The Company

Jenna Johnson

Photo: Ed Flores

A Message. from the Artistic Director

Mary Beth CabanaIn challenging times, the appreciation of beauty in life can be lost. I invite you to journey on a path of beauty by becoming a patron of Ballet Tucson.

Performing arts are critical to the health and cultural life of our community. I believe they are also critical to personal well-being. Dance is conceivably the most beautiful of all the arts. With your patronage, you are claiming Ballet Tucson as an important cultural gem.

Powerful and elegant—expression that transcends words—magic! This is the essence of Ballet Tucson. Join us this season to experience the beauty of art that moves.

—Mary Beth Cabana, Founding Artistic Director


Mary Beth CabanaMary Beth Cabana.

Founding Artistic Director

MARY-BETH CABANA, Founding Artistic Director, has been a Principal Dancer with Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, Arizona Dance Theatre, and San Diego Ballet. She received her early training under the critical eye of E.Virginia Williams at the Boston Ballet. At the age of 14 Ms. Cabana began her professional career with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and then graduated from the National Academy of Dance, where she was a full-scholarship student and member of the National Academy Ballet. She has performed extensively in the United States and Europe in a wide variety of roles by such noted choreographers as Balanchine, Tudor, DeMille, Joos, Forsythe, Fokine, Petipa, and Nahat.

Ms. Cabana has been on the faculties of the School of Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Arts-Carnegie Hall, and Dance Concepts – NYC and was the Principal Instructor and Administrator for Arizona Dance Theatre (Ballet Arizona). She has guest taught for Kiev Ukraine Ballet and the Palace of Pioneers in the former Soviet Union, in France and Mexico, and continues to guest teach throughout the United States. Under the direction of Ethan Stiefel, she has designed and conducted summer programs for Ballet Pacifica in Irvine, California.

As a choreographer, Ms. Cabana has produced a vast amount of original works and restagings of classic ballets. She has also staged dances for Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, Ohio Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Burklyn Ballet Theatre.

Since beginning in 1986, she has established Ballet Arts Tucson, branch schools in Nogales, Sierra Vista, and Patagonia, the annual Summer Dance Workshop in cooperation with UA School of Dance, and international dance/cultural exchanges. Ballet Tucson’s Artistic Director has also founded and fostered the development of Ballet Tucson (Tucson’s resident professional ballet company) and Ballet Tucson II (Tucson’s premier youth ballet). Ms. Cabana has been nominated for the Arizona Arts Award, for a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tucson Pima Arts Council, and identified as an Outstanding Individual Artist by the Governor of the State of Arizona. In 2009, she was invited by New York City Ballet Director Peter Martins to attend the 75th Anniversary of the School of American Ballet, and was recognized as one of the foremost teachers in the United States as part of National Teacher’s Weekend.

A talented costume and scenic designer in her own right, Ballet Tucson’s founder has been instrumental in the overall design of all productions.

Ms. Cabana brings her wealth of experience to dancers of all ages. Her commitment to the cultivation of young talent continues as her students dance professionally in major American and European ballet companies and schools.

Back to top

Cheiko ImadaChieko Imada.

Assistant Artistic Director

CHIEKO IMADA is a native of Japan where she danced professionally as a Soloist with Inoue Ballet of Tokyo and also served as Ballet Mistress. She has worked closely with many of the past and current noted figures of classical ballet, having performed in Europe, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and the South Pacific.

Since coming to the United States, she has been a member of Arizona Dance Theatre and Ballet Arizona, and was a Principal Dancer for Ballet Tucson. She also appeared regularly with Orts Theatre of Dance and Tenth St. Danceworks modern troupes in Tucson.

Over the years she has been responsible for staging many classical ballets and has also created numerous original contemporary works for Ballet Tucson, enriching the company’s repertoire. A talented choreographer, Ms. Imada has been nominated for the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award and the Governor’s Art Award.

She continues to be sought after as a guest teacher and choreographer. This season, she debuts her original ballet Jekyll and Hyde in collaboration with Mary Beth Cabana. She is also the Director of Educational Outreach for Ballet Tucson, implementing “Put Your Best Foot Forward with Ballet Tucson” in Tucson’s Title 1 schools.

Back to top

Daniel PrecupDaniel Precup.

Company Ballet Master

DANIEL PRECUP is a graduate of the acclaimed National Choreographic High School in Bucharest, Romania. He joined the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater at 18, eventually rising to the rank of Principal Dancer. He has starred in international tours in The Miraculous Mandarin, The Three Musketeers, and Swan Lake. In 2003 he joined Oakland Ballet, before becoming a Principal Dancer with Ballet Tucson in 2004 during its inaugural professional season. Since joining, he has danced leading roles in Dracula, Esmeralda and the Hunchback, Swan Lake, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to name only a few.

Recently, he has begun to create works for the company to great audience response. His unique choreographic perspective has been seen in his Boler-O, Carmen, and Gemini. This year, he will debut a new original work for the Tucson Desert Song Festival 2016, and his Carmina Burana for the Season Opener.

Mr. Precup was appointed Ballet Master for the company during the 2011-2012 season.

Back to top

Company Auditions.

We strongly recommend that dancers interested in Ballet Tucson attend one of our open auditions in Tucson, Arizona.  Open audition dates for our 2018-2019 season will be announced in February.

Auditions will take place at:

Ballet Arts Studio
200 S. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716

Back to top

Children’s Auditions

2018 summer workshop audition dates – TBD

Back to top