Skip Navigation


10/9 am
on KET

5:30/4:30 pm
on KET2

Helen Starr, Louisville Ballet

Helen Starr Helen Starr is the associate artistic director of the Louisville Ballet.

In her in-studio visit, Helen discusses the Louisville Ballet's annual holiday tradition, The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, as well as their April 2009 world premiere of Rite of Spring. Rite of Spring features New York City Ballet principal dancer, Wendy Whelan.

The Louisville Ballet first began performing a full-length production of The Nutcracker in 1963 at the Brown Theater. The Company’s current production debuted in 1995 at The Kentucky Center and features over 125 local children each year. Four generations of families from around the Commonwealth and Indiana have grown up with this beloved holiday classic. In 2009, a new production of The Brown-Forman Nutcracker will be staged.

Helen Starr with Candyce Clift Helen Starr has danced and taught in 36 countries on five continents. She was born in Kent, England, and trained at the Royal Academy of Dance and the Royal Ballet School. Graduating into the Royal Ballet, she toured extensively as a soloist and assistant ballet mistress. During this time, she worked with Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Dame Ninette de Valois D.B.E., John Cranko, Leonide Massine and Rudolf Nureyev.

Miss Starr joined the London Festival Ballet, now English National Ballet, and was made a principal dancer after dancing Odette in Swan Lake. Her partners have included John Gilpin, André Prokovsky, Peter Schaufuss, Peter Martins, Frank Augustyn, Alexander Lunev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Recognized nationwide as a fine ballet teacher and coach, Miss Starr has staged ballets in Europe and the United States. Her roles with the Louisville Ballet have included Odette in Swan Lake , Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Juliet, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Colette in Paradise Gained, Desdemona in The Moor’s Pavane and Hecuba in The Trojan Women.

The Louisville Ballet will host a reunion for all former children and adult cast members from The Brown-Forman Nutcracker on Saturday, December 6th at The Kentucky Center from 12:30 pm to 4 pm. This special event is in conjunction with the opening matinee performance of the final run for this version of the holiday favorite. For more information, please contact the Louisville Ballet at (502) 583-3150 x238.

Biographical information for Helen Starr excerpted from the Louisville Ballet.

Program 309
Local resale stores, artist Billy Hertz, Jeffersontown Historical Museum, and a profile of spiritual icon Thomas Merton. "Louisville Life" also meets the associate artistic director of the Louisville Ballet. (#309)