About Rochester City Ballet

Our Mission

Rochester City Ballet’s mission is to create inspiring, entertaining and educational experiences through the art of dance while providing the highest level of artistic and technical excellence. We feel a particular urgency to our mission because we are the only professional ballet company in the state outside of NYC. For Upstate residents who don’t travel to NYC or the NYCB residency at SPAC (Saratoga, NY) we provide the only opportunity to see live professional ballet performances.

About Us …

Rochester City Ballet’s rich history began in 1987 when it was founded by Timothy M. Draper as a student-based company. Upon the death of its founder in 2003, the Rochester City Ballet (RCB) contracted professional dancers, achieving status as the only professional ballet company in Western New York. In July 2010, RCB presented its first New York City season and in July 2013, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival selected RCB to perform in the Inside/Out series. The company has become a nationally significant dance company and a cherished cultural institution in the Finger Lakes region.

From classical to contemporary … cutting edge to theatrical … Rochester City Ballet is an eclectic and versatile company that offers something for everyone. The repertoire ranges from full-length, classical canonical works, such as Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Firebird, Cinderella, and Paquita, to master works by renowned choreographers including George Balanchine, Salvatore Aiello, and Gerald Arpino. In addition, RCB regularly commissions original works by established and emerging choreographers.


RCB has a long-standing relationship with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra with its production of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, and special projects with Jeff Tyzik, Principal Pops Conductor. The Company has collaborated with many musical groups and individuals, including The Cello Divas, Arabesque Winds, and bassist James VanDemark, as well as with visual and virtual artists. In addition to touring regionally, RCB regularly performs locally at Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre, the Nazareth College Arts Center, the Auditorium Theatre, and the School of the Arts in Rochester. RCB will be a resident company at the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, New York.


With a reputation for its excellence, and versatility, in 2017, the Schubert Foundation – the largest funder of grants for operation expenses to the nation’s leading ballet and theatre companies – recognized RCB by adding it to its limited roster of supported organizations. RCB joined Geva Theater and Garth Fagan Dance in representing Upstate New York on the Schubert roster.


RCB is committed to making dance accessible through its educational and community outreach, with programming in the Rochester City School District, as well as community centers and colleges, and specially produced sensory friendly productions that allow families with special needs to experience the joy of live dance.

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