New Orleans Ballet Association Chooses Heavy Hitter to End Its Season in May

NOBA continues to draw audiences from throughout the South with top performances from around the world.

Ticketed as one of the nation’s top dance destinations, New Orleans Ballet Association’s (NOBA) main stage season closes up in May with one of America’s most prestigious contemporary dance companies, the New York-based Limón Dance Company, who will be kicking off their year-long 70th anniversary celebration here in the Crescent City.

“Our main stage series brings in the best of the world’s dance in all genres and forms,” says Jenny Hamilton, executive director of NOBA.

That is no exaggeration.

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New Orleans is a premiere dance destination and everybody who comes through on tour wants to be included in NOBA’s season lineup.

On Saturday, May 9 the Limón Dance Company will take to the stage at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in a tribute to the company’s founder José Limón, an American modern dance icon. The program, includes “Mazurkas”, a poetic suite of dances set to Chopin, and Limón's signature piece, “The Moor's Pavane”. Plus the masterpiece “Missa Brevis”, featuring a score by Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály, a local 40-member chorus, organist and dancers selected from the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance.

New Orleans is considered the destination in the South Gulf region for dance, with season subscribers coming in from Mississippi, Alabama and Florida’s Panhandle. NOBA’s main stage season starts in October and ends in May.

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The person in charge of helping to decide who gets up on Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts stage is Laura Burkhart, director of programing and marketing.

“If it moves well and it’s quality we will take a close look at it,” says Burkhart. “We look at new companies, new work, established artists and what they are doing. We look at emerging artists, mid-career artists, established companies of all different sizes, in order to put together a season that is as diverse as we possibly can each year.”

NOBA not only brings in the best, but they also commission their own productions, incorporating New Orleans’ top choreographers, dancers and musicians – productions that start local but often end up touring nationally and even internationally.

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“It is really an opportunity to develop work that showcases New Orleans as a place of innovation and that music is a part of who we really are,” Hamilton says.

In partnership with NORDC, NOMA also provides 5,500 tuition-free dance classes and activities in three parishes.

“We want our visitors to New Orleans to understand the impact of the art and culture here in the community and how important it has been to the revitalization of this community in the past 10 years,” Hamilton says.  

Visit for more information on upcoming shows and community-based dance classes.





EDITOR'S NOTE: This will be the final blog from Biz Tourism Columnist Margaret Quilter as she has chosen to return with her family to her native Australia. We wish her nothing but success in her future endeavors and hope New Orleans is soon again part of her worldwide travels.


Stay tuned next week for the premiere blog from our new tourism writer, Jennifer Gibson Schecter.


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