To present an eclectic, innovative, and culturally enriching repertory of world-class professional dance performances throughout the region, while enhancing the public's perception of dance. To provide high quality dance education programs that inspire children and adults, while creating a foundation for students with professional aspirations to succeed in the profession of dance. To create opportunities for our community to come together for shared experiences by way of these endeavors.
Provide world-class diverse innovative dance programming and education to Arkansas and beyond.
Ballet Arkansas is the foremost professional ballet company of the State of Arkansas and a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Over the course of the last 42 years, Ballet Arkansas' world-class education programs and performances have touched the lives of nearly 300,000 Arkansans. Through the presentation of a vibrant and diverse repertory of classical and contemporary dance, Ballet Arkansas provides the region with bold, original programming for every taste, while making this programming accessible to all audiences.
Ballet Arkansas's roots can be traced back to the Little Rock Civic Ballet, founded in 1966 by Donald C. Cranford. Ballet Arkansas was formed as a non-profit organization in 1978, and the organization's Board of Directors formed the fully professional company in 2009. Since its conception, Ballet Arkansas has presented performing greats such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, in addition to a number of internationally celebrated dancers and companies. The company continued to expand it's reach into communities throughout the state, reaching more than 20,000 Arkansans annually.
Under the dynamic artistic direction of Michael and Catherine Fothergill, the company now consists of 15 full-time professional dancers and performs a vibrant repertory by celebrated choreographers such as George Balanchine, Agnes De Mille, Christopher Wheeldon, Ma Cong, Gerald Arpino, Val Caniparoli, Jimmy Orante, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Kiyon Gaines, Mariana Oliveira, Alice Klock, Florian Lochner, Yoshito Sakuraba and classical works by Marius Petipa, August Bournonville, Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, Kenneth Macmillan, Mikhail Fokine, and Leonide Massine, among many others. The company now auditions more than 400 professional dancers from all over the world each year, and receives nearly 100 submissions from choreographers across the globe who desire to premiere their work on the talented dancers of Ballet Arkansas.