ADDRESS6207 Pan American Freeway NE Albuquerque, NM 87109
New Mexico Ballet Company is the state’s leading non-profit professional dance company, founded by Suzanne and Sidney Johnston in 1972. For the past 50 years, NMBC has supported the local arts community by providing the highest quality productions for New Mexican audiences and currently offers affordable dance education and performance opportunities to aspiring students and professionals.
To create and promote professional and innovative dance productions for New Mexico audiences while providing the highest caliber of education and training for young artists in the community.
2023-2024 SEASON AUDITIONS
All auditions, open or upon invitation, will be held in person at New Mexico Ballet Company: 6207 Pan American Fwy NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Classical training background is a must. Contemporary and partnering skills are highly preferred. Company artists are part-time and paid as independent contractors. Authorization to work in the U.S. is required.
Interested applicants will need to submit the following materials for consideration to our Artistic Director, Anna Bridge.
⦿ Résumé with references
⦿ Current place of residence and citizenship
⦿ Headshot and full body dance photos
⦿ Video reel with class and/or performance footage
We seek to embody diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) throughout The New Mexico Ballet Company’s teachings, practice, organizational culture, policies, and operations as a manifestation of our vow to embody the arts together with all beings. NMBC does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sex orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
◉ Artistic & School Director: Anna Bridge
◉ Executive Director: Virginia Wilmerding, PhD
◉ Finance Director: Emily Fine
◉ Company Manager: Maureen Talley
◉ Social Media & Marketing: Claire Peoples, Robbie Rodriguez, Carristo Creative
Board of Directors
◉ President: Sara Bonnell
◉ Vice President: Jenifer Kihm
◉ Judith Bennahum, PhD
◉ Baylee Brown
◉ Renee Butler-Lewis, MD
◉ Russell Janis
Suzanne and Sidney Johnston founded the New Mexico Ballet Company in order to provide a means of study and an opportunity for advancement for dancers throughout New Mexico. Ms. Johnston served as the NMBC Artistic Director from 1972 to 1975. During this era, the company performed and toured in Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee as a member of the Southwest Regional Ballet Association. In addition, they produced the first Nutcracker Ballet production in New Mexico to a live orchestra, a tradition that continues today.
NMBC continued to grow and redefine itself under the Artistic Directorship of Rebecca Peltz (1975-1976), Lana Kroth (1976-1977), Alan Baker (1977-1978), Jon Christophori (1979), and Lorenzo Luckie (1981-1982). During this era, the company focused on the goals of training local dancers to build a strong corps in addition to promoting the art of dance to New Mexico audiences. This period of growth culminated with Lorenzo Luckie’s presentation of Renaissance, including internationally acclaimed ballet star Fernando Bujones.
Acclaim and Pageantry…1982-1987
Suzanne Johnston resumed her position as Artistic Director from 1982 to 1987. Highlights during this era include world renowned guest performers, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robert La Fosse, Susan Jaffe, Melissa Hayden, Juliet Prowse, and David Chavez. During this time, Melissa Hayden of New York City Ballet was brought in to teach master classes to artists of NMBC, and an acclaimed production of Paquita was presented with dancers from around the city.
Artistry and Imagination…1988-1996
David Chavez assumed the role of Artistic Director from 1988 to 1996. During his tenure, NMBC produced eleven original productions, including Carmina Burana, Dia de los Muertos, A Christmas Carol, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Vision Quest, The Jungle Book, The Red Shoes, and A Stravinsky Dance Festival. Through the help of grants awarded by the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund of the City of Albuquerque, NMBC was able to provide public school children with free access to many of these performances.
David Chavez stepped down from NMBC in 1997 and during this transition, NMBC continued founder Suzanne Johnston’s vision to provide New Mexico audiences with access to esteemed guest artists from major companies under the artistic direction of Patricia Dickinson. Bill Evans was brought in to set scenes in Ms. Dickinson’s production of The Nutcracker and his choreography appeared in the company’s 25th anniversary celebration. NMBC was also approved by the George Balanchine Trust and New York City Ballet to perform Balanchine’s works Serenade and Concerto Barocco under the guidance of former New York City Ballet ballerina and Balanchine repetiteur Jillana. NMBC’s regular performances of The Nutcracker Ballet continued its tradition as a mainstay of the NM holiday season and popular novelties such as NMBC’s Dracula drew different audiences.
Classical and Experimental…2009-2015
Jolie Sutton-Simballa was appointed Artistic Director in 2009 after a decade of dancing with NMBC and six years as NMBC’s Assistant Artistic Director and resident choreographer. Sutton-Simballa’s continued desire to provide NM audiences with the best classical dancing resulted in bringing in world-renowned stars from American Ballet Theatre (Sarah Lane, Luis Ribagorda, Stella Abrera), New York City Ballet (Philip Neal, Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle), Pilobolus (Peter Pucci), and Martha Graham Dance Company (Peggy Lyman) to dance, set works, and teach. These years expanded the company’s Balanchine Repertoire with productions of Valse Fantasie and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux along with guest artist performances of Balanchine’s grande pas de deux from The Nutcracker. This era was also the start of the collaboration between NMBC and the NM Philharmonic, dazzling audiences with Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, and Spartacus.
Continued Growth…2015 – 2019
David Chavez stepped down from NMBC in 1997. During this transition, NMBC continued founder Suzanne Johnston’s vision to provide New Mexico audiences with access to esteemed guest artists from major companies under the artistic direction of Patricia Dickinson. Bill Evans was brought in to set scenes in Ms. Dickinson’s production of The Nutcracker, and his choreography appeared in the company’s 25th anniversary celebration. NMBC was also approved by the George Balanchine Trust and New York City Ballet to perform Balanchine’s works Serenade and Concerto Barocco under the guidance of former New York City Ballet ballerina and Balanchine repetiteur Jillana. NMBC’s regular performances of The Nutcracker Ballet continued its tradition as a mainstay of the NM holiday season, and popular novelties such as NMBC’s Dracula drew different audiences.
Dancing Through….2020 to present
Before the pandemic shuttered theaters across the country, NMBC School Director Anna Bridge revamped and directed Alice in Wonderland (2020) in collaboration with the NM Philharmonic. Throughout the pandemic, NMBC shifted its focus to online opportunities to keep dancers active and safe until it was deemed safe to return to in-person classes and rehearsals. In January 2021, Ms. Bridge was appointed Artistic Director in addition to her role as the School Director and has since directed The Nutcracker (2021, 2022), Resilience (2023), and NMBC School performances. Ms. Bridge is dedicated to guiding NMBC’s school and professional company on its current path of growth and opportunity for dancers of all ages and aspirations.