Rochester City Ballet is a contemporary ballet company based in Rochester, New York, and established in 1987 by its founding artistic director Timothy M. Draper . Since 2003 the Rochester City Ballet (RCB) has been led artistically by Jamey Leverett . RCB has a growing reputation for its excellence, versatility, and singular repertoire, which includes award-winning contemporary ballets and masterworks. The company presents an extensive season of performances at the Nazareth College Arts Center and Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. In July 2010, RCB presented its first New York City season at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for Performing Arts and performed in the prestigious River to River Festival. RCB was a featured dance company at the Nazareth College Arts Center Dance Festival in July 2011. In July 2013 RCB was selected to perform in the Inside/Out performance series at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts.
RCB remains committed to the creation of new work. In the past eight years, artistic director Jamey Leverett has choreographed more than 20 new works including 4Play , A Common Thread , Bravo! Colorado , LumaVoce , Gershwin Preludes , Respect , Pedestal ,How to Break a Heart , An Intimate Portrait , and Peter and the Wolf , as well as the critically acclaimed full-length ballet The Blood Countess . In a review by Philip Gardner, he describes Leverett's choreography: "Ms. Leverett's choreography seizes the eye continually and the dancers sweep on and off in exciting combinations, creating vibrant patterns and maintaining a steady flow of energy."
Many RCB productions are presented with live music or through artistic collaboration with a vibrant array of musicians and ensembles such as the Cello Divas, Stephen Kennedy, Deborah Fox, Hans Davidsson and the Eastman Rochester Orchestra Initiative, Arabesque Winds, The Ying Quartet, pianist Elinor Freer, and Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO.) In January 2013, Leverett choreographed to Tyzik's New York CityScape and the company performed live with the RPO. The performance received critical acclaim. Paloma Capanna posted a review of the concert and stated, "The brilliance of pairing Leverett's choreography with Tyzik's composition cannot be overstated... Leverett took the far more complicated approach of using a troupe of dancers to express the complexities of rhythm, tone, and instrument solos so brilliantly captured by Tyzik." Other Rochester City Ballet collaborations of note include work with artist Steve Carpenter, the Memorial Art Gallery, and a new collaboration with artist Brian O'Neill.
Over the years, artistic director Jamey Leverett has invited celebrated guest choreographers like Inma Rubio Thomas, Patrick Corbin, Daniel Gwirtzman, Bill Evans, and Edward Ellison to set work on the company. RCB also has performed American masterworks by George Balanchine (Serenade ) and Gerald Arpino (Valentine ).
RCB is committed to enriching the quality of life in the greater Rochester community. For numerous years, the company has performed for the entire second grade of the Rochester City School District, as well as taking dance into the schools through interactive performances and creative problem solving workshops led by Leverett. RCB has donated thousands of tickets to underserved youth affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club, Sojourner House, Wilson Commencement Park, East House, and Hillside Children's Center. Additionally, RCB conducts outreach activities at Barnes and Noble, Strong National Museum of Play, Stepping Stones Learning Center, and public libraries in Monroe and Ontario counties. In addition RCB's In Studio Series has exposed community members to an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and an opportunity to experience dance at a very low cost.