When Anneliese von Oettingen fled [edited: Germany as a refugee* with her two young children and arrived in Cincinnati] in 1947, she brought with her a love of teaching and a fierce dedication to the principle that ballet could transcend barriers and be an outlet for artistic expression. Due to her experiences under a harsh regime in her native country, Anneliese refused to tolerate convention and she celebrated diversity. She accepted all students when she established her ballet school in 1948 and was among the first to have African American students on stage.
In 1957, Anneliese devoted a ballet festival to the understanding and appreciation of all cultures. “Eight Dances Around the World” was performed at Music Hall with Thor Johnson, Music Director, conducting. The concept of uniting nationalities in peaceful coexistence through the universal language of dance is commemorated in AvO’s 60th Anniversary Gala this year.
On April 4, 2009, AvO will present a portion of their Gala at the Cincinnati Art Museum. “Art that Fools You” will be performed at 1:30pm and 2:30pm. Join them to travel around the world and revel in the dance that unites us all.
For more information or to learn about ballet classes, visit AvO on the web at http://www.avoballet.org/ or call 513-481-0092.
*on a side note, Anneliese interestingly was considered a "foreigner" in Germany because her father was born in Russia while his mother was briefly visiting.