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Videography by Liberty Cogen & Chipper Dog Productions.

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THE 17TH ANNUAL BALLETFEST ATLANTA

March 20-22, 2020

Sandy Spring Performing Arts Center

1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

BalletFest Atlanta is a weekend dance festival for dancers ages 8+, packed full of master classes from captivating instructors and performances from dance studios, pre-professional companies, and professional companies. The festival began in the hopes of bringing the fire and excitement of live dance to the public and over the years dancers have traveled to Georgia from 20+ states to add their spark to the flame.

BALLETFEST ATLANTA 2020 INSTRUCTORS

DUSTY BUTTON

Ballet Technique, Contemporary Pointe, Contemporary

Dusty Button was born in South Carolina and began her dance training at the age of 7. At age 16, she moved to New York City to train at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. In 2007, Button joined American Ballet Theatre's second company, ABT II, were she performed the lead role in Adam Hougland's Vanished. She completed her training with London's Royal Ballet School on scholarship, graduating with honors and was presented with the Dame Ninette de Valois bursary. 
In 2008, Button was invited to join Birmingham Royal Ballet where she performed principal roles in many ballets. Button joined Boston Ballet in 2012 as a corps de ballet member. She was promoted to soloist in 2013 and to principal dancer in 2014. Button has been featured in Glamour Magazine, PointeMagazine, Dance Europe, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Informa and many others. Button was featured on the 2015 Pointe Magazine cover where she was labeled as "A New Brand of Ballerina". Pointe also remarks, "onstage, Dusty defies categorization." She has turned the page to the most exciting chapter of her career becoming Red Bull's first ballet athlete. She has been a guest performer with companies around the world. She has choreographed works for Birmingham Royal Ballet and Boston Ballet's BB@home series, as well as for various companies and organizations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and London. As Button has only begun to make her mark be sure to keep your eyes open while following along with this star in her inspiring journey of success. .

LAUREN ANDERSON

Ballet Technique, Pointe

Native Houstonian Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars. She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 as a Corps de Ballet, 1987 was promoted to Soloist and in 1990 became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at Houston Ballet – and was one of the few African-American ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world. Ms. Anderson danced leading roles in all the classics. She created the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cleopatra, and her performance as Cleopatra received accolades from international critics. Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic for The New York Times compared her to the great Italian actress Eleanora Duse, and Christine Temin of The Boston Globe pronounced her "a powerhouse in interpreting the role that Stevenson created on her." Ms. Anderson has performed across the globe as a guest artist. 

In 1990, Ms. Anderson received The Special Jury Award in the USA International Ballet Competition and in 1996, the International Critics award in Chile. In April 1999, she was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She’s been featured in the People magazine and Pointe, as well as on the television programs "A&E Breakfast with the Arts," "CBS News Sunday Morning," and the game show, "To Tell the Truth." She has been honored by The Martin Luther King Foundation, Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, by the Urban League, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Delta Gamma Foundation, Texas Woman’s Chamber of Commerce, National Council of Jewish Women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Houston City Council, Texas Legislature, and the United States Congress and the list goes on.  In 2000, Ms. Anderson was chosen to be an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has received 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Award for contribution to the dance world. Most recently, Ms. Anderson received the Barbara Jordan, Breaking Barriers award from the Harris County Democratic Party. 

In January 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role in Houston Ballet’s education department where she conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career. She also teaches Master classes at conservatory dance academies around the world. Her pointe shoes are on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

Her greatest production to date is her son Lawrence Turner, who is not a dancer but a musician!

KEATON LEIER

Ballet Technique, Male/Boys Variation, Leaps & Turns

Keaton grew up in Saskatoon, Canada, where he discovered his love for dance at age 8 within the world of hip hop. I wasn’t until 2007 where he started venturing into more styles of dance within his local dance studio (Brenda’s School of Baton and Dance). He started taking casual ballet classes at 15, and then gradually became more serious about making it his career. 

 

In 2013 Keaton was accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School where he received various scholarships throughout his three years there, graduating with marks of distinction. He then continued on to be apart of Houston Ballet’s second company. After one year dancing in Houston, Keaton was offered a position with Atlanta Ballet, where he has been dancing for the past three seasons. 

 

During his time with Atlanta Ballet, Keaton has worked with some of the world’s most popular choreographers and has danced a wide range of repertoire within the company.  He enjoys dancing a balanced amount of classical and contemporary work and is happiest moving and working in the studio. Keaton also co-directs a ballet workshop annually in his hometown and has an experienced background of teaching and coaching.

ADRIENNE HICKS

Contemporary

Upon high school graduation in 2006, Adrienne Hicks entered the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. Her freshman year, she was one of only two female dancers chosen to dance in guest choreographer Sean Curran’s piece for the Fordham/Ailey Fall BFA performance showcase.

Contacted during her sophomore year by Chancellor Jack Hawkins of Troy University in Alabama, Adrienne agreed to help charter the university’s first dance program.  Since transferring to Troy University on scholarship, Adrienne has been instrumental in bringing dance to the Troy University campus.  Under her leadership, the Troy Dance Repertory Ensemble, which began with 6 of Alabama’s best dancers, all of whom Adrienne herself was influential in recruiting has grown to 23. In 2009, Adrienne joined Adrienne Canterna’s Pretty Girls of Dance and, during the summer of this same year, worked as Canterna’s understudy for Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys of Dance in their performance of Rock the Ballet, an experience which prepared her for much of how to develop TDRE into the company it is today.  

