Administrator, Dancer, Choreographer, and Educator
DAYTON, OH (July 20, 2023) – After an extensive international search guided by Arts Consulting Group, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) introduced the next Ballet Artistic Director, Brandon Ragland, at a press conference held today from the lobby of the historic Victoria Theatre. With more than 15 years as a ballet professional, Ragland comes to Dayton from the Louisville Ballet, where he was a principal dancer, managed the Louisville Ballet School’s pre-professional program, and served as resident choreographer. Ragland begins his role on August 1, 2023.
“It is my pleasure to announce Brandon Ragland as the next Artistic Director for Dayton Ballet,” says Patrick Nugent, President and CEO of DPAA. “Brandon brings an immense amount of talent and experience to the Ballet and the Ballet School. With his experience and gifts, he will lead the Dayton Ballet to great heights. His experience with and commitment to teaching and mentoring dance students, from beginners to pre-professionals, will be invaluable to continuing the growth of Dayton Ballet School. Additionally, Brandon will be a valuable addition to DPAA’s Artistic Leadership Team. We could not be happier with the Committee’s recommendation.”
“I am thrilled to join the Artistic team of DPAA as the Artistic Director of Dayton Ballet,” says Brandon Ragland. “Dayton Ballet has a strong and rich history within the Dayton community, and I look forward to building on its foundation and ushering Dayton Ballet into a new era. My passion for this art form, along with my dedication to dance education, will continue to move Dayton Ballet and Dayton Ballet School forward. I am excited about immersing myself in the Dayton arts community and building relationships with other arts organizations.”
Known for his skilled choreography and discipline, Ragland began his ballet studies at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. After graduating from Butler University with a B.S. in Dance-Arts Administration, he joined the Alabama Ballet, and later the Louisville Ballet, where he became a principal dancer. He is the resident choreographer for the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble. Most recently, Ragland created a one-act ballet for the Louisville Ballet School, Cinderella’s Ball. He also serves as the Pre-Professional Program Manager for the Louisville Ballet School.
Ragland has been involved with many community and professional programs, such as the Roots and Wings Project and the Kentucky Center’s ArtReach Program. In 2017, he performed with the Black Iris Project at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of their Dance Across America program. A dedicated arts leader, he is the recipient of The Lift a Life Foundation Emerging Leader in the Arts Award, the M. A. Hadley Prize for Visual Arts, and Louisville Magazine’s Best Artist Award.
Ragland was chosen out of more than 100 applicants, according to Arts Consulting Group (ACG), a leading team of professional management consultants. ACG is comprised of consultants who are personally and passionately committed to the creative industries and recognized internationally for their expertise, hands-on approach, and extraordinary results. Applicants were screened by ACG through a rigorous process that yielded four finalists who visited Dayton to meet with DPAA staff, the Artistic team, DPAA’s Search Committee, and board members. Candidates also met with Dayton Ballet School administrators and instructors and led classes with Dayton Ballet Company members.
The search committee, led by Rodney Veal, member of the DPAA Board, President of Ohio Dance, arts educator, and local media producer, consisted of a diverse group of dance leaders, including: Jane D’Angelo, executive director of Ohio Dance; Susan Kettering, DPAA board member emeritus; John Beran, DPAA board member emeritus; Michael Howard, DPAA board member; Jeaunita Olowe, VP-Learning and Community Engagement at DPAA; Kappy Kilburn, executive director, The Human Race Theatre Company; Debbie Blunden-Diggs, artistic director, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; Eric McIntyre, dancer, Dayton Ballet; Ashley Griffin, dancer, Dayton Ballet.
For subscriptions to the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 2023-2024 Ballet, Opera, and Philharmonic Season, visit 2023-2024 tickets.
About Brandon Ragland
Brandon Ragland received early training in Birmingham, AL, and graduated from Butler University with a B.S. in Dance-Arts Administration. After graduation, he joined the Alabama Ballet, performing numerous classical and neoclassical works by choreographers such as Roger Van Fleteren, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, and Septime Webre. He joined the Louisville Ballet in 2010, where he spent 13 years as a leading artist and performed featured roles in classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works by choreographers such as Alun Jones, George Balanchine, Adam Hougland, Val Caniparoli, Ma Cong, Lucas Jervies, Stanton Welch, Ronald Hynd, and Tim Harbour.
As a skilled dancer and arts administrator, Ragland has more than a decade of professional experience as a dancer, choreographer, and educator. He spent 13 years as a leading artist with the Louisville Ballet, as the Pre-Professional Program Manager for the Louisville Ballet School, and as Resident Choreographer for the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble (LBYE). His dedication to education led him to teach for numerous ballet schools and companies, such as the Louisville Ballet School, Louisville Ballet Studio Company, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Ballet School, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Next Generation Ballet, Samford University, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, and Ballet Arkansas.
Ragland’s commitment to the community has led him to receive awards for his contribution to the Louisville arts community, including the “Best Artist” award in Louisville Magazine. Additionally, he received The Lift a Life Foundation’s “Emerging Leader in the Arts Award” from The Fund for the Arts and the M. A. Hadley Prize for Visual Arts.
A respected choreographer, Ragland has created works for Louisville Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Sedona Chamber Ballet, and The Perla Ballet. His choreography with the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble was performed several times at the Regional Dance America/Southeast Festival. In addition, he choreographed two one-act ballets, Cinderella’s Ball and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for the Louisville Ballet School.
Ragland has collaborated with many local community programs, such as the Root and Wings project, IDEAS xLab, and The Kentucky Center’s ArtsReach program. In 2017, Ragland was honored to perform with the Black Iris Project at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the Kennedy Center’s Dance Across America Program.
Ragland will begin his role as the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Artistic Director for Dayton Ballet and Dayton Ballet School on August 1, 2023.
About Arts Consulting Group
ACG is the leading provider of hands-on interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement, strategic planning & community engagement, and facilities & program planning services for the arts and culture industry. ACG consultants are located in communities throughout North America to best serve the needs of our clients. ACG team members have decades of combined senior leadership experience in every artistic and cultural discipline and area of functional management expertise.
As specialists in the management of arts and cultural institutions who are personally and passionately committed to the creative industries, we are recognized internationally for our expertise, personalized approach, and extraordinary results.