Associate Artistic Director: Christopher Anderson
Mr. Anderson joined Alberta Ballet in 2015, after retiring from a lengthy and successful career with Ballet West. His formal training began at the age of 14 in Maryland, under the guidance of Sylvester Campbell and Norma Pera, at the Baltimore School for the Arts. He then went on to attend the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, studying primarily with Gayle Young, Bettijane Sills, and Rosanna Seravalli. Upon graduating with Honors in the spring of 1999 he was invited to join the Boston Ballet by then Artistic Director Anna-Marie Holmes. After two seasons dancing with the Boston Ballet he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to become a member of Ballet West. During his tenure with Ballet West, Mr. Anderson danced 14 seasons and rose to the rank of Soloist. He danced under the Artistic Direction of Jonas Kage, Pamela Robinson, and most recently Adam Sklute.
With a professional career spanning 16 years, he has built an extensive repertoire of both classical and contemporary work. Additionally, he has been incredibly fortunate to dance leading roles both nationally and internationally, including several roles created for him by some of today’s most exciting choreographers. His most recent performance repertoire includes the works of George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, William Christensen, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Nicolo Fonte, Val Caniparoli, Helen Pickett, and Matthew Neenan. While with Ballet West, he had the opportunity to create his own work for the company, having a total of 3 works commissioned by Ballet West for their Innovations program. He has also served as a contributing member of the Ballet West Academy faculty.
This season marks Mr. Anderson’s first creation for Alberta Ballet and his first full length ballet, Cinderella. Set to premiere in March, this new creation will showcase the incredible artists of Alberta Ballet against the backdrop of Peter Farmers opulent sets and costumes.
Ballet Mistress: Christiana Bennett
Christiana is excited to return for her second season as Ballet Mistress at Alberta Ballet. During the 2015-2016 season, Christiana danced with Alberta Ballet in their productions of The Nutcracker, Dynamic Directions and Romeo & Juliet.
Previously, Christiana danced with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah, for 16 years. There she quickly rose through the ranks and became their leading Principal dancer for 11 seasons. While dancing with Ballet West Christiana was afforded the opportunity to dance all throughout the United States as well as Europe and Asia where she was met with international acclaim. Some of her favourite ballets to perform were Swan Lake, Balanchine’s Diamonds and Serenade, Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Nicolo Fonte’s Bolero, Jiri Kylian’s Sinfonietta, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Aszure Barton’s Happy Little Things. Christiana also had many roles created for her by choreographers such as Matthew Neenan, Nicolo Fonte, Helen Pickett, Jodie Gates, Val Caniparoli, Christopher Anderson, Garrett Smith and Charlotte Boye-Christensen.
As a native of Massachusetts, most of her training was along the Eastern seaboard at prestigious schools. However, she attributes her career to the training received at Pacific Northwest Ballet School under the tutelage of Francia Russell.
Music Director: Peter Dala
Born in Toronto, Peter studied piano and conducting at England’s Royal College of Music. While in London, he worked at the Royal Ballet School as a repetiteur, which led him to become conductor and pianist of the Basel Ballet in Switzerland in 1984. He also worked at the International Opera studio, Zurich Opera, Switzerland, where he conducted his first opera, and guest conducted for the Zurich Ballet. In 1988, he joined the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, where he conducted both opera and ballet.
Career highlights include performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Mendelssohn’s ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Singapore and Hong Kong Festival of Arts. Resident conductor from 2002 – 2011 with Edmonton Opera, he started conducting for Alberta Ballet in 2001 with The Nutcracker and was appointed Music Director in 2005.
Resident Lighting Designer: Pierre Lavoie
Pierre Lavoie has been active in dance since 1982. He began his career in Toronto as a stage manager, then moved to Montréal to work with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. For Alberta Ballet, Pierre has designed numerous productions, including Jean Grand-Maître's production of Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and The Drum, Romeo and Juliet, and Kirk Peterson's Othello. Most recently, he designed the lighting for Jean Grand-Maître's celebrated pop collaborations Love Lies Bleeding, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Balletlujah! and Our Canada. He has also designed for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Atlantic Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Memphis.