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October 2023

Dear New Haven Ballet Families and Friends,

            What a year this has been! A year of natural disasters and human resilience, of conflicts on the global stage and dissension at home. Yet through it all, in communities around the world, people have come together in pursuit of art, of education, of social justice—of happiness, as it says in the Declaration of Independence. And this is as true of the New Haven Ballet family as it is of families worldwide.

            As the pandemic receded, we opened our doors wide to dancers, teachers, and audiences. Our class schedule filled up, with all in-person teaching. New faculty came onboard. We offered more performances—some of them free—to a wider community, encompassing the whole of Greater New Haven, while at the Shubert our Nutcracker and  spring performance, featuring a lively Coppélia, drew enthusiastic crowds. We revived our outreach programs, which had been forced to lapse during the pandemic, once more offering ballet training and scholarships to elementary schoolchildren through DanceAir and bringing differently abled students into our classroom with Shared Ability.

            But we did more than regain our status quo: we moved onward and upward, with exciting new opportunities in dance instruction, new costumes and sets for our performances, and more community outreach.

            For our advanced students, this summer we offered a week-long intensive overnight camp at Choate Rosemary Hall. Students lived in the dorms and ate in the dining hall and spent their days studying ballet at an intensive level. At the end of the week, they put on a production of scenes from Swan Lake, which they had learned, rehearsed, and perfected in just four days. The audience that gave these remarkable dancers a standing ovation knew that they were witnessing the birth of something special. In the coming year, we intend to expand this program.

            The adults in the Open Division had an exciting opportunity of their own when Laurel Lynch, recently retired from the world-famous Mark Morris Dance Company, taught three four-week courses of modern dance, accompanied by live music. Effortlessly embracing students of every level, she introduced them to a world of dance different from—but no less exciting than—classical ballet. Laurel will be teaching a fourth course in the coming weeks.

            One of the most surprising opportunities came our way when Milwaukee Ballet offered to give us their old Nutcracker sets. These sets come in the form of a number of large pieces—portals, legs (side curtains), backdrops, and sizable set pieces—that can be used together or separately as needed. See if you can spot them, especially in our Land of Sweets!

            We at New Haven Ballet are thrilled to be not just back where we left off but running forward—moving on in so many fronts. But forward movement requires resources, and class tuition only covers a fraction of the costs of our programs. As we have done in the past, we must rely on the generosity of our families and friends. This fall we ask you once again to help us help spread the joy of dance throughout our community—to pursue happiness. Your tax-free donation, of any amount, will mean so much to all who call New Haven Ballet family. Thank you.

New Haven Ballet is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations made to the ballet are tax deductible to the greatest extent allowed by law.

Thank you for supporting New Haven Ballet!

Yours sincerely,

Lisa Kim Sanborn

Artistic Director


To provide the greater New Haven Community with exceptional classical ballet training, performances, and outreach programs, that nurture appreciation of ballet and foster the joy of dance.

On October 31, 2020, NHB’s Board of Directors adopted the following Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

New Haven Ballet celebrates those who aspire to excellence in classical ballet. A culture of creativity is the core of our work and diversity promotes innovation. The arts can provide powerful life-changing experiences that prepare students and impact audiences to lead more successful, meaningful and culturally rich lives. The arts can also prove to be an important platform for social change. At New Haven Ballet we are passionate about creating an inclusive dance environment and performances that promote and value diversity and inclusion. We will continue to strive to increase diversity in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective, which will improve and strengthen our work.

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