Courtney Lyon Artistic Director

Courtney Lyon, Artistic Director

Courtney Lyon has been creating choreographic works for Ballet Quad Cities since becoming Artistic Director in 2009.  The 2018/19 season brings exciting choreographic debuts including Ravel’s “Ma Mère L’oye“,  “Paris en Pointe“ which premiered in conjunction with the Figge Art Museum’s “French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950“ and “Glassworks“ premiering in February 2019 inspired by the “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Dreihaus Collection.“  In April of 2018, Lyon’s Dance “Four“ Piano, commissioned by Orchestra Iowa, was performed alongside Grammy-winning pianist Emanuel Ax at the Golden Key Gala in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Other recent notable works include Alice in Wonderland   (2018) Billy the Kid   (2017) The Firebird   (2016) Romeo + Juliet (2015) and Rite of Spring (2014) with Orchestra Iowa. In November 2016, Lyon took inspiration from Gary Kelley’s book “The Dark Fiddler“ and the music of Paganini’ Caprice 24 for a special performance at the Figge Art Museum. Her Bolero   set to Ravel’s piano arrangement for four hands, was invited to close the Crème de La Crème at the Gallagher Bluedorn in April of 2015, can be seen on Iowa Public Television’s Love Stories airing in 2016, and has been a much requested encore performance. Full-length ballets The NutcrackerCinderella, and Romeo + Juliet have appeared on Iowa Public Television, with The Nutcracker receiving the 2014 Argpatch award for Best Live Action in Entertainment.  Other choreography for Ballet Quad Cities includes the full-length ballets The Sleeping Beauty   (2015)Murder Mystery at the Ballet (2015), variety shows Monster Mash (2016), Transylvania Twist (2017), and Frankenstein’s Follies (2018)   and The Promise of Living,   which premiered at Orchestra Iowa’s 2012 Brucemorchestra. Ms. Lyon’s children’s ballet The Ugly Duckling, a Message of Acceptance told through Dance has been seen by thousands of elementary school children since 2009. 
As an outreach coordinator for Ballet Quad Cities, she has created curriculum for the 2016 DREAMS program and leads classroom visits and month-long artist residencies in Iowa and Illinois public elementary schools that include collaborations with dancers, musicians, and local visual artists, culminating in performances open to the community.  In 2008, she received a Quad City Arts individual artist grant for original choreography for Peter and the Wolf and has partnered with Davenport School's Great Minds program for an anti-bullying campaign supported by her children's ballet The Ugly Duckling which was created in 2007.  Ms. Lyon has participated in the Kennedy Center's Artists as Educators Seminars Laying a Foundation: Defining Arts integration   and Anatomy of a Lesson: Planning Instruction. 
She is a principal faculty member of BQC School of Dance, where she has created and implemented a comprehensive syllabus for beginning through pre-professional ballet students. To support her teaching of classical ballet technique, Ms. Lyon has completed two pedagogue courses that involved study of the 1st through 5th years of the Vaganova syllabus with John White, an authority of the Vaganova teaching method and former dancer and Ballet master of the National Ballet of Cuba, as well as intensive training exploring the bio-mechanics of movement with physicist Kenneth Laws and master coach Arleen Sugano. She attended the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Teacher Intensive workshop in 2013, and has participated five times as a choreographer for the Glenda Brown Choreography Project held at UMKC in Kansas City, MO.  
Ms. Lyon is a requested keynote speaker for civic groups throughout the Quad Cities area, has been a quest speaker on several arts related radio programs and podcasts, and has been invited to sit on area grant panels.