Christina Castro-Tauser has been named executive director of International Ballet Exchange (IBE), effective July 1, 2020. Ms. Castro-Tauser has served IBE as associate director since July 2019 and, during the 2019-2020 school year, IBE’s teacher in residence at Thomas Mifflin School and Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. She will be the organization’s second executive director since its founding in 1998 by Nancy Malmed.
“This is an exciting step for IBE,” said Ms. Malmed. “As shown through her leadership in guiding IBE’s successful application to the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and IBE’s swift move to online teaching when COVID-19 shut down the Philadelphia schools, Christina brings energy and creativity to her new role.”
She also brings a wealth of experience, from her ballet training with Laura Alonso in Cuba to her time as director of the Gainesville (GA) Ballet’s junior company and her service as a teaching artist at Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia. She has a BA from Point Park and a master’s degree in dance from Temple University. A member of the National Dance Educator Organization, she recently completed National Geographic’s educator certification program. Her choreography spans such evening-length works as Into Grimm’s Woods, created on the Gainesville Ballet Company, and ¿Que Pasa Ahora?, which incorporates student dancers with professionals and was showcased at the American College Dance Association’s 2018 Mid-Atlantic North Conference and the Artist Bash at the Barnes Foundation.
“I founded IBE to invite greater participation in ballet and to foster appreciation and understanding this performing art,” said Ms. Malmed. “Through our performances and our 30-week ballet residencies, we have been a presence in the Philadelphia public schools since 1999. Our ballet course, which we offer at up to four schools annually, uniquely culminates with the “residency” students dancing along with professionals and advanced-level ballet students in a fully staged story ballet performed for a student audience from schools across Philadelphia. Indeed, the diversity of our dancers and the blending of students and professionals on stage—hallmarks since our founding—importantly connect our audiences with this art form that too often is perceived as being for only a few.”
With Ms. Castro-Tauser managing the organization, Ms. Malmed will step into an advisory role focused on IBE’s direction and presence. “Nancy’s founding vision was what drew me to IBE,” said Ms. Castro-Tauser. “I am excited to begin exploring its potential.”
For more information about IBE, see www.internationalballet.org.
*** Photo credit: Scott Tauser