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Ballet Tech Announces Dionne D. Figgins as New Artistic Director

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The artistic and educational leadership of Ballet Tech bridges the multiple skills and wide-ranging experience of Figgins’ career to date.

Ballet Tech Announces Dionne D. Figgins as New Artistic Director

Ballet Tech, which each year introduces hundreds of New York City public school children to the beauty and rigor of classical dance, today announced Dionne D. Figgins as its new Artistic Director. Figgins begins leading the organization on August 1, in time for the return of school in fall, as both the education and performing arts fields prioritize inclusion and access in the aftermath of an enlightening year. Figgins will build towards the full realization of an institutional vision that upholds these very transformational aims: Ballet Tech's core goal is to audition students in every public primary school in the city, creating truly universal access to the organization's training.

The artistic and educational leadership of Ballet Tech bridges the multiple skills and wide-ranging experience of Figgins' career to date. In addition to performing with Dance Theatre of Harlem, on and off Broadway, and in film and TV, she has taught at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet in Washington, DC and other institutions and is the co-founder and creative director of Broadway Serves, a service organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for community service to Broadway and theater professionals.

Dionne D. Figgins says, "I'm thrilled to be joining Ballet Tech's talented staff as the new Artistic Director. I've been a teaching artist for the last 20 years, but I shifted my focus entirely towards arts education as a result of the pandemic. Witnessing the determination and resilience my students displayed during a challenging global crisis furthered my commitment to developing the talents of youth in New York City. I am excited about Ballet Tech's legacy of excellence in dance education and the many possibilities available with this new opportunity. I look forward to bringing my experience and expertise to help the institution expand its vision and reach."

Eliot Feld, Ballet Tech's outgoing Founding Artistic Director, said, "The baton has been passed, and I want to wish Dionne my fond hopes and goodwill in completing the work I left half done. To see that Ballet Tech seeks out and provides all-yes, all-NYC elementary school children of gift and passion access to early rigorous training in classic dance; training that will equip them to follow their passion for dance wherever that passion may lead them. Onward, Dionne!"

Patricia Crown, Chair of the Ballet Tech Foundation Board of Directors, said, "Eliot conceived a new model for dance education, which he embodied in an organization whose reach and influence extend across and beyond our city. We are overjoyed to have found in Dionne the ideal person to collaborate with the staff, Board, and community of Ballet Tech to carry its foundational ideas forward-and generate so many more."

About Dionne D. Figgins

Dionne D. Figgins began her career as a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell, dancing lead roles in Serenade, Four Temperaments, Agon, and Concerto Barocco, all by George Balanchine. She has also appeared as a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Her Broadway credits include Hot Feet, Memphis, Leap of Faith (Assistant Choreographer), and Motown The Musical. Her regional theatre credits include Sophisticated Ladies, The Wiz, Ray Charles Live, Smokey Joe's Cafe (Ovation Nominee, Chita Rivera Award nominee), Trip of Love, Chicago, and A Wonderful World. Her film and TV credits include Across the Universe, Walk Hard, The Princess and the Frog, Bolden, She's Gotta Have It (Netflix), the Starz dramas Flesh and Bone (as Yasmine) and Power, as well as Glee, House, and The Academy Awards, to name a few.

Ms. Figgins is the co-founder and Creative Director of Broadway Serves, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage theater professionals in community service opportunities locally, nationally, and abroad. During the pandemic, she turned her focus to teaching full time for her home studio of Jones-Haywood Dance School in Washington, DC. She also galvanized the theatre community in a series of conversations on Instagram called Pass the Mic Broadway, an initiative that sparked dialogue about social justice issues between Black and white female theater-makers. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

For more information about Ballet Tech, please visit www.ballettech.org.


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