Over his 20-year career as artistic director of Charlotte Ballet, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux has had many accomplishments. Here are 4 highlights from Jean-Pierre’s time leading Charlotte Ballet:

1. Attracted world class dancers and choreographers

2010-lec-dem-4-photo-peter-zayCreated Charlotte Ballet 2 | In 2000, Jean-Pierre created a second company of professional dancers – Charlotte Ballet 2, led by Mark Diamond. Charlotte Ballet 2 performs in lecture demonstrations and residencies at public and private schools.


Brought master works and new ballets | “Over the past 20 years, Charlotte Ballet has built a consistent roster of dancers to perform new contemporary ballets by the likes of Alonzo King, Jirí Bubenícek and resident choreographer Rhoden; modern classics from Balanchine, Forsythe, Kylián and Tharp; and full-length story ballets.” – Pointe Magazine

Searched for diverse talent |“His dedication to diverse programing and compassion for the artists has propelled tremendous progress for the company, and I look forward to having his counsel and wisdom as a continued part of Charlotte Ballet’s growth.” -Executive Director Doug Singleton

Photo: Alonzo King’s MAP – Photo by Peter Zay

2. Led the company through a period of unparalleled growth


Campaigned for the new building | On April 22, 2009, Charlotte Ballet (then NC Dance Theatre) broke ground on its new 34,000 square foot facility. Hugh McColl Jr. announced the new facility, located at 701 North Tryon Street, would be named the Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance.

jean-pierre-at-reach-webHelped establish Reach | Jean-Pierre helped the company begin Reach, a training program which provides dance training to students at no cost. Over 600 students have participated in the Reach program since it was established.

Expanded the Academy |When Jean-Pierre came to Charlotte Ballet fewer than 150 students attended the Charlotte Ballet Academy. Today the Academy instructs over 700 dancers annually and graduates students to some of the top ballet companies.

Championed a name change | It was under Jean-Pierre’s vision that the company made the bold decision to change its name from North Carolina Dance Theatre to Charlotte Ballet in 2014. “Our home is Charlotte and everything we do is ballet.” -Jean-Pierre

3. Expanded the company’s reach


Led national appearances | Jean-Pierre led the company to national appearances including the Joyce Theater in New York City and Ballet Across America at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2010, the company was as one of only nine selected to perform at the Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America. Charlotte Ballet receive standing ovations from the audiences and rave reviews for Jean-Pierre’s Shindig. The company was invited back to the Kennedy Center in 2012.

6_charlotte-ballet_jean-pierre-bonnefouxs-nutcracker_-rosie-morrison-as-clara-and-mark-diamond-as-herr-drosselmeyer-_photo-by-peter-zay_webEstablished partnerships | As longtime artistic director of the Chautauqua Institution in New York since 1983, Jean-Pierre established a partnership between Chautauqua and Charlotte Ballet. In recent years, he helped develop a relationship with the Gaillard Center in Charleston, S.C., where Charlotte Ballet performs Nutcracker.


4. Received numerous accolades


Received rave reviews for his choreography | In 2004, Jean-Pierre and company toured to the Joyce Theater where his Shindig earned The New York Times praise “Likety-split technique.” The iconic bluegrass ballet received another mention by The New York Times’ Alastair Macaulay saying, “Lucky North Carolina.”

Received ASC Lifetime Achievement Award | In 2008, Jean-Pierre along with Associate Artistic Director Patricia McBride received lifetime achievement awards from the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte, N.C.

Received Ilona Copen Award | In 2011, Jean-Pierre and Patricia were chosen as the first recipients of the New York International Ballet Competition’s Ilona Copen Award.

Received CORPS de Ballet International Lifetime Achievement Award | This year, Jean-Pierre was the 2017 award honoree for the CORPS de Ballet International’s Lifetime Achievement Award for furthering the growth of ballet in higher education and making valuable contributions to ballet departments, through teaching, choreography, and mentoring.

Join us as we celebrate 20 years of Jean-Pierre’s artistic leadership at INSPIRED WORKS running June 1-3, 2017 at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts. TICKETS ON SALE NOW!