Erica Fischbach comes to South Bend after a 20 year professional ballet career with the American Ballet Theatre and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She started dancing with Theresa Bullard’s Kalamazoo Ballet Company at 7 years old, studying ballet and Highland dance. When she was 12, her family moved to Milwaukee, where she studied at the Milwaukee Ballet under the direction of Ted Kivett and Basil Thompson. She also received private training with former Israeli Ballet principal, Mariana Laufer before heading off to North Carolina School of the Arts for three years. There she trained primarily with one of Balanchine’s most important muses, Melissa Hayden, as well as former NYCB principal Mimi Paul, ABT’s Fanchon Cordell, and Ballet Russe’s Duncan Noble.
During her first months as a professional dancer, Ms. Fischbach had the privilege of dancing Balanchine ballets as a principal under the direction of Edward Villella. She then moved to Pacific Northwest Ballet where she quickly rose to soloist rank. While there, Ms. Fischbach performed principal roles in many Balanchine ballets as well as in works by the world’s foremost choreographers including Anthony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Jose Limon, and Lynn Taylor-Corbett.
After nine years with PNB, Ms. Fischbach took two years away from company life to freelance as a guest artist, as well as teach ballet, pilates, and Gyrotonic based classes. In 1996 she joined the American Ballet Theatre, where she danced until the end of 2004. There she danced many soloist and principal roles in ballets by Balanchine, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, Agnes DeMille, Paul Taylor, and Anthony Tudor. Ms. Fischbach had roles created for her in world premier ballets by Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, and director Kevin McKenzie. She also enjoyed featured roles in the full classical repertoire including Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Giselle, Coppelia, Raymonda, and Le Corsaire. On September 8, 2001, Ms. Fischbach was featured as a principal guest artist for Twyla Tharp performing Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite” at the World Trade Center in New York City.
Ms. Fischbach has been featured in several “Dance in America” films, the PNB “Nutcracker”, and “Center Stage”.
Since retiring from ABT at the end of 2004, Ms. Fischbach has become a certified Gyrotonic instructor. She is finding the balance between teaching ballet locally, guest teaching nationally, conducting master classes, private coaching, Gyrotonic, and raising her beautiful daughter Fiona Rose.