The Alabama Ballet is the states premiere professional ballet company. Under the artistic direction of Wes Chapman, the company has achieved national prominence as one of only six ballet companies in the world permitted by the Balanchine Trust to perform Balanchine's Nutcracker. The Alabama Ballet promotes the development of classical and contemporary ballet through high quality performance, dance education and community outreach. Education and outreach activities include CityDance, which provides 16 weeks of dance training for youth from the city of Birmingham and Jefferson County. The Alabama Ballet is a 501(c )(3) not-for-profit organization. Our Mission To promote and foster the development of classical and contemporary ballet through high-quality performances, dance education, and community outreach. Our History The Alabama Ballet began in 1981 as an outgrowth of the Birmingham Civic Ballet, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Ballet and Ballet Alabama. Under the co-artistic direction of world-renowned dancers Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski, the company found status and recognition in the ranks of professional companies. Arova's and Sutowski's outstanding 15 year foundation set the stage for the leadership of present-day Artistic Director Wes Chapman and Ballet Master Roger Van Fleteren, who came on board in 1996. The extraordinary talents of these two men continue to be the driving force behind the exceptional quality of the company's dancers. Chapman spent the last decade as a soloist and principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. A native of Alabama and honor graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, Chapman feels a special commitment to the continuing excellence of the company. Roger Van Fleteren joined the Alabama Ballet from the London City Ballet. Like Chapman, he danced with the American Ballet Theatre as Soloist, performing title roles in performances such as Agnes de Mille's The Other and Kenneth McMillan's Romeo and Juliet. Both men have performed as guest artists around the U.S. and abroad. In 1999, the Alabama Ballet established a professional affiliation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham to further expand opportunities for students of dance and dance audiences in Alabama.