Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

Emily Coates Returns for Master Class

EmilyCoates 173x300 Emily Coates Returns for Master ClassEmily Coates returns to New Haven Ballet to offer a master ballet class to Level 5-8 students on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to students and encourage all Level 5-8 students to participate.

Ms. Coates received the School of American Ballet Mae L. Wein Award for Outstanding Promise in 1992 and joined New York City Ballet that same year. After six years with NYCB, she transitioned into contemporary dance. At the invitation of Mikhail Baryshnikov, she joined White Oak Dance Project (1998 – 2002), and subsequently performed with Twyla Tharp Dance (2001 – 2003), and Yvonne Rainer (2005 – present). Performing career highlights include three duets with Baryshnikov: Mark Morris’ The Argument, in Karole Armitage’s The Last Lap, and Erick Hawkins’ Early Floating, principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp, Lucinda Childs’ canonical solo Carnation, Yvonne Rainer’s 21st century creations, and Christopher Janney’s solo HeartBeat, originally performed by Sara Rudner and later Baryshnikov. In her own creations, she tries to integrate whenever possible movement research, choreography, and writing. Her research interests include the aesthetics and evolution of postmodern dance and intercultural collaboration, focusing on two distinct areas: contemporary American and African dance collaborations, and interdisciplinary arts and science research. Between 2005 – 2009 she co-directed MIND (Motion in Dialogue) with Bronwen MacArthur, with whom she created four original dance theater works while in residence at Yale. Other past projects include Empty Is Also, created with Israeli sculptor and Yale School of Art graduate Tamar Ettun and commissioned by Performa 09 to critical praise. Since 2011, she has collaborated with violinist Charlie Burnham on a series of improvisations presented in the Vision Festival and at Jalopy in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and with French horn player and composer Will Orzo, most recently on a performance for the Take Your Time Series in New Haven, CT. She has been a resident artist at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, where she was a Martha Duffy Memorial Fellow, Duo Multicultural Arts Center, and Jacob’s Pillow through its Creative Development Residency. Her recent projects include a multi-sited research project on intercultural collaboration undertaken with Lacina Coulibaly, an artist based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Their joint-creations include the development of a duet titled Ici Ou Ailleurs, performed in full or excerpted at Cornell, Harvard, Brown, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and in the Movement Research Fall Festival. Their second piece for a group of eight dancers, commissioned and performed by Ballet Memphis and titled Où Que Nous Soyons, premiered in Memphis , TN in February 2011. They are currently working on a third choreographic creation and a book project, developed in collaboration with scholar Brent Hayes Edwards. In the area of integrated arts and science research, she has collaborated with particle physicist Sarah Demers since 2011, first on a co-taught course at Yale titled The Physics of Dance, and now through co-authoring an interdisciplinary book on physics and dance based on the course, forthcoming from Yale University Press. Their project “Discovering the Higgs” was selected for the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s Reintegrate initiative in 2012-2013. Their related science-art video “Three Views of the Higgs and Dance” premiered online in December 2013. Her essays have appeared in TheaterPAJ, Huffington Post, and Transformations. With Joseph Roach, she is co-editor of Theater’s 2010 issue on postglobal dance. Between 2006 and 2012, she served as the artistic director of Professor Roach’s World Performance Project at Yale. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in English from Yale ’06 and holds an MA in American Studies from Yale ’11. Currently, she is an assistant professor (adjunct) in Theater Studies and director of dance studies at Yale University, where she has directed the dance curriculum since its inception in 2006.

NHB Awarded Mayor’s Neighborhood Cultural Vitality Grant

Artistic Director, Lisa Sanborn, is thrilled to announce that Mayor Toni Harp and Martha Okafor, Community Services Administrator, awarded New Haven Ballet with the Mayor’s Neighborhood Cultural Vitality Grant in the amount of $4,675 in support of NHB’s Shared Ability program. Shared Ability provides weekly dance workshops to differently abled students aged 10-20 years with assistance from advanced NHB students and the guidance of movement specialist, Kerry Kincy. In addition to Mayor Harp and Ms. Okafor, Ms. Sanborn extends her sincere thanks to Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism Director, Andy Wolf, and Community Outreach Coordinator, Kim Futrell.



