Courtney Lyon, Artistic Director of Ballet Quad Cities since 2009, recently premiered “Bolero” set to Ravel’s piano arrangement for four hands, which was invited to close the Crème de La Crème at the Gallagher Bluedorn in April of 2015. Her critically acclaimed Rite of Spring premiered with Orchestra Iowa in the spring of 2014. Full-length ballets The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and Romeo and Juliet (2015) 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 ballet The Sleeping Beauty (2015) 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 school children since 2009.
As an outreach coordinator for Ballet Quad Cities, she has created curriculum for the 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
To support her teaching of classical ballet technique, Ms. Lyon has complete 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 Arleen Sugano. She has participated as a choreographer for the Glenda Brown Choreography Project held at UMKC in Kansas City, MO. She is a principal faculty member of BQC School of Dance, where she has created and implemented a comprehensive syllabus for young students.
Ms. Lyon is a requested keynote speaker for civic groups throughout the Quad Cities area, has been a guest speaker on several arts related radio programs, and has been invited to sit on area grant panels.