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An artistic director in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Cornell Callender's career has encompassed the roles of dancer, artist, photographer, educator, entrepreneur, live performance producer, master teacher, founder / artistic director of National Ballet Academy Denver and the National Ballet Denver Company. Traveling across virtually every medium in dance.
Callender's creative magic has spanned over 2 decades beginning with his training as a classical ballet dancer. Name by UK Times Magazine as a exuberant talent and superstar of the future. Callender was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He began studying at the School of the Hartford Ballet at age ten under the tutelage of legends in the dance field including, Franco De Vita, Alla Osipenko, Maria Youskevitch, Kirk Perterson, Raymond Lukens, Kim Stroud, Rosi Docal Pizzuto, Enid Lynn, Peggy Lyman, Hilda Morales, Alla Nikitina, Ambre Emory-Maier, Wang Shao Pen.
And continued his education at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London under the tutelage of, Gailene Stock CBE AM, Jay Jolley, Gary Norman, Christopher Powney, Lesley Collier, Jacqueline Barrett, Katia Zvelebilova, and David Peden.
As a student he was featured in a televised gala tribute to Sir Anthony Dowell at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He then went on to represent the Royal Ballet School at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet competition in Switzerland recieving a cash prize and finalist award. Callender graduated Royal Ballet School 1st in his class and at the time of his graduation Callender achieved the highest assessment score in the school's history. He was then awarded a contact with the English National Ballet, adding the title of professional dancer to his list of accomplishment he was only 17 years old.
Callender furthered his dance education working with ballet greats such as, David Wall, Matz Skoog, Irek Mukhamedov, Christopher Hampson, Derek Deane, Ronald Hyde, and Fiona Tonkin. Meanwhile recieving rave reviews from critics and audiences for his performances with the company. Callender remained with the English National Ballet until joining the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle Washington under the direction of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. Callender remained in Seattle until joining the Colorado Ballet as principal dancer towards the end of his association with the company Cornell turned his attention to another sector of the dance field.
In 2005 Callender founded the National Ballet Academy Denver for which Cornell serves as CEO and artistic director. In 2006 he formed the National Ballet Denver a non for profit dance company. He has directed and produced live performances which has included artist from world renowned dance companies including American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, English National Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, K-ballet, and Boston Ballet.
As artistic director Callender remains highly active in the dance field throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia as a guiding force behind his own the National Ballet Academy Denver which has generated over $100,000 in scholarship funds for young dancers world wide and who's graduates are performing with leading companies throughout the world including, Joffrey Ballet, Leipziger Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, and counting.
Additionally, in 2012 Callender again showcased his ability's to mold young talent into a career in dance he launched the National Ballet Academy Denver's International Student Trainee Program and the National Ballet Academy Denver's International Summer Intensive Program, which attracts young dancers from all over the world.
Callender served as jury member and master teacher for the Prêmio Internacional de Dança de São Paulo alongside, Cecilia Kerche, André Malosa, Edna Azevedo, Gregory Seyffert, Inês Bogéa, Kazebek Akhmedyarov, Vladimir Klos, Ivy Amista, Jose Perez, and Caio Ekman. In addition to numerous other festivals and competitions throughout North and South America.
Furthermore in 2017 Callender joined forces with Legacy Options High School and the Denver public school district to launch the Dance Program for Colorado Youth an initiative established to advance the health and well being of local youth through dance.
As demonstrated by his work and achievements Callender's contributions to the dance community have touched nearly every sector it is without a doubt he continues to make a positive impact on the dance world.