Board of Directors Announcement

New Haven Ballet Board of Directors
Announces new President and Vice President

February 1, 2017

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Megan Murphy – President
Megan Murphy holds a double major in Ballet Performance and English from Indiana University and a Masters in Management from RPI. She is a Sr. Buyer at Avangrid in Orange, Connecticut. She danced professionally with the St. Louis Ballet and has been involved with NHB for many years, taking classes in the Open Division, as a teacher, and as a member of the Board who has served on selection committees and the fundraising committee. Ms. Murphy has great love and enthusiasm for NHB and looks forward to continuing to work with NHB’s talented Artistic Director, Lisa Sanborn, in their shared goal to provide high-quality ballet instruction, performance opportunities and outreach programs in our community.

Paula Armbruster – Vice President
Paula Armbruster is a retired clinical Associate Professor at the Yale School Medicine where she was on the faculty for 32 years. Growing up in Manhattan where her family held subscriptions to New York City Ballet and later American Ballet Theater as well, she is a balletomane. Ms. Armbruster continues these subscriptions currently. She and her daughter have taken classes at the New Haven Ballet. She has been a Board member for nine years. She is delighted to be on the Board under Artistic Director Lisa Sanborn’s watch, as her commitment to excellence of teaching, to on-stage opportunities for students (including bringing principals from major professional companies for The Nutcracker and for Master Classes), and to community outreach is exemplary.

John Newman will continue as the NHB Board Treasurer and Joanne Nault will continue in her role as NHB Board Secretary.

January 2017 Newsletter

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November/December 2016 Newsletter

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Simone Messmer Returns as Sugar Plum Fairy

Sun14 1 447 300x199 Simone Messmer Returns as Sugar Plum Fairy

Born in Minneapolis, Minn., Simone Messmer began studying dance at the age of nine at Ballet Arts Minnesota. At 14, she continued her training at The HARID Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla., and was awarded the Jeannot B. Cerrone Award for Excellence in Dance. At 16, she resumed her training at Ballet Arts Minnesota under the direction of Bonnie Mathis. Messmer participated in American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program in 2001 and joined ABT Studio Company in that same year. Messmer danced with ABT for over a decade, rising to the rank of soloist in 2010. While in the company, Messmer originated major roles in new works by Alexei Ratmansky such as Firebird, Symphony #9, On the Dnieper, as well as by Christopher Wheeldon and Benjamin Millepied. Her extraordinary range extends from Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen to Giselle’s Myrtha.

Her other repertoire with ABT included The Bright Stream, Le Corsaire, Raymonda, Ballo della Regina, Birthday Offering, Company B, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, In The Upper Room, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort, Sinfonietta, and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison.Messmer joined San Francisco Ballet in 2013 performing principal roles in Balanchine’s Agon and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, and Ratmansky’s From Foreign Lands and Chamber Symphony. Other major roles included “The Man I Love” in Balanchine’s Who Cares?, The Firebird in Passokov’s The Firebird, and appearances in works by Mark Morris and Liam Scarlett. Messmer joined Miami City Ballet as a Principal Dancer in 2015.

Stephen Hanna to Guest Star in Nutcracker

PS SHanna3591 300x200 Stephen Hanna to Guest Star in NutcrackerNHB is thrilled to announce that Stephen Hanna will perform as the Cavalier in our 2016 Nutcracker. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he trained under Roberto Munoz. He entered the School of American Ballet (SAB) where he then trained with his teachers Stanley Williams, Andre Kramervsky, and Richard Rapp. At SAB Mr. Hanna was awarded the Mae L. Wein Award for outstanding promise. Mr. Hanna became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 1997, and later that year he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. Mr. Hanna was promoted to the rank of soloist in February 2004, and in January 2005, he was promoted to principal dancer. He has performed Principal roles in Ballets by Peter Martins, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Richard Tanner, and Albert Evans.

