Orlando Ballet seeks to entertain, educate and enrich the cultural growth of our community through the highest quality of dance.
Of utmost importance to Orlando Ballet is the artistic excellence of its performances. Last season, the Ballet produced five ballets. The season included Battle of the Sexes, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Vampire’s Ball, and the Nutcracker. Special performances included Uncorked! At The Abbey and A Choreographer’s Showcase.
This year, Orlando Ballet laid the groundwork for a $5 million capital campaign to renovate its new home. Specifically, Orlando Ballet:
- Secured a lakefront building in Loch Haven Park that the City of Orlando will lease to the Ballet for $1 per year. This will put the Company, School, and administrative functions under one roof.
- Conducted a feasibility study to determine the practicality of raising money to renovate the building. The study determined that a $5 million campaign was feasible.
- Secured a $2.5 million lead gift, in the form of a matching gift, for the renovation campaign.
- Renovate the new home of Orlando Ballet at Loch Haven Park. Deadline for $2.5 million challenge match from Harriett Lake Family Trust is August 2018. Target date for occupancy is January 2017. $5 million ($2.5 million already committed in form of matching gift)
- Live orchestral accompaniment at all mainstage productions this season. $340,000
- Reinvest in staffing including a permanent CEO, Senior Director of Philanthropy, Development Manager, Director of Marketing, and School Administrator. $335,000
- Implementation of Tessitura software to integrate fundraising, marketing, and ticket sales into one database. $75,000
Orlando Ballet will continue to expand and diversify its audience base, stimulate interest in ballet training, increase educational and outreach, provide a unique showcase for artists, and ensure stability through sound management and an expansion of our support base.
Orlando Ballet serves several counties including Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Volusia and Hillsborough 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.
- To add live orchestral accompaniment to all mainstage productions through partnerships with Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Central Florida Community Arts.
- Launch a $5 million capital campaign to renovate the Ballet’s new building in Loch Haven Park.
- To continue the tradition of a classically trained company that has the technical and theatrical ability to excite and inspire its audience.
- To maintain a school committed to superior dance instruction and training for individuals of all ages, with an international reputation.
- Contracts have been signed to engage the Orlando Philharmonic for four productions and the Central Florida Community Arts Orchestra for one production. Live music allows for customization of dance that recorded music, no matter how high quality, cannot provide.
- At the advice of campaign counsel, Orlando Ballet will:
o Reconfigure its board of directors to include more individuals of high affluence and influence, institute substantial giving requirements, and update term limit rules.
o Hire a permanent executive director with extensive leadership and management experience.
o Increase fundraising capacity by focusing on engaging major donors and prospects, instituting performance measures, improving systems, and adding staff.
o Escalate marketing efforts to increase ticket sales and improve brand visibility and awareness.
- Orlando Ballet will purchase Tessitura software that will allow the Ballet to combine its ticketing, marketing and donor systems into one comprehensive database. By using a single database, Orlando Ballet can conduct more target, cost-efficient marketing and fundraising strategies. Furthermore, Tessitura integrates with DPAC’s ticketing system allowing the Ballet to receive ticketing income in real-time.
- Resilient Philanthropy conducted a feasibility study for Orlando Ballet. The results of this study indicate that the community believes that, with some changes at Orlando Ballet, a $5 million capital campaign is reasonable.
- Orlando Ballet is currently hiring a senior-level development director who will lead the development department and board of directors to raise high-level gifts.
- Orlando Ballet has received a $2.5 million matching gift from the Harriett Lake Family Trust as a lead gift to the capital campaign.
- The Company is led by Robert Hill, a former principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, who is recognized for making ballet relevant to today’s audiences.
- The success of the live music accompaniment will be measured in terms of critic reviews, audience comments, and ticket sales.
- The measure for the capital campaign will be dollar raised. Although the deadline for the Harriett Lake Family Trust challenge grant is August 2018, the goal is to have all money committed prior to construction. The targeted date for occupancy is January 2017.
Orlando Ballet is actively searching for a Senior Director of Philanthropy and Development Manager. After hiring for these two positions, the Ballet will begin the search for Director of Marketing. Currently, the marketing function of the Ballet is being outsourced to a local advertising firm. By bringing it in-house, the Ballet will have more control and will allow the marketing and development functions to become more integrated with one another, thereby increasing both donations and ticket sales.
Orlando Ballet has made significant progress on the renovation campaign. We have identified a building, conducted a feasibility study, and secured $2.5 million of the $5 million goal. The challenge will be raising an additional $2.5 million for the renovation campaign while still growing our general operating donations.
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 as part of its Family Series,The Nutcracker featuring a live orchestra, performance lecture series, and extensive education and community outreach programs.
The Orlando Ballet employs a full-time professional company of national and international dancers, as well as pre-professional dancer that comprise the Orlando Ballet II Ensemble. This, combined with the Ballet’s award-winning costumes, set, and lighting design teams, results in the highest level of professionalism and artistic excellence.
Moving forward the Company is focused on expanding ballet audiences by expanding programming to more diverse target audiences and attracting new audiences. This includes several run out performances that have been scheduled for Western Orange County and Palm Beach County during the 2011-12 season.
