New Orleans Ballet Association

Contributors

The New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA), located in Orleans Parish of New Orleans, Louisiana aims to cultivate the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of all forms of dance through performance, education, and community service. [1] The association sponsors dance performances throughout the city and holds free dance classes in order to help bring the beauty of dance into the local community.

Beginning

It was founded in 1969 as the New Orleans Ballet, a civic ballet company. [2] The company served as solely a performance organization. In 1983, the name was changed to the New Orleans City Ballet, while simultaneously partnering with the Cincinnati Ballet. [3] The partnership was
terminated in 1991, as a result of an accumulate debt. After the split from the Cincinnati Ballet, the company shifted to a new mission. The organization changed its name one last time, to the New Orleans Ballet Association, a name that reflected the new image and mission as a presenter of dance from around the world and as a service organization to the community. [4] With this new structure, NOBA set new revenue records in 1993 and had fully paid off the debt with the Cincinnati Ballet in 1995.

The Main Stage

The main stage of NOBA provides a variety of performance by world renowned companies. [5] Throughout the years, dance performers have included the Houston Ballet, the Miami City Ballet, The Joffery Ballet, Alvin Ailey Complexions as well as Ailey II, the Dance Theater of Harlem, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Philadenco, The New York City Ballet, The American Ballet Theater, and the Ballet Nacional de Caracas. [6] One of the most successful performances sponsored by NOBA was a performance of Coppelia by the North Caroline Dance Theater in October 1995. [7] The 2009-2010 season marked the 40th season of the New Orleans Ballet Association and the anniversary was celebrated with the Ruby Gala de Etoiles, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. [8] Ten dancers from 5 major companies, including the American Ballet Theater, The New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet of London, and The National Ballet of Canada performed at the gala to help celebrate the organization’s accomplishments.

Education programs

Gavanne Jasmine Davis, a student at NOBA, said, “Because of NOBA, I know what I want to do and what it takes me to get there.”

NORD/NOBA Center For Dance

Beginning in 1992, NOBA has provided tuition free, year round comprehensive dance programs throughout Orleans, St. Bernard, and Jefferson parishes. The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), joined the program as a co-sponsor after Jon Teevwisson, NOBA’s executive director, and board member Janee Tucker came to them with the idea. [9] The program began with only 30 students and 1 location but has grown to serve over 300 students each semester at 10 different locations. [10] Classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Modern are held 42 weeks a year and are available to any student age 6-18 interested in dance.

The Pre-professional Division

NOBA also sponsors a pre-professional division. Students must audition to enroll in the pre professional program and are expected to dance 9-3 on Saturdays at The Ballet Studio at Tulane University. Pre Professional students are also expected to attend a 4 week summer intensive, that was honored with the “Coming Up Taller Award” at the White House in 2002. [11] Dancers are also given many performance opportunities throughout their time in the program. In June 2007, 5 Dancers performed at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket Massachusetts as part of a 3 week, 4 city tour that involved the students performing, taking classes, visiting Universities, and attending performances. [12]

School Programs

The St. Bernard After School Ballet Program is sponsored by chalmete refining (LLC), the St. Bernard Parish School District, as well as NORD and NOBA. The program began in 1995 and serves 50 plus students each semester. The program is currently run at W. Smith Elementary. [13] NOBA also sponsors an in-school program for K-12. The arts- integration program has been used in New Orleans Schools for 20 years and has been incorporate into social studies, language arts, and character building curriculums. [14]

Effects of Hurricane Katrina

Like most of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans Ballet Association. Twelve out of 14 education sites were damaged as a result of the storm. [15] They also lost their major performance facility, the Mahalia Jackson Theater. [16] NOBA temporarily moved into Dixon Hall at Tulane University, a performance hall with less than half the number of Seats that the Mahalia Jackson Theater had. [17] . Post Katrina, NOBA frantically worked to get its programs back up and running. Just 2 months after the Disaster, NOBA contacted colleagues in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and Metairie to set up Satellite teaching sites for over 60 displaced students. [18] NOBA’s programs quickly became an escape from real life for many students and their families. [19] In January 2006, NOBA announced new registration and auditions, providing a hope for the many students involved in the programs. [20] NOBA also coordinated a supply drive with Dance USA, distributing more than $175,000 worth of dance clothes and shoes to students and local artists. [21]

NOBA Today

Jenny Hamilton, the executive director, said, “Through The arts we can provide children with happiness and hope and that makes it all worth it.”
Today NOBA is the central Gulf region’s premier presenting and service organization dedicated solely to the art of dance. [22] More than 25,000 free dance classes and workshops are sponsored annually throughout the Greater New Orleans Area. [23]

National Recognition and Awards

1. Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Managing For Excellence- Sustained Excellence Award for Outstanding Nonprofit management [24]
2. Coming Up Taller Award (2002) [25]
3. Kennedy Center Partners in Education (2005) [26]
4. National Endowment for the Arts presented NORD/NOBA Center For Dance as a model summer school for the arts on the US Senate Floor (2005) [27]
5. A member of the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities [28]

Works Cited

  • “About NOBA.” New Orleans Ballet Association. New Orleans Ballet Association, 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
  • “About NOBA.” New Orleans Ballet Association. New Orleans Ballet Association, 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. .
  • “About NOBA.” New Orleans Ballet Association. New Orleans Ballet Association, 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
  • “About NOBA.“New Orleans Ballet Association. New Orleans Ballet Association, 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
  • “About NOBA.” New Orleans Ballet Association. New Orleans Ballet Association, 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
  • NORD/NOBA Center for Dance: Cultivating Dreams Through Self Esteem.” New Orleans Ballet Association Season Program 1995-1996 1995: 26-27. Print. )
  • NORD/NOBA Center for Dance: Cultivating Dreams Through Self Esteem.” New Orleans Ballet Association Season Program 1995-1996 1995: 26-27. Print.
  • Waddington, Chris. “World-renowned Dancers Will Help Celebrate NOBA’s Anniversary at Gala on Saturday | NOLA.com.” New Orleans, LA Local News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather – NOLA.com. 14 Apr. 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.

This page was last modified on 03 May 2012, at 11:00

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New Orleans Ballet Association

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