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CHARLOTTE BALLET TAPS INTERIM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AS SEARCH PROCESS BEGINS
Christopher Stuart of Charlotte Ballet II to lead artistic team
Charlotte, NC– Charlotte Ballet appoints Christopher Stuart as interim Artistic Director. He will assume the role later this year as Artistic Director Hope Muir takes on the role of Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada.
“Chris has been working closely with Hope since his arrival in Charlotte last year. He has the talent and ability to lead the Company during the transition. The Charlotte Ballet Board of Trustees and I look forward to working closely with Chris to ensure our artists and organization continue to excel,” said Claire Rauscher, Board Chair.
Stuart first worked with Charlotte Ballet in early 2020 when he choreographed a piece for its Innovative Works repertoire show, which drew inspiration from the Mint Museum’s installation of “Immersed in Light” by studio DRIFT. Following the success of that collaboration, Muir hired Stuart – then Resident Choreographer of Nashville Ballet – to be Program Director of Charlotte Ballet II, the Ballet’s second company, and Rehearsal Director for the main company.
Muir and Stuart are committed to working together to ensure a smooth transition.
“I am thrilled that Chris Stuart has been appointed as the interim Artistic Director. I am confident that Chris will not only be an advocate for the incredible artists of the company but that his calm and assured approach will benefit the organization through this transition,” said Muir, who in 2017 became the Ballet’s fourth Artistic Director.
Stuart, originally from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, graduated in 2002 from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Following graduation, he joined Nashville Ballet, where he was featured in works by renowned choreographers. In 2018, after 16 years as a principal dancer, he was named Resident Choreographer of Nashville Ballet.
Stuart’s vast experience as a dancer and performer helped him articulate his choreographic voice through improvisation and exploration of different forms of movement. He has created works for Nashville Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Chattanooga Ballet, National Choreographic Initiative, and, of course, Charlotte Ballet. Among his works: “Under the Lights,” a full-length work set to the music of Johnny Cash, which he created in 2014. And ArtsNash had this to say: “Stuart’s choreography proved to be a seamless blend of classical, modern and popular dance styles.”
Of his new role, Stuart said: “I look forward to us continuing to attract amazing talent and new choreographic voices to present work that excites and inspires our diverse and devoted audience, and to carry on fostering of an inclusive, supportive working environment that gives opportunities to individuals to grow as artists and people. During this transition, I will also continue my work to help develop and nurture our amazing young dancers within Charlotte Ballet II.”
Stuart will transition to his new position during the 2021/2022 Season, which includes works that will pay homage to Charlotte Ballet’s past as well as present new and highly sought-after choreographers to the Charlotte community. After having its season cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Ballet will finally have the opportunity to celebrate its 50th Anniversary Season.
In accordance with the organization’s Leadership Sustainability Plan, the Board of Trustees appointed an Artistic Director Search Committee Taskforce to interview and retain the services of a search firm with expertise in the dance field. Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has been selected, and in the coming weeks, ACG Vice President Geoff Chang and President Bruce D. Thibodeau will engage the dancers, staff, Board of Trustees and other key stakeholders as Charlotte Ballet defines the experience, qualities, and attributes needed of its new artistic visionary.
About Charlotte Ballet
50 years of dreaming … and counting. Founded in 1970, Charlotte Ballet’s mission is to provide artistically excellent programming to diverse audiences in its home city of Charlotte, the Southeast region and the varied communities it serves while on tour across the nation. Charlotte Ballet is known for its strong dancers and versatile repertoire, ranging from classical ballet like “The Nutcracker” to bold contemporary works. In 2017 Hope Muir became Charlotte Ballet’s fourth artistic director.
CHARLOTTE BALLET 701 N. TRYON ST. CHARLOTTE, NC 28202 704. 372.0101