After an illustrious career as Principal Dancer with Boston Ballet, Kathleen Breen Combes brings her extensive experience both artistically and administratively to Ballet RI where she is leading the organization in presenting world class art while creating an innovative, accessible and inclusive organization that will bring ballet to the forefront of the cultural landscape of Rhode Island and beyond.
When with Boston Ballet, The New York Times hailed Breen Combes as a “ballerina of colossal scale and boldness.” She was awarded the Lefkowitz Award for Special Achievement at the New York International Ballet Competition at Lincoln Center in 2003, and was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine in 2007. Breen Combes was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse award for her portrayal of Juliet in Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet and Titania in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2012, and was invited to perform at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. Her versatile repertoire includes principal roles in the classical repertoire along with works by Wheeldon, Forsythe, McGregor, Ekman, Yanowsky, Pickett, Robbins, Kylián, and Balanchine. She originated the title role in Jorma Elo’s Carmen, as well as Close to Chuck and Break the Eyes, and has worked exclusively with William Forsythe, originating roles in Playlist and Pas/Parts among many others.
Breen Combes, originally from NY, received her early training from the Fort Lauderdale Ballet Classique, the HARID Conservatory, and The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet before joining the Washington Ballet in 2000. She joined Boston Ballet in 2003, and rose to the rank of principal dancer in 2009, originating numerous roles by prominent choreographers, as well as performing title roles in a large variety of classical and neo-classical works.
Alongside her performing career, Breen Combes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Management and a Graduate Certificate in Non-profit Management from Northeastern University. She worked within the Development and Artistic Administrative Departments while at Boston Ballet as well as serving as the AGMA Union representative for the company from 2012-2016. She has been featured in and contributed to numerous print articles in Dance Spirit, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Magazine among others. In 2014, Breen Combes created a TedEd video entitled “Rethinking Ballet” and has been a guest speaker at The University of Massachusetts, University of Tokyo, Northeastern University and Harvard University.