Keith Lee, founder and Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Lynchburg, brings a wealth of professional experience to the Lynchburg community. A native of the Bronx, New York, Lee began his dance training as a child and then pursued his studies at the High School of Performing Arts, where he graduated with Capezio awards in both ballet and modern techniques. While at the High School of Performing Arts, Lee also studied at the School of American Ballet and The Harkness House for Ballet Arts, established by heiress Rebekah Harkness.
Immediately upon graduation, Lee accepted a contract to dance with American Ballet Theatre, America's National Ballet Company®, where he achieved the rank of Soloist and performed original works of such masters as Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Jose Limon, Lar Lubovitch, Jerome Robbins, and Antony Tudor. Lee holds the distinct honor of being the first African-American male to be contracted as a member of American Ballet Theatre.
Lee began choreographing in 1968, and has since created ballets for many dance companies, including American Ballet Theatre, The Washington Ballet, the Geneva Ballet the Oakland Ballet, the Garden State Ballet, the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the Capitol Ballet, Maryland Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
Also a teacher, Lee has served as ballet master of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, under the tutelage of Mr. Ailey, and the Nanette Bearden Contemporary Chamber Dancers. Based on a lifetime of study and immersion, Lee has taught modern dance, classical and contemporary ballet in notable schools throughout the Americas, including The Rock School of Ballet, University of the Arts, Canadian Children's Dance Theatre and Jacob's Pillow. An alumnus of American Ballet Theatre, Lee was certified in 2007 to teach American Ballet Theatre's National Training Curriculum. Lee continues his teaching and choreographic work in schools and companies across the United States. He is currently the Associate Director of the Charlottesville Ballet.
Photos are of Keith Lee dancing Alvin Ailey's "The River," which was created for American Ballet Theatre during Keith's tenure.
Dance Theatre of Lynchburg
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