"I am a human being, an artist, a woman choreographer, a mother, a friend. I am a creole, a believer of love, the arts and the infinite human possibilities of goodness and greatness. I am a director and choreographer that adores teaching."
Bio Carole Alexis
Carole Alexis is an internationally recognized dance choreographer, director, and pedagogue, who was recently named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an honor bestowed by the French Republic.
At the age of 13, in her native land of Martinique, Carole Alexis was commissioned by Jean-Paul Césaire, Director of the SERMAC, a performing arts center created by AiméCésaire, to choreograph her first work for the Festival de Fort-de-France, directing and creating original choreography for a company of dancers nearly twice her age. The success of this ballet led to other commissioned projects, including the creation of a ballet in which she directed musicians, actors, and dancers while still a teenager. Alexis was invited to become the youngest student to attend the Mudra School of Maurice Béjart, created by Béjart, Léopold Sédar Senghor and UNESCO in Dakar. She graduated with high honors and earned a professional degree in the performing arts, subsequently embarking on a journey of international study in dance and pedagogy while forging a professional career in multiple fields of the performing arts.
In 2011, Alexis established Ballet des Amériques, now also known as Carole Alexis Ballet Theatre, a professional dance company and pre-professional ballet conservatory.The company has given nearly 200 performances featuring her original choreographies. In addition to performing in the major theaters of Westchester and in theaters in NYC and overseas, Alexis also brings her work to non-traditional venues such as public libraries, retirement homes, public schools, and even outdoors using a portable dance floor.
On the one hand, her creations appeal to connoisseurs, who are amazed to see world-class dance locally in Westchester. On the other hand, she reaches out to new audiences, addressing people who have not had a chance to experience this art form. Alexis regularly contributes to the cultural life in Westchester at the highest level, and,as an eminent dance educator, she cares about the future of the art: doing the hard work of raising children and young people to the level where they can dance professionally with the best companies.
As a creole woman artist, Alexis draws on the various sources of her rich backgroundwith the effect of breaking boundaries in the creation of new possibilities of artistic expression. Having lived and trained in Martinique, Brittany, West Africa, and Paris, she has developed her own unique choreographic signature or écriture in her exploration of themes in music, nature, history, and human interaction. Never satisfied with addressing audiences exclusively from the “dance scene,” her stated aim is to engage audiences that comprise the whole of humanity, reinvigorating “ballet” for new audiences and dance connoisseurs alike.
Carole Alexis received her dance training from some of the most renowned master teachers. She trained extensively with Russian Imperial Ballet and Vaganova technique master teacher Nikoloz Makhateli, a former principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet who holds a master degree as a teacher and repetitor of choreography from the illustrious Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, served as director of the National Ballet of Georgia and the Vaganova School, and was himself a student of the great Soviet teacher Vakhtang Chabukiani, who is considered to be one of the most influential male dancers in history. At the Mudra School of Maurice Béjart, Alexis studied French-Cuban technique with the legendary Cuban choreographer, dancer and teacher Jorge Lefebre, who was a soloist with Maurice Béjart, served as director of the Ballet de Wallonie and danced with the famed Alicia Alonso and Alberto Alonso. In addition to Russian Imperial and French- Cuban technique, Carole Alexis studied French technique at the Académie Internationale de Danse de Paris and the famous Golovine School in Paris, which trained many leading dancers of the Paris Opéra Ballet. Later, she danced and toured extensively as a featured company member and soloist with Rick Odums Dance Company, Compagnie du Corail, Ballets Jazz de Paris
and Ebène Dance Company. Alexis also was frequently contracted to work as a solo dancer, choreographer, and singer for live performances and videos with renowned recording artists and bands; held highly sought-after commercial contracts choreographing for Disney and The Citrus Bowl, and choreographed and performed both as a dancer and singer at New York City’s most renowned performing arts venues, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center...
In addition to being an accomplished choreographer, Carole Alexis is a master ballet teacher and coach of extraordinary teaching skills and pedagogical knowledge rarely found even in the most prominent ballet schools. The Conservatory of Ballet des Amériques, which she created to help students reach the highest levels of technical and artistic achievement in dance, stands apart from other institutions through its exemplary nurturing of each individual student to reach his or her highest potential, a well-rounded curriculum and adherence to humanistic principles. Providing rigorous training that embraces the full scope of dance education, the conservatory brings to light the powerful interconnectedness of various art forms and enables students not only to become world-class dancers, but also highly cultivated, independent, confident and exemplary members of society. Students of Carole Alexis have been accepted regularly to the prestigious programs at Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Netherlands Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet West, Atlanta Ballet, English National Ballet and Juilliard. Prior to founding and directing Ballet des Amériques, Alexis served as Artistic Director of the Bronx Dance Academy in New York City, a charter school for academics and ballet that thrived immensely under her leadership along her friend and colleague Doreen Santos.
