Founded in 1997 by current Artistic Director Kathleen Rathbun and some local volunteers, SCB is the only professional ballet company in the central New York area. The company combines the talents of professional, pre-professional, and student dancers in performances of classical ballets, and also frequently adds nationally and internationally known guest artists to its performances, thus affording local dancers and audiences the opportunity to see and work with established stars.
As a young dancer, Rathbun studied on scholarship at Julliard before becoming principal dancer with The Company of American Dance and a soloist with both the Princeton Ballet Society of New Jersey and the Dancer’s Ensemble of Syracuse. Her desire to create a company that would expose audiences to the great classical ballets led to the foundation of SCB.
SCB works in collaboration with other local arts organizations; they’ve recently done full length productions of Cinderella, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. The company has also worked with the Open Hand Puppet Theater, who created puppets for SCB’s production of Sleeping Beauty.
With a strong commitment to community outreach, SCB offers free public performances in local schools as well as for the Armory Square Association’s Candlelight Series. Rathbun’s mission is to help develop future audiences and expand the community’s appreciation for classical ballet. (MK)
Syracuse City Ballet Information
- Public Transportation: Varies by venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue, but generally good
- Performances/Programs: 2-3 per season, plus the annual Nutcracker
- Ticket Prices: Performances are priced individually
- Membership: Individual donations from $25–$500+ are greatly appreciated. Donor benefits include listings in programs, a subscription to the newsletter, backstage tours, invitations to pre-performance warm ups, and more depending on donor level.