NewAlliance Foundation Executive Director, Kim Healey, announced that the NewAlliance Foundation has awarded New Haven Ballet a grant in the amount of $7,500 to support general operating expenses for dance training, performances and community programs. In her letter to NHB Artistic Director, Lisa Sanborn, Ms. Healey stated, “[t]he needs in our community are great and as a result, our application process is highly competitive. Although we are not able to respond as we would like to the many proposals we receive, we are pleased to support your work and are grateful for your dedication to our community.”
On behalf of New Haven Ballet, Ms. Sanborn responded, “NHB is profoundly grateful for the generous support of NewAlliance Foundation. This grant will help NHB continue to provide the highest quality classical ballet training, programs and performances in the community.”
Thank you, NewAlliance Foundation!
Emily 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 Theater, PAJ, 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.
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.
February 1, 2017
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.
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.
NHB 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.
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 DeNofrio@newhavenballet.org.