Founder, Executive & Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer,
Marie-France was born in Montreal, Canada. She began her training at the age of seven, joined the school of “Les Grands Ballets Canadiens” of Montreal and received grants from the Quebec Government and the Canada Council of the Arts. Les Grands Ballets offered her a contract at age 18 when she performed many soloist and principal roles for three years. Then, while on a trip to New York, Mikhail Baryshnikov offered her a contract to dance with the American Ballet Theatre where she danced for eleven years. She has trained and worked as a professional dancer from 1982 until 1998 with a legendary array of ballet masters teachers, star dancers and famous choreographers including: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolph Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Irina Kolpakova, Vladilen Semyonov, Agnes de Mille, Anthony Tudor, Kenneth McMillan, David Howard, Robert Denvers, Maggie Black, William Burmann, Melissa Hayden, Lar Lubovitch, Twyla Tharp, and the list goes on.
Her repertoire with the company includes several featured roles. In Sir Kenneth McMillan’s ballets, she performed the “Jewels” and “The Cat” variations in his “Sleeping Beauty”, Romeo’s harlot in his “Romeo and Juliet”. Her Tudor repertoire includes the lead role of Volupia in his “Undertow”, and the lead sexy girl in his “Pillar of Fire”. She danced soloists and principal roles in many of Agnes De Mille’s ballets as well as in La Sylphide, Gaiete Parisienne, Peter and the W olf, the Nutcracker , to name a few. Marie-France also collaborated in several ballets performed for the Television PBS specials on Dance. She obtained her Green card with an Artist of Exceptional Achievement status.
Marie-France performed as a guest artist nationally and internationally, among the renowned international gala of “Don des Etoiles” (Gifts of the Stars) in Montreal, Canada along side with Sylvie Guillem, Paloma Herrera, Fernando Bujones, Patricia McBride and many other famous dancers. She danced “Soiree Musicale” (John Taras) with Wes Chapman in 1986, “Romeo and Juliet” balcony scene with Ricardo Bustamante in 1987, and “Concerto” (McMillan) with Ethan Brown in 1988.
Since relocating to Los Angeles area in 1996, Marie-France has performed as a guest artist across the US and Canada from 1996 to 1998, including for John Clifford in Palm Springs in 1997 when she danced Balanchine Pas-de-Deux with partner Reid Olsen and late partner Serge Lavoie in “Agon”, “Apollo”, “Who cares?” and “Four Temperaments”.
Since relocating to the Los Angeles area in 1996, Marie-France has been choreographing and teaching the highest level of professional instruction in classical ballet extensively in group classes and privately.
She has been choreographing 4 pieces per year for the different dance schools and companies where she teaches yearly, such as “Stars and Stripes”. “Boutique Fantasque”, “A night at the Viennese Ball”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker” among others. She has already choreographed “Tango à Trois”, “Salsa on Fire” and “Journey through Ixtlan” for her “Los Angeles Dance Company” and is choreographing several other pieces for the November 2nd performance.
Marie-France has been teaching the highest level of professional instruction in classical ballet extensively since 1996 in group classes, master classes and privately at Universities and Dance Studios in Southern California such as: California State University Long Beach, Moorpark College, Westside School of Ballet, Southland Ballet Academy, , California Dance Theatre, Pasadena Civic Ballet, Agoura Hills Dance & Performing Arts Center, A Step in time School of Dance, and the list goes on.
Marie-France is a certified teacher for the American Ballet Theatre’s newly developed and nationally recognized training curriculum in all their Levels.
In 1982, Marie-France received and Associate Degree in Dance and Music from the Cegep-du-Vieux-Montreal College in Canada and she has since expanded her education in Business at Hunter College (NYC), Santa Monica College and Pierce College. She was awarded a grant form the Canada Council and one form the Quebec Government, as well as several AGMA and “Dance On” scholarships.
Marie-France is available for private lessons, Master Classes and workshops. See EDUCATION tab for more information.
Marie-France has been a judge for the Spotlight Awards competition of the Music Center every year since 1997 and has judged for the Youth American Grand Prix in 1998.
Marie-France is available to adjudicate at competitions on a local, national and international level.
Marie-France trained in acting in New York under Richard Scanlon for 5 years while dancing with the American Ballet Theatre. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1996, she performed as an actress in “The Bold & Beautiful”, in several feature films such as “Gattica”, “One Night Stand”, “Shut –up and Dance” , among others, and in Television, Commercials, Voice-Overs & Modeling over the past 20 years in New-York and Los Angeles. In 1997, she performed for Madonna’s “Evita” Premiere Gala at the El Rey theater in Hollywood