Alberta Ballet Company

Alberta Ballet (also known as the Alberta Ballet Company) was founded by Muriel Taylor and Dr. Ruth Carse in 1958 and became a professional company in 1966.[1][2] The company is a resident company of both the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Alberta and the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary, Alberta and performs its full season in both venues.

Alberta Ballet
General information
NameAlberta Ballet
Year founded1966
FoundersRuth Carse and Muriel Taylor
Senior staff
DirectorJean Grand-Maître
Artistic staff
Music DirectorPeter Dala
Official schoolAlberta Ballet School


Carse directed the company until 1975.[3] She was followed by Jeremy Leslie-Spinks (1975-1976), Brydon Paige (1976–1988), and Ali Pourfarrokh (1988–1998). During Pourfarrokh's tenure, in 1990, the company merged with the Calgary City Ballet and moved into the Nat Christie Centre in Calgary. Since then, it has performed in both Edmonton and Calgary.

Former San Francisco Ballet dancer Mikko Nissinen then directed the company until 2002. Nissinen introduced Balanchine works, while continuing to commission new works from Canadian and international choreographers. He toured the company to China, Finland, and Egypt.[3]

Jean Grand-Maître was then appointed as Artistic Director.


Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître has choreographed Carmen, which toured China, and Fiddle and the Drum, a collaboration with Joni Mitchell while at the Alberta Ballet. In the spring of 2010 the company built on its ballet and pop collaboration by staging an Elton John production named Elton:[4] Love Lies Bleeding.[5] Elton John reportedly was so moved by Fiddle and the Drum that he asked Alberta Ballet to produce a ballet for him.

Alberta Ballet was the first Canadian company to stage a ballet by Christopher Wheeldon of the New York City Ballet. Wheeldon choreographed A Midsummer Night's Dream with the company. It also commissioned two pieces from Jorma Elo, of the Boston Ballet.

Canadian choreographer Sabrina Matthews has created pieces the company as well.

2015-2016 season

The season included performances of the glam-rock ballet Love Lies Bleeding, featuring principal dancer Yukichi Hattori in the role of Elton John.[6]

2016-2017 season

The 2016-2017 season featuring Alberta Ballet company dancers included Dracula, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and the World Premiere of Our Canada, a new creation in collaboration with Gordon Lightfoot. Dracula was on-loan from Texas Ballet Theater and choreographed by their Artistic Director, Ben Stevenson (dancer).

Guest company performances included Shadowland (performed by Pilobolus), a mixed bill from dance company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Life (performed by BalletBoyz). [7]


Company artists of Alberta Ballet (2018/19):[8]

Kira AndersonUnited States
Eli BarnesUnited States
Brittany BroussardUnited States
John CanfieldUnited States
Jason CaoChina
Gabrielle ChenardCanada
Tanya ChumakCanada
Zacharie DunAustralia
Melissa EguchiUnited States
Alexandra GibsonCanada
Jennifer GibsonCanada
Garrett GroatCanada
Hayna GutierrezCuba
Scotto Hamed-RamosUnited States
Seira IwamotoJapan
Mariko KondoJapan
Alan MaChina
Kelley McKinlayCanada
Reilley McKinlayUnited States
Sayuri NakaniiJapan
Taryn NowelsUnited States
Hikaru OsakabeJapan
Allison PerhachUnited States
Liam ReidCanada
Kuu SakuragiUnited States
Yoshiya SakuraiJapan
Luna SasakiJapan
William Sheriff JR.United States
Heather ThomasUnited States
Laura Vande ZandeCanada

Alberta Ballet School

The Professional Division at Alberta Ballet School is a full-time dance and academic training program for students in grades 7 through 12, with a part-time, dance-only option for those in grades 5 and 6. The School's Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream is available to students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who wish to focus on contemporary dance.[9]

The School is led by Artistic Principal Ashley McNeil and, in 2018, was recognized by Canadian Heritage for its national impact in training artists for professional artistic careers, at the highest levels.[10]

Other Notable Artistic Staff

  • David Adams
  • Cherice Barton
  • Lambros Lambrou
  • Marianne Beausejour
  • Scott Harris
  • Brian Bender
  • Jay Brooker
  • Claude Caron
  • Nicole Caron [11]
  • David Chipman Seibert
  • Svea Eklof
  • Marc LeClerc
  • Mark Mahler
  • Daniel McLaren
  • Barbara Moore
  • Kevin Peterman
  • Michel Rahn
  • Martin Vallée
  • Yumiko Takeshima
  • Greg Zane
  • Jung Min Hong
  • Howard Epstein
  • Clark Blakley
  • Wayne Mcknight
  • Anita Bostok
  • Youri Alechine
  • Stephanie Achuff


  1. Anderson, Jack (17 October 1997). "From Alberta, a Troupe Both Lyrical and Dramatic". New York Times. New York City, United States. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 91.
  3. Crabb, Michael (August 2005). "Alberta Ballet's Dramatic Moves". Dance Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  4. "AMA Home Page - AMA". AMA. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Dancer Yukichi Hattori stepping away from stage after Love Lies Bleeding". Calgary Herald, Salena Kitteringham, May 2, 2016
  7. Bonfield, Stephan. "Gordon Lightfoot, Dracula a part of Alberta Ballet's 2016-2017 Season". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  8. "Company Artists". Alberta Ballet Company. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  9. "About the School of Alberta Ballet". Archived from the original on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  10. "Investing in Arts Training Programs in Alberta". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  11. Levesque, Roger (24 October 2017). "Alberta Ballet's Sensual Venture into a Dangerous Seduction". Postmedia. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
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