Ron Cunningham Choreographer of Peter and the Wolf
Inspired by the Russian defector, Rudolph Nureyev, Ron Cunningham began his dance career with former principals of the Royal Ballet. In New York he performed with the Agnes DeMille Heritage Dance Theatre, the Modern dance companies of Lucas Hoving, Daniel Nagrin, Lotte Goslar, and toured with several Broadway musicals. Cunningham joined the Boston Ballet in 1972 becoming a principal dancer, resident choreographer and director of Boston Ballet II. For the Boston Ballet he created over 20 ballets including his Cinderella as the first American Ballet company to tour the People’s Republic of China which was televised in Beijing to over 30 million viewers. His ballets have been performed in Canada, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Israel, France and widely throughout Italy. His works also appear in over twenty American ballet companies. Cunningham and his wife Carinne Binda Cunningham became Artistic Directors of the Sacramento Ballet in 1987, a position they held for 30 years. Cunningham created or staged over 50 of his original works for the Sacramento Ballet including; The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, La Fille Mal Gardee, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter and the Wolf, The Tempest, Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, Dracula, Carmen, The Firebird, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, A Streetcar Named Desire, Carmina Burana, Etosha, Bolero, The Rite of Spring, Les Noce, Media, Jeu de Cartes, Incident at Blackbriar, and The Seven Deadly Sins among others. Cunningham has received two National Endowment Fellowships, and Choreography Fellowships from the states of Massachusetts, Maryland, and California. He has received multiple Arts Excellence awards from the Sacramento Arts & Business Council including the Lifetime Achievement in 2012. In 2017 he received the Legend of the Arts award from the California Arts Commission and in 2018 given the Keys to the City by the mayor of Sacramento. Also in 2018, the Sacramento community honored the Cunningham’s by erecting a 15’ x 40’ mural on a prominent building from a photo of them rehearsing dancers. Cunningham holds a B.S. Degree in Marketing and has been an adjunct professor at UC/Davis. Cunningham is currently honored as the Artistic Director Emeritus of the Sacramento Ballet.
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