Carole Alexis is an internationally recognized dance choreographer, director and pedagogue, who recently - in 2021 - was bestowed one of the highest honors by the French Republic, the grade of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (induction into the "Knighthood of Arts and Letters").
Founder and director of Carole Alexis Ballet Theatre /Ballet des Amériques , Carole Alexis is a highly acclaimed French-American choreographer, producer, a gifted dance educator and pedagogue, and a multi-faceted innovator in the performing arts who began her wide-ranging career as a child prodigy.
At the age of 13, she was commissioned by Jean-Paul Césaire, Director of the SERMAC, a performing arts center created by Aimé Césaire, to choreograph her first major work for the Festival de Fort-de-France in Martinique, directing and creating original choreography for a company of dancers nearly twice her age, an event that drew much attention in the media. The success of this ballet led to many other projects, including the creation of a ballet in which she directed musicians, actors and dancers while still a teenager. Alexis was also invited to become the youngest student ever accepted to attend the prestigious Mudra School of Maurice Béjart, created by Béjart, Léopold Sédar Senghor and UNESCO in Dakar. She graduated with high honors and earned a professional degree in performing arts, when she was still younger than the normally required age for admittance to the school, and subsequently embarked on a journey of intense international study in dance and pedagogy while simultaneously forging an impressive professional career immersed in multiple fields of the performing arts.
Carole Alexis is incredibly active and engaged locally and regionally in her adoptive land, the United States. Since its creation in 2011, her dance company has given nearly 200 public performances all presenting her original choreography. Moreover, her choice of venues, her ability to transform and even create venues, brings her as close to the community as possible. For example, during the pandemic, when all theaters were closed, she created a mobile theater - the Dancing Caravan -, which would be temporarily installed complete with a portable sprung dance floor, sound system, lighting system, tents for costume changes, and chairs in State Parks and parking lots. Nutcracker performances during the pandemic were held - masked - for small audiences throughout the various rooms of the Wainwright House mansion, and most recently, the KOI Creative Space in White Plains was turned into a theater complete with a professional backdrop, sound system, lighting system and seating for 60 people. Apart from performing in the major theaters of Westchester County, theaters in New York City and overseas, Carole Alexis has presented her choreographic work with the professional, classically trained dancers she directs also in public libraries, in retirement homes and public schools.
The intent and appeal of her work is two-fold: On the one hand, she reaches dance aficionados, who tell us how amazed and delighted they are to see world-class dance which they would otherwise only see at Lincoln Center, the Joyce Theatre or in other major metropolitan centers. On the other hand, Carole Alexis' intent is to reach new audiences, to develop audiences and address people who have not had a chance to experience this art form.
Carole Alexis, a creole woman, is shattering the barriers of societal stereotypes and prejudices as an indomitable female choreographer, director, and master teacher of mixed ethnic background.
It has been clear for quite sometime now that Carole Alexis created and developed her own écriture in dance choreography. Carole Alexis' artistic work has philosophical depth, emotion, breadth and worldliness, but is also comprehensive in the way it impacts the community from very young to very old in all kinds of venues and circumstances. Last, but not least, this breadth and comprehensiveness also extends to the diversity of our cultural experience, as her work based in classical ballet, African, Afro-Caribbean traditional dances fully embraces and draws on her own multicultural and multiethnic background.
Founder and director of Ballet des Amériques, Carole Alexis is a highly acclaimed French-American choreographer, a gifted dance educator and pedagogue, and a multi-faceted innovator in the performing arts who began her wide-ranging career as a child prodigy. At the age of 13, she was commissioned by Jean-Paul Césaire, Director of the SERMAC, a performing arts center created by Aimé Césaire, to choreograph her first major work for the Festival de Fort-de-France in Martinique, directing and creating original choreography for a company of dancers nearly twice her age, an event that drew much attention in the media. The success of this ballet led to many other projects, including the creation of a ballet in which she directed musicians, actors and dancers while still a teenager. Alexis was also invited to become the youngest student ever accepted to attend the prestigious Mudra School of Maurice Béjart, created by Béjart, Léopold Sédar Senghor and UNESCO in Dakar. She graduated with high honors and earned a professional degree in performing arts, when she was still younger than the normally required age for admittance to the school, and subsequently embarked on a journey of intense international study in dance and pedagogy while simultaneously forging an impressive professional career immersed in multiple fields of the performing arts.
Carole Alexis and her surging professional dance company Ballet des Amériques, founded in 2011, have garnered continuous press and television coverage, and both have received numerous awards, including official government proclamations honoring Ballet des Amériques as the “Best Ballet Company” and “Westchester’s Premier Dance Company.” After the successful completion of hundreds of public performances — including performances at their theater of residence, the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, the United Nations Headquarters, Florence Gould Hall, Festival de Fort-de-France in Martinique, and sold-out performances at the Emelin Theatre in New York and Tropiques Atrium Scene Nationale.
Carole Alexis received her dance training from some of the most renowned master teachers. She trained extensively with Russian Imperial Ballet and Vaganova technique master teacher Nikoloz Makhateli, a former principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet who holds a master degree as a teacher and repetitor of choreography from the illustrious Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, served as director of the National Ballet of Georgia and the Vaganova School, and was himself a student of the great Soviet teacher Vakhtang Chabukiani, who is considered to be one of the most influential male dancers in history. At the Mudra School of Maurice Béjart, Alexis studied French-Cuban technique with the legendary Cuban choreographer, dancer and teacher Jorge Lefebre, who was a soloist with Maurice Béjart, served as director of the Ballet de Wallonie and danced with the famed Alicia Alonso and Alberto Alonso. In addition to Russian Imperial and French-Cuban technique, Carole Alexis studied French technique at the Académie de Danse de Paris and the famous Golovine School in Paris, which trained many leading dancers of the Paris Opéra Ballet. Later, she danced and toured extensively as a featured soloist with Rick Odums Dance Company, Compagnie du Corail, Ballets Jazz de Paris and Ebène Dance Company. Alexis also was frequently contracted to work as a solo dancer, choreographer, and singer for live performances and videos with renowned recording artists and bands; held highly sought-after commercial contracts choreographing for Disney and The Citrus Bowl, and choreographed and performed both as a dancer and singer at New York City’s most renowned performing arts venues, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center..
