An Evening with Methuen Ballet Ensemble

Join the Methuen Ballet Ensemble for an elegant evening of artistry and grace as they present “An Evening with Methuen Ballet Ensemble” featuring excerpts from Swan Lake.


Choreography by Artistic Director Vanessa Rae Voter Shaheen will come alive to the beautiful music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. You don’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to see this passionate production on stage in our local community!

At its core, Swan Lake is a love at first sight story but like most fairy tales, eternal love does not come easy. A sorcerer plays a cruel trick causing confusion and betrayal. In the fight between good and evil, who will prevail?  
Principal roles will be performed by members of the Methuen Ballet Ensemble.  Additionally, artists of Boston Ballet, Dawn Atkins and Michael Ryan will appear as guests of the Ensemble and perform one of the most recognizable and passionate excerpts in the ballet world— the Black Swan Pas de Deux. 
Dawn Atkins began her early training in ballet while living in Middletown Springs, Vermont. She started dancing at Richmond Ballet after moving to Virginia. In high school, she was awarded a full scholarship to attend University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she danced under the direction of Ethan Stiefel. In 2011, Atkins moved to Boston to join the Trainee Program at Boston Ballet School. She attended the 2012 Summer Professional Dance Program in Banff, Canada as a scholarship recipient. In 2012, Atkins was asked to join Boston Ballet II and was promoted to artist of the Company in 2013. 
Michael Ryan began his dance training at the Ballet Academy of Texas. In 2006, he was invited to train at Orlando Ballet School on scholarship under the direction of Peter Stark. Ryan continued his dance training at Houston Ballet Academy, where he was honored with the Houston Ballet Academy Award for a Promising Future and Commitment to the Art Form. In 2012, Ryan joined Houston Ballet II, where he had the opportunity to study under the direction of Claudio Muñoz, Sabrina Lenzi, and Andrew Murphy. He was invited to perform as a guest artist at the 2013 AICD International Ballet Awards in Austrailia. The same year, he was invited to participate in the Assemblée International in Canada. Additionally, with Houston Ballet II, he performed as a guest artist for the 2013 Prix de Lausanne Interlude. In 2014, Ryan was a finalist at the Prix de Lausanne, after which he joined Houston Ballet. He had the opportunity to work with many renowned choreographers, such as John Neumeier, Wayne McGregor, Ben Stevenson, Mark Moris, and Stanton Welch, among others. Ryan joined Boston Ballet as an Artist of the Company in 2017. 
As with all MBE productions, the company values providing performance opportunities for young students. Therefore, students under Ms. Voter Shaheen’s tutelage at Voter’s School of Dance in Salem, NH and North Shore Performing Arts in Ipswich, MA have also been cast and will perform in this production. 

History of the Methuen Ballet Ensemble:

Vanessa Rae Voter founded Methuen Ballet Ensemble in 1989 as a platform for promising students to showcase their talents, performing both classical and modern ballets for the public. Her inspiration came from her years as a dancer with Boston Ballet. During the audition process for The Nutcracker, those children not cast in roles touched her, by their disappointment and tears. She vowed that someday she would have a company of her own, where every child who auditioned would be guaranteed a part. She realized her dream and has been successfully staging The Nutcracker for over 20 years, never having rejected an auditioning dancer.

About Vanessa Rae Voter Shaheen:

Vanessa Rae Voter is Artistic Director and Choreographer for Methuen Ballet Ensemble, a semi-professional ballet company. She is also Director of the Classical Ballet program at Voter's School of Dance, founded by her mother, Pam Voter, in 1951, and Ballet Mistress at North Shore Performing Arts Center in Ipswich, MA.

Ms. Voter attended The Boston Conservatory. In addition to dancing with Boston Ballet, she also performed with Ballet Dance Theatre of Boston. Her extensive training includes instruction from Marina Svetlova, Madame Sulamith Messerer (former Prima Ballerina and teacher with the Bolshoi Ballet), E. Virginia Williams, Violette Verdy, Robert Pierce, and David Howard. She has been a guest teacher for Dance Teachers Club of Boston and Dance Teachers Club of Brockton, as well as serving on judge's panels in both Boston and Brockton. She is a member of Dance Teachers Club of Boston and National Council of America and a member of Dance Masters of America.

In addition to teaching classical ballet on a full-time basis, Ms. Voter has also choreographed all ballets performed by Methuen Ballet Ensemble. Included in her portfolio are: Swan Lake, Peter and the Wolf, Peter Pan, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The Fisherman & The Maiden, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppellia, The Magic Flute, Petrushka, La Petite Fantastique, and The Nutcracker.

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