Kathleen Breen Combes Named Executive Director of Festival Ballet Providence
Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) is pleased to announce it has appointed a new Executive Director, Kathleen Breen Combes. A principal dancer with Boston Ballet since 2009, Breen Combes will retire from dancing next month before transitioning into her new role at FBP in September. FBP Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric made the exciting announcement Monday, May 13 at the Company's season-ending gala. With over 19 years working in an arts organization both artistically and administratively, Breen Combes brings a unique perspective to the leadership role.
Breen Combes said, "As someone who is deeply passionate about the art form and dedicated to its continued growth and innovation, I'm looking forward to being part of the cultural landscape in Providence and the Festival Ballet community." Among New England dance companies, Festival Ballet is second only to Boston Ballet in size and repertoire. The Company will begin its 42nd Season in the Fall, continuing its legacy as a Rhode Island institution. "I'm energized and optimistic about the possibilities and I look forward to working with everyone within Festival Ballet to continue creating excellence on stage and bringing transformative dance into New England," Breen Combes said.
While dancing at Boston Ballet, Breen Combes-originally from Rockville Center, NY-earned multiple academic degrees including a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Northeastern University. She gained experience in Development as chair of Boston Ballet's Young Partners Committee and worked on a Capital Campaign for Boston Ballet School's new $2.5 million facility in Newton. Additionally, she led negotiations for three collective bargaining agreements with the Company as Union Representative.
Meanwhile, Breen Combes continued to dazzle audiences around the world as a beloved principal dancer respected for her versatility and strength; She was hailed by the The New York Times as a "ballerina of colossal scale and boldness." Breen Combes' final performance with Boston Ballet will take place June 9, 2019 at the Boston Opera House. Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen remarked, "Kathleen has had a wonderful career as a dancer and she is truly an exceptional and versatile American ballerina. 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."
Djuric, FBP Artistic Director since 1998, has served as acting Executive Director since 2011. Djuric said, "This is an exciting new chapter for all of us and I'm delighted to welcome Kathleen to this role. 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."