Artistic Staff

Chip Morris

Artistic Director

Chip Morris began his training in modern dance and ballet while pursuing his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. While in Madison he taught advanced ballet classes at the Wisconsin School of Ballet, directed the Jazzworks Dance Company, co-founded the Choreographer’s Consortium, and choreographed for the Madison Savoyards. Since coming to Boston, Mr. Morris has danced with Choreo Dance Company and as a soloist for the Dance Prism. He has choreographed for the Harvard-Radcliffe Dance Company, the Dance Prism, and Peanut Butter & Jelly Dance Company. He also choreographed The Winged Joy for the Wellesley College Choir. Mr. Morris was a guest performer and choreographer for the Wheaton College Dance Company. He was commissioned by them in 1994 to stage Hear Ye, Hear Ye, based on a score by Aaron Copland.

He has choreographed six original full-length ballets for Commonwealth Ballet, including its first major production, Dracula; its first story ballet with accompanying new music composition, Rappaccini’s Daughter; the full length family ballets, Beauty and the Beast, The Nightingale, and The Secret Garden; and CBC’s own production of The Nutcracker (with Kathryn Anderson). Other dances he has choreographed include Ta Voix dans la Nuit, Le Papillon, Chance Encounters, Shattered Ritual, Lost Concerto, Lunar Tides, Farewell, Three Brahms Intermezzi, Orton Dances, and, most recently, a suite of dances to contemporary music: The Night Has Many Houses, This Marriage and The Handmaid's Dream. Mr. Morris is the Director of the Acton School of Ballet, a past member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Dance Alliance, and co-founder of Commonwealth Ballet Company.


Kathryn Anderson

Artistic Director Emerita

Kathryn Anderson trained at American Ballet Theatre in New York City, where she began her professional ballet career. As a soloist with the Boston Ballet Company, Ms. Anderson danced leading roles in such ballets as The Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, and The Four Temperaments. She toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel, and had the honor of dancing with Boston Ballet when it became the first American ballet company to visit, and perform in, the People’s Republic of China. Ms. Anderson choreographed many ballet works for Commonwealth Ballet, including At the Waterfall, The Fated, Icare, Rachmaninoff Opus #43, Hajamari-sozo, and Countdown, and collaborated with Chip Morris on the full-length ballets Dracula, Beauty and the Beast, and The Nutcracker. Ms. Anderson taught at the Boston Ballet School, and was guest instructor at Alabama Dance Theater, the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts, the Worcester Performing Arts Center and the Dance Complex in Cambridge. She also starred in the nationally acclaimed educational video ‘Ballet for Children and Adults’.

She was co-founder of Commonwealth Ballet Company, and is currently its Artistic Director Emerita. Ms. Anderson was the director of Acton School of Ballet from 1983 until her retirement in 2004.


Photo by Gabi Diarbekirian

Melenie Diarbekirian

Ballet Mistress

Melenie is a graduate of the Acton School of Ballet and a former member of the Commonwealth Ballet Company. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She started out her professional career with Urbanity Dance and currently dances with Boston-area based companies Pantos Project Dance, Luminarium Dance Company, and Turning Key Dance. Throughout her career, she has performed works by prominent choreographers including José Limón, Alwin Nikolais, Thang Dao, and Larry Keigwin. She has performed in venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Jacob’s Pillow Inside Out Stage, and events such as the APAP Conference in New York City, TEDxCambridge at the Boston Opera House, and many other festivals along the East Coast. Melenie currently teaches at the Acton School of Ballet, and serves as the Ballet Mistress for Commonwealth Ballet.


Meghan Meehan

Rehearsal Assistant

Meghan Meehan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance from Muhlenberg College where she danced extensively. She has served on the ballet faculty of the Rock School and the ACPPA Cooperative School in Philadelphia, and continues to perform and choreograph professionally. Meghan is an accomplished artist working toward her Master of Fine Arts and a graduate of Acton School of Ballet. She is on the faculty at Acton School of Ballet currently teaching Ballet, Choreography, and Acting for Dancers.


Kristy Doyle
Régisseuse

Kristy Doyle trained with Russel Fratto and Jeannette Lauret (Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo) at Ballet Études Repertory Company in Connecticut, where she rose to the level of Apprentice. She continued her studies with Ruth Ambrose at The Boston Conservatory and Marina Svetlova at Indiana University. In 1993, after a long absence from ballet due to injury, Kristy joined CBC as its first Business Manager and subsequently joined the Board. In 1997 she moved to artistic staff as Rehearsal Assistant and soon after was promoted to Régisseuse where she sets ballets on both company and non-company dancers, runs rehearsals, and assists the Artistic Director with new ballets.



Denise Pons
Guest Choreographer

Ms. Pons began her dance training in New Orleans, LA with Joseph Giacobbe and has been coached by Michael Smuin, Mark Morris, Bruce Marks, Natalia Dudinskaya, Edward Villella, Dinna Bjorn, Georges Garcia, Bojan Spassoff, Bruce Wells, and Anna-Marie Holmes. She received the Nordan Fine Arts Scholarship and attended Texas Christian University. She performed with New Orleans’ Delta Festival Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet (now Texas Ballet Theater), San Francisco Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, and Boston Ballet (1982 - soloist).

In 1990, Ms. Pons was selected by Mark Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov as one of the eight founding members of the White Oak Dance Project. As a guest artist, she performed the Black Swan Pas de Deux, Firebird and Les Sylphides with Ballet Oklahoma and New Jersey Ballet. Ms. Pons has taught extensively throughout the US and France. Her background also include extensive training in tap, jazz, flamenco, and modern dance.