After 22 Seasons with Colorado Ballet, Principal Dancer Chandra Kuykendall will Retire in April 2020

Morgan Buchanan and Christophor Moulton by Mike Watson

After 22 Seasons with Colorado Ballet, Principal Dancer Chandra Kuykendall will Retire in April 2020

Rachel Perez - February 5, 2020

DENVER, CO (February 5, 2020) – Colorado Ballet Principal Chandra Kuykendall, who has called Colorado Ballet and Colorado Ballet Academy home for 31 years, will take her final bow at the conclusion of the Company’s 2019/2020 season.

Watch this video about Chandra to learn more about her retirement and next chapter.

Chandra will dance principal roles in Colorado Ballet’s final two productions of the 2019/2020 season, Tour de Force and Ballet MasterWorks. She is looking forward to performing in Feast of the Gods and Celts in Tour de Force, as well as Theme and Variations, Petite Mort, and In the Upper Room in Ballet MasterWorks.

After Ballet MasterWorks in April 2020, Chandra Kuykendall will retire and open a new chapter of her life, saying goodbye to the spotlight and a career that defined her existence for over three decades. “Dance has not only enriched my life, dance has been my life,” states Chandra as she reflects on her career as a professional ballerina. “To be able to share that passion on stage has made me feel like I haven’t worked a day in the last 23 years.”

“To me Chandra emulates everything that a dancer should be,” states Ballet Mistress and former Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Mosina, who has witness her entire career. “Chandra brings everything to her craft including beauty, grace, dedication, a warrior spirit, connection, power, sharing and support.”

Originally from Parker, Colorado, Chandra fell in love with ballet as a child and started taking lessons from a local teacher at the age of five. She progressed quickly, and at the age of eight her teacher recommended that she train in a more professional setting. She began training at Colorado Ballet Academy in 1988.

After nine years of training, she graduated from the Academy and immediately joined the professional company in 1997. Early in her career, she spent one season dancing in Germany with the Leipzig Ballet, after which she returned to Colorado Ballet where she continued to develop and refine her talents over several seasons, dancing numerous principal roles. In recognition of her dancing, dedication and experience, Colorado Ballet promoted Chandra to principal dancer in 2007. She is currently in her 22nd season dancing professionally with the Company.

Chandra has inspired many other dancers throughout their careers and countless other dancers look up to her. “We are sad to see Chandra retire,” states Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “She has been a strong leader in the company for many seasons. Her artistry is very moving and it’s been a joy to be a part of her journey as a professional dancer.”

“I could not have had the career I did without the love and support of my family,” states Chandra. Her husband, Rob Kuykendall, whom she met at Colorado Ballet, their two children, Asher (age 10) and Levi (age 1) and her parents have supported her in her unique career as a professional ballerina. Her son Asher is very proud of his mom and inspired by the passion and commitment she exemplifies. He aspires to follow a similar path of excellence in pursuit of his passion, gymnastics.

“Performing is why we are in this profession,” states Chandra. “When I perform, I transform and all the nerves go away. Then I get to go out on the stage and be in front of the audience, sharing my passion. It is just simply the best feeling and definitely what I will miss the most. Performing has been my life for so long that it’s hard to let it go, but at the same time I feel like there’s a whole other life waiting for me, and I’m so excited for what the future holds.” Following her retirement, Chandra looks forward to having more time to spend with her children and taking on a larger role at the ballet school that she and her husband own in Centennial.

“My proudest time at Colorado Ballet is right now,” stated Chandra. “As a child and a young dancer growing up, I had so many dreams. I couldn’t be luckier because I have exceeded all of those dreams. Thank you to all of my colleagues, coaches, teachers, friends and a huge thank you to my family for always being there for me and supporting me throughout this demanding career. I love you all and can’t wait to see what the next chapter has in store.”

Colorado Ballet wishes Chandra and her family all the best in their next adventure and thanks her for sharing her extraordinary artistry with Colorado audiences for 22 seasons.


Tour de Force | March 6 – 8, 2020
Featuring Feast of the Gods, Celts and a World Premiere by Julia Adam
Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Ballet MasterWorks | April 3 – 12, 2020
Featuring Theme and Variations, Petite Mort, and In the Upper Room
Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Tickets available at COLORADOBALLET.ORG or by phone at 303-837-8888 ext. 2.

Presenting exceptional classical ballet and innovative contemporary dance through performances, training, education and community engagement, Colorado Ballet continues to inspire and grow an increasingly diverse audience base in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating 59 years of excellence. As a world-class professional company, Colorado Ballet presents more than 55 performances annually to sold-out audiences in the 2,000 seat Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Company’s 32 professional dancers and 21 studio company dancers come from all over the world. Colorado Ballet’s The Armstrong Center for Dance, a 35,000 square foot building, boasts eight state-of-the-art professional dance studios and amenities for the professional Company. Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet performs classical ballet masterpieces, full-length story ballets and its critically-acclaimed repertory production Ballet MasterWorks, featuring varied works from neoclassical ballets to world premieres. For more information please visit COLORADOBALLET.ORG.



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