Raymond Lukens studied art at the High School of Music and Art,
acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, ballet with Richard
Thomas and Barbara Fallis and was a scholarship student at the
American Ballet Theatre School. He also studied jazz and acrobatics
with Charles Kelley. His professional career started as a Trainee
with Harkness Ballet, later joining the American Classical Ballet
in Buffalo, New York, where he worked with Bronislava Nijinska,
Alica Markova, and Hans Brenaa. As a dancer, Mr.Lukens toured
extensively starting his European career with The Ballet Royal
de Wallonie, directed by Hannah Voos. He performed the works of
choreographers such as Nijinska, Peter Van Dyk, Maurice Béjart,
George Skibine, Serge Lifar, and the classics of Balanchine, Fokine,
Petipa, and Bournonville. While dancing in Europe, he assisted
Van Dyk in restaging his ballets.
Upon retiring from the stage, Mr. Lukens obtained the highest
teaching qualifications as a pedagogue with the Cecchetti Society
in the UK. Together with the JKO School Principal, Franco De Vita,
he directed the Hamlyn School of Dance in Florence, Italy. Mr.
Lukens returned to the United States upon Kirk Peterson’s
invitation to be ballet master for Hartford Ballet, where he was
part of the task force that revised School of Hartford Ballet’s
curriculum. Later he was ballet master for Cincinnati Ballet and
Alberta Ballet. He has stage Peterson’s and Stanton Welch’s
ballets for various companies in the United States.
Other credits include teaching at international seminars throughout
the world and in New York for American Ballet Theatre, ABT Studio
Company, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Ailey School,
The Juilliard School, Peridance International, Marymount Manhattan
College, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dance Educators of America,
and Youth America Grand Prix. He choreographed several works for
the JKO School, for students in Italy, for Cecchetti Summer Schools
in England, and for two UNICEF galas telecast worldwide via Italian
and Dutch television. He coached the Italian Olympic Skating team,
translated into Italian Joan Lawson’s book, Ballet Class,
and has written articles for several dance publications. Before
joining ABT, Mr. Lukens was director of Boston Ballet II and ballet
master for Boston Ballet.
Mr. Lukens created the ballet syllabi for the ABT/ NYU MA Program
and has been a faculty member of the JKO School at ABT since 2005.
Together with Franco De Vita, he authored the ABT National Training
Curriculum; and has traveled as far as St Petersburg, Russia and
Lima, Peru, to teach the ABT NTC.
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