“The Bontrager women share a longtime passion for ballet, devoting time to teaching talented dancers at their academy and producing spectacular performances again and again.”
–Linda Jean Sellers, Register Guard, 2009
The Academy of Ballet Fantastique is the official training school of the acclaimed Ballet Fantastique Chamber Company.
Performances, never recitals. The extensive professional performance experience offered at The Academy of Ballet Fantastique is highly unique because it is not simply comprised of student "recitals" at the end of the year. Instead, our students' year-round involvement in truly professional productions inspires them with a distinctive sense of confidence and accomplishment as true artists and performers. These are the kind of performances that our kids' grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles will be begging to come to!
More solo and small ensemble work. As part of a smaller, more elite school, Ballet Fantastique student dancers participate in much more solo and small ensemble work, and proudly see their hard work in the Academy classroom come to fruition on stage as they earn accolades from each other, their audiences, and dance reviewers alike (we are proud to report that over the years, a high percentage of intermediate and advanced BFan students have been honored to be included in newspaper reviews of Company performances).
For our young dancers... Being part of an Academy associated with an up-and-coming professional company like Ballet Fantastique is exciting! Young dancers participate in an increasing number of performances with the Company as they grow older, and always receive a free ticket to Company performances to see their teachers perform (unless they are participating in the performance). Our performance experience emphasizes teamwork and builds self-confidence and poise in our young dancers.
Both classical and all-original Ballet Fantastique repertoire. Professional Division dancers at The Academy of Ballet Fantastique learn both classical and all-original Ballet Fantastique choreography, and perform with the Ballet Fantastique Chamber Company under the direction of Artistic Director Donna Marisa Bontrager. As part of professional Chamber Company performances, students have performed with world-class groups including the Trio Voronezh (From Tchaikovsky to Tango and Danse en Rouge: Variations in Red) and Eugene Symphony (Carnival of the Animals), and have even been on tour (Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2009, 2010, 2011)!
Solo coaching, year-round. Another highly unique benefit of The Academy of Ballet Fantastique’s curriculum among training programs across the US is that each of our intermediate and advanced student dancers receives solo and small ensemble performance coaching without the additional cost of special private lessons. In this way, our dancers become confident not only as members of an ensemble, but also grow their skills, confidence, and repertoire as solo performers.
We invite you to come perform with us! Or, if you're still not convinced, come see one of our performances, or borrow a DVD from us at the studio. Even at a young age, our BFan student performers are our pride and joy--and they speak for themselves through their powerful artistry in the beautiful language of dance!