State of Alabama Ballet, Inc.
Alabama Ballet (AB), formed in 1981, is second-to-none in its artistic excellence as Birmingham's second largest performing arts organization and Alabama's largest professional ballet company. The mission of the AB is to change lives through dance. We promote and foster the development of classical and contemporary ballet through high quality performances, dance education and community outreach. The company is made up of thirty-four professional dancers. Under the Artistic Direction of Tracey Alvey, the AB performs five major programs on its regular season and tours throughout the state, with annual appearances in Anniston, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery. The Alabama Ballet Center for Dance (ABCD) is a 21,500 square-foot facility with six studios that houses the professional company, administrative and artistic offices, costume shop, storage facilities, and the Alabama Ballet School, the state’s only accredited member of the Royal Academy of Dance. Each year, the AB impacts over 15,000 youth through education and outreach programs, including CityDance, an in-school instructional program providing underserved school children the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the art form; Dance Discovery Workshops, designed for students in an assembly atmosphere; and free school performances. Our Second Tuesday performances are free educational programs held at the ABCD that introduce ballet to all ages. Education opportunities continue in the summer with the Summer Intensive program for ages 8-12, and dance camps for ages 4-7 called "Tutus and Tiaras." In 2009, AB became the home of the Time Step Studio of adult tappers, now The Alabama Tappers with an annual performance in April at the Alabama Theatre.
There is a long history of ballet in Alabama and it comes to full fruition in the state's premier, professional dance company. The AB is one of only 56 ballet companies in America with budgets of $1 million or more. The AB provides the highest standard for professional dance in Alabama backed by its national reputation of being only one of seven companies in the world licensed to perform Balanchine's The Nutcracker. The AB was the first dance company in the state to offer full-time contracts to its professional dancers, and is now the largest of only two companies to do so. The Ballet also offers the strongest training environment for young professional dancers through its apprenticeship program and the Alabama Ballet School. The AB provides a leadership role in strengthening and sharing the state's rich heritage of ballet, giving professional dancers the opportunity to remain in the state and pursue their careers. The AB has strong community support and partnerships with numerous organizations. The AB enjoys a strong partnership with Samford University as our primary performance venue is at Samford’s Wright Center. Also, Samford University houses its dance minor program at our studios where several of our professional dancers also serve as instructors for the college curriculum. Southern Danceworks (SDW) uses the facility for rehearsal space and also provides additional work for AB company members as "pick-up" dancers for SDW's modern dance performances, which challenges and extends their professional dance skills beyond classical ballet. The AB also provides free office space for the Alabama Dance Council at our studios. In our 31st anniversary season, the AB is proud to serve Alabama through dance, have a $2.5 million positive impact on our economy and strengthen the cultural fabric of the community we share with those we serve.