Missouri Ballet Theatre – Adam Sage

© Adam Sage

Adam Sage is the Artistic Director of Missouri Ballet Theatre and has served as artistic director of Virginia School of the Arts, school director and ballet master for Nashville Ballet and interim artistic director of the National Dance Company of Bophuthatswana in Southern Africa. Adam has performed principal roles in all the great classics, including Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, La Bayadere, and Cinderella, and in works by dance luminaries such as John Cranko, Kenneth McMillan, George Balanchine, Ninnette de Valois and Frederick Ashton.

Interviewed by Stephen M. Thompson, Ph.D.

Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in San Diego and have eight siblings of which I am third to the youngest. My siblings are spread across the country and have jobs that are unique and interesting just like mine. In our family we have a fireman, baker, private investigator, paralegal, housewife, college professor to mention a few. My father was a Chief in the Navy and my Mother was a nurse and Shakespearean Actress. I had my initial exposure to dance through television such as the IBM specials and the Ed Sullivan Show. My early training was at the Parks & Recreation Department and then I moved to a formal classical ballet school – The United States International School of Performing Arts Conservatory. I later moved to the California Ballet School where I completed my training and went on to dance professionally in Asia, Africa, Europe and here at home. Upon retirement I went on to teach, choreograph and direct serving as School Director, Ballet Master and Artistic Director for many organizations both nationally and internationally.

So how and why you got into the world of ballet and theater?

I was fortunate enough to have a father who loved classical music and opera and he took me to see the symphony, opera and ballet as a young person. My father told that when I was in kindergarten I came to him and said I wanted to be a ballet dancer. He said that it was okay and I never looked back.

Talk to us about your Missouri Ballet Theatre and its mission.

I founded Missouri Ballet Theatre, a non-profit professional ballet company in May of 2009 and opened the doors in St. Louis Missouri in September of that year. MBT relocated to St. Peters in 2012 and has continued to bring first class dance to the community holding performances of “The Nutcracker”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Concepts”, “Concepts II”, “Concepts III” and “Cinderella”.

MBT has held educational performances for over 3000 young people from all over the city and counties in our effort to continue educating young audiences about dance and the arts in general. More than 600 local children have been afforded the opportunity to perform side by side with the professional dancers of MBT in presentations of our full length story ballets The Nutcracker, Cinderella and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Edison Theater on the campus of Washington University: Mission – In recognition of our community’s rich tradition of arts innovation and virtuosity, Missouri Ballet Theatre seeks to inspire and cultivate excellence in classical and contemporary dance: Through distinctive collaborations with area arts organizations, performers, and musicians to explore the fusion of movement with other forms of artistic expression; By providing a platform for well-trained and focused professional dancers to flourish in a stimulating and creative environment; and espousing artistic enrichment through educational outreach, youth participation, and charitable partnerships

What’s your team’s one best gig thus far?

I would have to say that our annual presentation of The Nutcracker has been our most successful production to date having been seen by over 8,000 children and their families.

Describe your team.

They are an extremely dedicated and talented group of people that work tirelessly to make it possible for MBT to exist and bring first class dance to the community. MBT is comprised of the Ballet Master, Board of Directors, Friends of MBT and seventeen professional dancers that hail from St. Louis, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania to mention a few.

Any upcoming projects or initiatives you would like to mention?

I have just finished choreographing and staging our World Premier of Dracula and also doing “The Nutcracker”. For more details and tickets check us out at

Any advice for upcoming artists?

To always stay true to your art and don’t give up no matter how big the obstacle may be. Passion and determination are fifty percent of the battle. Always remember to dream big and the hard work and sacrifices you make will be worthwhile in the end.

What are your leisure time activities?

Movies, Football, Xbox, Travel and Cooking!

Thank you

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