The Peoria Ballet’s 2011-2012 performance season has brought success and recognition for the Company and its students on both a local and international level. The Illinois Arts Alliance for Arts Education awarded the Peoria Ballet the 2012 Public and Community Service Award in recognition of the opportunities it presents local schools to experience performances during winter and spring seasons. Students of the Ballet were also recently recognized for their outstanding performances and achievements in the Youth America Grand Prix International Competition the weekend of March 9th in Indianapolis, IN.
The third week of March is traditionally designated Illinois Arts Education Week in cooperation with the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Governor’s Office. This year the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education has chosen to recognize Peoria Ballet for their commitment to arts education throughout the community. Each year the Peoria Ballet provides opportunities for area schools to attend events such as the annual Nutcracker at a discounted rate. Last year, over 3,000 students, teachers, and chaperones attended the Ballets performed by the talented students of the Academy. The Alliance writes, “The Peoria Ballet is a recognized leader in dance providing performance, education, and community service to the people of central Illinois”. Area schools are again invited on April 20th at noon to attend Peoria Ballet’s spring production Art that Rocks.
Peoria Ballet is also excited to announce the success of its students in the Youth America Grand Prix International Competition. On March 9th, 17 of the Ballet’s students traveled to Indianapolis, IN to compete against students nation-wide with challenging classical and contemporary pieces. Sophie Challacombe, Age 11 of Dunlap, placed 3rd overall in the Pre-Competitive Classical division and Top 12 with both classical and contemporary pieces. Peoria Ballet’s Artistic Director, Servy Gallardo, was also recognized for his accomplishments. Mr. Gallardo’s original choreography was chosen to be performed at the YAGP New York City Finals. His work will be performed by Academy graduate Alexandra James, 19 of Peoria, and student Lark Commanday, 16 of Peoria. Peoria Ballet is proud to recognize the accomplishments and hard work of all of its 17 competitors.
The mission of the Peoria Ballet is to provide “art that moves” through high-quality dance instruction and stimulating performances. Peoria ballet desires to improve upon and touch the Peoria area public with productions that stir the soul, inspire young art lovers and include programs that specifically assist underprivileged students and students with physical and mental disabilities. The academy provides lecture demonstrations for several thousand schoolchildren and more than 49 different dance classes for students of all ages and ability levels.