In 1998, Lexington audiences welcomed a season of performances presented by a new company of resident professional ballet dancers: not touring artists passing through town, not students in recital, not freelance dancers contracted for a single event, but a company of talented, experienced, professional dancers who made Lexington their home and dancing their livelihood.
Today, audiences in Lexington and in cities across Kentucky enjoy the kind of ballet performances that only a professional company can present. Whether filling the Lexington Opera House or bringing a full-length ballet to a Morehead State Unviersity's Auditorium, whether performing Prokofiev’s Cinderella or the tango-hot Phantom of the Opera, the Kentucky Ballet Theatre has proven that central Kentucky audiences love quality ballet.
Kentucky Ballet Theatre provides Lexington and Central Kentucky with a premier professional ballet company performing original as well as classical works principally at the Lexington Opera House, Downtown Arts Center, the Singletary Center and Woodland Park, but also in surrounding communities with tours and outreach programming.
The KBT Academy represents an integral part of the organization, offering a disciplined, classical dance training within the nurturing environment that also gives students the opportunity to perform. The leadership of the organization has remained the same since the company’s inception ensuring the integrity of the organization’s vision and propelling to success.
Kentucky Ballet Theatre’s artistic objective maintains a commitment to the true art form of ballet while performing traditional and neo-classical ballets in addition to producing new works that are accessible, entertaining and creative to their community. The organization achieves excellence in performance, a stellar educational track and thriving customized outreach programming. Improved local visibility informs the public of the high quality performing arts readily available in the community and form the springboard for high regards nationally and internationally with the acceptance of touring opportunities.
Dancers from all over the world are hand selected to join award-winning Artistic Director Norbe Risco’s company. The company of twelve embodies a familial environment with artists from Cuba to Japan and everywhere in between. When deemed ready, his dancers work are then selected as Kentucky Ballet Theatre Academy faculty under the direction of his wife, Rafaela Risco, an internationally acclaimed ballerina. Her
academy enrolls approximately 100 students per year and work closely with the company dancers in development of their classical dance education and the life training it offers.
The Board of Directors not only encourages but also implements the association of KBT with other regional organizations like Girl Scouts of Central Kentucky, several local orchestras, and schools, as well as the Vintage Dance Society just to name a few.