Boston Ballet Presents A Farewell Performance For Kathleen Breen Combes
After 16 years with Boston Ballet, Principal Dancer Kathleen Breen Combes is retiring from Boston Ballet to accept a position as the executive director of Festival Ballet Providence. Breen Combes' final performance will be in Paulo Arrais' ELA, Rhapsody in Blue as part of the Rhapsody program on June 9 at 1:30 pm at the Citizens Bank Opera House.
"Kathleen has had a wonderful career as a dancer and she is truly an exceptional and versatile American ballerina. Her commanding strength and sparkling presence has brought brilliance and vitality to a wide range of repertoire. It has been a pleasure to watch her growth as an artist throughout her extensive dancing career," said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. "I wish her all the best for this exciting new chapter of her career."
Breen Combes joined Boston Ballet in 2003, was promoted to second soloist in 2005, soloist in 2007, and to principal dancer in 2009. Prior to Boston Ballet, she danced with Washington Ballet from 2000-2003. She has been hailed by The New York Times as a "ballerina of colossal scale and boldness." Breen Combes is known for her diverse repertoire which includes full-length classical ballets, as well as works by Balanchine, Forsythe, Cranko, Kylián, Wheeldon, McGregor, and Elo, to name a few. In 2012, she was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse Award for her portrayal of Juliet in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet and Titania in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream and was invited to dance at the Bolshoi Theatre. Throughout her career, Breen Combes has danced in numerous international galas.
While maintaining her rigorous professional schedule, she also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communications in 2016 and a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management in 2018 from Northeastern University. A Boston Ballet partnership with the university provides Company members the opportunity to earn college degrees while continuing to perform. Four dancers have received degrees through this partnership and currently 20 dancers are enrolled in the program.
"Words cannot express the joy I've experienced during the past 16 years here at Boston Ballet. You've allowed me a space to fulfill my dreams and throughout my career, the unending support of the entire Boston Ballet community has been overwhelming," said Breen Combes. "I am so happy I get to continue this journey with the art form, stepping offstage and into a leadership position with Festival Ballet Providence. Boston Ballet has been instrumental in preparing me for this next stage of my career and I am extremely grateful."
Festival Ballet Providence is Rhode Island's premiere professional ballet. As a professional arts organization, the company enhances Rhode Island's local culture by serving as a destination for those wishing to perform professionally while maintaining a vital role in contributing to the state's economy and quality of life.
"This is an exciting new chapter for all of us and I'm delighted to welcome Kathleen to this role," said Festival Ballet Providence Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric. "I have known her for many years, both on and off stage, and I admire the intelligence, creativity, and charm she brings to everything she does. I'm grateful for the experience she was able to gain at Boston Ballet both on and off stage and I know she will use her many talents to bring a fresh energy and enthusiasm to this role. I'm thrilled for this bright new chapter for Festival Ballet and the communities we serve."