Rodolphe Cassand was born in Dijon, France. He started ballet at age 7 with his mother Monique Dornier, principal dancer at Grand Theatre de Dijon and former student of the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet school. He then joined Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, studying with Paris Opera ballet masters Daniel Franck, Roger Ritz, Serge Golovine, and graduated with honors in Technique and Theory. From the Conservatoire, Rodolphe was invited to join Ballet National de Marseille directed by the legendary Roland Petit, who offered him his first contract at age 17. He then rapidly rose to the rank of soloist and was featured in Petit's TV special Ma Pavlova as The Black Swan. In a span of 22 years, Rodolphe had danced in over 1,000 performances worldwide, including productions led by such stars of ballet as Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Patrick Dupont, Carla Fracci, Alessandra Ferri, Peter Shaufuss, Vladimir Vassiliev, Ekaterina Maximova. Rodolphe has been part of the Japan Ballet Festival, The Dance Theater of Harlem, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Lines Ballet and Smuin Ballet. Rodolphe has taught at Smuin Ballet and on tours was assigned Master Teacher. At Shenandoah University he gave choreography workshops additionally to his ballet classes. Rodolphe has also taught at Western Ballet, Santa Clara Ballet, Lines Ballet and Cassand Ballet where he also served as Artistic Director. Working closely with renowned choreographers - Roland Petit (pictured above), Glenn Tetley, William Forsythe, Alonzo King and Michael Smuin - has definitely shaped Rodolphe's uncontainable creativity. He successfully produced J'aime (a five act ballet) at Shenandoah, Awakening at Dance Mission Theatre. During his 9 years directing his own school Cassand Ballet, he has created numerous works: Persephone, The Fairies, Faun, Forms and Etudes, The Dancing Princesses, The Wild Swans, and The Snow Queen.