Harvard Ballet Company provides students with the opportunity to perform works of various professional choreographers, choreograph on company members, and explore the administrative side of a ballet company. The company also provides its members with a fellowship of students who share a common interest in the arts. If you love dance, Harvard Ballet Company is the right place for you.
“Harvard afforded me the opportunity to perform major works generally reserved for principal stars of top-tier companies like American Ballet Theatre. Film clips of my performances of Twyla Tharp, Trey McIntyre, and George Balanchine allowed me to audition for the best companies throughout Europe. Ironically pursuing my dream to become a professional ballet dancer might not have come to fruition through the traditional route of ballet school. Ultimately my year long employment at the Zurich Ballet Company and the opportunity to perform with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet Company was a direct result of the unique experience Harvard afforded me.”
— Merritt Moore '11
The Company holds an open company-audition at the beginning of each semester. Dancers of all disciplines and skill levels are encouraged to attend. Shortly following the company auditions, HBC holds casting auditions for the semester’s production.
Auditions for the Spring 2018 semester have passed. Please check back next fall for information on how to audition for HBC.
Harvard Ballet Company members are expected to attend a weekly ballet class on Tuesday evenings . Each class is taught by a different instructor—either a local professional or a company member.
Harvard Ballet Company produces a performance each semester. Our repertory is mixed and includes classical and contemporary ballet, modern dance, contemporary dance, and jazz. Please visit the "Productions" page to see some of the works that Harvard Ballet Company has recently showcased. HBC also appears in benefit performances both on and off-campus, and performs with other Harvard dance groups and in the Dance Festival at Arts First.
Administrative Experience Opportunities
Since Harvard Ballet Company is a student-run organization, members can run for a position on the Board of Directors each year. A new Board is elected each December. Joining the Board of Directors gives members an opportunity to explore arts administration on a smaller scale, and exposes them to important aspects of performance production.
Please see the Q&A section below to find answers to commonly asked questions. If you still have any questions about Harvard Ballet Company, feel free to contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are visiting Harvard and would like to arrange to meet with a Company member or take class with the Company, please e-mail us at email@example.com and we would be happy to make accommodations for you.
Prospective Students Q&A
Q: Is there an audition?
A: Yes, but it's nothing to stress out about! HBC is a very friendly community, and we welcome people with a range of technical backgrounds. There is a separate members-only audition for the individual pieces of our fall and spring productions. This audition shortly follows the company auditions. Although we cannot guarantee that every member will be cast in every performance, we do our best to provide performing opportunities to as many people as possible.
Q: What does "a range of technical backgrounds" mean?
A: A number of our dancers danced with professional companies (Los Angeles Ballet, New York City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre) before coming to college. We also have dancers who have had previous training but were never on the professional track. We include a variety of pieces in our performances and strive for both quality and inclusiveness.
Q: How much of a time commitment is HBC? Will I be able to balance dancing with academics?
A: HBC and the Harvard Dance Department offer plenty of opportunities to dance. You can choose how deeply you want to be involved in the dance community and build your own program that suits your level of commitment. Some students only take class on campus a few times a week while others will take all the dance classes available through Harvard, take open classes at nearby studios, and perform in all of our shows. Many students discover that they love dancing at Harvard and they learn to balance their academic pursuits and their artistic pursuits.
Q: How often do you take class at Harvard?
A: Company class is held on Tuesdays and taught by an array of local professionals and company members. In addition, Harvard Dance Department offers advanced ballet classes Monday and Friday and modern classes on Monday and Wednesday. There are also classes offered outside of Harvard at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, which is located in a beautiful old church right next to Harvard Yard, and at Green Street Studios, in Central Square. It is possible to arrange your schedule so that you can take class every day, but not in any way essential to having a valuable and enjoyable dance experience at Harvard.
Q: Is it possible to have a dance career after Harvard?
A: Yes. Several of our alumni are pursuing careers in choreography, including Claudia Schreier '08. There are also several Harvard alumni currently in professional dance companies. Madelyn Ho '08 dances with Paul Taylor Dance Company, Elizabeth Waterhouse '02 dances for The Forsythe Company, Joanna Binney '08 dances with Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, and Elizabeth Walker ’11 now dances with Los Angeles Ballet, to name a few. Several HBC members have also taken leaves of absence to dance professionally, including Puanani Brown ’09, who danced with American Ballet Theatre, Merritt Moore '11 with Zürich Ballet, Anna Riley-Shepard '17 with Compagnia Zappalà Danza in Italy, and Genevieve Waldorf '19 with Pacific Northwest Ballet.