Colorado Ballet's mission is to present exceptional classical ballet and contemporary dance through performances, training, education and community engagement while inspiring and growing an increasingly diverse audience base.
Colorado Ballet's vision is to: Develop and inspire dancers, choreographers, composers, musicians, and artists; Bring to the community varied programming choices; Demystify the perceived elitism of dance by creating cultural works to connect a long-standing art tradition with today's community and audience; Create excellent art which is accessible to the whole community; Provide quality arts education for the community; Continue as a highly collaborative organization and further engage the neighborhood; and, Extend the Company's national profile and touring.
Some examples of providing accessibility and fostering appreciation of ballet, dance and creative movement for the community are:
• The Leap N Learn weekly after-school program held 44 sessions in 34 schools and organizations, serving over 697 students. Surveys indicated that students participating in Leap N Learn have higher school attendance rates than the general student body. This success in the Leap N Learn program led to growth in the Leap N Learn summer camp, from 35 students in 2016 to 40 in 2017, and the ability to form inclusive classrooms (6 students with Down Syndrome participated in camp with typical students). Three students walked away with scholarships to the Colorado Ballet Academy for the 2017-2018 school year.
• Student Matinee performances of Swan Lake and Ballet MasterWorks reached 2,900 students from 15 different Colorado counties at a substantially discounted price. In addition, approximately 2,000 students from high Title I schools in Denver were invited for a free performance of The Nutcracker.
• Colorado Ballet continued to live-stream student matinee performances for free to remote educational sites (schools, colleges, hospitals, organizations that serve youth). As one of the only ballet companies in the U.S. to offer this education experience, it became incredibly popular and spanned across the country and globe. This year, we reached approximately 12,500 participants in 20 Colorado counties, 29 states and 7 countries (France, UK, Japan, Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico, Nicaragua).
• We are in our 13th year of a partnership with Warren Village, offering dance classes for preschoolers. Warren Village students had winter and spring performances in the Armstrong Center for Dance's Black Box Theatre with over 100 supporters in attendance. Parents that were surveyed demonstrated extreme satisfaction with the programming.
• We offered dance technique and arts-integrative workshops to more than 3,200 students across the Denver metro area. There were several month-long residencies in schools including University Prep, South High School, Rocky Mountain Prep, Heart & Hand Center, and Whittier K-8. These students were able to engage deep into specific dance techniques and had performance opportunities within their communities.
• The school assembly program, "From the Page to the Stage," with studio company dancers, was presented at schools in Denver, Weld, Logan and Pueblo counties, as well as at Children's Hospital Colorado. A total of 3,700 students and community members watched Colorado Ballet dancers, some for the first time.
Colorado Ballet was founded in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and the late Freidan Parker to showcase the talented students they had been teaching at their ballet school. The Company obtained full professional status in 1978 and, after a three-year alliance with Tampa Ballet in the late 1980's, reestablished itself as a resident company in Denver in 1990. Today, Colorado Ballet is recognized nationally as one of the top regional ballet companies in the U.S.
Colorado Ballet has three major programmatic areas: 1) the professional Company which each season performs five productions at either the Ellie Caulkins Opera House or the Newman Center for the Performing Arts; 2) Education & Community Engagement programs provide free and highly subsidized opportunities for in-need children and adults, targeting underserved communities in more than 300 schools and organizations across Colorado; and 3) Colorado Ballet Academy is a professional dance instruction program offering 20 daily classes, six days a week, on a year-round basis for students age 1 ½ to seniors.
Colorado Ballet is one of the state's oldest and most successful arts institutions. "Colorado Ballet's production of August Bournonville's La Sylphide that opened October 2nd surely will go down in history as one of the most aesthetically pleasing ever performed by the company. Everything about it-the sets, the costumes, the music, the dances, the story-are breathtakingly beautiful at every turn," states a review by Denver Performing Arts Examiner.
Aurora Sentinel review, 2/25/2016. "[Colorado Ballet's] Alice at Ellie full of wonder. Entering Webre's psychedelic vision of Alice is like watching a pop-art painting in motion - the costumes, set design and music, all come together in whimsy that is both high-fashion, fantastical and simply a lot of fun to look at."
"If I could choose one word to describe this fantastic production and time honored tradition from the Colorado Ballet, it would be CHARMING! This exceptional company did not miss a beat, a step or a moment to shine and kept this annual highlight of their diverse season fresh, energetic, and full of Christmas wonder and joy." - BroadwayWorld.com review of The Nutcracker
"The Colorado Ballet once more demonstrated that they are one of the best ballet companies in the United States. Their depth, their excellence, and the inherent art in everything they do are remarkable. Their dedication shows, and the audience reaps the rewards." -Opus Colorado review of Ballet Director's Choice
We received these impactful testimonials from our past education program participants:
"They were mesmerized and inspired by the diverse performances. The study guide was also a great addition to the experience. Thank you for the opportunity, the incredible seats, and for sharing the power of the arts with our students!!!!"
"I like to dance because of the exercise," comment from an elementary student.