Colorado Ballet Records
Colorado Ballet, located in Denver, Colorado is a regional dance company that was conceived as a ballet school founded in 1951, by Denver natives Freidann Parker and Lillian Covillo. To showcase their students, they established Colorado Concert Ballet in 1961.
- Colorado Ballet (Organization)
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Biographical / Historical
Colorado Ballet, located in Denver, Colorado is a regional dance company that was conceived as a ballet school founded in 1951, by Denver natives Freidann Parker and Lillian Covillo. To showcase their students, they established Colorado Concert Ballet in 1961. The Company presented its very first production of The Nutcracker at the Bonfils Theater in Denver to sold-out audiences.
By 1978, Colorado Concert Ballet employed 16 men and women, and had achieved full professional status. The Board of Trustees increased the annual budget to $100,000 and refined the Company’s name. In doing so, Colorado Ballet was born. In 1987 Parker and Covillo conducted a nationwide search, at their own expense, for a new artistic director. With their choice of Martin Fredmann.
In response to the lagging economy in Denver, Colorado Ballet looked to an emerging national trend among dance companies and entered into an alliance with Tampa Ballet. Through shared expenses, the alliance enabled the companies to develop an artistic product with reduced financial risk. By 1990, Colorado Ballet achieved greater financial stability and community recognition, so the alliance was discontinued to better enable future growth of the Denver Company. The decision reestablished Colorado Ballet as a resident company.
In the 2006-2007 seasons, Gil Boggs, a former American Ballet Theatre principal, began his tenure as artistic director of Colorado Ballet.
In 2009 Colorado Ballet was the sole recipient of the Colorado Masterpieces program to tour Colorado's Front Range. The program was funded by the Colorado Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts through their American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius initiative.
In 2010 Colorado Ballet consisted of 30 professional dancers of national and international acclaim, 17 studio company dancers, a $6.6 million operating budget, an expansive repertoire, and two locations for the Academy of Colorado Ballet.
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