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A Commitment to Excellence

OUR HISTORY


In 2021, Cincinnati Ballet made history and moved into its new spectacular home — the Cincinnati Ballet Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance in Walnut Hills. The state-of-the-art Dance Center was specifically designed to forward the Company’s mission and better serve the Greater Cincinnati community. Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, commended for presenting an internationally-acclaimed repertoire of classical masterworks and premieres of provocative contemporary pieces. The Company was founded on a desire to create a diverse community of dance enthusiasts by sharing the beauty of the artform with full-length ballets and innovative world premieres. Cincinnati Ballet has brought the world to the region through exceptional collaborations with acclaimed artists and choreographers, becoming a creative force within the larger dance community. Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage with dance programs that are both relatable and accessible, allowing every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, extensive education and community engagement, and offers top-level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.

A woman watching two men practice performing

Building Professional Status

1970s


In 1974, The Nutcracker premiered at Cincinnati Music Hall. Beginning in 1978, additional mainstage performances were also held at the iconic Cincinnati venue. By 1980, the Company’s name was shortened to ‘Cincinnati Ballet.’

Cincinnati Ballet History 1980s

Making a Home

1980s


With McLain’s passing in 1984, the legendary Frederic Franklin was named interim Artistic Director. In 1986, Hungarian dancer and former American Ballet Theatre star Ivan Nagy assumed leadership and recruited experienced, international dancers, raising the Company’s performance standards.

Cervilio Miguel Amador

Set to Soar

1990s


The 1990s brought three artistic directors in quick succession – Richard Collins, Nigel Burgoine, and Pater Anastos. Thanks to the Kaplan and Budig Foundations, the Company moved into a stable home in the West End in 1994. Two years later, Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy was founded. That same year, the Company performed choreographer George Balanchine’s seminal, full-length ballet, Jewels. In 1997, Victoria Morgan was named Artistic Director, one of the first women to lead an American ballet company.

Frampton & Cincinnati Ballet Live; 2013

Reaching New Heights

2010s


In 2013, Cincinnati Ballet celebrated its 50th anniversary. This period is also makred by the Company’s expansive growth. Cincinnati Ballet created bold works accompanied by live music with local favorite, Over the Rhine, and legendary guitarist Peter Frampton. The Company’s offerings continued to reach new heights and reach new audeinces. In 2014, Victoria Morgan debuted her full-length ballet, King Arthur’s Camelot. The 2017-2018 Season saw the debut of the annual Family Series, featuring narration and the Second Company – CB2 dancers.