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Norbe Risco, Artistic Director

KBT headshot 2021 Norbe full body.jpg

Norbe Risco has served as Artistic Director of Kentucky Ballet Theatre since 2001. Mr. Riscobegan his dance training in Camaguey, Cuba, in 1980. He graduated in 1988 from theProfessional Art School. Upon graduation, he was invited to dance as a guest artist at the Teatro Nuovo in Turin, Italy. On his return from Italy, Mr. Risco was invited to join the Ballet de Camaguey under the direction of Fernando Alonso. In 1990, he became Principal dancer and toured to Greece, Cyprus, Brazil, Venezuela, Jamaica, Mexico, Martinique and Guadeloupe Islands. In 1993 he joined the Ballet de Monterrey, Mexico, under the direction of Ann Marie D’Angelo and Fernando Bujones (1995-1996). Mr. Risco has also worked with choreographers and dancers such as Melissa Haydn, Cynthia Gregory, Kevin McKenzie, and Ivan Nagy.
He has been a member of Ballet Theater of Chicago and Lyric Opera of Chicago. His repertoire includes roles such as Albrecht in Giselle, Franz in Coppélia, Colin in La Fille Mal Gardée, Dracula in Dracula, Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Siegfried in Swan Lake, and Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. He has also performed Principal roles in Paquita, Raymonda, Napoli, Three Preludes (Ben Stevenson), Le Corsaire (pas de deux), Don Quixote (pas de deux), Diana and Acteon (pas de deux), Romeo and Juliet (pas de deux), Don Jose (Carmen), Nutcracker, and others. Mr. Risco has choreographed a new Nutcracker based on the original version. Other choreographic works include Don Quixote and Degas, as well as his original ballets: Hoops, a comedic tribute to Kentucky basketball, The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Carmen, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Beauty & the Beast, and for the fall season, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, and The Witches of Doon. In 2012, Mr. Risco choreographed the World Premier of “The Night Before Christmas”, which was a tremendous success for the company. In 2016, Mr. Risco presented an exciting season, which included the premier of the new production that he choreographed with his wife Rafaela, “The Little Mermaid”. In 2011, the Kentucky Arts Council awarded the “Al Smith Award” in choreography to Mr. Risco, a very high honor for an artist in the State of Kentucky. Mr. Risco has been part of “Ballet Under the Stars” for 27 years and since 2002, Mr. Risco has directed the event at Woodland Park.

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