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Home > Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre Timeline

Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre Timeline

Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre (JMBT) was founded in 1985/1986 and currently operates at 400 Harvard Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts as of 2015. They are "the only ballet company in New England to produce an entire repertory by its own resident choreographer" and also offer dance classes for children and adults alike in Cambridge and Dorchester.
This timeline was partially funded by a grant from Cambridge Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. We would like to thank Elizabeth McGorty (Project Archivist), Samantha Quinon, and Catherine Hammer for their contributions to this project as well as Rosalie Gartner (Emerson College Archives and Special Collections). Special thanks to Jose Mateo, Scott Fraser, Julie Yen and other JMBT affiliates for their time as well.

About Jose Mateo (official 2015 bio from the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre website)
"Cuban-born José Mateo is Founder and Artistic Director of José Mateo Ballet Theatre, one of America’s leading producers of new ballets, and the area’s most innovative school for quality ballet training.

For 30 years José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s highly acclaimed Company has presented repertory work representing Mateo’s artistic achievement in choreography. The School offers an innovative model for a high-quality academy with a humanistic approach to ballet training that fosters diversity and inclusion.

Mateo is also widely respected for his civic contribution as innovator of community programs that broaden the reach of ballet and make dance an effective community building force. He is the originator of Dance for World Community, a project that builds local and global networks to expand the role of dance in communities locally and beyond. He is the producing director of the project’s Annual Festival that demonstrates “the power of dance to create social change”. The DWC Festival presents upwards of 50 local performance groups, provides free classes in diverse dance forms, and features numerous social service agencies doing advocacy around diverse civic, environmental and social issues.

Mateo holds a BA in Art History from Princeton University where he began his formal training in ballet and modern techniques. After a New York-based career as a dancer, Mateo moved to Boston where he worked as an administrator at Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum and quickly gained a reputation as a teacher and choreographer.

José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s presentations of his choreographic works have been recognized alongside international touring companies in The Boston Globe’s “10 Best Dance Events” in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2008. He is also a winner of the state recognized fellowship in Choreography. Based on his past and anticipated future civic contributions, in 2005 Mateo was named to the inaugural class of Barr Fellows by Barr Foundation.

Mateo has served as a Director on the Boards of the Boston, Cultural Council, the Cambridge Arts Council, ArtsBoston, Boston Dance Alliance, Dance Umbrella, and the Victoria Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan. He is currently on the Board of Finca Vijia Foundation, Muniz Academy, Homelessness Empowerment Project and serves as the Treasurer of the Cambridge Arts Council Fund. In the current year, Mateo has been recognized as the Dr. Michael Shannon Dancer Champion from the Boston Dance Alliance and The Jorge Hernandez Leadership Award from Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción.

Select artists that have danced for JMBT that were not mentioned in the timeline

•    Amanda Beavers
•    Leah Bergmann
•    Mario Cabral
•    Lorraine Chapman
•    Siobhan Dunham
•    Susan Endrizzi
•    Mimi Ferrell
•    Erin Gagnon
•    Sean Gunter
•    Marianne Harkless
•    Russell Hewey
•    Jamie Huggins
•    Bettina van Wijk Indaco
•    Angela Knox
•    Andrew LeBeau
•    Lionel Lee
•    David Leventhal
•    Mark Lipman
•    Shawn Mahoney
•    Elena Martinson
•    Stephanie Matera
•    Elizabeth Mochizuki
•    Merritt Moore
•    Steffi Moy   
•    Carolyn Paine
•    Desiree Reese
•    Dasha Rudym
•    Holly Sanford
•    Jennifer Santos
•    Karen Schiel
•    Elizabeth Shinzawa
•    Wendy Shinzawa
•    Lydia Leigh Silva
•    Amanda Simon
•    Henoch Spinola
•    Kimberly Stegmaier
•    Charlotte Stuart
•    Kimberly Swihart
•    Ema Tagawa
•    Yuri Tagawa
•    Ronnie T. Thomas
•    Caitlin Thompson
•    Andrei Ustinov
•    Victoria Vargas
•    Rick Vigo
•    Kerri Burns Walsh
•    Matthew White
•    Talia Wong
•    Meagan Yeager
•    Julie Yen

This is an incomplete list and more additions are always welcome. Please e-mail penumbra.rme[at] with suggestions for the lists.