Internationally renowned ballet director, teacher and choreographer, Elie Lazar founded and directed the Joffrey Ensemble Dancers – the official company of the Joffrey Ballet School (NYC), 1999-2005. He also founded and directed Joffrey South, a summer intensive satellite of the Joffrey Ballet School, and LazarBallet, NYC, a professional ballet touring company. From 2007-2011, he directed the Montgomery Ballet in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Lazar’s has won critical acclaim form both reviewers and audience world wide for his work which includes his stagings of the full-length ballets Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Coppelia along with his renditions of Romeo and Juliet, Snow White, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmen, The Nutcracker, and originals works, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Papillon, The Magic Flute, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Dance Me to the End of Love. Born in Rehovot, Israel, Mr. Lazar began his ballet training at age 17 with the Israel National Ballet Company. This early training led to appearances with the Israel National Opera, the Haifa Ballet and the Inbar Dance Company. Dance fans are familiar with Mr. Lazar’s work as a principal dancer with the New Jersey Ballet where, beginning in 1986, he was known for athletic roles in ballets such as George Balanchine’s Tarantella, Sylvia Pas de Duex and Donizetti Variation, Who Cares, and Star and Stripes, for which he was coached by famed New York City Ballet principal dancer, Edward Villella. He also danced the role of “Mercutio” in Romeo and Juliet, ”Franz” in Coppelia, “Puck” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Basilio in Don Quixote and performed the principal role in Le Corsaire. During his career as a principal dancer, Mr. Lazar has toured Italy with Stars of the New York City Ballet, and has performed in Bermuda with Stars of American Ballet Theater. In addition, he has appeared as guest principal dancer with the following companies: Ballet de Monterrey, (Mexico), Joffrey Ballet Gala, Berkshire Albany Ballet, Gainesville Ballet (GA & FL), Kumamoto Ballet (Japan), Milwaukee Dance Theater, Moscow Chamber Ballet, North Atlantic Ballet, Ilya Gaft and Stars of the Kirov and Bolshoi Ballet, Garden State Ballet, Duluth Ballet, Dance Patrell, New Jersey Opera and Tressor Dancers, NYC. Mr. Lazar has toured his companies to the following states: Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Georgia, Washington, South Dakota, and New York, creating exciting summer dance intensives and public performances. As well, he has served as co director of an international dance festival in Pietrasanta, Italy where, in summer, 2010, he presented eleven of his ballets to sold-out performances. His teaching experience includes The National Ballet Company of Mexico, Nordhazer Stadtebundtheater HBS (Germany), The Joffrey Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet School, Tokyo City Ballet, Kumamaoto Ballet (Japan), Israel Ballet (Israel), Kamea Dance Company (Israel), Fresco Dance Company (Israel), Albany Berkshire Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, University of Kansas City, Hartford Ballet, The Washington Ballet, University of East Carolina, Dance Master of America, SERBA, Broadway Dance Center, Peridance, Ballet Arts NYC.