February 02, 2007
Robert Weiss, Artistic Director, Carolina Ballet, 2-2-07
Robert Weiss, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and past artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet, was selected in April 1997 as the founding artistic director of the a professional company known as Carolina Ballet, based in Raleigh, NC.
Carolina Ballet serves the ever-expanding Triangle community that includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Research Triangle Park, Fuquay-Varina and beyond. After only seven seasons, Carolina Ballet with a budget of $4.3 million is being recognized as one of the top ten ballet companies in the country. The company totals 31 dancers and has performed 62 times in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and Wilmington between September 2005 and May 2006.
During the 2005-2006 season (Carolina Ballet’s eighth season) the company revived Romeo and Juliet and presented another Raleigh premiere of a Balanchine work, Agon, along with Weiss’ Petruschka and a new ballet by Weiss, Petit Ballet Romantique, to music of Leo Delibes. The second half of the season opened with Shakespeare Suite in which Carolina Ballet presented three ballets based on works of William Shakespeare – The Moor’s Pavane choreographed by Jose Limon; Love Speaks choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett to readings by an actor of several of the bard’s sonnets; and Tempest Fantasy, a premiere choreographed by Robert Weiss to the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning score of Paul Moravec.
Three new ballets choreographed by Robert Weiss, Tyler Walters, and Timour Bourtasenkov were presented in the spring on a program called Spiritual Journey to beautiful liturgical music as an Easter celebration. The season ended with a brand new full evening Cinderella choreographed by Robert Weiss to commissioned music by Karl Moraski. With the exception of Messiah in 1999, Cinderella exceeded ticket sales for previous Carolina Ballet productions.
There were several highlights to the eighth season beyond the success of the productions. In the fall Carolina Ballet officially launched its 3-year “World Class American Ballet – Make it Yours” campaign to raise $10.5 million to stabilize the company and ensure its future. The company received an invitation to travel to China to present Swan Lake during a seven-city two and a half week tour in the fall of 2006; and the company embarked on a collaboration with UNC Wilmington for a summer residency on the campus starting in July 2007.
Carolina Ballet was one of four companies in the country to receive a fellowship grant to participate in the New York Choreographic Institute program. Tyler Walters and Timour Bourtasenkov were selected by the Choreographic Institute to each create a ballet on Carolina Ballet dancers during a two week period at the end of the season, culminating with an informal presentation in the studio.
Posted by David Lemberg at February 2, 2007 12:06 PM Return to ARTSCAPE home page