially grateful for the loving dedication he received in his initial training with Liz Bevilacqua and Al Packard of The Dussich Dance Studio and with Phyllis Papa of the Atlantic Company Ballet Theater.
Miles began her formative dance training with Margaret Prishwalko Fallon and
subsequently the Boston Ballet School where she was the recipient of a Ford
Foundation Scholarship. Ms. Miles became an apprentice with Boston Ballet at
age fourteen. Following her graduation from high school, she joined Boston
Ballet as a full time member, performing principal roles such as Ophelia in
Hamlet, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The
Nutcracker. Two years later upon invitation by Dennis Wayne she became a member
of his original company "Dancers" which debuted in New York City and
performed internationally. In
1978, Ms. Miles joined Houston Ballet as a soloist. While there, her roles
included Ben Stevenson's Britten Pas de Deux, Anitra and the Mad Lady in Peer
Gynt, and Swanhilda in Coppelia. Ms. Miles was appointed soloist upon her
return to Boston Ballet in 1983. In 1990, Ms. Miles began training at the Dance Notation Bureau in
Labanotation. Having completed this training, in September 1991 she expanded
her duties at Boston Ballet to include work as a Rehearsal Assistant. In June
of 1993 Ms. Miles retired from performing and joined Boston Ballet's Artistic
Staff as Ballet Mistress and Artistic Coordinator. In September 2002 Ms. Miles
returned to Boston Ballet as Principal of Boston Ballet School. During this
time she established Boston Ballet School Ensemble and Boston Ballet Trainee
Program. She also instituted a new school structure to reflect the mission of
Boston Ballet's Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. In the summer of 2006 she
left Boston Ballet to relocate with her husband David Burger to Florida. In
February 2009, Ms. Miles Burger became an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher, who has
successfully completed the American Ballet Theatre Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through
Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. She joined the Orlando Ballet as Director of the Orlando
Ballet School in 2010.
ORLANDO PHILHARMONIC: Orlando Ballet annually collaborates with the Orlando Philharmonic in its major school presentations for the Orange County Public School System. This successful partnership brings Orlando Ballet to more than 45,000 Orange County 3rd, 4th and 5th graders each school year. Orlando Ballet engages the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra to bring live music to many of its productions.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Orlando Ballet has completed each fiscal year with a net positive financial
position. In FY15, the organization had a modest deficit due to deprecation of
property. The organization anticipates finishing FY16 with a modest surplus.
In January 2016, with the support of several generous donors, the Orlando Ballet retained the consulting services the DeVos Institute of Arts Management under the leadership of Michael Kaiser. The Ballet’s board and staff are working with Mr. Kaiser’s team to develop a long range plan focused on increased earned and contributed revenue, while maintaining excellent programming.
Central Florida Foundation 800 N Magnolia AvenueSuite 1200 Orlando, FL 32803 p. 407.872.3050 f. 407.425.2990