The Ballet Divertimento School supports the aspirations of passionate dance students from the first plié to master class. In an ambience of enjoyment and excellence, children, teens and adults cultivate a love of dance, whether the aim is a professional career or way to stay fit.
A non-profit organization founded in 1991 by Susan Alexander, the School offers ballet classes year ‘round from beginner to professional levels, for all ages from three years to adult. It also offers courses in modern-contemporary dance for adults as well as flamenco classes for children ten years and older.
Dance-Study programs provide professional training for middle school, high school and college students. This approach enables young people to pursue dance training while continuing their studies, and to maximize academic and artistic performance.
Located in the heart of Montreal’s downtown core, the School occupies a building dedicated to and adapted for dance. The faculty of more than 20 expert and experienced professionals who teach classes on a regular basis is supplemented by occasional guest teachers. Close to 800 students attend each year in an open and creative environment.
The Ballet Divertimento School continues to be guided in spirit by the late Brydon Paige, artistic director from 1996 to 2007. Born in Vancouver, he first danced with Les Ballets Chiriaeff, the precursor of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Over a career that spanned more than four decades, Brydon Paige created works for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, National Ballet of Guatemala, Banff Centre and National Ballet of Portugal. One of his original works, The Wizard of Oz, was created for Ballet Divertimento and today remains a keystone of the School’s repertoire.
Born in New Brunswick, Susan Alexander studied arts and commerce at Concordia University in Montreal. Dance was always a passion, and she studied ballet with such notable teachers as Sheila Ross and Rudolf Kharatian. Since founding the Ballet Divertimento School in 1991, she has devoted herself entirely to guiding its development, including the development of projects such as the Dance-Study program. Her mission is to increase the range of courses and training available to aspiring dancers and to provide them with a fertile environment in which to germinate their talent. In 2002 Ms. Alexander co-founded with Alexandra Wells of the Julliard School the critically acclaimed Springboard Montréal Danse project (link) held each summer at the School.
After graduating from the National Ballet School in 1981, Christine Cyr continued her studies under master teachers of the Paris Opera Ballet. Upon returning to Canada, she danced as a soloist for the Anna Wyman Dance Theatre in Vancouver and for the Atlantic Ballet Company in Halifax. From 1989 on, she worked training young dancers as a Guest Teacher for many schools and workshops. In 2008, she joined the staff of the École supérieure de ballet du Québec (ESBQ). During this time she rewrote the texts for the course of study of the college program and also redesigned for the ESBQ and the Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie the annual reports which are submitted to the Minister of Education. In 2010, she accepted a position in the dance program of Collège Sainte-Anne. Following her studies in history at the University of Montréal, she obtained her Masters in Art Education (specializing in dance) at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Since 2000, she has held the position of President of the board of PPS Dance. Since 2015, she has been Artistic and Educational Director of Ballet Divertimento Montréal.
Coming from the world of International Folk Dance, Lily Barrette has worked in the field of arts co-ordination and dance education management for over 20 years. As Pedagogical Director Adjoint of the school of “Les Farandoles” of Chicoutimi for 12 years, she gained vast experience in planning, organizing and supervising dance programs while ensuring the smooth function of the school. In parallel, she became a production director and stage manager for “Paris Follies” and “Ecce Mundo” where she supervised dancers, singers and acrobats for eight years. She joined the team at Ballet Divertimento in 2007 as school coordinator and was named Administrative Director in 2018.
Canadian-born Alex Ursuliak began his dance career after graduating from the Pedagogical Institute Theatre of Kiev in Ukraine. He worked for the National Ballet of Canada and the Stuttgart Ballet as both dancer and ballet master, and was director of the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera and the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. He was also a visiting professor at some of the biggest companies in this and many other countries. A prolific choreographer, Alex Ursuliak has created and staged important works worldwide and coached many leading contemporary artists: Natalya Makarova, Martine Van Hamel, Veronica Tennant, Rudolf Nureyev and Erik Bruhn.
In addition to the National Ballet of Canada, Owen Montague had an international career as principal dancer with such prestigious companies as Netherlands Dance Theatre, Aterballeto, Ballet BC and Alberta Ballet. He has received many awards including two bronze medals at the first International Ballet competition in Jackson Mississippi, USA and a silver medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, USSR. Owen Montague also received a bursary from the Canada Arts Council and the Peter Dwyer Scholarship. For the last 15 years, Owen has worked as an independent artist and has explored his interest in choreography, photography and costume design for motion and artistic production. He returns to Canada after 6 years as an associate professor of the department of dance and music, at the Kobe Jogakuin College of Japan. Today, Owen Montague is Senior Professor of the Professional Program and Choreographer in Residence at Ballet Divertimento in Montreal.
Located near McGill University and the Quartier des spectacles, the Ballet Divertimento School occupies a building built in 1960 at the corner of Durocher and Milton streets. Major renovations were undertaken to install fully equipped dance studios.
The studios are open and airy with large windows that let in natural light. For the dancers’ safety and comfort, all are equipped with resilient sprung floors.
The School facilities include changing rooms for men and women. Lockers are available to store personal belongings. For added security, it is recommended that people using them bring a padlock. (Ballet Divertimento is not responsible for lost or stolen items.)
Designed by Jacques Morin
for exceptional comfort
(studios 1, 2 and 5)
DVD or VHS
(studios 2, 3 and 5)
3505 Durocher St. (corner of Milton St.)
H2X 2E7 Canada
Metro Station Place des Arts, exit De Bleury
T • (514) 285-2157
F • (514) 285-4505
July 20 to august 11, 2019
September 2, 2019
October 14, 2019
From December 22, 2019 to January 3, 2020
April 10 to 13, 2020
May 18, 2020
July 19 to august 9, 2020