KBT's mission: To provide Lexington and Central Kentucky with artistic, cultural and educational enrichment as a professional ballet company in residence through performances of original works, classical ballet, and educational programs; to provide artistic and educational outreach to Central and Eastern Kentucky communities with touring and school shows; to equip students of all backgrounds with classical dance instruction in a nurturing environment at the KBT Academy, while offering them performance opportunities with the professional company.
Kentucky Ballet Theatre’s artistic objective is to be true to the art form of ballet while performing both traditional and neo-classical ballets in addition to producing new works that are accessible, entertaining, and creative.
Kentucky Ballet Theatre was born almost sixteen years ago, in September of 1998. Upon the dissolution of the Lexington Ballet’s professional corps in April of 1998, many of the dancers decided to form their own company. With the help of some brave Lexington citizens who formed the first Board of Directors, they opened their doors as Ballet Theatre of Lexington, and changed the name to Kentucky Ballet Theatre two years later.
Since the fall of 1998, KBT has been committed to bringing quality and innovation to Lexington and Central Kentucky audiences with three or four productions yearly at the Lexington Opera House, as well as performances in other venues. KBT is also committed to original choreography, and has produced several new ballets, including Hoops, Pinocchio, Witches of Doon, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, The Wizard of Oz, and Carmen. The Wizard of Oz was voted “Best Local Theatre Production of 2004-05” in Ace Magazine Reader’s Poll.
Also in 1998, KBT began its Academy for ballet students of all ages. These students are trained by the Ballet’s professional dancers, and as of last year, the Academy has grown to include 100 enrollments.
The Ballet employs twelve dancers under 22-week contracts, including the Artistic Director, who enjoy health and dental insurance as well as workers compensation insurance. The Ballet’s administrative staff includes an Executive Director, a part-time Office Manager, a Board of Directors consisting of fourteen hardworking people, and many dedicated volunteers.
Norbe Risco has served as Artistic Director of Kentucky Ballet Theatre since 2001.
Mr. Risco began his dance training in Camaguey, Cuba, in 1980. He graduated in 1988 from the Professional Art School. Upon graduation, he was invited to dance as a guest artist at the Teatro Nuovo in Turin, Italy. On his return from Italy, Mr. Risco was invited to join the Ballet de Camaguey under the direction of Fernando Alonso. In 1990, he became principal dancer and toured to Greece, Cyprus, Brazil, Venezuela, Jamaica, Mexico, Martinique and Guadeloupe Islands.
Rafaela Cento Muñoz, a native of Cuba and now an American citizen, retired as a dancer in 2010 but was the principal female dancer of the Kentucky Ballet Theatre since its founding in 1998.
She was trained at the Camaguey Ballet Academy and the Professional Ballet Academy of Cuba. From 1989 to 1996 she danced with the Camaguey Ballet Company under the direction of Fernando Alonzo, and with the Monterrey Ballet Company under the direction of Fernando Bujones. In 1989 Ms. Cento Muñoz received both the Gold Medal and the Grand Prix for best female performance in the National Ballet Festival of Cuba.
She has toured with the Camaguey Ballet Company in Brazil, Uruguay, Jamaica, Venezuela, Mexico, Martinique, and Guadaloupe Islands. Her classical repertory includes principal roles in Giselle, Cinderella, Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Paquita, Coppélia, Don Quixote, Les Sylphides, Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, La Vivandiere, La Fille Mal Gardée, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, Carmen (Carmen), The Nutcracker, and many others.
With her husband, Norbe Risco, Ms. Cento Muñoz also choreographed The Nutcracker based on the original version,Dracula, Wizard of Oz, The Witches of Doon, Carmen, andPhantom of the Opera. She is the Costume Designer for KBT and also does some of the staging for KBT productions. Rafaela and Norbe have been part of Ballet Under the Stars for 16 years. Since 2003 Rafaela has directed the KBT Academy.
A central part of KBT's mission is providing accessible ballet for Central Kentucky families, to help inspire the next generation of dance lovers. A regional premier, this ballet was created based on the Royal Danish classic in fall 2014, and performed in October at the Opera House.
After the success of KBT's new Christmas ballet in 2012, the organization decided to rotate the original holiday classic, The Nutcracker, with The Night Before Christmas, in the winter of 2014., The Night Before Christmas returned to the Opera House stage in December of 2014. Perhaps no other ballet in the company's repertoire combines all of its unique assets into one beautiful package; The Night Before Christmas showcases the talents of the Academy students, as well as the astonishing skill of the company's twelve professional classically-trained dancers.
Kentucky Ballet Theatre's production of Beauty & the Beast is second to none! Custom built costumes, creative choreographic interpretations, and the classic love story boasts a performance of gorgeous music, multimedia, enchanted characters and more.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507