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CHARLOTTE BALLET’S HOPE MUIR NAMED ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA
Charlotte, NC– After leading Charlotte Ballet since the 2017/2018 Season, Artistic Director Hope Muir announced she has accepted the position of Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, beginning January 2022.
Over the past five years, Muir has grown Charlotte Ballet’s repertory immensely, including presenting 12 world premieres and four U.S. premieres. As the company’s first female artistic director, Muir showcased a diverse roster of talent, including the works of female and international choreographers. As a director understanding the value of providing space for creative expression, Muir established the Choreographic Lab during her first season to nurture artistic growth from within the company and the broader Charlotte dance community. “Charlotte Ballet has played an integral role in my development as an Artistic Director,” said Muir. “Working with these incredibly accomplished and talented dancers has given me a solid foundation on which to build my career, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity.”
“Hope’s leadership as Artistic Director and the work she has done with the dancers has given the Charlotte community an opportunity to experience not only beloved classics but also new and emerging choreographic talent,” said Claire Rauscher, Chair of Charlotte Ballet’s Board of Trustees. “Her vision for the company has set an exciting stage leading into the next 50 years for Charlotte Ballet, and I speak for all of my fellow trustees in expressing our gratitude for her service.”
Charlotte Ballet’s Board of Trustees will implement the company’s Leadership Sustainability Plan that provides thoughtful guidance for a successful leadership transition.
“Charlotte Ballet is so incredibly fortunate to have had Hope at the helm for the past five seasons,” said Executive Director Doug Singleton. “It has been a privilege to work alongside her and watch her artistry at work. I am inspired by her vision to establish a company of creatives and amazed at how far we have come under her guidance. I look forward to supporting the Board in the forthcoming search and transition in artistic leadership.”
Muir will continue to lead Charlotte Ballet’s artistic team as the company presents its season opener and 50th Anniversary Celebration performance series at the Belk Theater October 7-9, 2021. The remaining performances for the 2021/2022 Season will continue as planned. More details regarding programming information can be found on the company’s website at charlotteballet.org.
About Hope Muir
Hope Muir joined Charlotte Ballet in 2017 as the company’s fourth artistic director and first female artistic director. During her first season, Muir presented the work of eight choreographers new to the company and showcased two American premieres and five new works. She also established Choreographic Lab, which gives artists from Charlotte Ballet and the community at large the opportunity to hone their choreographic talents throughout the season and present their works in Charlotte Ballet’s black box theater at the Center for Dance.
In her following seasons as Artistic Director, Muir upheld her commitment of presenting a diverse repertoire of choreographic talent, highlighting the work of females and internationally-renowned artists, to the Charlotte community. Through her vast network of connections, she brought additional U.S. premieres to Charlotte, including Christian Spuck’s highly stylized Leonce and Lena, which opened the 2019/2020 Season. Among choreographers presented under her tenure are the works of Peter Chu, David Dawson, Javier de Frutos, Stephanie Martinez, Helen Pickett and Medhi Walerski. In addition, Muir forged relationships with prominent Charlotte cultural institutions, resulting in notable collaborations with The Mint Museum, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and UNC Charlotte.
In March of 2020, when the pandemic forced Charlotte Ballet to cancel the remainder of its 2019/2020 Season, Muir quickly rose to the challenge to provide digital content free-of-charge through Charlotte Ballet’s website and social media channels. She worked tirelessly to keep the dancers engaged during the shutdown and supported independent artist projects that provided opportunity for dancers to express themselves creatively while the stages and studios were dark. During this time Muir also oversaw the appointment of a new Program Director for Charlotte Ballet II and Rehearsal Director, Christopher Stuart, who was previously with Nashville Ballet.
When programming for the 2020/2021 Season was subsequently canceled or postponed, Muir worked with Charlotte Ballet leadership to ensure a safe rehearsal space and return to work for the dancers—even in the absence of upcoming performances. After Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker was canceled for the first time in 28 years, Muir worked with Christopher Stuart to conceptualize and choreograph A Fairy-Tailored Nutcracker, which was presented to socially-distanced audiences at the Center for Dance. Muir continued to overcome challenges presented throughout the season and revised programming for Innovative Works planned for early 2021. Instead of relying on the works of visiting choreographers for the series, Muir switched course and announced that it would operate in a [Choreographic] Lab format. Artists from within the company presented their own works and, for the first time ever, the Charlotte community selected two of the presenting choreographers through a public vote.
Muir’s prestigious appointment as Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada illustrates her success in overcoming obstacles and working with dancers to challenge them to push the art form forward. As Charlotte Ballet embarks on its next 50 years, the artists are poised to lead the company by showcasing unparalleled strength and athleticism in their work.
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