Ballet San Antonio was founded in 1985 as a regional company by Mayra Worthen and Melissa Hale Coyle. Today, we are the resident ballet company of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and the city’s professional ballet company. Our professional dancers come to San Antonio from all over the world to make San Antonio their home, and perform for the community in high quality productions. Our organization also provides an interactive arts outreach and education program, Learning That Moves You (LTMY), for San Antonio youth, which includes a free ballet-training program at the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio. We are made up of six (6) executive and artistic staff members and thirty-four (34) professional dancers. We serve approximately 40,000 annually through our performances and outreach in the community.
In the last three years, the company has undergone significant artistic change and growth. Some highlights over the last three years include:
In 2012, Gabriel Zertuche was named Artistic Director and since has widened Ballet San Antonio’s creative repertoire with critically acclaimed new works and the addition of internationally accomplished artists.
We have expanded our season to include more major productions, staff and company dancers. Our seasons have grown to include more full-length ballets including Cinderella, Scheherazade, Dracula, Coppelia and Firebird. Meanwhile, the number of dancers has increased from 20 dancers to 32 dancers for the 2014-15 season.
In the fall of 2013, Ballet San Antonio worked with renowned choreographer, Ben Stevenson, former artistic director of the Houston Ballet, for our production of Cinderella. This season, we will collaborate with Mr. Stevenson for our production of Romeo & Juliet. Mr. Stevenson is now a member of our advisory Board, which means a legendary figure in the world of dance is officially putting his support behind our company, and will be providing us with ongoing artistic input and guidance.
The George Balanchine Trust, which is responsible for preserving the iconic choreographer’s creative works, granted Ballet San Antonio the right to perform one of Mr. Balanchine’s works after we provided background about our artistic accomplishments, including videos of our recent productions. Our ability to perform Balanchine works marks another major milestone in gaining national recognition. BSA will premiere Balanchine’s “Donizetti Variations” in March of 2015.
The company has deepened and expanded its collaboration with the San Antonio Symphony. This season, Ballet San Antonio and the Symphony will perform not only “The Nutcracker” together, but “Romeo & Juliet” as well. Both organizations are selling special ticket packages highlighting the value of experiencing ballet productions with live music.
Last April we premiered “Ballet in the Park” at Travis Park. This production was our first large-scale, free-of-charge outdoor production to introduce more of our San Antonio community to its professional ballet company. Because of the production’s success, we plan to make “Ballet in the Park” and an annual production in our season.
We have further expanded our ballet training to inner-city children by starting a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio. Our program with the Boys & Girls Clubs is completely free of charge to participants. Because of the success of our program, the company has recently been approved as a partner company with American Ballet Theatre’s, Project Plie.