Since his appointment as Artistic Director in 2010, Graham Lustig has revitalized Oakland Ballet Company and helped the organization reclaim its position as a leading San Francisco Bay Area arts institution and premier dance company. Lustig’s stewardship has brought the company a reputation for presenting community-based programming that makes the art of dance relevant, accessible, and engaging to the diverse community Oakland Ballet serves.
For the past twelve seasons, Mr. Lustig has presented his critically-acclaimed production of The Nutcracker at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre, as well as an annual spring season rooted in contemporary works creating partnerships with local artists. In 2016 he began presenting Luna Mexicana, a celebration of Día de los Muertos, and Dancing Moons Festival, the first Asian American Pacific Islander ballet showcase in the nation, of which received an Isadora Duncan Award in 2021. Under Lustig’s watch, Oakland Ballet has grown its Discover Dance Program to provide in-school and in-theater arts programming for nearly a dozen East Bay school districts, reaching more than 15,000 East Bay students each year. He has also curated the You Can Dance! Program that brings movement based learning into the schools.
Trained at the Royal Ballet School in London, Mr. Lustig danced with the Dutch National Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet before embarking on a freelance choreographic career that has included operas, ballets and musicals. He serves as a founding member of the Artists Committee of Americans for the Arts, and has served numerous times on the Dance and Policy Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts.