HISTORY OF THE CLEVELAND BALLET: The Cleveland Ballet was formed in 1972. Beginning with a dance school, School of Cleveland Ballet, they recruited a professional company that by 1975. Cleveland Ballet gave its first public performances at the Hanna Theater on November 16, 1976. In 1981 the company presented its first full-length story ballet, The Nutcracker, which quickly became an annual Cleveland holiday tradition. Full-length productions of Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, and Swan Lake were added to the repertory. The company became known for its eclectic style, performing these standards of the classical literature alongside many modern works.

In 1986 it established a co-venture with a second base in San Jose, California, where the company was known as San Jose Cleveland Ballet. Despite generous support from institutions and individuals, financial problems forced the company to seek innovative methods of survival. Following a successful campaign in 1992 to retire debt, a partnership with Atlanta Ballet and Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas in which the two companies would share productions and dancers was formed. The Ballet continued to struggle financially throughout the 1990s. After a failed tour in 1999 and subsequent financial crises, the organization’s board of trustees made the decision to cease operations in September 2000, just prior to the organization’s 25th anniversary.

Taken from theThe Encyclopedia of Cleveland History“.


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