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Renowned ballerina and ballet teacher to coach dancers here

Anna-Marie Holmes, an Emmy Award-winning ballerina and veteran dance teacher and director, will be in Hendersonville later this month to work with a local ballet company ahead of its performance of "Swan Lake" Act 2 on Friday, May 19.

Holmes will be in town Feb. 23-27 teaching a technique class each day and coaching Hendersonville Ballet dancers on the technique and artistry of "Swan Lake."

Holmes, who has worked with many internationally known ballet companies performing well-known ballets, has a special relationship with Kevin Overbey, artistic director of Hendersonville Ballet. He studied under Anna-Marie Holmes when he was just starting his professional dance career.

“As a dancer, teacher and artist, I owe much to Anna-Marie,” Overbey said. “I was training with Chattanooga Ballet, in 1980. I ended up taking a class with Anna-Marie, in Knoxville, and was offered a scholarship to study with her. She was the bridge between being a good dance student and my first professional job in 1983 with San Antonio Ballet.
“I remember taking her Pas de Duex class. She had retired from professional dancing, but she was still fierce. I hardly knew how to partner, and she would burn off multiple pirouettes, and I was supposed to stop her on a dime. Then before I knew it, she would be flying in my direction, and I was supposed to catch her, just so, and place her nicely on earth. After that I had no fear of partnering anyone.”

A Canadian-born ballet dancer, educator and choreographer, Holmes, 80, received an Emmy Award in 2000 for her staging of “Le Corsaire” for PBS. She was a soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet from 1960 to 1962 and a guest performer with the Kirov Ballet during the early 1960s, the first North American dancer invited to perform with them. Holmes has also performed with the London Festival Ballet, the Scottish Ballet, the Berlin State Opera, the Dutch National Ballet, the Chicago Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. In 1985, after retiring from performing, she joined the Boston Ballet as ballet mistress and was named that company's artistic director in 1997. She also served as dean of faculty for the Boston Ballet's Center for Dance Education.