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 Orlando Ballet School, the official school of the Orlando Ballet, was created to enrich the lives of children, train the next generation of artists, and build future audiences. The School is recognized internationally as one of the best professional training academies and attracts more than 1,000 students from around the world.
The School and its two satellite programs, provide year-round professional classic ballet training for students, ages 2-adult, as well as provides 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 50,000 young and underserved audiences each year, as well as to perform with the Orlando Ballet Company. Graduates of the Orlando Ballet School have gone onto pursing a professional career in dance with many major dance institutions including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and the Orlando Ballet to name a few.
ADAPTIVE DANCE - a program for children with Down Syndrome. This project will be modeled after a program by the same name at Boston Ballet and we will be working closely with the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. This project is still in the development phase with a 6-8 week pilot program to be launched in the Fall of 2012 with the hope of continuing it in the Spring.
STEPS EXPANSION: In the fall of 2011 Orlando Ballet will add a 4th at risk school to the program, Rock Lake Elementary, increasing the number of at risk students served to 85.
EXPANSION OF OBS ACADMEY PROGRAM: OBS had a successful first year with this all-day program for our most advanced students. Next year OBS will add an additional level for younger students interested in a full day training option. OBS will continue to work with K12 International to provide an academic option to our students.
Orlando Ballet School is training more than 1,500 students annually. Orlando Ballet School is the only dance school in the Southeast to receive accreditation from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. The School was recognized as "Best School" by the International Youth America Grand Prix in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. This year, Orlando Ballet School students won the Gold Medal at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition and the Princess Grace Award. 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 no child who wants to dance or experience dance is denied the opportunity, arts education and community outreach programming remains an annual priority. Programs include STEPS, which provides transportation, dance attire and instruction to more than 60 underserved, low-income second and third graders in Central Florida; Adaptive Dance offers children with Down syndrome a structured creative movement and music experience; complimentary ticket distribution program. Intro to Ballet Program which allows more than 14,000 public school second graders the opportunity to attend Family Series performances throughout the year, and the Ballet’s Scholarship Program offers more than $200,000 in assistance annually to deserving students.
ORLANDO BALLET II (paid professional ensemble of pre-professional dancers who train at OBS): Presented 8 Lecture/Demonstrations and performances to more than 16,000 Orange County Public School 2nd graders in 2010, 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 inclusive part of the region's arts and cultural offerings.
Orlando Ballet provides curriculum-based programming directly to public school students in classrooms throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties (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.
The ever-stretched public school system in Florida continues to struggle and funding for arts programs continues to decline. Students who benefit from the free classes that Orlando Ballet provides through scholarships, and the STEPS program are given a unique opportunity that they would not otherwise have. Many of the most committed young dancers come from adverse backgrounds. These exceptional students need and deserve scholarships.
Consistent, exceptional artistic leadership has enabled the Company to achieve significant artistic growth and increasing audience satisfaction levels. Orlando Ballet School has grown from a single location with 230 students to four locations with a combined enrollment of more than 1,500 students. As the level and intensity of the program increases, the school is attracting better and better student candidates. Each star pupil attracts other students, which grows the organizational overall capacity. In 2014 the Orlando Ballet School was awarded "Best School" at the Youth American Grand Prix in NYC.
James T. Cundiff has served as interim executive director since March 2105. Cundiff previously served as interim executive director for The Mustard Seed, and has worked in other non-profit management positions for nearly two decades.
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.
Mark Andrzejczak is the Director of Finance and Human Resources with the Orlando Ballet. He has more than 15 years of experience in accounting, financial administration and human resources. His experience includes assisting both public and private companies as well as non-profits. Mark has worked in Central Florida in several industries including; telecommunications, insurance, and entertainment. He holds a Masters in Business Administration degree and two graduate school certificates.
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: OB annually collaborates with Philharmonic in its major school presentations for the Orange County Public School System at Bob Carr PAC. This successful partnership brings OB before more than 45,000 Orange, Seminole and Osceola County 3rd, 4th and 5th graders each school year. OB engages the OPO to bring back live music to its annual holiday production of The Nutcracker now being performed at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL LA NOUBA: After successful collaborations during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 season,OB and Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba will partner again in 2013-14 to produce “A Choreographers’ Showcase” where artists and performers from the two organizations choreograph new pieces for each other’s performers. This is an exciting opportunity for two highly successful performing arts groups to inspire and learn from each other.
BACH FESTIVAL SOCIETY OF WINTER PARK:OB collaborated with the orchestra and choir of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park to produce Carmina Burana at the Bob Carr in April 2013 and will perform again in November 2014.
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.
The last fiscal year was a challenge for Orlando Ballet and its School with the lose of its home of 22 years. Thanks to hundreds of donors and community volunteers, the organization has relocated into short-term administrative and studio buildings, produced a 40th anniversary season and has a bright future ahead.
Central Florida Foundation 800 N Magnolia AvenueSuite 1200 Orlando, FL 32803 p. 407.872.3050 f. 407.425.2990