Mission

Avant Chamber Ballet brings exceptional live dance and chamber music together for audiences in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  We present our performances exclusively with live music, as well as regularly commission new works of choreography and score.

Vision

Avant Chamber Ballet seeks to create and maintain a model that no ballet company has executed before, in a time where new models are becoming increasingly necessary for professional dance companies. By taking advantage of the extraordinary artistic talent in the D/FW Metroplex, we can create works that are finely-crafted and masterfully-developed, while maintaining a company that is truly chamber-sized. Our commitment to the marriage between live dance and live music will always remain the core of our artistic resolve.

Avant Chamber Ballet may have been founded in early 2012, but the roots of the company go back much farther. I moved back to the DFW area four years ago after living abroad for two years. It was disheartening to find no ballet or dance programs presenting programs with live music, but the developing arts district and local artists kept me inspired. ACB grew from the enthusiasm of the many great freelance dancers I know in the area with the same philosophy of pairing dance and live music. As soon as I approached some friends with the idea for ACB, amazing musicians stepped forward to show their interest in the project including David Cooper, the principal French horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

 With the partnership of David as our music director, the company took off. Since founding the company, we have produced seven performances of our company and performed five times at dance festivals. ACB has also premiered eight world-premieres of new choreography and commissioned a score for one of them from our now resident composer, Chase Dobson.

We are looking forward to our 2016-2017 season of world premiers and commissioned music – all with the amazing live music and exciting dancing that you have come to know from Avant Chamber Ballet!

- Katie Cooper

Artistic Staff


Katie Cooper

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Katie is the founder of Avant Chamber Ballet and serves as its Artistic Director and primary choreographer. She started ballet with Wichita Falls Ballet Theater and moved to Fort Worth at age 13 to continue her training on scholarship through Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet. She spent her summers at Boston Ballet or training privately with Paul Mejia and Maria Terezia Balogh before joining Metropolitan Classical Ballet professionally at age 17. For the next six years at MCB, she danced in classics such as Raymonda, La Bayadere, Paquita, Don Quixote and Sparticus as well as a dozen Balanchine ballets including Agon, Four Temperments and Bugaku. In 2007, she moved to Athens, Greece to accept a position teaching at Athens Pilates Studio and studied ballet and contemporary dance at D.A.N.C.C.E. With David Cooper, she founded Avant Chamber Ballet in 2012 and has developed it into a 18-member, professional company known for exciting new commissions and live music. As a choreographer, she has made more than dozen one-act ballets for Avant Chamber Ballet as well as a full-length production of Alice in Wonderland.

David Cooper

MUSIC DIRECTOR

Born into a musical family, David is a third generation French horn player. He began playing with Michigan State University ensembles when only fifteen and was in the top MSU ensemble at age sixteen. After studying at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, he was awarded a Tanglewood Fellowship. David served as acting and associate principal with several orchestras, including the Victoria Symphony in British Columbia, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Symphony before his current role as principal horn with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the international YouTube Symphony that played at the Sydney Opera House in Australia in March, 2011. In 2013 and 2014, David spent his summers at the exclusive Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. In April 2012 David released a solo CD, "Harmonious Collaboration" with pianist Cary Chow. Recently he has been guested as principal horn with the London Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic and as associate principal with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Charlton Gavitt

PRODUCTION MANAGER AND LIGHTING DESIGN

Charlton Gavitt is a teacher at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Among his many duties, he is the resident Light Designer and light design teacher. He has designed lights at Booker T. Washington, the Winspear Opera House, and the Meyerson Symphony Center. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University he has performed with Karamu Theater, Beck Center, Forth Worth Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Dallas, Dallas Children's Theatre and Stage West to name a few. Charlton is also a Fight Choreographer and stage combat teacher. He has attained Advanced Actor Combatant status with the Society of American Fight Directors.

Board of Directors

Natalie Anton

Joanne Bober

Loree Conrad

David Cooper

Katie Cooper

Sean MCAloon

Paul Stewart

Christy Trang

Advisory Board

Jenny Johnson

Alex Kerr

Demarre McGill