Maxine Mahon

California Ballet School Executive Director
Founder, Senior Faculty

California Ballet founder, Maxine MahonThe 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 the department sought her out to act as a cultural exchange artist to Romania, the first American dance educator to be so designated.

A natural extension of Ms. Mahon’s dedication to education and to the youth of San Diego, the California Ballet’s Educational Programs offer education about dance to thousands of school age children each year through lecture demonstrations, curriculum based study materials for teachers and special school performances. Receiving an Exemplary Arts in Education Grant from the California Arts Council for these programs is recognition of their high quality and of California Ballet’s commitment to the community of San Diego.

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, DC, under the direction of Frederic Franklin. As well, 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.

Along with awards for choreography and costume design, the San Diego Press Club recognized her achievements with the “Headliner of the Year in the Arts” award, and she is listed in the “National Registry of Who’s Who.”

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.