Our new visual identity is much more than just a website – it’s the measure of our creative DNA. The genesis of the new visual identity equally focuses on Charleston Ballet Theatre Center for Dance Education’s traditions, values and personality. Native Charlestonian Don Cantwell returned from studies in New York in 1967 and formed the Charleston Civic Ballet, the predecessor of the professional company. He later married Patricia Downs, a ballerina who was discovered at age 13 by the legendary George Balanchine. Patricia taught in the school, danced all of the principal ballerina roles, and conceived the idea of a full-time professional ballet company for Charleston. Don and Patricia were joined by Jill Eathorne Bahr, one of the country’s foremost choreographers in 1987. Her acclaimed ballets are in the repertoires of Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre.
The Cantwell/Bahr partnership hosted national auditions and selected some of the finest dance artists to be in residence with Charleston Ballet Theatre. The company garnered and was given the licensing rights to perform the ballets of George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Jose Limon, the only South Carolina Company with this distinction. Although the CBT repertoire was rich with these masterpieces, the guiding forces for this prominent company was the eclectic, diverse creations of Jill Eathorne Bahr.
The Cantwell/Bahr partnership recruits dancers at the top of their field who welcome the opportunity to work in Charleston’s rich cultural environment. Graduates of our education programs have gone on to perform with legendary dance companies such as the New York City Ballet. In a city that prides itself on an international reputation for artistic excellence, These Leaders have the ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others in the organization to initiate changes that will create a viable and valuable future for the organization.
Through its association with Coastal Ballet USA, a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization committed to the promotion of Dance in the local community, CBT Center for Dance Education is pleased to offer a limited number of Dance Scholarships to students wishing to attend Dance classes at our academy during the 2015-2016 School year beginning August 18,2015 .. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, and are subject to availability of places in classes. To apply for a Dance Scholarship please complete the Application .