PROGRAM DIRECTOR CHARLOTTE BALLET II & REHEARSAL DIRECTOR
Christopher Stuart, originally from Sandy Hook, CT, was first introduced to the Arts by his grandmother, who frequently took him to see performances of all types of ballet and musical theatre. This was where Christopher first fell in love with the stage. He began his formal training with Steve Sirico, Angela D’valda Sirico, Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens, and now with a child of his own, he understands why the arts are so important to enriching our community, especially its children.
In 2002 Christopher graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Upon graduation he joined Nashville Ballet where he was featured in works by renowned choreographers such as Nashville Ballet’s Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, Jiri Kylian, Gina Patterson, Christopher Bruce, Christopher Wheeldon and numerous others. After a 16-year career with Nashville Ballet as a principal dancer, choreographer, and teacher, he was appointed as their Resident Choreographer in 2018, creating over 10 works during his tenure. During this time Christopher concurrently taught and created new works for schools and companies all across America. His passion for teaching is rooted in his conviction to share the techniques and choreography that he has gleaned over his career.
Christopher’s vast experience as a dancer and performer helped him articulate his choreographic voice through improvisation and exploration of different forms of movement. Embarking upon his journey as a choreographer has allowed him to further express himself in a free and limitless way. He has created works for Nashville Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Chattanooga Ballet, National Choreographers Initiative, Charlotte Ballet, various festivals, and commercial work.
In 2014, he created Under the Lights, a full-length work to the music of Johnny Cash performed by Sugar & The Hi-Lows about which ArtsNash said “Stuart’s choreography proved to be a seamless blend of classical, modern and popular dance styles.” In 2015, Stuart had the pleasure of choreographing a piece to the music of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers.
Christopher brought music lovers and dance enthusiasts together by collaborating with some of the music industry’s best including, Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn), John Oates (Hall & Oates), Kellie Pickler, and John Carter Cash (son of Johnny and June Carter Cash).
His artistic achievements won him the 2010 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, one of the highest honors that a Tennessee artist can receive. Christopher was a finalist in Ballet Arkansas’ 2014 Visions Choreographic Competition, as well as a finalist in the 17th Annual Choreography Festival which was held at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California. In 2016 and 2017 he was awarded a Fellowship Initiative Grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet. In July 2017 he created a new work for the National Choreographer’s Initiative in Irvine, California, and in the same year created a new work for Nashville Ballet entitled The Raven after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem. In 2018, to rave reviews, Christopher created Seven Deadly Sins with new music written and sung by Ten out of Tenn, and the Nashville Symphony.
Christopher created for Charlotte Ballet’s Innovative Works in 2020, inspired by the Mint Museum’s installation of Immersed in Light by studio DRIFT.
Under the direction of Hope Muir, Christopher was appointed Program Director of Charlotte Ballet II and Rehearsal Director for the main Company in July of 2020. He is excited and proud to be part of the Charlotte Ballet family and community, and lives in Huntersville with his beautiful wife Olivia, daughter Ryan, and dog Moose. They felt as a family that the Charlotte area was the perfect fit for them and a great place to raise children. Consistently growing, the Queen City understands the importance of performing arts disciplines like ballet; an important part of the community’s culture and attraction.
When not at the Ballet you can find him on the golf course, watching live sports, and spending time with his family.
Christopher is looking forward to taking on the role as Interim Artistic Director of the Charlotte Ballet. Where he envisions a continuation of attracting amazing talent, new choreographic voices, presenting repertoire that engrosses and excites the audience, and to carry on the fostering of an inclusive, supportive working environment that gives opportunities to individuals to grow as artists and people.