Marissa Parmenter took over as Director of Dance Education of Ballet RI in 2020, after a dance career brought her around the world, granting her the opportunity to perform with a variety of professional companies and collaborate with leading choreographers in a wide array of dance styles. During her seven years with Festival Ballet Providence (2002-2006, 2014-2017), Ms. Parmenter performed many notable principal and soloist roles both in classical and contemporary ballets.
Beyond her work in Providence, Ms. Parmenter has also danced as a full-time artist and guest performer with numerous companies including Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, BalletMet Columbus, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Boston Ballet. Ms. Parmenter has had the honor of dancing in new creations by renowned choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, James Kudelka, Mauro Bigonzetti, Edwaard Liang, Dominic Walsh, and Viktor Plotnikov, in addition to performing iconic works by seminal choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Amy Seiwert, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. In 2008, she was selected to perform at the prestigious festival Les Étés de la Danse in Paris and subsequently appeared in Quelques Pas a Paris, a documentary about the festival directed by Ezra Belotte-Cousineau.
Ms. Parmenter is also an accomplished choreographer whose original work has been performed at Ballet RI, Wheaton College, and Hollins University. She has been highlighted by featured articles in Pointe and Dance Magazine and has received both the Caroline Newhouse and Sono Onsato awards for artists in higher education.
Ms. Parmenter trained at Boston Ballet, José Mateo Ballet Theatre, and London Studio Centre under Margaret Barbieri. She earned her M.F.A. from Hollins University in 2014 in association with the American Dance Festival, Frankfurt Conservatory of Performing Arts, and the Forsythe Company.
From 2014-2018, Ms. Parmenter directed Festival Ballet School’s Summer Dance Intensive and furthered the professional company’s growth as Developmental Director from 2015-2020. In addition to leading the faculty and curriculum at Festival Ballet Providence School, she is currently an Associate Professor of Dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee College and serves on the Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee for curriculum development.