Louisville Ballet (Louisville, KY)

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A smiling female dancer, wearing a poodle skirt, poses flirtatiously while a group of five male dancers, in khakis and flowered shirts, lie on stage reaching toward her

Performers during the Louisville Ballet’s production of Paul Taylor’s Company B.
Photo by Vita Limanovica

The Louisville Ballet began its high caliber dance programs in 1952.  It now reaches more than 100,000 people annually and has earned a national reputation as one of the country's leading regional ballet companies. The ballet company has a repertoire of 135 works, more than 50 of them world-premieres, and presents five productions a season plus the classic Nutcracker.

In FY 2004, the Louisville Ballet received an NEA Creativity grant of $10,000 to support the presentation of choreographer Paul Taylor’s Company B. Paul Taylor has been a dominant force in dance for decades, his work having been performed by more than 65 companies. The Ballet had one Taylor piece in its repertoire, Esplanade, which premiered in 1998.

Company B, set in the 1940s to the music of the Andrew Sisters, was presented March 4 and 5, 2005 as part of the Boogie Woogie Ballet program with Adam Hougland’s Devolve and Choo-San Goh’s Variations Serieuses. Company B, featuring 13 of the Ballet’s talented dancers, is a dazzling and nostalgic piece that recalls the World War II era.

The Ballet hosted public rehearsals of Taylor’s piece prior to each production to provide an introduction to the staging of the ballet. The addition of the new piece to its repertoire allows the Ballet to cultivate new audiences that revere Taylor or enjoy the Andrew Sisters’ music. In addition, Company B has been added to the Ballet’s touring repertoire with a focus on Kentucky communities with nearby military installations, such as Fort Knox.