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Bristol Ballet Acquires Assets of Ballet Arts and Moves to State Street!

July 11, 2012

As one ballet tradition takes a bow, another steps forward to the spotlight. As of June 28, Bristol Ballet has purchased assets of Ballet Arts Academy with support from anonymous donors. Citing retirement as her reason for stepping away, Jo Rosser (Artistic Director of Theatre of Ballet Arts and Owner of Ballet Arts Academy) has roots that reach back to Bristol Ballet, having trained with Constance Hardinge (Bristol Ballet’s founder) and worked at Bristol Ballet years go. An entrepreneur at heart, Jo formed Ballet Arts Academy in 1997 to pursue her dreams of having her own performing company. Now ready to spend more time with family, Jo and Bristol Ballet reached an agreement for making the two organizations into one. Ms. Rosser had this to say about the acquisition:
“As I exit stage right as a director and owner, I still plan to lead an active role in supporting dance in our community. The unity of the two dance schools will provide so much for the arts in Bristol! After 30 years of service, I look forward to spending more time with family and fulfilling life’s adventures. I am so thankful for the many opportunities and great accomplishments Ballet Arts Academy and The Theatre of Ballet Arts have made. Thank you to our contributors, families and dancers for the many years of support. I look forward to working with Michele Plescia and Bristol Ballet to continue promoting classical ballet in our community.”

Bristol Ballet is currently located at 628 Cumberland St in Bristol, Virginia, but has negotiated lease terms to move into the space at 519 State Street previously occupied by Ballet Arts. Regarding the decision, Michele Plescia, Artistic Director of Bristol Ballet said, “The decision to move has been a difficult one. Bristol Ballet has been in the same beautiful location for over 50 years. We love our huge studio, and feel a sense of family with our current landlords. But the immediate and future growth of the student body as a result of this change necessitated a change in location. Jo has made a lovely space with two studios in the heart of downtown Bristol that will serve us well.”

Bristol Ballet’s acquisition will unify the arts community in Bristol, with people coming together to support one ballet company and school. “Everyone is excited at the prospect of working together and creating one school that focuses on productions and training in classical ballet”, said Michele. “There is so much room for growth into various dance genres and fitness classes, but always with the focus on ballet. Jo and I both worked under Miss Hardinge and therefore have many of the same visions for dance in this community. We look forward to working toward those goals with each others’ assistance. This is a real time to celebrate in Bristol!”

“We are very excited about the possibilities of our next season,” says Jenny Caudill, Bristol Ballet Board Member. “With the talents of both companies joining forces, we will have a very strong presence in an already growing arts community, and we anticipate some remarkable performances in our upcoming seasons!”

Bristol Ballet is now accepting registrations for the Intermediate/Advanced Summer Intensive, to be held July 9-20. Company auditions are scheduled for July 14. Fall registration begins July 28, or any time on line. More details about all of these events can be found on the web site: bristolballet.org.