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Madeline Cantarella Culpo Award

Albany Berkshire Ballet Supports “Bright Future” For Dance With New Award


A new award is being established by ABB to recognize “outstanding achievements and contributions to the art of dance.” The new award, to be presented annually, will bear the name Madeline Cantarella Culpo, a champion of dance performance and education in the Northeast for more than 65 years.

“What we've seen is generations of incredible performers, choreographers, costumers- all manner of artists and administrators- who are producing incredible work,” says Associate Artistic Director Mary Giannone Talmi. “Creators and collaborators who are pushing boundaries, blending classical and contemporary impulses, finding all new inspirations and expressions. The future of dance is bright. We want to support that in every way we can.”

In 1955, straight out of the inaugural class at The Juilliard School, Culpo founded the Cantarella School of Dance in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and quickly set about building a ballet guild that would ultimately incorporate as the Berkshire Civic Ballet in 1969. In 1989, Culpo expanded the performing company to the Albany region and established the School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet. In addition to serving as Artistic Director for ABB, Culpo remains a part of the faculty at both schools.

"Dance With Me": A Work of Art by Andrew Devries

Renowned sculptor Andrew DeVries has brought to life a dramatic new work of art that will serve to launch the Madeline Cantarella Culpo Award later this month.


"I owe my whole career to the ballet world. It was by drawing dancers and being in that milieu that I learned what it truly takes to be an artist," said DeVries of the new creation, called Dance with Me.  "I’m honored that ABB thought of my work as an award for Madeline – her dedication to her art form is akin to my own dedication to sculpture."


"For me it started out as passion but at some point I realized it was a deep seated Love – something at the core of my being – unshakable," added DeVries. "I hope that comes through in Dance with Me."  

The new award will be unveiled at Albany Berkshire Ballet's 50th Anniversary

gala celebration, “The Golden Age of Dance,” at Berkshire Plaza Hotel

in Pittsfield, MA, on August 17.

"The Golden Age of Dance”
August 17, 2019 •


Berkshire Plaza Hotel, 1 West Street, Pittsfield, MA

Silent Auction Reception/Banquet Dinner/

Performance Excerpt from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Inaugural “Madeline Cantarella Culpo Award”
After-Party with DJ BFG

Tickets: $100
Please call 413-445-5382

or email for more information.

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