Keith Lee - Choreographer, Master Dance Teacher
Keith Lee has been composing dances since 1968. These works have been performed by distinguished dance institutions such as American Ballet Theatre and the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble; by celebrated regional companies, such as Charlottesville Ballet, Lexington Ballet, Memphis Concert Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Philadanco, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Roanoke Ballet Theatre, and Washington Ballet; by ambitious dance students; and on modest, summer festival stages. Keith Lee was the first African American to sign a permanent contract with the American Ballet Theatre, where he performed as a Soloist for seven years.
As his stage career came to a close, Lee began to transition to the role of dance teacher. Mr. Lee has served as Ballet Master of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Capitol Ballet, and Nanette Bearden’s Contemporary Chamber Dance Company. Today, Mr. Lee nurtures his artistic instinct with the choreographic revival, Keith Lee Dances.
In 1999 Lee settled in Virginia, co-founding a dance training institution – Dance Theatre of Lynchburg. There, he serves as the Artistic Director, providing vision and colorful occasion for the arts.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
The first time I walked into a studio.
How does your personal story/background influence your work?
Being from New York and dealing with many social obstacles have brought awareness and answers to my artistry in a pure honest way.
Which of your works are you most proud of?
My first work for American Ballet Theatre named " Times Past."
What artists inspire you?
George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, and Antony Tudor
What advise would you give aspiring artists who come from minority or other under-represented groups?
Always practice your craft without compromise or prejudice.