Bridgette Zehr Artist in Residence
A lyrical and elegant ballet dancer who has delighted audiences around the world with her expressive and evocative line, combining willowy flexibility, exquisite musicality, aristocratic poise and a commanding stage presence.
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Bridgette Zehr Artist in Residence
Bridgett Zehr was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. She began her training with the Sarasota Ballet’s innovative Dance: The Next Generation programme. She continued her studies at The Harid Conservatory in Florida under a scholarship from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, and finished her training at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. In 2002, Ms. Zehr was a finalist in the International Ballet Competition in Shanghai.
In 2003 Ms. Zehr joined Houston Ballet. Her repertoire included Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Calliope in Apollo, the lead roles in Gloria, Suite en Blanc, Western Symphony, La Valse, the Snow Queen and The Sugar Plum Fairy in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker. She also appeared in Theme and Variations, and in the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. In 2006 Mrs. Karen Kain invited Ms. Zehr to join The National Ballet of Canada as Second Soloist and was promoted to First Soloist in June 2007. In June 2009, Ms. Zehr was promoted to Principal dancer. During her time with the company, Ms. Zehr worked closely with the legendary ballerina Evelyn Hart and developed a method of training and teaching that she has carried throughout her career. Ms. Zehr has danced the title role in Peter Wright’s Giselle, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Cinderella in Cinderella by James Kudelka, Aurora, Principal Fairy and the Diamond Variation in Rudolf Nureyev’s Sleeping Beauty, Olga in John Cranko’s Onegin, the female lead role in Glen Tetley’s Voluntaries, Façade Pas de Deux in Glass Pieces and the first movement of In The Night by Jerome Robbins, McMillan’s Song of the Earth, fourth movement principal in Symphony in C, and First Movement and Choleric in The Four Temperaments and The Waltz Girl in Serenade by George Balanchine.
Ms. Zehr danced in the world premiere of Sabrina Matthews’ Clearing. She danced a featured role in the company premiere of Eliot Feld’s A Footstep of Air, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia and Balanchine’s Don Quixote. In 2009 Ms. Zehr danced featured roles in the world premieres of Crystal Pite’s Emergence, and Azsure Barton’s Watch Her. Ms. Zehr danced the title role in the company premiere of Davide Bombana’s Carmen. In 2010, Ms. Zehr danced in the company premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma.
In August 2010 Ms. Zehr joined the English National Ballet as a Principal Dancer under the directorship of Wayne Eagling. Her repertoire includes Gershwin, choreographed by Derek Deane. In this ballet Ms. Zehr danced the pas de deux's The Man I love and An American and the principal ballerina in Rhapsody in Blue. In December 2010, Ms. Zehr danced the Sugar Plum Fairy in Wayne Eagling's The Nutcracker. She danced the main pas de deux in Petit Mort by Jiri Kylián and also appeared on national television for the Queen’s Coronation performing the ballet Tempest, by George Williamson. In 2013, Ms. Zehr was invited by choreographer Kristian Cellini to be a guest star in Rome, Italy. She debut'd in his new ballet Modo, after the renown artist Modigliani, creating a new Pas de Deux, Zehr danced as his lover, Jeanne Hebuterne. Kristian Cellini invited Ms. Zehr to Pisa, Italy in 2014 to debut a new Pas de Deux for the Andrea Bocelli Pathos concert featuring Placido Domingo. The event was performed in the Teatro del Silenzio and was seen by an audience of over 25,000 people.
In 2015, Ms. Zehr became a freelance artist. She has danced the title role in the full length production of Giselle with the Anchorage Ballet and Aurora in the full length production of The Sleeping Beauty with Boca Ballet Theater. Ms. Zehr was invited by Artistic Director Bridget Breiner to Gelsenkirchen, Germany to perform for Ballett im Revier’s 3rd International Benefit Gala.
Ms. Zehr has appeared in many gala performances, such as Gala des Etoiles in Montreal, Gala of International Ballet Stars, Cincinnati, the Miami International Ballet Festival, Stars of 21st Century Gala in Toronto and The International Ballet Star Gala in Taipei and Singapore. In 2015, Ms. Zehr danced the title role in the full length production of Giselle with the Anchorage Ballet and Aurora in the full length production of The Sleeping Beauty with Boca Ballet Theater. Ms. Zehr was invited by Christopher Wheeldon to create Prokofiev Pas De Deux for the world premiere of his company Morphoses. In 2009, Sarasota Ballet’s artistic director Iain Webb invited Ms. Zehr to dance with the Sarasota Ballet of Florida in addition to establishing the Bridgett Zehr scholarship fund. She was a principal guest artist with the company for the 2010-2011 season.