Ballet Fantastique


Mission & History


Our Mission

Ballet Fantastique reimagines the future of dance—building new dance audiences through contemporary ballet premieres, training the next generation of artists, and inspiring youth through visionary outreach programs.

Vision

A leading voice in contemporary ballet, Ballet Fantastique will be recognized throughout the Northwest and beyond for its creation and performance of all-original contemporary ballets, marked by the hallmarks of fresh perspective, dramatic artistry, and collaborative partnership. These performance programs will attract, inspire, and retain new and nontraditional audiences for dance. Ballet Fantastique’s training and outreach programs will reach across barriers in access to educate the next generation of artists and audiences.

Our History

Ballet Fantastique was established in 2000, became an Oregon nonprofit in 2003, and earned 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 2004. Annually, BFan produces or participates in dozens of concerts and events and collaborates with more than 40 individuals, organizations, and arts groups. Performances and events reach more than 15,000 audience members annually.

Founded in 2000, BFan grew slowly until 2010 when a Meyer Memorial Trust grant, in-kind donations, and tireless volunteers and staff enabled us to triple square footage with the opening of our new City Center for Dance (CCD). Where growth had been capped due to lack of space, this expansion allowed BFan to successfully triple our programs reach (and operating budget) in under three years. BFan’s CCD is located in the heart of Eugene’s developing downtown Arts & Culture District, and now thrives 350 days each year with the work of creating new choreography and dance education benefitting 15,000+ artists and audiences annually.

Ballet Fantastique fills a unique niche in our region’s cultural fabric:

  • COMPANY: BFan premieres all-original contemporary ballets. Most US ballet companies produce an average of one new ballet per year; BFan creates and produces only all-original contemporary ballets (3–5 premieres/yr), including Cinderella as a 60’s rock opera, Pride & Prejudice set in Roaring 20’s Paris, and a Wild West spin on Shakespeare’s As You Like It (most recently performed to a sold-out standing ovation at the Palariviera Theater in San Benedetto, Italy). These unique, accessible new ballets—many with live music—attract and retain a remarkably high percentage of nontraditional theatergoers, younger (e.g., the elusive 18–35 age bracket) and newer to the performing arts (~70% of new audience members haven't been to a performance in 3+ years, if ever; nearly 100% of these individuals say that they’ll return to a BFan concert in the next year). BFan has been heralded “a bold, cross-disciplinary dance company” (Eugene Weekly), “imaginative geniuses” (Portland Monthly Magazine), and “not your grandmother’s Swan Lake” (Register-Guard). REACH: BFan premieres a full season of three original contemporary ballets at the Hult Center each year, and tours across the Northwest, the US, and internationally.

  • ACADEMY: BFan trains the next generation of professional dancers. The Academy of Ballet Fantastique is regionally recognized for its accelerated training in the prestigious Vaganova Syllabus. Programs impact the lives of 150+ students/yr: 90% of students served are under the age of 23; 30% are from families below the federal poverty line; and through BFan’s scholarship program, over 25% receive need-based scholarships/financial aid. REACH: Students join The Academy of Ballet Fantastique from across our region and the US.

  • OUTREACH: BFan provides dance education experiences to underserved youth in underserved areas. In the most far-reaching ongoing dance education effort in our region, BFan sends professional ballet dancer-teachers to work with youth in extended in-school residencies (10+ weeks/residency), with a focus on rural areas. (Much other dance outreach centers on bringing kids to the theater for a dance performance, which BFan also does—hundreds of K–12 youth attend BFan premieres annually.) Participating teachers say that we are the first dance educational experience their students have ever had and regularly rate outreach 9-10/10 for quality and impact. 95% of participating schools don’t have PE, music, or art staff. REACH: Work benefits thousands of Title I students and spans Lane Co., including the rural surrounding areas of Mapleton, South Lane, and Oak Ridge.

Volunteers and interns play a key role in BFan’s daily work in myriad roles, from costume design to all arenas of PR. BFan is proud to garner over 3,000+ documented volunteer hours each year (actual number estimated to be 5,000+), on par with groups more than twice our size.

Ballet Fantastique was the first non-profit professional training school in Eugene and advances our mission through high caliber training and performance programs that strive to make dance available to people of all backgrounds and means.