Midwest Ballet Theatre, a not-for profit corporation, is a pre-professional ballet company dedicated to the excellence in the performance of classical ballet. The Company seeks to develop in its members poise, strength, and a sense of dedication and discipline in a mutually supportive, non-competitive environment. MBT endeavors to promote an awarenes of, and an appreciation for, the art of classical ballet throughout the community.
The Company developed a consistently high standard of excellence in technique, interpretation and expression, as well as the dancers’ individual personal growth. In 1993, the name of the Company was changed to Midwest Ballet Theatre, and a not for profit corporation was formed.
Comprised of advanced dancers who rehearse at the Midwest Ballet Academy, Midwest Ballet Theatre performs before enthusiastic audiences in Chicago’s western suburbs at the historic 1000-seat Tivoli Theatre in downtown Downers Grove.
Each year, MBT presents its highly-acclaimed production of “The Nutcracker”, featuring guest artists from American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Additionally, in March, MBT brings to the public full-lengths works choreographed by Eichmann , such as, “Alice in Wonderland” (Saint-Saens/Kabalevsky); “Ayne Mairead” (Irish), “Cinderella” (Shostakovich); “The Fantastic Toyshop” (Rossini); or “Peter Pan” (Bizet).
About Mim Eichmann
Originally from Washington, D.C., Mim Eichmann, the Artistic Director, received her B.F.A. in ballet performance and education in 1973 from Butler University (Jordan College of Music), Indianapolis, IN. While at Butler, Ms. Eichmann toured with the Butler Ballet professional companies, directed by the late George Verdak. She performed professionally, as well, with Verdak’s summer ballet companies and with his original Indianopolis Ballet Theatre.
Ms. Eichmann was on staff at the University of Notre Dame/St. Mary’s College as a dance lecturer before moving to the Chicago area. After teaching ballet at the Downers Grove Park District for 10 years, she opened the Midwest Ballet Academy, located at 5013-17 Fairview Ave. in Downers Grove in September 1993.
A note from Artistic Director, Mim Eichmann
“We’ve all seen professional dancers on the stage and screen. Those who are truly extraordinary, even if their performing medium isn’t necessarily ballet, have almost always had years of classical ballet training. This holds true for Olympic gymnasts and ice skaters as well. The development of a dancer’s strength, poise, artistic and kinesthetic integrity, applicable to many disciplines, including sports, are all a part of a classical ballet education.
From the youngest child through our most advanced students, MBA strives to challenge, nurture and encourage every dancer. If you’ve seen any of our Midwest Ballet Theatre performances, you would probably be interested to learn that almost all of the girls in the ballet company began their training with the Academy between the ages of 4 and 8. Also, many of our students have been selected over the last decade through nationwide auditions for summer or school-year studies at the School of American Ballet (training school for the New York City Ballet), American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, Pacific Northwest Summer Program, Austin Ballet Summer Program, Joffrey Ballet’s New York Summer Program, and Boston Ballet Summer Program. Anne Milewski, who trained with me from ages 9-18, has been a member of New York’s American Ballet Theatre since 1996. Are all of our graduates dancing professionally? No. But many of them are still dancing! We currently have three girls in pre-medical studies at various universities, one girl in veterinary school, one in law school, one teaching high school English and many in undergraduate programs in a variety of fields, throughout the nation. Shannon Brodie, Colleen Gandolfi, Marie Meizis, and Kristen Krumwiede, instructors, are all current members or alumnae of Midwest Ballet Theatre as well as being college graduates, college students, or honor high school students. All four young women began their dance studies with Mim Eichmann between ages 3 and 5 and all have studied with her for at least 10 years. They bring a thorough knowledge of ballet technique, teaching fundamentals, energy and dedication to their work.
Very reasonable rates, energetic, highly motivated teachers who can correctly demonstrate technique full out for students, and a disciplined, yet light approach to the beautiful art of ballet, make the MBA a unique artistic environment in the greater west suburban community.”
Full-length works choreographed by Eichmann are:“Alice in Wonderland” (Saint-Saens/Kabalevsky);“Ayne Mairead” (Irish); “Cinderella” (Shostakovich);“Coppelia” (Delibes); “The Fantastic Toyshop”(Rossini); “The Mirror” (Lofstrom); “The Nutcracker”(Tchaikovsky); “Peter Pan” (Bizet); “Petite Suite” (arr.Lofstrom); “Sarah’s Quilt” (Finzi/Larsson); “TheWoodcarver’s Daughter” (Lofstrom). Shorter worksinclude: “A Little of This … A Little of That(Dapogny); “Aurora Borealis” (Stravinsky); “PasClassique” (Albinoni/Bach); “Pastiche” (Waldteufel);“Peaches ‘n Cream” (Sousa); “Peasant Pas de Deux”(Meyerbeer); “Song of the Wood” (Song of the Wood);“Three Sisters and a Suitor” (Barber); “Transonic Circuit”
Liz Chaplin, President
Ron Gandolfi, Vice President, Operations
John Thiesfeld, Vice President, Grants
Michele Thiesfeld, Secretary
Jeff May, Treasurer
Mim Eichmann, Artistic Director