Founding Director, Maxine Mahon
The California Ballet Company is the result of the driving and innovative force of its Director and Founder, Maxine Mahon. Her high training standards and creative energy have created a Company grounded in the classical tradition, able to incorporate contemporary movement and theatrical explorations into its repertoire and to execute these with equal distinction.
As Director of the California Ballet School, her thorough knowledge of the classical syllabus and the proven integrity of her distinctive training methodology have produced students who have graduated to professional careers in dance both with the California Ballet Company and with other companies nationwide. She oversaw the growth of the California Ballet School into one of the largest academies of professional dance in California, with three locations and over 800 students.
Her training and coaching of talented CBC dancers for International Ballet Competitions in Bulgaria, Japan, Finland, and the U. S. attracted the attention of the international dance community to San Diego. Her dancers took the “Special Performance Prize,” as well as Silver and Gold medals in Varna, Bulgaria, and Tokyo, Japan. Her accomplishments were recognized by the U. S. State Department when they sought her out to act as a cultural exchange artist to Romania, the first American dance educator to be so designated.
Ms. Mahon’s rich history as a performer spans seventeen years of dancing with Starlight Opera, San Diego Ballet, California Ballet Company, and featured roles with the National Ballet of Washington, D. C., under the direction of Frederic Franklin. She holds a BA degree in Sociology from San Diego State University.
A skilled and inventive choreographer, her works are in the repertoire of other companies - the Theatre Ballet of Sacramento and Pacific Ballet Theatre - and she has twice received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. California Ballet Company’s repertoire boasts a selection of works by Maxine Mahon, including Bolero, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Western Orpheus, Holberg Suite, and her 2001 staging of Sleeping Beauty. At home in a wide range of movement idioms, she choreographed the film Being John Malkovich, a work for the Opening Gala Dinner at the Millennium March on Equality, and the San Diego Civic Light Opera. Also serving as the resident choreographer for the San Diego Opera, Ms. Mahon restaged her dances for The Masked Ball for the Seattle Opera Company in 2002 and the Toronto Opera Company in 2003.
Ms. Mahon has received awards for choreography and costume design, a CBC Special Commendation from the California Ballet Association, Headliner of the Year award for the Arts from the San Diego Press Club, and is listed in the National Registry of Who's Who. In 2002 she was presented with the San Diego Area Dance Alliance Lifetime Achievement Tommy Award. The following year she was appointed to serve on the Honorary Committee for the New Orleans International Ballet Conference (IBC). She is a member of the IBC-CID, the official umbrella organization for all forms of dance worldwide, under UNESCO. In recognition of her service to the community, the City of San Diego Mayor's Office declared May 18, 2013 to be Maxine Mahon Day. On November 25, 2013 she was honored with a lifetime achievement award presented by the Bravo San Diego Awards, naming her a San Diego Theatre Icon.
Maxine Mahon’s talent, knowledge, and perseverance have given San Diego a vital company with a unique style - a contribution that is among her proudest accomplishments - the California Ballet Company.