Don’t miss the next installment of our popular Artistic Director Master Class series – we are thrilled to offer a Master Class with Kelowna Ballet Artistic Director and CEO Simone Orlando!
Born in Vancouver, Simone Orlando received her early dance training at the Carisbrooke School of Dance, the Vancouver Academy of Dance, and the Goh Ballet Academy. She completed her training at the National Ballet School in Toronto and subsequently joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1989 under the direction of Reid Anderson where as a young professional she danced a wide range of repertoire from the ballets of John Cranko and Kenneth MacMillan to those of George Balanchine and Glenn Tetley.
In 1996, Ms. Orlando joined Ballet BC under the direction of John Alleyne where she danced for twelve years as one the company’s most celebrated principal artists. She has performed in theatres and festivals around the world including The Kennedy Centre, The Joyce Theatre, The Bayerische Staatsoper, The Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Cervantino Festival, Canada Dance Festival, and Ballet Expo Seoul, and has been featured in the works of William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Nicolo Fonte, Jiri Kylian, Martha Graham, and Twyla Tharp, among others.
Ms. Orlando was the inaugural recipient of the Performing Arts Commission at the 2004 Vancouver Arts Awards and won the prestigious 2006 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award for which she created the work, Winter Journey, at the Banff Centre. In 2009, she received a Fellowship Initiative Grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, to develop new choreography on the dancers of Ballet BC. In 2010, Ms. Orlando travelled to Germany to mentor with Reid Anderson, Artistic Director of Stuttgart Ballet. Following this, she was invited to direct and produce the Dancer Transition Resource Centre’s 25th Anniversary Gala in Vancouver, which brought together over 50 artists and guest speakers. She is currently the Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna.
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