Boston - SDP-Boston
Boston - Pre-Professsional Program
Marblehead - Classical Ballet Program
Marblehead - Adult Program
Born in Long Beach California and raised in Huntington Beach, Evelyn Cisneros-Legate began studying ballet at the age of 8 in an effort to overcome her profound shyness. Cisneros later received full summer scholarships to the San Francisco Ballet School and the School of American Ballet and upon completing her high school education, she began her apprenticeship with the San Francisco Ballet in 1976.
In 1977 she joined the Company under the directorship of Co-Artistic Directors, Lew Christensen and Michael Smuin. Cisneros soon began dancing principal roles, many choreographed for her by Smuin himself. She performed her original roles in national television broadcasts of A Song for Dead Warriors and The Tempest, as well as the title role of Cinderella and noteworthy “live broadcast” from the White House in 1982.
Her success continued under San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director, Helgi Tomasson, appointed in 1985. She has danced the leading roles in a diverse repertoire of classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, and La Fille Mal Gardeé. Numerous resident and visiting choreographers have created works for her including Tomasson, Val Caniparoli, James Kudelka and Mark Morris. Her contemporary repertoire included works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Stanton Welch and Jiri Kylian. She has toured the world performing with the Company and as a guest artist.
Cisneros has been featured on the covers of Dance Magazine, Ballet News, and Hispanic Magazine, and received numerous awards for her community activism and artistic achievements. She is held in high regards by the Hispanic community and serves as role model to many. Cisneros holds honorary doctorate degrees from Mills College and the University of California at Monterey Bay. In May of 1999, Cisneros retired from the San Francisco Ballet with a Gala performance in her honor, and in celebration KQED produced a ½ hour documentary of her life, entitled Evelyn Cisneros, Moving On.
Following retirement in 1999, Cisneros became the host of KQED’s monthly current events program “Bay Windows”. During this time, Cisneros also became an artistic consultant with San Francisco Ballet, where she hosted and provided content for Family Connection workshops, pre-performance talks, Community Matinees and the Ballet’s popular Casual Friday Program. From November 2001 to May 2006, Cisneros was Ballet Education Coordinator for the San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education. In this capacity, she hosted, prepared and presented content for Community Matinees, movement workshops and discussions for the Dance Education on Tour program.
Ms. Cisneros was also part of a team of educators training ballet docents involved in the IMPACT program. She prepared study guide content to educate students and teachers about the key elements of ballet, including music and terminology. Since 2000 Cisneros has taught at summer intensive courses for the Kansas City Ballet in Crested Butte Colorado, The Boston Ballet School in Boston Ma. a week long intensive in Carmel Ca. as well as teaching the New York City Ballet Workout at the Bay Club in San Francisco twice weekly, and for Smuin Ballet SF on occasion. She has staged ballets for Val Caniparoli and Michael Smuin for the following ballet companies where she has taught company class as well: Pacific Northwest Ballet, State Theatre Ballet in South Africa, Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds England, Ballet Florida, Kansas City Ballet, Louisville Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.
Cisneros is currently Academy Director for Ballet Pacifica in Irvine California and served as Artistic Director for BP’s 40th anniversary presentation of The Nutcracker for the 21 performance run at the Barclay Theater on the UCI campus. She has also co-authored “Ballet for Dummies” with conductor Scott Speck, which is available at most bookstores and at Amazon.com.
In January of 2010, Cisneros became the Principal of Boston Ballet School's Marblehead Studio. Cisneros is married to recently retired principal dancer Stephen Legate, and they have a son Ethan and daughter Sophia, who are their ultimate accomplishments and joy.
Photo by Rosalie O'Connor