OUR DIRECTORS

JOSEPH CIPOLLA

Joe Cipolla

Director and Co-Founder // Configuration School of Ballet
Artistic Director and Founder // Configuration Dance Theatre

Joseph is a Buffalo native whose talents have taken him to stages around the world, performing as a principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Highlights of his thirty-two year career include performing at the White House during a visit by Margaret Thatcher, dancing in the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Summer Olympics and receiving a nomination for the prestigious Olivier Award. Cipolla’s teaching resume is worldly and extensive. The Royal Ballet School, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Boston Ballet, Walnut Hill School and Chautauqua Institution are a mere sampling of his experience. He has an entry in “Who’s Who in America” and “People of Today” and is the Director and Co-Founder of Configuration Dance Theatre.

 

KOLLEEN KELLY- FISCHER

Director and Co-Founder // Configuration School of Ballet
Managing Director // Configuration Dance Theatre

Kolleen Fischer

Kolleen brings to Configuration Dance Theatre and School of Ballet an extensive background in dance instruction, performance and education. She began dancing at the age of six and received the majority of her classical ballet training in Vaganova method at the Royal Academy of Ballet, under the direction of Ginger Burke. She teaches classical ballet technique for elementary to advanced levels and prior to becoming co-founder and director of the school was on the faculty of several of the areas top ballet and jazz studios. Kolleen earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Early Childhood Education and Dance from the University at Buffalo. She continued on and was accepted into the the Graduate School of Education to complete her Master’s Degree in Arts Education.  Among her teaching credits, Kolleen created the school’s Storybook Dance program for pre-school aged children that incorporates creative movement, literature and song as an introduction to dance.  While creating a barre fitness program for the studios, she received certification in UltraBarre technique.  As Managing Director of Configuration Dance Theatre and a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Western New York, she regularly organizes performances and plans and conducts workshops for area schools and events.