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Diana Byer Fellowship Awarded to New York Theatre Ballet Dancers

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Diana Byer Fellowship Awarded to New York Theatre Ballet Dancers

New York – New York Theatre Ballet, “the most widely seen chamber ballet company in America”, announced on October 26, that NYTB Company dancers, Julie-Anne Taylor and Mitchell Kilby are the recipients of the Byer Fellowship, a special fund created in 2006 in honor of Artistic Director – and NYTB driving force, Diana Byer, on her birthday.

This appeal raises funds to partially cover the salaries of two company dancers, hand selected by Ms. Byer. “ Dancing is 20% talent and 80% hard work and Julie-Anne Taylor and Mitchell Kilby put in the work and improve everyday. They have a tremendous amount of respect for every artistic undertaking”, Ms. Byer remarked during her announcement speech.

Julie-Anne Taylor was born in Perth, Australia and began classical ballet training at age 3. At 16, she was awarded the Solo Seal by the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England. She attended The Graduate College of Dance, the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the New Zealand School of Dance. Ms. Taylor has received numerous awards and scholarships within Australia and was a finalist in the Genee International Ballet Awards Competition in September 2005. Now in her third season at NYTB, she will make her debut as The Other Woman in Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas, staged and coached by Sallie Wilson, in February 2008.

Mitchell Kilby is a native of Newcastle, Australia. He began his training at the Marie Walton Mahon Dance Academy at age 16. After 2 years, he was accepted and received a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. This is his second season with NYTB and dances many ballets in the NYTB repertory.

Diana Byer has performed as a soloist with Les Grandes Ballets Canadians, Manhattan Festival Ballet, New York City Opera, and the Juilliard Ensemble. She received her principal dance training from Margaret Craske and Antony Tudor. She teaches adult professional ballet, point technique, and advanced children’s classes at Ballet School NY, which she founded in 1977. She formerly taught at Manhattan School of Dance, Compagnie de Michel Hallet (Lyon, France), and Cascina Bella (Milan, Italy). She has been guest instructor at the Cecchetti Society of America, Cornell and New York Universities, SUNY at Purchase, the Martha Graham School, and the Cecchetti Society of Canada (Toronto). Ms. Byer has received extensive media attention for her ongoing work with homeless and at-risk children, winning special citations from President George Bush, First Lady Hillary Clinton, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities. Ms. Byer coached the principals in the Columbia Pictures film, Center Stage. In the summer of 2003, she gave master classes in the Ballet School of Pécs, Hungary and she regularly provides master classes in schools and performance settings across the U.S. Currently, Ms. Byer is on the Studio Workshop Committee for the Antony Tudor Centennial Celebration to be held at The Juilliard School in March 2008.

New York Theatre Ballet President and Artistic Director Diana Byer has influenced the lives and careers of hundreds of students and dancers since she founded the company in 1978. The Byer Fellowship Fund celebrates her contributions, dedication, grand sense of artistry, and other remarkable achievements to NYTB, its affiliated school and the world of dance.

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