September 2016 Newsletter

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Anna Fitch Ardenghi Trust Awards DanceAIR Grant

Artistic Director, Lisa Sanborn, is delighted to announce that the Anna Fitch Ardenghi Trust awarded a grant in the amount of $2,500 to New Haven Ballet. This grant was made to support the DanceAIR program. NHB is proud to provide professional classical ballet training to 2nd grade students in underserved New Haven Public Schools and award scholarships to students who participate in the program. For more information about DanceAIR please contact Children’s Division Director, Christopher DeNofrio, at

Jenna Lavin Crabtree Offers Master Classes

person 127 Jenna Lavin Crabtree Offers Master ClassesNHB is pleased to announce that Jenna Lavin (Crabtree) will offer master classes to NHB Level 5-8 students on September 26, 2016. Ms. Lavin is originally from Queens, New York. She began her ballet training with Mme. Gabriela Darvash and Jody Fugate. She later graduated from the School of American Ballet where she studied with such teachers as Alexandria Danilova, Antonia Tumkovsky and Stanley Williams. Ms. Lavin began her professional career at 17 when she was invited to join the Chicago City Ballet, under the direction of Maria Tallchief. Ms. Lavin also danced with the Atlanta Ballet directed by Robert Barnett, for seven years. Her principal and soloist roles with the Atlanta Ballet include: Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, The Four Temperaments, Serenade, Tarantella Pas de Deux, Minkus Pas a Trois as well as Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Ms. Lavin was a principal dancer with the Nashville Ballet where she danced Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the title role in Giselle, and principal roles in the company’s contemporary repertoire. Other professional affiliations include the Los Angelos Ballet, under the direction of John Clifford. Ms. Lavin spent eight summers as a member of the Chautauqua Ballet Company, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux where she performed principal roles in ballets by Balanchine, Bonnefoux and Clifford. she is a former soloist with Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet where she danced principal roles in many ballets including Divertimento #15, Jewels, Pas de Dix, Raymonda Variations, Valse Fantasies, Western Symphony, Glinka Pas a Trois, The Nutcracker and Who Cares? Ms. Lavin has worked with numerous choreographers, creating principal roles in ballets by Alonzo King, Lisa de Ribere and Stanton Welch to name a few. In the summer of 2003, Ms. Lavin performed in Casablanca, a collaboration between Warner Bros. and John Clifford’s Los Angelos Dance Theater.

Ms. Lavin has been teaching ballet to young dancers throughout her career beginning in Chicago when she was 17. She has taught master classes in Atlanta, Michigan, and for the Nashville Ballet School. Ms. Lavin has been on faculty at Ballet Academy East since 2003 where she teaches and choreographs for the Pre-Professional Program. She is married to Cornel Crabtree. They are the proud parents of Sky, 7, Grayson, 3, and Cooper, born April, 2012.

NHB Open House


NHB Shoreline Open House 300x259 NHB Open House

New Haven Ballet will hold an Open House on Saturday, September 10, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Meet Artistic Director, Lisa Sanborn, Children’s Division Director, Christopher DeNofrio, and the professional NHB faculty.

The Branford studio is NHB’s home on the Shoreline. Located at 9 Business Park Drive, right off exit 56 of I-95, the Branford location features two large dance studios with sprung wood floors, marley surfaces for pointe work, natural light, and ample parking. Artistic Director Lisa Sanborn notes enthusiastically that the state-of-the-art studio enables NHB to better serve both New Haven and Shoreline students. She invites all interested members of the public to stop by to tour the spacious studios and learn more about NHB’s programs. Registration for fall classes is now open. For more information, please call the NHB office at 203-782-9038.

NHB is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community based classical ballet school providing ballet instruction to students aged 3 years – adult. In 2015, NHB’s Company was voted “Best Dance Company” and “Best Arts Organization” by New Haven’s CTNow Readers Poll. NHB presents its annual production of The Nutcracker at the Shubert Theater, which exclusively features NHB students. NHB’s Company performs throughout the region at local festivals and schools. NHB offers both needs based and merit scholarships and its outreach programs include, “DanceAIR,” affording classical ballet training and scholarships to underserved students, and “Shared Ability,” which provides dance training and performance opportunities to differently abled students. NHB is thrilled to offer its professional classical ballet programming to Branford and acknowledges the generosity of its devoted patrons and corporate as well as foundational support, including Carolyn Foundation, City of New Haven Arts, Culture & Tourism, Department of Economic and Community Development, Ethel & Abe Lapides Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, NewAlliance Foundation, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and Withers Bergman LLP. Photo: Thomas Giroir Photography © 2016.

August 2016 Newsletter

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