Grace Holmes

Grace Maduell Holmes

School Director

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Ms. Holmes began her ballet training with Audrey Maduell and Lelia Haller.  Under the direction of Harvey Hysell, she was a soloist with New Orleans Ballet.  In 1983 she joined San Francisco Ballet and was promoted to soloist in 1990.  She then moved to Birmingham, England where she was a senior soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet until her retirement in 2000.  Her repertoire includes over 100 ballets spanning both classical and modern genres, including principal and soloist roles in: George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Who Cares – Who Cares pas de deux, Stairway to Paradise, Agon, Symphony in C, and Theme and Variations; Anthony Tudor’s Dark Elegies – 4th Song Soloist; Donald McKayle’s  Gumbo Yaya; William Forsythe’s in the middle somewhat elevated  and New Sleep; Paul Taylor’s Sunset and Company B – Another You; Lew Christensen’s Airs de Ballet, Jinx, and Sinfonia – 2nd Soloist; Frederick Ashton’s The Dream – Helena, Les Patineurs – Red Girls, and Birthday Offering – 6th Solo; Jiri Kilian’s Forgotten Land- Grey Couple; David Bintley’s Hobson’s Choice – Maggie Hobson, and The Protecting Veil – cello solo.

She has performed at major theaters across the globe including the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Lincoln Center in NYC, the Royal Opera House in London and Paris Garnier Opera House.  Company tours have taken her to Japan, Singapore, Sicily, Greece, Italy, Israel, and South Africa.

During her career she danced all of the classics including Myrtha in Giselle, 1st Act Pas de Trois and Big Swans in Swan Lake, the Gypsy and Dawn in Coppelia, the Lilac Fairy, Violente, Diamond Fairy, 3rd Act pas de six, and Fairy of Courage in Sleeping Beauty, the lead sylph in La Sylphide, and Party Scene, Snow Queen, Snowflakes, Spanish, Chinese, Mirlitons, Waltz of the Flowers, and the Butterfly in The Nutcracker.  In addition to the classics, she has performed renowned ballets such as: Maurice Bejart’s Firebird; John Cranko’s Opus 1; Jerome Robbins’ The Cage, The Concert – The Angry Girl, Interplay – pas de deux, and Opus 19 – The Dreamer; Michael Smuin’s Stravinsky Piano Pieces Ragtime, Shinju, Hearts, and The Tempest; Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo; Elliot Feld’s Papillon; and Elise Monte’s Pigs and Fishes.

She had the pleasure of working with choreographers of international fame on world premieres of: David Bintley’s The Dance House- 1st Soloist, The Nutcracker Sweeties – Floreadoress, Shakespeare Suite –  Lady Macbeth, and Carmina Burana; James Kudelka’s The End, Terra Firma, Dreams of Harmony, The Comfort Zone, Baiser de la Fee –  the Gypsy; Lisa de Ribere’s Harvest Moon – Audrey; Mark Morris’ Maelstrom; Val Caniparoli’s Seeing Stars, Lamberena, Pulcinella, Connotations – the Red Couple; Stanton Welsh’s Powder; Brenda Way’s Krazy Kat – Krazy; Lila York’s Sanctum, and Wayne MacGregor’s  Reverse Project.

After retiring from the stage, she worked in Education and Outreach for Birmingham Royal Ballet, bringing the company repertoire out into the community and into schools.  Later she moved to London to become the Ballet Education Manager for the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, where she implemented and managed numerous community and educational projects across the UK.  Upon returning to the United States, she became Academy Director for Tapestry Dance Company and was a Professor of Dance at University of Texas at Austin.  She completed her teacher training with David Howard and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and has taught students aged 6-80 for over 20 years in the US and UK. She holds a Master’s Degree in Dance in Education and the Community from University of Birmingham, England. She is thrilled to be bringing her life experiences and passion for dance to Kansas City Ballet.

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