In addition to being an accomplished choreographer, Carole Alexis is a master ballet teacher of extraordinary teaching skills and pedagogical knowledge rarely found even in the most prominent ballet schools. The Conservatory of Ballet des Amériques, which she created to help students reach the highest levels of technical and artistic achievement in dance, stands apart from other institutions through its exemplary nurturing of each individual student to reach his or her highest potential, a well-rounded curriculum and adherence to humanistic principles. Providing rigorous training that embraces the full scope of dance education, the conservatory brings to light the powerful interconnectedness of various art forms and enables students not only to become world-class dancers, but also highly cultivated, independent, confident and exemplary members of society. Under Alexis’ careful mentorship, Ballet des Amériques Conservatory students have been accepted to study in summer programs at such prestigious institutions as the Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet and Juilliard. Prior to founding and directing Ballet des Amériques, Alexis served as Artistic Director of the Bronx Dance Academy in New York City, a charter school for academics and ballet that thrived immensely under her leadership. In Westchester, Alexis also held the position of Associate Director and Head of the Lower School at the Greenwich Ballet Academy — training innumerable students from absolute beginner level to a level exemplifying readiness for professional coaching, creating programs utilizing her unique teaching methodology, and quickly multiplying enrollment in the school from 20 students to 120.
Carole Alexis is shattering the barriers of societal stereotypes and prejudices as an indomitable female choreographer, director, and master teacher of mixed ethnic background. Like her childhood dance heroes — dance icons such as Claude Bessy, Virginia Johnson, Noëlla Pontois, Yvette Chauviré, Carolyn Carlson, Maya Plisetskaya and Judith Jamison — she is a groundbreaking female pioneer in the field of dance. Alexis holds a deep appreciation of the underlying unity of humanity in its diversity since it is exemplified in her own personality and heritage, and she naturally embraces the principles of diversity and inclusion in her search for the best talent in dance. Her eclectic choreography bears her unique signature and vision — rooted in her impressive, wide-ranging expertise in dance, her personal experience, and her multicultural background. Never satisfied with audiences drawn solely from the “dance scene,” Alexis builds audiences that comprise the whole of humanity — the taxi drivers, teachers, surgeons, judges, and gardeners — she creates engaging, eye-opening dance for the whole of society, reinvigorating “ballet” for new audiences and dance connoisseurs alike.
Carole Alexis’ professional company Ballet des Amériques – the “Ballet of the Americas” – represents a marriage of North and South America via the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. The company’s international orientation transcends the frontiers of human cultures through mutual exchange, enrichment and the creation of new perspectives. Alexis believes that art expresses the infinite possibilities of humanity and – as a kind of universal consciousness – art involves reflection on social change. Inspired in part by the teachings of the three founders of the Negritude movement, Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Léon-Gontran Damas, she embraces dance as a universal language that can inspire hope, freedom, mutual recognition, and reconciliation. Having lived and trained in Martinique, Brittany, West Africa and Paris, Alexis draws inspiration for her choreography from different social political contexts as well as music, nature, history, and human interaction. Rooted in the rich heritage of Europe, Africa and the Americas, Alexis possesses an unparalleled command of the dance forms of these various cultural landscapes and their history and meaning, enabling her to expand the language of ballet with keen insight and powerfully propel this venerable art form towards its greatest purpose in the 21st Century.
Carole Alexis studied with: Maurice Béjart, ballet and choreographic intensives; Nikoloz Makhateli, ballet; Bertrand Pie, ballet; Jorge Lefebre, Director of the Royal Ballet of Wallonie, ballet and choreographic work; Solange Golovine, ballet; Jaqueline Fyneart, barre au sol; Larrio Ekson, modern dance and choreographic intensives; Julien Jouga, music; Goris, Théâtre; Doudou NDiaye Rose, percussions; Cheikh Tidiane Niane, Traditional African dance; Jacqueline Rayet, Opéra de Paris, ballet; Savitri Nair, Bharata Natyam; Rick Odums, jazz and modern jazz; Peter Goss, modern Jose Limon based; Jay Allen Augen, ballet; Andrej Glegovski, ballet; Yuriko Kikuchi, Director of the Martha Graham Company; Bruce Taylor, modern dance, modern jazz and choreographic work; Jean-Claude Zadith ( graduate and student of the illustrious Rosella Hightower), ballet, barre au sol, modern dance and choreographic work; Nina Valery, ballet; Germaine Acogny, African dance and choreographic work; Ray Phillips, modern Graham technique; Jaqueline Scott Lemoine, theater; Roger Robinel, theater; Jean-Claude Lamorandière, contemporary and Afro-Caribbean; Josiane Antourel, improvisation.
Carole Alexis won numerous merit scholarships. Her image has graced several magazine covers and she has been featured in many newspaper articles and magazines, and books including the Encyclopédie de la Femme Antillaise. A documentary entitled Come Dance With Me, directed by Jean-Paul Césaire, portrays the early career of Carole Alexis when she was discovered by Aimé Césaire.