Originally conceived by the late Lydia Pettine, Festival Ballet was founded in 1978 by Christine Hennessey and Winthrop Corey, formerly principal dancers with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada, respectively. Ms. Hennessey led the company artistically until her death in 1997. After twenty-three years of training hundreds of young dancers in its North Providence location, the organization relocated to its current site on the East Side of Providence in 2001 under the direction of Mihailo Djuric. The school continues to maintain its tradition as a classical ballet training ground in close association with a world class professional company.
Over the past several years the school has continued to grow under the guidance of Mary Ann Mayer and the artistic vision Misha Djuric. Together they have taken the school to a place that boasts a distinguished international faculty, an outstanding young children's program, a trainee program for the serious advanced level student, an extensive financial aid program, engaging summer programs, and an open enrollment feature that provides the community access to this art form through a variety of classes and workshops. These comprehensive educational programs are offered year round.
At FBP students are able to enhance their overall dance training, learn the joy of movement through dance and train as a pre-professional in a serious and nurturing environment. The close association with the Company provides opportunities for talented dance students to appear with the professional company dancers in major productions.
"Our school is the foundation of Festival Ballet Providence. The great reward is our professional company and the inspiration it provides! Our students perfect the grace and skill of classical ballet through hard work and dedication in the classroom; however, their enrichment is only made complete through their direct observation of our trained resident professionals!"