Mark Bush, Artistic Director
Mark Bush received his early training under Sylvia Simon in his home city of Evansville, Indiana and later studied on full scholarship at the prestigious National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois. He continued at the Southwest Ballet Center in Arlington, Texas under Bill Martin-Viscount and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.
Mr. Bush was hand selected by Richard Englund to join American Ballet Theatre’s Ballet Repertory, training under Ballet Masters Jeremy Blanton and Gretchen Warren, and participated in a choreographic workshop for Mikhail Baryshnikov. While dancing with Ballet Repertory, Bush received several invitations to continue in New York. After these and other invitations, Bush decided to join Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
After a successful career dancing principal and soloist roles with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens and Ballet Austin, Mr. Bush also served as Ballet Master to Ballet Austin. Mr. Bush served as Artistic Director of The Ballet Center and Ballet Evansville, which he founded, and produced classic and original choreography to the area very successfully.
For five years Bush worked with and directed companies in the central Arkansas Region. His Nutcracker for Ballet Arkansas was met with critical acclaim. Under his direction, Arkansas Festival Ballet hosted summer workshops with world-renowned faculty including Gelsey Kirkland. In 2005-2006, as Artist in Residence, Mr. Bush choreographed and staged Something’s New as well as Snow White, a fairytale ballet. The following season, as Artistic Director, Mr. Bush presented Rep@theRep, a new cornerstone for AFB’s season, with critics hailing the work: “New artistic director makes his Mark.” In 2006, Mr. Bush’s choreography was featured at the RDA National Festival in Pittsburgh, PA. In June, he staged the fairytale ballet Cinderella, and later presented another Rep@theRep featuring Patricia Barker in Swan Lake Act II. In addition to his committed role at Arkansas Festival Ballet, Mr. Bush served as one of three Founding Judges for the Little Rock based THEA Foundation Performing Arts Scholarships program.
In the summer of 2006, Mr. Bush received the Governor’s Arts Award Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Art Council for his choreography. This illustrated and represented Bush’s commitment to the arts in central Arkansas.
In December 2009, Bush restaged his production of the Nutcracker in Evansville, Indiana to a very excited audience. After opening Evansville Ballet in January 2010, he brought Act II of Swan Lake and other original works to Evansville followed by Nutcracker, heralding a new standard of dance in the area. The world premiere of his Peter Pan in June 2011 furthered this new standard, and was proclaimed an artistic success. Last season he launched a regional tour for The School of Evansville Ballet’s summer intensive, Director’s Cut, with ads appearing in national dance magazines. He is a gifted teacher and talented choreographer working in the tri-state area, as well as being invited to guest teach in programs throughout the United States.
While audiences continue to grow for his Nutcracker, so does Evansville Ballet’s eclectic repertory. Such storybook classics as Snow White have been performed to enthusiastic crowds; the much anticipated “World Premiere” of his The Little Mermaid with the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestras in March of 2014, will include an original score composed by Brian St. John. The School of Evansville Ballet moved to a beautiful new three-studio facility in June 2013. This new site hosted the largest attended-to-date summer intensive, Director’s Cut. Evansville Ballet continues to be a part of, and chosen for, special local events such as cMoe’s Breakfast with the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the EPO Peppermint Pops concert. Evansville Ballet continues to flourish because of his attention to detail, artistic passion, and commitment to dance and our entire Tri-State community.
Catherine Tibbs, Creative Movement and Beginning Ballet
Catherine Tibbs is from Virginia Beach, Virginia where she trained with Academie de Ballet under the direction of Andrei Yemelianov and Arnora Hummel. Catherine furthered her training at many selective summer programs including Ballet Magnificat! and Virginia School of the Arts. She then went on to dance at Radford University under the tutelage of Dagmar Kessler and Frano Jelencic, graduating with a BS in Recreational Therapy and minor in Dance. While at Radford, Catherine had the privilege of developing an inclusive community outreach program; teaching creative movement to children with and without special needs. Catherine went on to receive her Master’s of Science in Recreational Therapy from Indiana University. She is the proud mother of two beautiful little girls and a handsome baby boy.
Lois Bartow, Accompanist
Lois Bartow joined Evansville Ballet in February 2010. Her love of the music and ballet has been enhanced by Evansville Ballet. Having spent four years in voice training at the University of Evansville under Robert Rapp, and studying advanced keyboard training with Sylvia Olmstead and Eulalie, Lois went into private teaching, giving piano lessons at home. She regularly attends piano teaching seminars at Indiana University and SIU in Carbondale. Her warm enthusiasm endears her to all who are associated with Evansville Ballet.
Sandra Thomas, Pilates
Lisa Mohr, Administrative Assistant
Christi Waters, Wardrobe Mistress
Additional Guest Faculty
Patricia Barker, Guest Instructor
Patricia Barker principal dancer with pacific Northwest Ballet, is considered one of the most gifted ballerinas in the world today. She has perfromed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. She has appeared on the covers of ‘Dance Magazine’, ‘Dancer’, ‘Dance Pages’, and ‘Dance International’. She danced the leading role of Clara in the 1986 movie ‘Nutcracker, the Motion Picture’, Ms. Barker performed as a guest artist in the New York City Ballet’s Gala ‘Dinner With Balanchine’, in the ‘Gala of the AWorld Stars’ in Prague and ‘Le Gala des Etoiles’ in Montreal. Best known for her performances of George Balanchine classics such as Rubies, Agon, Concerto Barocco and Violin Concerto, her full-length repetoire includes the dual role Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Alice in Glen Tetley’s Alice in Wonderland and Titania in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her favorite roles include Theme and Variations by Balanchine, Cinderella, which was created for her by Kent Stowell, and Juliet in Stowell’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. She recently starred as Titania in the BBC’s HDTV filming of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the reopening of Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. Ms. Barker was recently appointed the Interim Artistic Director at Grand Rapids Ballet Company.
Ashley Tuttle, Guest Instructor
Ashley Tuttle was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre at the age of 16. As a prima ballerina with ABT, Ms. Tuttle’s career spanned 17 years. Ms. Tuttle is known for her pure classicism and vivid characterizations. Her performances prove memorable and enriching. Ms. Tuttle’s repertoire at A.B.T. included such roles as Juliet in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the title roles in Giselle, Nikiya in Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadere, Odette/Odile in Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake. Her repertoire ranged from works by George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, Agnes De Mille, Antony Tudor and William Forsythe to name a few. Ms. Tuttle has danced numerous Twyla Tharp works including In the Upper Room, Brief Fling, Sinatra Suite and Push Comes to Shove.
While maintaining her career with A.B.T., Ms. Tuttle joined the acclaimed Twlya Tharp Dance Company in 2000. During her time with T.T.D., Ms. Tharp created the hit Broadway show “Movin’ Out” and the role of Judy on her. Her interpretation of this role earned her both TONY Award and Fred Astaire Dance Award nominations.
Ms. Tuttle most recently has been seen on Broadway in Tharp�s “Come Fly Away” at the Metropolitan Opera House in Carmen, guest performances with Dance Theater of Harlem, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works in Process with Pam Tanowitz Dance and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Ms. Tuttle continues to dance as a guest artist throughout the world.
Ms. Tuttle has been a volunteer teacher of ballet at Groove With Me, a Harlem-based dance school focused on children at risk. She joined the Board of Directors of Groove With Me in 2007.
Ms. Tuttle also teaches ballet at the Mark Morris Dance Group, Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, and Barnard University. Through educating students and staging ballets, she has truly found her voice as a teacher and enjoys sharing her knowledge of dance with all ages.
Ms. Tuttle was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Wofford College in the spring of 2011.