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 seven years and older.
Dance-Study programs provide professional training for 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.
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.
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)
«Kyle Abraham a fait ses débuts québécois en 2008, à l’invitation de Springboard Danse Montréal, rampe de lancement de jeunes danseurs. C’est là qu’il a rencontré Alexandra Wells, cofondatrice de la plateforme québécoise avec Susan Alexander.»
«In 2008, Abraham created an installation in Montreal for Ballet Divertimento’s wonderful Springboard summer dance session.»
«For three weeks each summer, approximately 60 dancers come to Springboard from across North America to work with sought-after choreographers and be part of a rigorous creative process. […] since its founding in 2002, Springboard has placed more than 80 dancers in professional companies….»
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 31 to august 14, 2016
September 5, 2016
October 10, 2016
From December 18, 2016 to January 2, 2017
From April 15 to 17, 2017
May 22, 2017