History

Ballet Creole has been active on the Canadian dance scene since August 1990. Comprised of both a professional ensemble of dancers and drummers (the Company) and a School of Performing Arts (the School), Ballet Creole focuses on the process of “creolization”, a fusion of diverse traditional and contemporary Caribbean and African dance and music. On the Canadian landscape the result has been both innovative and dynamic.

For the past twenty years, under the artistic direction of dancer/choreographer/percussionist Patrick Anthony Parson, Ballet Creole has consistently provided a forum for choreographers, dancers and musicians to practice their art.

On stage, the exuberant dialogue between the drummers and dancers of Ballet Creole generates enthusiastic responses. As a fledgling company, Ballet Creole performed to an audience of 5,000 at the 1991 WOMAD Festival in Toronto, where the company "drew thunderous applause" for its performances in which the "energy and brilliance of Caribbean and contemporary African cultures are portrayed".

Ballet Creole held its first dance season in 1992 at the Winchester Street Theatre. The Company quickly established itself in the mainstream dance world through its participation in the CIBC 1992/93 Dance Season at the Premiere Dance Theatre, Harbourfront, where it performed to sell-out audiences with an extra show added to accommodate demand. Since 1994, the company has presented its annual dance season performances at Harbourfront's duMaurier and Premiere Dance (now known as Fleck Dance) Theatres in Toronto, as well as theatres in St.Catharines and Hamilton.

In the summer of 1993 Ballet Creole expanded its touring to the northern USA, appearing in Columbus, Ohio and Oswego, New York.

Through its daily classes and summer school programming, the Ballet Creole School of Performing Arts offers an innovative mix of Afrocentric percussion and contemporary African, Caribbean and modern dance for adults, children, beginners, amateurs, and professionals wishing to develop their technique and performance skills. An apprenticeship program is available in dance and music for professional level dancers and youth wishing to delve intensively in these art forms.

Ballet Creole is a non-profit charitable organization governed by a Board of Directors.

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