The Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre was founded in September of 1997 by director Thomas Morrell and is housed at the studios of Ballet Etc. Dance Institute. Members are selected by open audition, regardless of studio affiliation, and range in age from 9 to 18. The purpose of the company is to offer education, technical training and performance opportunities to talented young dancers and to introduce the community to original ballet productions, formal and informal concerts and elementary school touring programs. It is also the intent of the director to introduce new, lesser-known fairy tales and folk legends to encourage young people to broaden their reading resources. The company has performed in the Encore Society of Music's holiday concerts, appeared with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in their Family Series and collaborated with the Traverse City Central Philharmonic. NMBT is a Non-Profit 501(c)3 corporation.
Thomas Morrell, Director
Thomas Morrell began his dance training at Western Michigan University where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, Majoring in Physical Education and Dance. He earned his Master of Fine Arts Degree from The University of Michigan in 1981 and began dancing professionally with the Harbinger Dance Company in Detroit. He spent five years in Flint as Principal Dancer with Ballet Michigan and three more years with Memphis Concert Ballet before moving back to his native Michigan. While in Memphis, Tom became the resident choreographer for Opera Memphis. He has choreographed for the Traverse City Children's Theatre and Old Town Playhouse. His teaching career spans more than 30 years, including the Flint Institute of Music, The University of Michigan-Flint, The Harbinger School, Memphis Concert Ballet School, Performing Arts of Germantown, Charlevoix Community Education and numerous private studios. Mr. Morrell is the Artistic Director of the Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre and also directs Ballet Royale de Courtiers, a Renaissance Court Dance Ensemble which performs at local Madrigal Dinners, and has appeared at the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, Michigan. Tom has earned the distinguished honor of being named "The 1998 Michigan Dance Teacher of the Year" by the Michigan Dance Council.