The Pasadena Civic Ballet Center is a pre-professional dance school and home of the Pasadena Civic Ballet Company.
The mission of the Pasadena Civic Ballet is threefold:
To provide quality instruction in the art and technique of dance, with an emphasis on ballet as the foundation for discipline and vocabulary.
To create performance opportunities to allow the dancers to grow as artists as well as develop self confidence, poise and presentation skills.
To provide a nurturing, supportive environment that emphasizes dance as an avenue to growth as an individual and as an artist through dedication, discipline, creativity, and camaraderie.
The Pasadena Civic Ballet Center offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, musical theater and character with an emphasis on developing the student as an artist and an individual. Involvement in the Center can begin as early as 3 1/2 years of age and can continue for life.
Ballet serves as our base of instruction because of its sound principles of correct alignment and wide vocabulary of movement, as well as its beauty and power. The fundamentals of movement taught in ballet technique can be applied to all forms of dance. It demands focus and concentrated effort, and provides a sound basis for learning all movement disciplines, including sports. It also promotes health and physical fitness. The discipline and tenacity developed in class can be applied to other endeavors. The friendships made and support received in the dance environment will be a positive influence on their development as dancers and as individuals.
Formed in 1980 by Elly Charlotte Van-Dyke, the Pasadena Civic Ballet Company (PCB) is a not-for-profit organization of pre-professional and professional dancers. The Company has been directed by Diane De Franco Browne, Tania Grafos, and Zoe Vidalakis since 2000.
Pasadena Civic Ballet has been training children and adults in the art and discipline of dance for over 40 years. Members of the Company are serious, talented ballet students who are accepted by audition or judgment of the directors. Referred to as the "Company", the PCB has three divisions: the Junior, Teen, and Senior Companies.
Artistic Directors Diane De Franco Browne, Tania Grafos, and Zoe Vidalakis bring over fifty years of dance training, choreography, and performance experience to the school. PCB dance faculty has an acclaimed reputation with backgrounds ranging from American Ballet Theater, Beijing Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, and Hungarian State Ballet. In addition, faculty members have collaborated with and performed works by renowned choreographers including George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham, and Agnes De Mille.
Pasadena Civic Ballet Company is committed to presenting original productions to stimulate the development of its students and to enhance the artistic offerings available to our community. Company members have the opportunity of performing in major productions before large audiences. The Company's original presentations have included "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland," "The Wizard of Oz," "The Little Mermaid," "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," and "Peter Pan." These performances provide a wonderful showcase for all of the dancers, with ensemble and solo opportunities. Dancers also perform in our annual "Solo Fete" and the PCB Center Showcases, as well as invitational events, charity groups, in-studio concerts, and guest appearances.
MEET THE DIRECTORS
Diane De Franco Browne
Diane De Franco Browne is an award-winning choreographer who received her MFA in Dance from the University of California at Irvine. She has worked with noted choreographers Eugene Loring, Antony Tudor, and Kurt Jooss. She studied ballet and modern jazz extensively in Los Angeles and New York, and was a founding member of Los Angeles Dance Theater, a modern company specializing in reviving classic contemporary works. Diane served as Artistic Director, choreographer, and dancer with Dime-a-Dance Co., a modern collective that toured nationally and internationally. She is a long-time professor of dance at the college level, and frequently creates choreography for nationally known dance companies. She is currently working on two collaborative projects with Dance Through Life Inc. and Desmonet Dance. Diane is also the owner of Theater Threads, a costume design company specializing in custom dancewear.
Zoe Vidalakis received her MA from USC’s Annenberg School in Entertainment Management, where she pioneered the largest student musical in the US. She also directed “A Tribute to Bob Hope” and other productions at the Shrine Auditorium and the Greek Theatre. As a dancer, she performed with the Alberta Ballet and Alberta Civic Opera in Canada, and was guest artist with the Long Beach Classical Ballet and Santa Barbara Ballet. Zoe and Tania are especially known for their character work. They performed as folkloric soloists and choreographers with the Hayastan Dance Ensemble, under master Iosef Izrailvov of the Moiseyev Dance Company, and with the Kalinin Dance Company. Zoe and her sister Tania co-founded Belle of the Ball, a children’s couture line.
Tania Grafos and sister Zoe Vidalakis both studied with former prima ballerina of the Ballet Russe and Berlin Opera Ballet, Mme. Maria DeBrovsky. Both also trained with the Los Angeles Junior Ballet under the renowned John Clifford, and performed with the LA Ballet. Tania was the youngest student accepted to the Los Angeles Junior Ballet, and attended the prestigious Elmherst Ballet School in London. She apprenticed with the Hungarian State Ballet in Budapest , where she studied under dancers from the Kirov and Bolshoi. She also studied with Mme. Gerard Pierre, former prima ballerina of the Paris Opera and partner Roland Petit. After her career on stage, she received a BA in History from the University of Southern California.