Salt Creek Ballet was established in 1985 to present professional quality dance programming to west-suburban audiences, provide high-level performance opportunities for area dancers, and encourage appreciation and awareness of dance. The Company’s high standards and unique blend of major classical productions and artistically diverse and challenging repertory programs have brought critical acclaim, sold-out performances, and a loyal following.
Salt Creek Ballet dancers are pre-professionals drawn from the best Chicago-area talent. Internationally known guest artists, choreographers, and designers regularly work with SCB to provide dancers and audiences alike with a level of performance usually associated with professional companies. Repertory includes traditional classical works plus original classical and contemporary works by both resident and guest choreographers.
SCB operates a 10,000, square foot facility housing four dance studios located in Westmont, IL. The organization employs nine executive, artistic, and administrative staff, eleven dance instructors, and four pianists. The School includes classes in classical ballet, character, jazz, modern, tap, contemporary, pas de deux, ballet acting, and other classes to enrich a dancer’s capabilities. Instructors are world-class professionals with impressive backgrounds and experience to share.
The Salt Creek Ballet Company began as a vision of its Founder/Director Emeritus, Patricia Sigurdson.
Trained at the Royal Ballet School in London and in New York City with Frederick Franklin and Robert Joffrey, Sigurdson danced professionally with American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. As a leading Chicago-area teacher and director/founder of her own school, she trained an exceptional group of highly motivated and talented young dancers. She believed that her students would benefit from professional-level performance experience. Sigurdson also felt that the western suburbs would benefit from and support a quality, classically-trained dance company.
Sigurdson was able to assemble a nucleus of professionals and community leaders who shared her vision and had the requisite expertise and resources to begin the artistic and administrative process that would lead to the development of a strong, vibrant regional ballet company. During her tenure, the company performed a wide range of classical and contemporary works for tens of thousands of individuals while earning a national reputation for excellence in dance performance and education.
To preserve her high standard of artistry, Sergey Kozadayev and Zhanna Dubrovskaya, were engaged as Co-Artistic Directors upon Sigurdson’s retirement in 1998. Trained at the famed Vaganova School in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the couple danced for more than twenty years with the Saint Petersburg State Ballet, performing worldwide in the leading roles of many classical and contemporary ballets. Before coming to Salt Creek Ballet, Kozadayev and Dubrovskaya spent seven years with the Colorado Ballet as Ballet Master and Ballet Mistress. The pair expanded and enriched Salt Creek Ballet’s repertoire with evening-length productions of La Sylphide, Sleeping Beauty and Giselle; and excerpts from La Bayadère, Le Corsaire, and Petipa’s masterpiece, Paquita. Salt Creek Ballet alternates these great classics with mixed repertory bills, including timeless stories, such as Alice in Wonderland (jointly choreographed by Kozadayev and former Hubbard Street Chicago dancer, Susan O’Connell) and contemporary works such as BeatBox, choreographed by Eddy Ocampo, the recipient of the International Choreography Recognition Award in 2012 and 2014. Dubrovskaya retired from SCB in the spring of 2017.
Salt Creek Ballet is currently under the artistic direction of Erica De La O and Associate Ballet Director Kristopher Wojtera. Ms. De La O was born in East Los Angeles, CA, and is a Principal Artist with The Louisville Ballet. Ms. De La O’s repertoire included leading roles in much of the classical canon, including La Sylphide, Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo, and Juliet), Cinderella, Coppelia, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Lady of the Camellias, Nutcracker. Including works by Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Adam Hougland, Lucas Jervis, Val Caniparoli, Ben Stevenson, Dave Ingram, Harrison McEldowney, Helen Pickett, Ma Cong, among others. Kristopher Wojtera, born in Poland and began ballet studies at the National Ballet School in Gdansk at age ten. Kristopher joined the Polish National Theatre in Warsaw and worked with prominent choreographers such as Lorca Miasin, Emil Wesolowski, Yuri Grigorovich, Krzysztof Pastor, and Mats Ek. During Mr. Wojtera’s 28 year career, his repertoire as a Principal artist included leading roles in Giselle (Albrecht), Swan Lake (Siegfried), Nutcracker (Cavalier), The Three Musketeers (D’artagnan), Don Quixote (Basilio), The Lady with the Camellias (Armand), Le Patineurs (Blue Boy), Theme and Variations, Billy The Kid, as well as contemporary works by Ma Cong, Val Caniparoli, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Harrison McEldowney, and many others.