 

An additional and noteworthy achievement of Adrienne’s was working with Chancellor Hawkins, the Confucius Institute, and the College of Communication and Fine Arts, to organize and help direct an hour long performance which TDRE toured to universities in Beijing and Hebei, China in the summer of 2010. During this tour, Troy Dance Repertory Ensemble performed in The People’s Great Hall, the only dance troupe to have ever done so. Adrienne’s direction and example has not only helped TDRE to become a respected company but has given her a deep appreciation for the work that goes into building anything from the ground up, and she is most proud to have played such a crucial role in TDRE’s beginning.

 

Graduating Summa Cum Laude on May 6, 2011, Adrienne moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she signed with Xcel Talent Agency.  She became a member of Project 7 Contemporay Dance Company, danced in The Dreamworks Shrektacular, and began her 3 year journey with famed America’s Got Talent group, iLuminate . During her time with iLuminate, Adrienne has performed in the Six Flags Over Georgia show, performed several world tours and starred in, as well as, lead the cast as dance captain, in iLuminate’s two separate off broadway shows, Artist of Light and iLuminate. In February of 2015, Adrienne rejoined Bad Boys of Dance in their show Romeo and Juliet, where she played the nurse. Adrienne is currently getting her MFA in Choreography and continuing to perform and teach around the world. So far, dance has taken her to over 15 countries and 5 continents! 

JAMES L. BOYD

Ballet Technique, Partnering, & Jazz

James L. Boyd III is an artist born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He has toured and entertained the world with the knowledge of ten (10) professional styles of dance under his belt. James is a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate and received his B.F.A from SUNY Purchase College in 2010 in Dance and Choreography. Since graduation he performed with Elton John, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, and Bruce Springsteen. James was a guest artist with the hit dance show, “So You Think You Can Dance” and a semi-finalist on the well-known show, “America’s Got Talent”. While performing around the world, entertaining in 30 countries and over 80 cities with the Bad Boys of Dance and Bad Boys of Ballet, he shared the stage with greats such as Misty Copeland, Joseph Gatti and Rasta Thomas.

James strives to be successful in dance, business and on behalf of his community. He produced his first dance show for Northeast Florida in 2012 titled, “Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet”. James’ passion for community most notably is demonstrated through his recently incorporated not-for-profit endeavor known as Art In Flight Inc. As Founder and CEO, he activated its mission in 2016 and begun fundraising in addition to and outside the Cultural Council on behalf of arts agencies throughout Greater Jacksonville. Art in Flight’s mission is to enhance the development and sustainability of arts organizations in Northeast Florida in order to educate our citizens, increase arts appreciation and support, foster an arts rich culture and, in turn, help grow Jacksonville into a nationally beloved, thought-leading city.

James L. Boyd III continues gaining experience to only share with others. James is currently obtaining his Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) with Jacksonville University. It’s only a matter of time before James is the Master of his own voice.

In addition to building Art in Flight, James is an international faculty member for the Manhattan Dance Project, a former Artist In Residence at Jacksonville University, a Trustee level member of the JAX Chamber, currently serving two local arts boards including Players By The Sea and the JIA Arts Commission and blessed to be a new faculty member for Troy University.

SHANNON CHILDERS

Progressing Ballet Technique

Originally from the Detroit Area, Shannon Graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. Her professional credits include commercial work and industrial performances as well as company work as a founding member of the Atlanta based company, The Phoenix Project. After moving to Atlanta, Shannon has been fortunate to instruct and choreograph throughout the Atlanta area and across the country. After almost 20 years of studio and company directorship with both Roswell City Dance and Studio 23, she has returned to instructing and choreographing regionally.

FOR DIRECTORS:

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN BALLETFEST ATLANTA 2020!

BalletFest Atlanta is an annual festival consisting of dance master classes and performances. 

REGISTRATION

THIS COMING YEAR:

-In 2020, we will be performing on the beautiful Studio Theatre -- located within the same venue as 2019, the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center

-To perform, the cost will be $80 per piece

-There are two Saturday shows (4:30pm & 7:30pm), and one Sunday show (4:30pm).

-After you register the amount of dances you'd like to perform, your FESTIVAL TECH FORM for each piece is due by February 1st, 2020. 

-Master class tickets go on sale January 1st, 2020 and are $25/class.

-Performance ticket prices is as follows:

--$22 for Adult tickets

--$15 for Student tickets

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BALLETFEST ATLANTA 2020 PARTICIPANTS

Academy of Ballet

Ballet Arts Conservatory of Tallahassee

British Academy of Performing Arts

Collierville Ballet

Dance Academy West

Duet Dance Academy
Eagle's Landing Dance Center

Fleetwood Dance Center

Giselle DiBlasi School of Ballet

The Madison Studio - Dance Education

Middle Georgia Youth Ballet

North Georgia School of Ballet
Roswell Dance Theatre Modern Company
Royal Dance Academy

Southern Dance Precision

Sawnee Ballet Theatre

Sugarloaf Ballet

Suwanee Ballet

Upstage Dance Center