The Illinois Ballet provides its audiences
with professional quality dance by using professional
dancers, who work with the company year around.
in 1999, Illinois Ballet exists to elevate
the art of dance, expand public awareness of dance,
provide increased professional opportunities for Illinois
dancers, and enrich and strengthen a professional
ballet company that resides in Peoria, IL and tours
locally and nationally.
of the Illinois Ballet
two dancers first dreamed about elevating the art
of dance in Peoria, they realized they could stake
out new ground and form a professional company for
the region. Mary
then secured dance space in a downtown warehouse and
began teaching a variety of classes and planning performances.
In November, 1999, Illinois Ballet
(formerly called Central Illinois Ballet) was born.
In addition to its goal to elevate the art of dance,
Illinois Ballet strives to expand public awareness
of dance and provide increased professional opportunities
for dancers. Featuring a distinguished company of
highly trained, technically accomplished dancers,
Illinois Ballet has become a professional
ballet company that resides in Peoria and tours locally
its first year with one studio,Illinois Ballet
presented a spring and a fall season of repertory
productions, performed lecture demonstrations at
four schools, performed with the Peoria Civic Chorale
and the Peoria Municipal Band, conducted a summer
workshop, presented a fall workshop for teachers
and dancers with David Howard and Mary Price Boday,
and toured the ballet with mixed repertory to Pennsylvania.
its second year, Illinois Ballet expanded
to two studios and continued to present a spring
and fall season of productions and accompanying
performances for school children in larger theaters.
In November, 2000, the company performed Holiday
Spectacular. In March, the Company and Youth Ensemble
toured The Little Mermaid of Lake Erie to Pennsylvania.
Illinois Ballet collaborated with
Central Illinois Youth Symphony performing Appalachian
Spring in April, 2001. Also in April, the company
performed the Rock Ballet at the Peoria Civic Center
Theatre with an additional performance for school
age children. As part of the summer intensive 2001
workshop, the company brought Artistic Advisor David
Howard as part of the workshop.
and Artistic Director Mary
career has spanned over thirty years of national and
international performance. Karen
Cofounder and Ballet Mistress of Illinois Ballet, followed
Ms. Boday from Erie, Pennsylvania and served as Principal
dancer and Ballet Mistress for Peoria Ballet for five
years before the founding of Illinois Ballet two years
ago. Dancers under Boday's tutelage have joined nationally
and internationally recognized companies including Joffrey
Ballet, Harkness Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company,
Geneva Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Columbia
City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, State Ballet
of Missouri (formerly the Kansas City Ballet), St. Gallen
Stadt Theater Ballet, Lake Erie Ballet, Mary Anthony
Dance Theatre, and Santa Barbara Ballet, as well as
Ballet is located on the third floor of
the Murray Building, a handicapped-accessible space
and home to a variety of artists in the warehouse
district of historic downtown Peoria. The Ballet's
space is comprised of two dance studios and accompanying
dressing rooms and houses the organization's offices.
The Dance Works, a retail space featuring dance
apparel, shoes, training videos and books is also
housed in the facility.
Board of Directors
Rodney R. Nordstrom
Vice Present: Everett Brandt
Secretary: Camille Gibson & Marcia Burnside
Walt & Beth
Deehring, Cheri Nordstrom, Cindy Salmon, Marcia
Claussen, Mary Price Boday, Vicki Crabb, and David