Ballet Idaho Promotes Two Principal Dancers

Ballet Idaho announced that two company members have been promoted to the rank of principal dancer. Elizabeth Keller and Adrienne Kerr join returning principal dancers Phyllis Affrunti and Andrew Taft, along with 15 other company members and three apprentices/trainees to complete the roster for the 2015/16 season.

"It's a mark of our company progress that we promote star dancers from within," noted Ballet Idaho artistic director, Peter Anastos. "We don't need to go to other cities to find leading dancers. I am very proud of the incredible talent and artistry that Elizabeth and Adrienne have demonstrated. The promotion is well deserved."

Ballet Idaho's youngest principal, Ms. Kerr joined the company in 2008 at the age of 17 and has been given principal roles in Ballet Idaho's production over the last few years. Kerr said, "Being a part of Ballet Idaho and seeing its growth, as well as my own artistic progression, has been a humbling experience. Ballet Idaho is my home and I can't wait to share what's next with the Idaho community."

Elizabeth Keller, who has previously danced with Pennsylvania Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and TMP before joining Ballet Idaho last season said, "This promotion marks the next step in my dancing career. As Balanchine said, 'I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who need to dance.' I absolutely need to dance and perform; it is an integral part of who I am. After dancing all over the country, I am happy to call Ballet Idaho home. I am looking forward to a season filled with challenges and fulfillment."

Elizabeth Keller Bio:

Elizabeth Keller was born in Dubai, UAE and started her ballet training at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England. After moving back to the United States, Elizabeth continued her training at Ballet Center of Houston in Houston, Texas under the direction of Victoria Vittum and Gilbert Rome. At age fifteen, Ms. Keller was invited to train at the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet on full merit scholarship. Elizabeth danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet for two seasons and was coached extensively by Prima Ballerina, Violette Verdy. Elizabeth then joined Miami City Ballet under the director of Edward Villella where she danced an abundant of corps de ballet, soloist and principal roles for ten seasons. With MCB Elizabeth danced works by notable choreographers such as George Balanchine, John Cranko, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Anthony Tudor, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Trey McIntyre, Marius Petips and August Bournonville. Ms. Keller also danced with Miami Contemporary Dance Company as well as taught on the full time ballet faculty at Miami City Ballet School. She was appointed Children's Ballet Mistress for Balanchine's The Nutcracker from 2009-2012. During the summers, Elizabeth taught at MCBS, Ballet Center of Houston and helped run and was on the faculty at the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, NY for six summers.

Ms. Keller moved to Boise, Idaho three years ago to dance with TMP.. Ms. Keller fell in love with Boise, Idaho and is now dancing with Ballet Idaho as a principal dancer. This will be Ms. Keller's second season with Ballet Idaho. Elizabeth has been trained in the "Dance for PD" method and has taught Dance for Parkinson's classes all over the country. She is thrilled and honored to have started the very first Dance for Parkinson's program in Idaho in the fall of 2014 now sponsored by Northwest Parkinson's Foundation and Ballet Idahot. Ms. Keller also teaches ballet at Ballet Idaho Academy and Eagle Performing Arts Center.

Adrienne Kerr Bio:

Adrienne Kerr began ballet in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Karen Alwin and Deanna Encinias. The youngest student in Boston Ballet's Summer Dance Program, she also received subsequent scholarships to other recognized curricula at American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Chicago, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Ballet West, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Adrienne earned Platinum awards and an overall High Score in southwest regional competitions. Ms. Kerr placed in the Top 12 with multiple bronze honors in solo classical and contemporary categories at Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Denver and Dallas. She also performed in the New York City national finals.

Adrienne was invited to train at Pacific Northwest Ballet School on full scholarship at age 14 and made her professional debut in the Chinese quintet of Stowell/Sendak's The Nutcracker nine months later. Ms. Kerr joined Ballet Idaho at age 17 as a Trainee where she has since originated corps, solo and principal roles for Alex Ossadnik, Peter Anastos, and others. Her repertoire includes full-length classics, George Balanchine's Serenade and Who Cares? as well as works by Marius Petipa, and Bruce Wells. In addition, she has studied principal parts from Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, and Don Quixote with Gelsey Kirkland in New York City.

Adrienne's past principal roles have included the title role in Anastos' Firebird, Kitri in Don Quixote, Odile in Swan Lake, Dewdrop Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Tall Girl in Rubies and, most recently, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Ms. Kerr has also performed with Project Flux, Boise Dance Co-op, and is a requested teacher in ballet and jazz. She has taught classes at Classical Youth Ballet in Tacoma, as well as Boise State University, Ballet Idaho Academy, and select advanced private students.

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