The School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet (Albany, NY) and Cantarella School of Dance (Pittsfield, MA) are known for their outstanding balanced dance curriculums. Madeline Cantarella Culpo, Artistic Director of the Albany Berkshire Ballet, founded the School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet in 1955, with the goal of providing personal attention and training to students and professional dancers. Graduates of the School have gone on to dance at prestigious colleges for dance, including Walnut Hill, Boston Conservatory and Indiana University, and dance with professional companies, such as the Albany Berkshire Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow, Milwaukee Ballet, Minnesota Ballet, Ballet Memphis, and the Pennsylvania, Ohio, Portland, and Washington Ballets.
For ballet instruction, the School uses methods developed by Enrico Cecchetti, the world-renowned teacher of the Ballet Russes and ballet master of Diaghilev Ballet Russes. Pavlova, Fokine and Nijinsky were all trained by Master Cecchetti under these methods. One of his protégés, the English ballerina Margaret Craske, went on to teach at Juilliard and Jacob’s Pillow. “Miss Madeline,” who as a Juilliard alum was taught by Miss Craske, continues to develop her students’ techniques through the Cecchetti method.
At the School, the welfare of our young dancers is paramount. The program provides inspiration and progressive physical development in a professional friendly atmosphere. Classes are offered at all levels and are held Monday through Saturday. Modern, jazz, tap, and Broadway dance complement classical ballet training. Students at the Intermediate and Advanced levels are encouraged to take a minimum of two classes per week.
Serious students are encouraged to audition for acceptance into the Academies of the School or the Junior Company of the Albany Berkshire Ballet. This comprehensive training program for advanced students is designed for those who want to commit more time to the art of dance. Classes accelerate talented students, exposing them to nationally known teachers in a pre-professional instructional setting. In addition, both the Academies and the Junior Company perform frequently in the Capital Region throughout the year. Auditions for the Academies and Junior Company are held in the spring and fall of each year.
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