Mr. Smith began studying tap in his youth. He began his ballet training at age 18 under the careful tutelage of Rebekah Von Rathonyi at Cornerstone Academy for Performing Arts. Over the years he has danced roles in many of Ms. Von Rathonyi’s ballets including Jonathan Harker in Dracula, Spanish, Russian, and Italian principle in The Nutcracker, and multiple principal roles in various pieces he performed with the school and the fledgling Central Illinois Ballet. During a two year hiatus he performed as a featured dancer and actor in many Community Theater productions in the Peoria area including Older Billy in Billy Elliot and Harry Beaton in Brigadoon. He recently returned to Central Illinois Ballet, now Downstate Illinois’ only professional ballet company, where he has performed many more principal roles including Prince Ivan in Ms. Von Rathonyi’s The Firebird, John Darling in Peter Pan, and in three original pieces made for collaborations with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Smith has also danced as a guest artist with ballet schools in Chicago and Upstate New York. He is very happy to be back at CIB and working with Ms. Luciana and her wonderful school! He dedicates this performance and all future performances to his mentor, Ms. Rebekah, and her mentor Mr. B!
Richard Smith performs the role of Albretch in Giselle Act I Excerpts, courtesy of Central Illinois Ballet.
Starting April 3rd, we will be offering a dance class for children ages 18 months to 3. This 30 minute class is designed to enhance your child’s motor, listening, and social skills through dance activities. Classes will meet on TUESDAYS, form 4:15 to 4:45 PM and THURSDAYS, from 10:45 to 11:15 AM. Price is $8.00 per class or $60.00 for the full session (8 weeks). Active parent required in class. Click here to register.
It was an honor to host the master class conducted by Ms. Sabella, on Saturday, March 10. Our students learned so much from it and really enjoyed taking a class accompanied by percussion instruments. The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts kindly provided complimentary tickets to our students for the Mark Morris Dance Group's performance on Thursday, March 8 and Friday, March 9. Our thanks to Ms.Sabella, Charlie, Samuel Smith and Tammey Kikta (Krannert Center for the Performing Arts) for this great opportunity.
NICOLE SABELLA is originally from Clearwater, Florida, where she studied at the Academy of Ballet Arts and the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School under Suzanne B. Pomerantzeff. In 2009, she graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, earning her BFA in modern dance performance and the “Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance” Award. She was a performer with Zane Booker’s Smoke, Lilies, and Jade Arts Initiative. Sabella first performed with MMDG in 2013 and became a company member in 2015.
On Saturday, September 9 we conducted the art workshop during the Art at the Market event. Children learned how to make their own ballet headpiece. The choices were Dr. Coppelius hat or Swanilda’s floral headpiece, both from the ballet Coppelia.
Art at the Market is a free monthly arts program held during Market at the Square. Each program features a performance or art workshop, both always free and open to the public.