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Our Story

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The Jeunesse Classique Ballet is a purely classical ballet company for young and talented dancers. JCB has been serving Albertans for the past 29 years with our contributions to arts and culture through production of classical ballets. In 1998, the Jeunesse Classique Ballet Society was formed to provide fundraising and volunteer support for Jeunesse Classique Ballet Company. As the productions grew, became increasingly elaborate and more fully-staged, the Society played a more important role in keeping JCB viable. In 2005, the Society became fully responsible for producing the ballets that are performed by Jeunesse Classique Ballet.

Jeunesse Classique Ballet Society is a registered non-profit society under the Alberta Societies Act, and is a registered charitable organization. The business of the Society is conducted by an elected Board, under the overall direction of the members who meet two or more times a year for the purpose of organizing each new ballet production.

The essence of Jeunesse Classique is education. Dance is based on the tradition of ballet and artists are challenged both technically and artistically. Live performances give dancers the opportunity to experience the rigours of full-scale productions. There is no substitute for the intensity of performance, the improvement through rehearsal, the value of teamwork, the pressure to deliver and the thrill of applause. The development of artistry can only occur through performance.

Umran graduated in 1966 from the State Conservatory in the Faculty of Fine Arts in Ankara, Turkey, after nine years of study. Subsequently, she received her Masters degree from Hecettepe University in Ankara. For the next sixteen years she danced with The National Ballet Company of Turkey as a leading soloist.

At the invitation of Dame Ninette de Valois, she studied at the Royal Ballet School of London and was later sent by the Turkish National Ballet to study choreography and teaching with the Ballet der Wiener Staatsoper Austria, for one year.

Umran has worked with world famous choreographers and teachers, among them Anton Dolin, Dame Ninette de Valois, Molly Lake, Travis Kemp, Beatrice Appleyard, Todd Bolender, John Gilpin, Alfred Rodrigues, Richard Glasstone, Sulamif Messerer, Valery Panov and Yuri Grigorovich. Her repetoire includes over thirty classical and modern productions.

Umran Sumen


In 1986, she was appointed Artistic Director of the Calgary City Ballet. In 1993, Umran was awarded the commemorative medal for the 125th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. This medal was given to Umran for her outstanding contribution to the arts and culture of Canada through her work as a dancer and teacher.

In 2004, she was given the Immigrants of Distinction Award. Umran was the recipient of the 2008 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts. She was recognized for her outstanding achievement, significant contributions and for improving the quality of life in Calgary.

She is a member of the Turkish National Ballet Company (TNBC), the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Canadian Dance Teachers' Association (CDTA).

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