Cincinnati Ballet choreographs a vibrant vision

Cincinnati Ballet has long been known for offering its audience an exciting mix of classic favorites such as The Nutcracker and new and contemporary works, many of which are world premiers on the mainstage at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

“The 2015-16 season is no exception,” says Victoria Morgan, artistic director and CEO of Cincinnati Ballet. 

Also a priority for Morgan and her team: Bringing in works helmed by women. This year’s Director’s Choice series, which will be performed April 29 and 30, will feature four works choreographed by women.

“It’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart,” Morgan says. “In an art form seemingly dominated by women, there’s actually a dearth of female choreographers, in comparison to the men.”

Only about 1/10 of the pieces performed by most major regional high-end companies, comparable in size to Cincinnati Ballet, are choreographed by women. For that reason Morgan is focusing on women in the last series. “The women I’ve chosen are huge talents and they deserve to have their works seen,” she says. They deserve to grow their craft and build their reputations. We are grassroots here, where things can take hold, where one can have an impact because we’re not obligated like American Ballet Theatre to do a season that’s packed with traditional offerings.”

Mid-sized companies like Cincinnati Ballet can be a little more flexible – or adventurous, if you like – in choosing the works they’ll perform, according to Morgan.

That adventurous spirit has earned the company a loyal following locally and a solid reputation nationally. And that makes Cincinnati Ballet an asset worth investing in, says Bailes, who in addition to his role at U.S. Bank is also a member of the ballet’s Board of Trustees, serving as its treasurer. He is also chairing the search committee for a new executive director for the ballet.

“For the size of the community we have, the quality of the ballet that we have far exceeds what one would expect in a city of this size,” Bailes says.

U.S. Bank is a long-time supporter of the ballet. It has underwritten the U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve Music Directorship, held by Carmon DeLeone, which included sponsorship of the production ALICE (in wonderland).

“We can’t do what we do without it. It is the financial support. That’s a huge piece of it. There’s also the expert support and advice we get from Michael,” Morgan says.

Morgan says that is has taken years to cultivate the right mix of classical and new works, and to bring together the right team. She came to Cincinnati in 1997 as artistic director, and was named CEO in 2008.

A vibrant arts scene brings even more to the community than dance or music, Bailes says.

“It brings in to your community other exciting things, and other opportunities to build and to grow,” he says.


Cincinnati Ballet is located at 1555 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45214. Call them at 513.621.5219 or visit them online at