Cem Catbas, Artistic Director
Cem Catbas is the owner of Baltimore Ballet School and Co-founder and the Artistic Director of Baltimore Ballet Company. He danced principal roles with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, Istanbul Contemporary Ballet, and Koblenz Ballet in Germany in addition to Baltimore Ballet.
He danced the title role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet with the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, The Monk in Carmina Burana (Kent Stowell’s production for the Pacific Northwest Ballet) and the title role of Dracula in Ben Stevenson’s (Houston Ballet) Dracula with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the title role of Peer Gynt and Cavalier in The Nutcracker with the Koblenz Ballet, the title role of Spartacus, Albrecht in Giselle, and Solor in La Bayadère with the Baltimore Ballet along with numerous others.
Awards he has won include the 2006 and 2002 Individual Artist Award for Excellence in Solo Dance Performance from the Maryland State Arts Council, 1st prize in The 1st International Seleznyov Ballet Competition in 1991, and The Most Promising Dancer Award from the city of Istanbul.
He has a B.F.A. with honors from the Istanbul University State Conservatory where he studied with Ramazan Bapov, Nikolai Morozov, and Ludmila Morkovina. He has worked with Ben Stevenson (Houston Ballet), Patricia Wilde (NYC Ballet), Marianna Tcherkassky and Terrence Orr (ABT), Richard Glasstone (Royal Ballet), and Kent Stowell (Pacific Northwest Ballet), among others.
He has choreographed The Nutcracker, Pictures at an Exhibition, A Gershwin Rhapsody, Carnival of the Animals, excerpts from Petrouschka, and danced in and staged Scheherazade, Les Sylphides, the 2nd act of Giselle, Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Romeo and Juliet, Paquita, and The Firebird for Baltimore Ballet. The esteemed dance critic George Jackson praised his “passionately stretched line, buoyant leaps and plush landings.”
He has been a judge for several competitions including the Frederick Arts Council. His students have gone on to dance professionally with New York City Ballet and Radio City The Rockettes, have won numerous awards including 1st Prize at the regional Youth America Grand Prix Competition, have been accepted into the most prestigious summer programs with full scholarships (including NYC Ballet’s School of American Ballet).
He has been interviewed on WMAR-TV, WJZ-TV, WBAL-TV and Comcast Local Edition. He has given Master Classes in the US, Canada, and Europe. He has been featured by Sasha Fornari and Brian Mengini. He has articles on dance which were published at Bourgeon Online and Fifty Artists Write About Their Work.
He is in the May and June 2012 issues of Dance Magazine.