Choreographer / Ballet Teacher / Dancer
Armando Luna began his ballet training in Houston, Texas, with Margo Marshall, Soili Arvola, and Leo Ahonen. His professional dance career spans over 35 years. He danced professionally with Ballet Austin, BalletMet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Atlanta Ballet. In addition, he toured with Ballet Spectacular, performing with Rudolf Nureyev and Alexander Godunov, and performed as a guest artist with Irish National Ballet and Ballet Arizona. He has partnered Ballerinas Cynthia Gregory and Marianna Tcherkassky. Since retiring from the Atlanta Ballet as a dancer in 1998, he has continued to perform character roles in John McFall's The Nutcracker, Michael Pink's Dracula and Romeo and Juliet, Christian Holder's Transcendence, Yuri Possokhov's Don Quixote, and Bruce Well's Beauty and the Beast.
Armando was the principal teacher of the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education from 1998 through 2019. In 2018, He attended the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Certification Program (Level A). His students are consistently accepted to the most notable summer intensives: such as the School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, to name a few, and many of his students have moved on to dance professionally with Atlanta Ballet, New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theatre. He has created over 50 works for the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, ranging from Classical, Neo-classical, and Contemporary Ballets to story ballets such as Babar the Elephant, which the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performed. As a freelance choreographer, he has created works for many other ballet schools, including college dance programs, such as Emory University, Texas Christian University, Goucher College, and Agnes Scott College. In 2013 Armando ignited a partnership with the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Opera for the JCM Foundation to co-create an original work, Speranza, to raise funds and awareness for Johns Hopkins and Emory Pancreatic Cancer research. In addition, Armando worked with the progressive rock band KANSAS, choreographing a pas de deux danced to their famous song Dust in the Wind as the band plays live. This work premiered in Atlanta in 2018 on their Point of Know Return tour and most recently in 2019 in multiple cities in southern California. In the Fall of 2019, Armando choreographed the world premiere Jack the Ripper for the Savannah Ballet Theatre. In the summer of 2020, Collin County Ballet Theatre commissioned Armando to create a new work. He collaborated with his son Dante Luna (a musician and composer in Los Angeles). The work's title is Expectation of the Dawn, which is about the COVID-19 pandemic; Armando created the choreography at home in Savannah while Dante composed the music in Los Angeles and the dancers learned the choreography virtually in Plano, Texas. Presently, Armando is a national freelance teacher and choreographer. He adjudicated Regional Dance America (RDA) | Midstates for their first virtual festival in 2021.
Next year, RDA Southeast Regional Ballet Association recently selected Armando as their adjudicator for 2022.
Choreography | Video
Jack the Ripper | One act ballet
My newest work for the Savannah Ballet Theatre.
I was invited to choreograph this one-act ballet which is about the women known as the canonical five and the hard times they faced in the 1880s. The people of the era had very little options and the women had less. This ballet looks into their lives and what they endured.
DUST IN THE WIND - KANSAS
Invited by Phil Ehart, founding member and drummer for Kansas, I created a pas de deux danced to their famous song Dust In The Wind as the band plays live. This work premiered in Atlanta in 2018 to begin the Point of Know Return tour, then was performed in Nashville, and most recently in 2019 on the west coast
Speranza is a collaborative work that was created
as a centerpiece for the JCM Foundation's ArtCAN, to raise funds for Johns Hopkins and Emory to find an early detection and cure for Pancreatic Cancer. Working with Juan Ramírez, violinist with the ASO, to ignite a partnership between the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and The Atlanta Opera was truly inspiring. We brought together professional Atlanta Ballet dancers, Christian Clark, Rachel Van Buskirk and Jacob Bush to dance my original choreography to Mr. Ramírez’s musical elegy, which was played live by Ramírez on violin, his son, cellist, David Ramírez and concert pianist, Shirley Irek, as well as Megan Mashburn of the Atlanta Opera, singing the Italian operatic libretto, by Soprano Isabella Baer de Cortes. It was a memorable evening that contributed greatly to the success of ArtCAN’s charitable donation to the fight against Pancreatic Cancer
Dance Concerto is a neoclassical ballet which has three movements and is comprised of a variety of solos, duets, trios, and quartets. The ballet is fun, quick, and demonstrates a technical display of how ballet dancers use traditional ballet technique in an innovative presentation.
Within Reach was created as a choreographic excercise while I attended Kennesaw State University.
"Air" is a pas de trois, which is a movement from the ballet "Four Elements." This footage is from the Atlanta Ballet summer intensive. My son, Dante Luna is the composer of the music. At that time he composed the music for Earth Day 2010. In this movement, the female dancer could be considered the wind and the men, the air currents around her. The dancers are Christian Clark, Pharan Evans, and Victor Gallupo.
Choreography | Photography
Dust in the Wind Pas de Deux Performed with Kansas
Point of Know Return Tour 2018/2019
Dancers, Julia Crosby and Bret Coppa, photo: Rick Diamond
Jack the Ripper
Savannah Ballet Theatre
Photo by Abby McCuen
Sam Chester with Caitlin Godwin and Katja Rochat
Sam Chester with Rebecca Kendall
photos by Richard Calmes
Photo by Abby McCuen