School Performances

These programs bring dance to life for students, many who have never seen a live performance and have not been exposed to the performing arts.

New Ballet provides educators with a pre-performance curriculum. This Teacher’s Guide includes pre-performance materials designed to engage the students in activities such as connecting each character to the instrument used to represent them, writing criticisms of the performance, as well as comprehensive biographical information on the creators.

"This is the best and most engaging arts performance that has visited Bruce Elementary, a fairly arts saavy school. The incorporation of Camille Saint Saens' The Dying Swan as a hip hop piece lets the children know that this style of movement which is so familiar to them (Jookin') is a valid form of self expression. They were riveted!"

~Terry Starr, Orff Teacher at Bruce Elementary.

If you are interested in bringing New Ballet to your school or organization, please contact Mary Golden, Director of Education and Community Initiatives at mary [at] newballet [dot] org or call 901.726.9225.

See a listing of school performance options below:

!José!

Debuting in 2019-2020, "¡José!" is New Ballet Ensemble & School’s newest touring show based on the life and work of the great modern dance master, José Limón. Inspired by the book "José! Born to Dance", this show presents young audiences with a program that illuminates a variety of dance, music, and art genres from this era in history, such as Flamenco, Spanish guitar, and modern art, that inspired José Limón on his journey to become one of the most influential modern dance choreographers of his time.

Peter and the Wolf

Peter and the Wolf is a lively and engaging portrayal of the traditional story with characters representing not only the instruments of the orchestra, but also five dance disciplines (Hip Hop, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Character). The performance lasts 25 minutes, and is preceded by an overture of the Hip Hop Dying Swan, a trademark of NBE. At the conclusion of the performance, students break into groups and work with one of eight Teaching Artists to develop into the characters in the ballet. After a 15 minute session, all return to perform the introduction.

Anansi and the Sky God

Anansi and the Sky God is an African Folk Tale, narrated and set to the beat of African drumming, that describes a traditional odyssey story through dance. Students will enjoy the collaboration of all of the arts and many different genres of dance as Anansi goes on his journey of discovery. The characters in this piece are developed by their different dances. A flamenco dancing spider, an African dancing Sky God, and a ballerina fairy are just a few of the many creatures Anansi encounters in this tale of mischief and extreme creative thinking.

Three Shoes & Bare Feet

Ballet, Flamenco, Hip Hop, African and/or Modern are presented in a repertoire format, distinguished by the shoes worn (or not worn) by the Performing Artists. This presentation can be tied to follow up workshops in the school in a halfday program of performance and instruction. New Ballet Artists will work with classroom teachers on current curriculum themes to make ties to the dance performance and lessons. Typically, a group will separate into four sections and rotate classrooms every 20 minutes, changing genres for each mini-session. This format has been highly successful in our partnership with multiple Shelby County Schools in 2011-12.  Additionally, one week in-school residencies are offered for deeper instruction. The goal is to help the young audience differentiate each genre of dance (ballet, hip hop, flamenco, modern, and African) by comparing the shoes worn by the dancers.