First State Ballet Theatre

Delaware's Professional Ballet Company

First State Ballet Theatre, Delaware’s professional ballet company, presents full length ballets and mixed-repertory programs throughout the state, commissions new choreography from internationally renowned choreographers, offers performing opportunities to aspiring dancers, and educates the Delaware dance audience of the future.

Headquartered in Wilmington's beautiful and historic Grand Opera House, First State Ballet Theatre performs under the artistic direction of Kirov-trained Pasha Kambalov.

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Accomplishments

Throughout the past 15 years, First State Ballet Theatre has made significant artistic, educational, and financial achievements. Each accomplishment is made possible through the unwavering support of volunteers, foundations, corporations, and individuals. Learn more about our achievements below and click here to find out how you can help us achieve even more!

Artistic Accomplishments

  • Presented fully staged major ballets Carmen, Coppélia, Don Quixote, Giselle, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nutcracker, Paquita, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Irene and numerous mixed repertory performances at venues throughout Delaware.
  • Commissioned original choreography including major works Everlasting Arms, based on the sculpture of Charles Parks, Nonsense in the Sense of Innocence and The Adventures of Pinocchio from internationally acclaimed choreographer Viktor Plotnikov, five times winner of best choreographer honors at major international ballet competitions.
  • Presented four Arabesque international festivals of classical and contemporary ballet, featuring more than 50 distinguished guest artists from around the globe in performances of classical and contemporary ballet highlights, including original works choreographed for the festival.
  • Performed by special invitation in the famed Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy in July 2007, the only Delaware arts company ever to be so honored.
  • Initiated collaborations with the Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Shakespeare Festival, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, OperaDelaware, Charles Parks, SPARX, Wilmington Children’s Chorus and others.

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Ballet Training Accomplishments

  • For 11 years students from The School of First State Ballet Theatre have qualified to compete in the world finals of the Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s most important competition for pre-professional ballet students. In 2004, one FSBT student placed in the top 12 in the world in the Pre-Competitive Division, another placed in the top 20 in the world in the Senior Division. In 2007 an ensemble performed by FSBT students was ranked in the top 12 in the YAGP world finals.
  • In 2008, an FSBT student was one of only two American young women who qualified to compete in the Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Alumni of The School of First State Ballet Theatre have danced professionally with Alabama Ballet, Ballet Capitole de Toulouse, Festival Ballet-Providence, First State Ballet Theatre, Los Angeles Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Universal Ballet of Korea.

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Educational Outreach Accomplishments

  • In partnership with Wilmington’s Grand Opera House, FSBT developed the acclaimed DanceWorks! program to present free ballet training and an end-of-year performance in the Baby Grand Theater. Since its founding, DanceWorks! has served well over 1,000 students.
  • Presented lecture-demonstrations, including the popular “Once Upon a Ballet,” program to more than 10,000 Delaware and Maryland elementary students.
  • Catalyst in creating The Year of the Bard, a statewide, multi-disciplinary performing arts festival, in collaboration with the Delaware Shakespeare Festival, Delaware Art Museum, OperaDelaware, SPARX, The Mastersingers of Wilmington, the Grand Opera House and schools districts in New Castle and Sussex counties.
  • Were named 2013-14 Artists in Residence at Wilmington Montessori School.

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Financial Accomplishments

  • Ended each year in a strong financial position and financed performances primarily through contributions from individual supporters of the performing arts and ticket sales.
  • Recruited annual pro bono professional support valued at well over $150,000 in disciplines including accounting, architecture, auditing, business management, construction management, costuming, engineering, fine arts, graphic design, legal services, marketing, medical services, photography, public relations, set construction, web design and others.
  • Received the 2006 Wilmingtonian Award from Mayor James Baker for extraordinary contributions to the arts in Wilmington.

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