Bryan Arias – a choreographer featured in Charlotte Ballet’s 2017/2018 SEASON – has received a 2017 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship. Bryan was nominated by Charlotte Ballet’s new Artistic Director Hope Muir.


Photo by Joao Canziani

Hope first became aware of Bryan’s work at the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition. Impressed and excited by the individuality of his choreographic language, she suggested to Christopher Hampson, the CEO and Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, where she previously served, that he might consider commissioning Bryan to work with the Scottish Ballet.

“I was struck by Bryan’s professionalism and focus. He approaches things with great detail and curiosity. He comes in with a plan and engages well with his dancers,” Hope said.


Photo by Joao Canziani

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, Bryan’s new work for Charlotte Ballet – When Breath Becomes Air – is one of his first commissions from a major dance company in America. Interestingly, Bryan began his dance career as a member of Charlotte Ballet’s second company.

“Charlotte Ballet was my first professional company experience when I was 19,” said Bryan. “To return after more than a decade means I get to witness and experience the company’s growth and share my artistry through a new medium.”

After dancing with Charlotte Ballet, Bryan went on to perform with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and then joined The Netherlands Dance Theater (NDT), and most recently performed with Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot. He has originated roles in and performed in works by notable choreographers including Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin and Crystal Pite.

As a choreographer, Bryan is the recipient of the First Place and Audience Choice awards for his work Without Notice at the Sixth Copenhagen International Choreography Competition (CICC), was nominated for the Rolex mentor and protégé award and is the winner of the Hubbard Street Dance International Commission Project. He has choreographed for Hubbard Street 2, Netherlands Dance Theater 2, Ballet Vorpommern (Germany), The Scottish Ballet and Tanz Lucerne Theater.


Photo by Scottish Ballet

Bryan’s choreographic language will bring a unique flavor to the repertoire of Charlotte Ballet.

“He has a distinctive voice and a creative process that will nurture the wonderful artists of Charlotte Ballet, and I look forward to sharing his unique style with Charlotte audiences,” said Hope.

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a non-profit, publicly-supported foundation, headquartered in New York City and founded 34 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor his wife, Princess Grace’s [Kelly] legacy. The Foundation’s mission is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships. Since the Foundation’s inception, nearly 800 recipients have been awarded more than $13 million.

Bryan joins former Princess Grace Award winners, Charlotte Ballet dancer ALESSANDRA BALL JAMES and choreographer ROBYN MINEKO WILLIAMS, who is choreographing a new work for Charlotte Ballet’s Innovative Works.