The past two years have seen significant changes in the way we navigate our lives.
As the pandemic raged and we were confined to our homes, creativity began to take center stage as we all desperately searched for things to occupy our minds and our time.
It was wonderful to see creative resilience across the globe, as we found joy in creating and witnessing impromptu balcony concerts, ballroom dancing recitals, and an explosion of Tik Tok family videos.
While some large, well-established arts organizations and companies have been forced to close their doors, thanks to a barrage of pivots and “original thoughts”, the Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance has thankfully been able to weather the storm.
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The tenacious, creative and confident spirit of our founders was instilled in me as Hélène
Student of the Antonova Scholarship, and is the driving force behind waking me up each morning to continue the legacy of the Dance Academy.
Since 1956, the school has been passionately providing career-focused dance education in the state of Delaware. Our list of alumni includes prolific Broadway director/choreographer Susan Stroman, founding member and muse of the Mark Morris Dance Group Tina Fehlandt, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem’s Akua Noni Parker, and a host of artists working in all aspects of entertainment. industry.
We were taught to be artists and well-rounded humans, a foundational well that I’ve drawn from the day-to-day of the past two years.
We have been able to create wonderful community partnerships with other local and regional arts organizations, to create enhanced educational and performance opportunities for our students.
Our annual production of “The Nutcracker” at the Playhouse on Rodney Square was a wonderful creative success last year, receiving national and international attention, and wowing audiences with dynamic new technology, celebrating multiculturalism in the cast and contents.
It was a great joy to be able to bring incredible artists like the historic New York City Ballet Soloist and her friend Georgina Pazcoguin, and the Dance Theater of Harlem’s Amanda Smith and Anthony Santos to Wilmington for performances, symposiums and masterclasses.
We are currently gearing up for a return guest engagement at the Milton Theater on April 3, following a very successful presentation of new and classic works in the fall.
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Our active intention is to be an incubator for innovative and stimulating choreographers who create new works.
Our popular Beyond the Nutcracker masterclass series, our multicultural summer intensives, and our intergenerational programming have renewed interest in the organization and helped welcome a new clientele and audience.
We had a successful donor campaign with the Do More 24 Delaware 2022 campaign, and we look forward to attracting more annual support from individuals and organizations like the Tuttleman Foundation and the Nathan M Clark Foundation to further our mission.
The development of a professional society is currently underway, as well as
with a phenomenal new ballet written by conductor and composer Joseph Jones.
We look forward to becoming a leader in the arts education industry and engaging performances in local and surrounding areas.
I am eternally grateful to Madame Helene Antonova, James Jamieson and Victor Wesley for giving us powerfully determined legs and shoulders to lean on, and the motivated challenge to always seek to discover our “more”.
There’s more happening at the Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance, and there’s more to come…
For more information, visit Wilmingtonballet.org
Benjamin Sterling Cannon, Executive and Artistic Director of Wilmington Ballet Academy of Dance
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