Artistic Leadership

Lisa Sanborn, – Artistic Director

Lisa Sanborn began her dance training in New Jersey at the Princeton Ballet School. After moving to Illinois, Ms. Sanborn trained at the Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago with Larry Long, Dolores Lipinski, and Warren Conover. She later studied with many other notable teachers, including Elisabeth Carroll and Felix Smith.

Ms. Sanborn danced as a member of the Clinton Contemporary Ballet and Quad Cities Civic Ballet companies in Iowa, performed for several years in the Chicago Tribune Charities production of The Nutcracker at the Arie Crown Theater, and appeared with the Royal Danish Ballet at the Auditorium Theater in Napoli, a ballet created by famed choreographer and ballet master August Bournonville.

In addition to the Snow Queen and several soloist roles in New Haven Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at the historic Shubert Theater, Ms. Sanborn also performed in corps and solo variations from ballets such as La Bayadère, Pas de Quatres, Swan Lake, Giselle, Paquita, and Les Patineurs, as well as neoclassical and contemporary/lyrical works choreographed by Phillip Otto and Bronwen MacArthur.

Prior to her appointment as Artistic Director at New Haven Ballet in April 2014, Ms. Sanborn, who was brought to NHB by former artistic director Phillip Otto in 2001, acted as NHB’s Interim Artistic Director (2013-2014), was a distinguished teacher at the Ballet, and during her tenure taught ballet technique, variations, and pointe to both children and adults. She also choreographed and staged several works for NHB. Her students have pursued professional careers in dance and been accepted into many elite summer programs, including School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, the Rock School (Pennsylvania Ballet), Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Ms. Sanborn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Skidmore College, where she minored in dance. She received a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University and served as corporate counsel for the Southern Connecticut Gas Company and Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation until the birth of her son in 2009. In 2015, Yale University appointed Ms. Sanborn an Associate Fellow of Pierson College. Ms. Sanborn also serves as a member of the Arts Industry Coalition and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Dance Alliance.


Christoper DeNofrio, – Children’s Division Director

Mr. DeNofrio holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the Boston Conservatory of Music. A native New Englander, Mr. DeNofrio began his training on Cape Cod with Klara Koenig and studied with Edward Villella before continuing his training in Boston. In 1993, Mr. DeNofrio was given an apprenticeship with George Verdak’s Indianapolis Ballet Theatre where he had the opportunity to work with former Kirov stars, Irina Kolpakova and Vladien Seminov. He also performed the principal role in David Hochoy’s the “Farewell” at IBT’s 20th Anniversary Gala.

Mr. DeNofrio returned to the Northeast and danced with the Albany Berkshire Ballet. His roles included Benvolio in Francis Patrelle’s “Romeo and Juliet” and the Cavalier in Madelline Cantarello Culpo’s “The Nutcracker”. He joined Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in 1994 and danced original works by Jose Mateo while touring New England. He danced featured roles in Jose Mateo’s “Isle of the Dead” and “Schubert Adagio” at the Lincoln Center “Out of Doors” festival.

While in Boston, Mr. DeNofrio performed the principal role in George Balanchine’s “Valse Fantasie” and the “Balcony Pas de Deux” from Romeo and Juliet under the direction of James Reardon with Boston Dance Company. In 1997, Mr. DeNofrio danced in Boston Ballet’s “Le Corsaire”, “Swan Lake” and Michael Corder’s “Cinderella”. In 1998, he joined the Louisville Ballet as a soloist. He performed original works by Alun Jones, Dale Brannon, Paul Taylor and David Parsons.

Mr. DeNofrio was appointed Associate Director of Louisville Ballet School in 1999 and became a member of SERBA, the Southeast Regional Ballet Association. In 2002, Mr. DeNofrio moved to Vancouver, Canada where he joined the British Columbia chapter of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, The Vancouver International Dance Festival and Kokoro Dance. He is certified in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. Mr. DeNofrio joined New Haven Ballet in 2014 and is excited to begin work with families and students in both New Haven and Branford.

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