For Immediate Release
June 8, 2012
Gillian Britt (207) 775-2126
Founder and Director of the Portland Ballet Company, Eugenia O’Brien, receives Boston Conservatory Distinguished Alumni Award
BOSTON, Massachusetts – Eugenia O’Brien, founder and director of the Portland Ballet, received the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Boston Conservatory at this year’s Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 12, 2012. O’Brien graduated from the Boston Conservatory in 1973, where she earned her BFA in dance. O’Brien was selected for the award from a group of 15 highly accomplished dance alumni nominees.
O’Brien founded the Portland School of Ballet in 1980, and has since used her platform to provide performing arts opportunities to Maine students. In 1994, she entered her school into a partnership with Portland High School to create a performing arts high school program called CORPS (Collaboration-Outreach-Responsibility-Performance-Scholars), a nationally recognized program that offers gifted high school dancers the opportunity to receive transcript credits for specialized dance training. O’Brien also created City Dance, which sends instructors into public schools, as well as the Adaptive Dance Program with Easter Seals Maine.
O’Brien started the Portland Ballet Company in 1985. PBC is a highly respected group of professional dancers performing year round in Portland, New Hampshire, and Canada. This company of dancers from around the US is known for both contemporary and classical dance.
She has performed with Movement Laboratory, Concert Dance Company, Boston Dance Theater, and represented the U.S. at the International Academy of Dance in Portugal. Her teaching accolades include completion of the Academic Classical Ballet course with Egon Bishoff at the International Ballet School in Jackson, MS and the 2006 Balletto Internazionale Americano-Adriatico Teacher’s Seminar in Ascoli Piceno, Italy.
“My dance mentors at the Conservatory wired my brain to believe that the arts teach us everything, because they do,” said O’Brien. “Without the years I spent at the Conservatory feeding my passion for dance and learning how I could use dance to connect with my community, I could never have brought my vision for Portland Ballet into the wonderful reality that it is today.
The Boston Conservatory Distinguished Alumni Award, established in 1998, is awarded each year to a notable graduate who has distinguished himself or herself in the performing arts, arts education, or another profession and has also made efforts to contribute to the Conservatory over the years. Nominees are chosen by members of the Boston Conservatory community.
About The Boston Conservatory:
The Boston Conservatory trains exceptional young performing artists for careers that enrich and transform the human experience. Known for its intimate and supportive multidisciplinary environment, The Boston Conservatory offers fully accredited graduate and undergraduate programs in music, dance and theater, and presents more than 200 performances each year by students, faculty and guest artists. Since its founding in 1867, The Boston Conservatory has shared its talent and creativity with the city of Boston, the region and the nation, and continues to grow today as a vibrant community of artists and educators. For more information, visit www.bostonconservatory.edu.
About Portland Ballet:
Portland Ballet was founded in 1980 with a mission to enrich the community through classical ballet training, education, outreach, and performance. Portland Ballet Company, a company of professional dancers, performs highly regarded contemporary choreography as well as full-length classics under the direction of Artistic Director Eugenia L. O’Brien . Portland School of Ballet programs include CORPS, a performing arts high school partnership, CityDance residencies, Lecture-Demonstrations and Youth Concerts. For more information about Portland Ballet, its school and programs, visit www.portlandballet.org or call 207-772-9671.
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