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Dayton Ballet Announces Big Changes

Artistic Director Brandon Ragland Unveils New Pre-Professional Training Program, plus, new repertoire for April’s New Beginnings Repertory production

DAYTON, OH (Jan. 16, 2024) – Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Ballet Artistic Director Brandon Ragland announces the Dayton Ballet Studio Company, a two-year tuition-free, pre-professional Trainee Program for dancers aged 18-23 who are interested in pursuing a career in ballet. Dancers can access Dayton Ballet’s Full Company resources and performance opportunities. Ragland also announced repertoire for the April 12-14 New Beginnings program, which includes a world premiere by Ragland and famed choreographer George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie.  This is the ballet’s first performance of a Balanchine work since the early 80s. Information regarding the Dayton Ballet Studio Company can be found at daytonperformingarts.org/auditions. Tickets for New Beginnings are on sale now at daytonperformingarts.org/tickets.

“Our vision for the Dayton Ballet Studio Company is to serve as a product and extension of the pre-professional division of the Dayton Ballet School (DBS),” says Ballet Artistic Director Brandon Ragland. “Studio Company dancers will perform with the professional full company each season as repertoire allows; participate in tuition-free and carefully designed technique training; and tour throughout the region as part of DPAA’s Learning and Community Engagement programs.”

Dancers 18 to 23 years of age, whether directly out of high school or upon completion of a collegiate program, are eligible to audition. Studio Company dancers are accepted based on age, experience, strength, professional maturity, and overall talent. Each company member will receive career counseling instruction and coaching from Dayton Ballet’s artistic staff and training to support the progression toward achieving a professional caliber. They will also have at their disposal full access to Company resources, including physical therapists and on-site workout equipment.

Audition dates are February 11 and March 10, 2024, at 12:30pm at the Dayton Ballet Studios on the Victoria Theatre’s fourth floor in downtown Dayton. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Pre-register by sending your name, headshot, and resume to tcrommes@daytonperformingarts.org. Video submissions are also accepted.

New Beginnings

“I can’t wait for Dayton’s audiences to experience this production!” says Ragland. “We’re performing one of my favorite Balanchine works, Valse-Fantaisie—set to music from Mikhail Glinka—and Cold Virtues by my colleague and friend, Adam Hougland. And I’m putting the finishing touches on a yet-to-be-titled world premiere ballet highlighting Dayton Ballet Company’s athleticism, technique, and artistry. Music for the world premiere is by Max Richter.”

“It’s not easy to gain a license to perform one of Balanchine’s ballets,” continues Ragland. “The George Balanchine Trust is very discerning as to what ballet companies can perform his ballets. We had to provide a lot of information, including recent performance video emphasizing the dancer’s technique, agility, speed, and musicality. I’m happy the Trust approved our request and very excited to develop the relationship, Balanchine was a pioneer in American ballet choreography, and I look forward to sharing his works with the Dayton community.”