Founder and Artistic Director
Co-Founder, Associate Artistic Director, School Director
Head Ballet Coach
Ballet Chicago Dancers
Kompagni B Dancers
Emil Eisted Hansen
Joel Hall Youth Dance Company
ABOUT BALLET CHICAGO
...where artistic excellence and content of character forge the next generation
Co-founded in 1987 by acclaimed dancer / choreographer Daniel Duell and former ballerina Patricia Blair, Ballet Chicago’s mission is to educate and inspire young artists through the study of classical ballet, and in so doing, to lay a foundation of life skills that empowers each one to realize their full potential.
It is a place where the beauty of one’s character is as important as the beauty of one’s tendu, a place where diversity is intentional – where inner city, foster children, middle-class and those of great fortune stand side-by-side, although we will never tell you which is which.
It is a place where young people learn to celebrate their triumphs and weather their disappointments with equal grace, where high-achievement is the norm, and where delivering moments of truth becomes a way of life.
With a curriculum based in the Balanchine Technique ©, and through a special arrangement with the George Balanchine Trust, Ballet Chicago provides an accelerated performance program where members receive years of on-stage experience, building confidence under pressure, camaraderie, community, and an array of skill sets that translate to any arena. New works join masterpiece repertoire reserved solely for professionals and only the most accomplished students worldwide, producing outstanding performance resumes. Ballet Chicago has two primary scholarship programs. The Philip and Marsha Dowd Merit Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to gifted dancers with serious career aspirations and makes it possible for our students to learn from world-class guest teachers, répétiteurs, and choreographers. The Dance for Tomorrow Program provides children of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to study ballet through tuition-assisted scholarships. Ballet Chicago is a home, it is a family; it is a launching pad for exemplary youth.
Square Dance Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.
Photography by RonMcKinney Photography
ABOUT KOMPAGNI B
"If only I had the same opportunities when I was training to become a ballet dancer." - Nikolaj Hübbe, Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet
Established in 2008 by Royal Danish Ballet School and artistic director, Ann Crosset, Kompagni B became the world’s first children's ballet company “for, with and of” children.
It is still the only ballet company in the world that prides itself on performing ballet for children and teens, with ballet and choreography created by the teen dancers themselves and performed by young dancer's themselves. Kompagni B's 23 young dancers from The Royal Danish School of Ballet in Copenhagen, Denmark are aged between 14-16 years old and are all students at the Royal Theater. This season, 11 of these dancers received the opportunity to travel and work in Chicago as part of their development.
Kompagni B was established to develop and refine the dancers' ability to perform as a soloist and an ensemble members. Members of Kompagni B are personally responsible for defining the company’s policies and values and for proposing and developing its repertoire and performance venues. They create, direct and choreograph the performances. Known as young ballet-ambassadors with talent and heart in Denmark and throughout the world they have also inspired other artists. Helle Pagter's film “Travels to the Dance Within" documents Kompagni B's work in China and the book, “The Royal Danish Ballet School's Super Stars of the Future" written by Eva Hammershøj, with the english edition edited by David Lyman, follows an entire season of Kompagni B development. Each season Kompagni B reaches out to inspire and empower over 10,000 children and teens with their interactive workshops, residencies and performances.
ABOUT THE EXCHANGE
INCREASING INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING
In order to deepen the knowledge of all participants involved, the collaboration begins months before the dancers arrive. Over the internet and social media, the dancers solve choreographic assignments, create costume designs, and share individual goals so that they are ready to teach, perform and explore each other's worlds as soon as they meet. It is an honor and a privilege for Kompagni B to work with 5 dancers from Ballet Chicago and 14 dancers from Joel Hall Dancer Youth Company as part of DENMARK in the ARTS in Chicago.
Past International Kompagni B Exchanges include:
Kompagni B - Qiajuk Studios, Greenland 2018
Kompagni B - Beijing Dance Academy, China 2016
Kompagni B - Arong/Farvella Cultural Center, Brazil 2014
KIDS TEACHING KIDS
Kompagni B offers Kids2Kids workshops in which the essence of ballet - concentration, respect for ensemble work, and traditions - are taught. Kompagni B's dancers work to inspire and empower every child participating. Hundreds of these workshops have been given throughout Denmark and the world. In Chicago such workshops will be given at Fuller Elementary School, Woodson Regional Library, as well as Toman and Whitney Young Jr. Branch Libraries. The workshops are given by the young dancers alone and are often taught without words.
REACHING AUDIENCES IN UNSUSPECTING LOCATIONS
The dancers of Kompagni B define art as something wonderful that lifts a person's everyday life. Since 2009 Kompagni B has explored performing in various venues; in shopping malls, "home visits", in museums and at retirement centers. In Chicago, Kompagni B dancers and Ballet Chicago dancers will work with young basketball players and present EXHIBITION GAME PERFORMANCES at South Side YMCA, Avalon Park and Piotrowski Park. All are free of charge and open to the public!