After more than a decade of assisting with the Indianapolis School of Ballet as a guest faculty member and performer in several productions, Paul Vitali is proud to call Indianapolis his home after joining the growing organization’s staff in the summer of 2017. Vitali was introduced to ballet at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, where teachers from Pennsylvania Ballet encouraged Paul to audition for the company’s official School. There he began his ballet studies in earnest, progressing through the School into Pennsylvania Ballet’s apprentice program, led by former American Ballet Theatre prima ballerina Lupe Serrano, until being invited to join the professional company. Under the direction of founder Barbara Weisberger and artistic director Benjamin Harkarvy, Paul rose in the ranks to perform many roles in the prestigious company.
Pennsylvania Ballet offered a diverse repertoire, featuring its foundation in the traditions of legendary choreographer George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, as well as works by up-and-coming new choreographers, established dance-makers, and traditional ballet classics. Following his time at Pennsylvania Ballet – where he partnered with Victoria Lyras – a long-time dream of living and dancing in New York City called, and Vitali joined the Feld Ballet, led by choreographer and founder, Eliot Feld.
While in New York, Paul enjoyed learning from many of the city’s famed teachers, and his love of teaching grew. He was a company teacher at the Feld Ballet, while spending summers returning to his roots on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.
After retiring from the stage, Vitali explored career opportunities outside of dance, but a deep love of ballet brought him back and led to teaching roles with the Miami City Ballet School and Florida International University. In 2007, Paul was invited by Lyras to play the part of Herr Drosselmeyer in the Indianapolis School of Ballet’s first production of The Nutcracker. Over the next ten years, he taught and choreographed for the talented students at ISB as a resident guest faculty member, while also still “hitting the boards” in productions such as Carnival of the Animals, Coppélia, The Firebird, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Swan Lake.