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Background



Founded in 1970, Charlotte Ballet is the oldest professional ballet company in North Carolina. Today, Charlotte Ballet has an established national reputation for artistic excellence and is widely regarded as one of Charlotte’s premiere arts organizations. Under the artistic direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, the company has attracted superb dancers and built a versatile and diverse repertory ranging from full-length classical ballets to innovative contemporary works. The company employs 22 professional dancers. Through its second company, Charlotte Ballet II, the group fosters the growth of apprentice dancers while its school, Charlotte Ballet Academy has an annual enrollment of over 500 students.

Charlotte Ballet is among the finest mid-sized dance companies in the United States, and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. The company’s excellence has long been recognized in its home city of Charlotte and in the many communities that form the Ballet’s touring roster. This excellence has fostered performances at major dance festivals including the Spoleto Festival, the American Dance Festival, and DanceAspen.

Charlotte Ballet has an extensive Education and Outreach program and partners with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) to provide curriculum-based instruction and educational performances to thousands of students each year.

For more information on the company visit charlotteballet.org


Choreographers for Endless Possibilities


Alonzo King

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Alonzo King has created works that have entered the repertories of companies throughout the world, including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

In 1982, King founded Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, which has developed into an international touring company. He is recipient of numerous awards including the NEA Choreographer's Fellowship, the Irvine Fellowship in Dance, five Isadora Duncan Awards, the 2005 Bessie Award and being named a Master of African-American Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005. Also a renowned teacher, writer and lecturer on the art of dance, King was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Dominican University of California, and was given the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University. NC Dance Theatre has performed King’s Chants, Dreamer, Map, Tango and Salt. (See link below to LINES Ballet website.)

http://www.linesballet.org/


Mark Diamond

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Mark Diamond has choreographed and taught in Europe, Japan and the U.S. since retiring from the Hamburg Staatsoper in Germany in 1983. He has choreographed more than 20 ballets for Charlotte Ballet and is program director for Charlotte Ballet II. In the summer he serves as associate artistic director and resident choreographer for Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux at the Chautauqua Institution. Before joining the Ballet, Diamond was resident choreographer for the Cincinnati Opera, founded Ballet Artists Cincinnati, and received grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts and others. Diamond was a principal dancer with the Milwaukee Ballet Company, danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Tamburitzans Slavic Folk ensemble.

Diamond trained with Edward Caton and attended Duquesne University and Point Park College where he studied music, history, and dance and earned a BA degree. Additional tenures from Diamond’s dance career include dancing as a principal with Milwaukee Ballet Company, and dancing with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Tamburitzans Slavic Folk Ensemble.


Charlotte Ballet Pre-Professional Division


The Charlotte Ballet Apprentice program provides a transitional experience for dancers as they move from the academic ballet setting to the world of professional dance. It gives dancers an opportunity to increase their stylistic range and versatility by exposing them to a variety of dance styles in class, rehearsals and performances. Charlotte Ballet is known for its eclectic repertory and we are committed to preparing our dancers to be as versatile as possible not only for work with our own company but to increase their chances for employment with other dance companies. Apprentices receive unique opportunities to learn the repertoire of and perform with Charlotte Ballet and Charlotte Ballet II.

Media:


--Choreographer Alonzo King working with dancers on Chants and with school students in educational performance

--Opening Excerpt from Chants

--Excerpt of Men's Dance from Chants

--Dancers rehearsing Mark Diamonds’ choreography to Warehouse Medicine by Mason Bates


Resources:


--What is Contemporary Ballet:

--Choreographer Bios

--Choreographic Descriptions:

--What's it like to be a Dancer?

--Ballet Slippers / Pointe Shoes

--Salsa / Ballet / African American Dance

--Careers in Dance