Elevate – 21st Century Productions for Ballet Pensacola
Ballet Pensacola, Inc.
Ballet Pensacola was founded in 1978 as Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre by Italian-trained dancer and teacher Gioia Michelotti. The theatre offered performance opportunities for young dancers and promoted the art of dance. The organization was renamed Ballet Pensacola in 2005. The organization presented The Nutcracker for the first time in 1989 and today, internationally-acclaimed Ballet Pensacola consists of a training academy that serves more than 300 students each season and a performing company of more than 40 dancers, including 16 professionals from around the world. Ballet Pensacola’s mission is to enhance the cultural life of the community by developing an appreciation and knowledge of the art of dance through high quality dance education and excellent performances. The organization pursues its mission in three main areas: major performances, dance education and outreach. Ballet Pensacola reaches more than 20,000 patrons annually and provides more than $10,000 in scholarships each year to deserving young dancers through their scholarship program, Dance Chance.
While Ballet Pensacola has two world renowned choreographers on staff and 16 resident professional dancers from around the world, the organization's technical crew is working with woefully outdated lighting and production packages. At 24 years old, this equipment is inefficient, requiring costly disposable parts and a large amount of power to operate. Set-up is time consuming, with crew members forced to go up and down an 18-foot ladder time and time again for adjustments. Funds will be used to purchase a mobile state-of-the-art lighting and control system, along with computers, televisions, software and storage. The advanced technology will be fully usable for a minimum of 10 years without required maintenance and anticipated to be used for at least another 10 years with affordable upgrades. Fully rotating lights that are set and adjusted from a control board on the ground will allow for more vibrant designs, with full spectrum color changes, directional adjustments, and fine-tuning with ease. By eliminating the need to make lighting adjustments on ladders, the new system will make the job of the technical crew much safer and faster. Fully known and understood by Ballet Pensacola’s technical crew, this system will be the next step in providing quality performances that feature compelling choreography, accomplished dancers and incredible production values.
The arts not only improve the quality of life, they enhance community development, spur urban renewal, encourage new businesses, draw tourism dollars and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers. The fulfillment of this project will advance Ballet Pensacola’s productions to the highest caliber. The project will allow Ballet Pensacola to provide the highest levels of choreography, dance, costuming and production to members of the community; allow for greater development of artistic production; provide enhanced in-house marketing opportunities; provide educational training for young people seeking to learn the use of advanced technology in theatrical productions of all genres; and eliminate the need for costly disposable parts thereby reducing the carbon footprint of Ballet Pensacola. The completion of this project will elevate the quality of performances and provide opportunity for education through the organization’s Technical Internship and Youth Ensemble programs. With a lifespan of at least 20 years, this equipment has the potential to reach more than 400,000 patrons and artists.