Founder/Artistic Director


Adam Sage founded Missouri Ballet Theatre after enjoying a nearly three-decade performing, teaching, coaching and choreographic career that spanned four continents. He is the Artistic Director of Missouri Ballet Theatre and has served as artistic director of Virginia School of the Arts, school director and ballet master for Nashville Ballet and interim artistic director of the National Dance Company of Bophuthatswana in Southern Africa.

He began his more than twenty years on stage at the age of seventeen with the California Ballet in his hometown of San Diego, before moving on to dance with Ballet West, Ballet Memphis and as Guest Artist with Nashville Ballet. Internationally, he has been a principal dancer with such companies as Hong Kong Ballet, Ballet Philippines, N.A.P.A.C. Dance Company and the National Dance Company of Bophuthatswana in South Africa.

Mr. Sage has performed principal roles in all the great classics, including Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, La Bayadere, and Cinderella, and in works by dance luminaries such as John Cranko, Kenneth McMillan, George Balanchine, Ninnette de Valois and Frederick Ashton.

He has had the honor of dancing at some of the most prestigious theatres in the world including the Opera House at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The Hong Kong Cultural Center and in command performances at the Cultural Center of the Philippines for President Ferdinand Marcos & First Lady Imelda Marcos.

Mr. Sage has coached dancers that have participated in the first Beijing International Ballet Competition in China and the prestigious Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition in Switzerland as well as the American Ballet Competition in Miami, for which he served on the jury panel for the 2007 & 2008 competitions. He was inducted into the Who’s who among America’s Teachers in 2005 & 2006 and the National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teachers in 2006 for his exemplary teaching and dedication to the youth of America.

In demand as a master teacher, Sage has served as Adjunct Faculty at Webster University and guest teacher for Virginia School of the Arts, California Ballet School, Virginia Governor�s School for the Arts, Alabama Dance Theatre, Springfield Ballet Company, Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, Washington State Ballet, Southeast University of Missouri, South East Regional Ballet Association and for seven years at the National and Regional High School dance festivals.

Resident Choreographer

Mr. Philander serves as Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer and began his formal training in Cape Town South Africa at the University of Cape Town Ballet School under full scholarship in 1972. Upon early graduation he had completed his advanced RAD exams with Honors and was taken into CAPAB Ballet under the direction of David Poole, rising to the status of Senior Artist.

Mr. Philander has been a Soloist with the NAPAC Dance Company in Durban South Africa, Hong Kong Ballet, The National Dance Company of Bophuthatswana and Ballet Memphis. Over the span of his 18-year professional career he has performed on three continents in works by such luminaries as John Cranko, George Balanchine, Sir Fredrick Ashton and Kenneth McMillan.

Robert served on the faculty of the School of Nashville Ballet for eight years teaching in the upper/pre professional division. His guest teaching credits include the Washington State Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, Springfield Ballet Company, Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, Ballet Tyler, Vanderbilt University, Memphis Concert Ballet, as well as in the Memphis Inner City Schools.

Mr. Philander has choreographed new works for Missouri Ballet Theatre including Porteno Fantastico, In the Rays of the Sun, St. Louis Swing and Arabian and Chinese variations in Act II of The Nutcracker. He has been commissioned to choreograph new works for Nashville Ballet, Nashville Ballet 2, School of Nashville Ballet, Springfield Ballet Company, Ballet Memphis, Memphis Concert Ballet and the National Dance Company of Bophuthatswana. He was commissioned to choreograph a new work for Nashville Ballet in collaboration with the gospel group The Princely Players. This new work had its world premier in February of 2007 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville Tennessee.

Robert is a certified licensed Massage Therapist specializing in Deep Tissue, Swedish and Sports Massage.