Umran Sumen
Artistic Director

Umran graduated in 1966 from the State Conservatory in the Faculty of Fine Arts in Ankara, Turkey, after nine years of study.  Subsequently, she received her Master’s degree from Hecettepe University in Ankara.  For the next sixteen years she danced with The National Ballet Company of Turkey as a leading soloist.

At the invitation of Dame Ninette de Valois, she studied at the Royal Ballet School of London and was later sent by the Turkish National Ballet to study choreography and teaching with the Ballet der Wiener Staatsoper Austria, for one year.

Umran worked with world famous choreographers and teachers, among them Anton Dolin, Dame Ninette de Valois, Molly Lake, Travis Kemp, Beatrice Appleyard, Todd Bolender, John Gilpin, Alfred Rodrigues, Richard Glasstone, Sulamif Messerer, Valery Panov and Yuri Grigorovich.  Her repertoire includes thirty classical and modern productions.

In 1986, she was appointed Artistic Director of the Calgary City Ballet.  In 1993, Umran was awarded the commemorative medal for the 125th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.  This medal was given to Umran for her outstanding contribution to the arts and culture of Canada through her work as a dancer and teacher.

In 2004, she was given the Immigrants of Distinction Award.  Umran was the recipient of the 2008 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts.  She was recognized for her outstanding achievement, significant contributions and for improving the quality of life in Calgary.

She is a member of the Turkish National Ballet Company (TNBC), the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association (CDTA).

Umran picture 2.jpg


  • Hayna Gutierrez - Principal Dancer with Alberta Ballet

  • Jennifer Fournier - Former Principal Dancer with National Ballet of Canada

  • Keiichi Hirano - Former First Soloist with National Ballet of Canada

  • Mercedes Vergara - Ballet Mistress with National Ballet of Cuba