In Westchester, Alexis also held the position of Associate Director and Head of the Lower School at the Greenwich Ballet Academy — training innumerable students from absolute beginner level to a level exemplifying readiness for professional coaching, creating programs utilizing her unique teaching methodology, and quickly multiplying enrollment in the school from 20 students to 120.
Carole Alexis is shattering the barriers of societal stereotypes and prejudices as an indomitable female choreographer, director, and master teacher of mixed ethnic background while facing herself such prejudices too often.
Like her childhood dance heroes — dance icons such as Claude Bessy, Virginia Johnson, Noëlla Pontois, Yvette Chauviré, Debbie Allen, Carolyn Carlson, Maya Plisetskaya and Judith Jamison — she is a groundbreaking female pioneer in the field of dance. Alexis holds a deep appreciation of the underlying unity of humanity in its diversity since it is exemplified in her own personality and heritage, and she naturally embraces the principles of diversity and inclusion in her search for the best talent in dance. Her eclectic choreography bears her unique signature and vision — rooted in her impressive, wide-ranging expertise in dance, her personal experience, and her multicultural background. Never satisfied with audiences drawn solely from the “dance scene,” Alexis builds audiences that comprise the whole of humanity — the taxi drivers, teachers, surgeons, judges, and gardeners — she creates engaging, eye-opening dance for the whole of society, reinvigorating “ballet” for new audiences and dance connoisseurs alike.
Carole Alexis’ professional company Carole Alexis Ballet Theatre/Ballet des Amériques – the “Ballet of the Americas” – represents a marriage of North and South America via the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. The company’s international orientation transcends the frontiers of human cultures through mutual exchange, enrichment and the creation of new perspectives.
Alexis believes that art expresses the infinite possibilities of humanity and – as a kind of universal consciousness – art involves reflection on social change. Inspired in part by the teachings of the three founders of the Negritude movement, Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Léon-Gontran Damas, she embraces dance as a universal language that can inspire hope, freedom, mutual recognition, and reconciliation. Having lived and trained in Martinique, Brittany, West Africa and Paris, Alexis draws inspiration for her choreography from different social political contexts as well as music, nature, history, and human interaction. Rooted in the rich heritage of Europe, Africa and the Americas, Alexis possesses an unparalleled command of the dance forms of these various cultural landscapes and their history and meaning, enabling her to expand the language of ballet with keen insight and powerfully propel this venerable art form towards its greatest purpose in the 21st Century.
Carole Alexis studied with: Maurice Béjart, ballet and choreographic intensives; Nikoloz Makhateli, ballet; Bertrand Pie, ballet; Jorge Lefebre, Director of the Royal Ballet of Wallonie, ballet and choreographic work; Solange Golovine, ballet; Jaqueline Fyneart, barre au sol; Larrio Ekson, modern dance and choreographic intensives; Julien Jouga, music; Goris, Théâtre; Doudou NDiaye Rose, percussions; Cheikh Tidiane Niane, Traditional African dance; Jacqueline Rayet, Opéra de Paris, ballet; Savitri Nair, Bharata Natyam; Rick Odums, jazz and modern jazz; Peter Goss, modern Jose Limon based; Jay Allen Augen, ballet; Andrej Glekovski, ballet; Yuriko Kikuchi, Director of the Martha Graham Company; Bruce Taylor, modern dance, modern jazz and choreographic work; Jean-Claude Zadith, ballet, barre au sol, modern dance and choreographic work; Nina Valery, ballet; Germaine Acogny, African dance and choreographic work; Ray Phillips, modern Graham technique; Jaqueline Scott Lemoine, theater; Roger Robinel,
theater; Jean-Claude Lamorandière, contemporary and Afro-Caribbean; Josiane Antourel, improvisation.
Carole Alexis won numerous merit scholarships. Her image has graced several magazine covers and she has been featured in many newspaper articles and magazines, and books including the Encyclopédie de la Femme Antillaise. A documentary entitled Come Dance With Me, directed by Jean-Paul Césaire, portrays the early career of Carole Alexis when she was discovered by Aimé Césaire
Carole Alexis Company
Carole Alexis and her surging professional dance company Ballet des Amériques/Carole Alexis Company , founded in 2011, have garnered continuous press and television coverage, and both have received numerous awards, including official government proclamations honoring Ballet des Amériques as the “Best Ballet Company” and “Westchester’s Premier Dance Company.” After the successful completion of more than 100 public performances — including performances at their theater of residence, the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, the United Nations Headquarters, Florence Gould Hall, Festival de Fort-de-France in Martinique, and sold-out performances at the Emelin Theatre in New York — Carole Alexis and Ballet des Amériques are under contract to tour internationally in 2020.