In 1970, Robert Lindgren, Dean of Dance at Winston-Salem's North Carolina School of the Arts founded the North Carolina Dance Theatre. It wasn't until 1884 that they debuted their first self-produced full-length ballet: A Midsummer Night's Dream choreographed by Norbert Vesak. In 2014, it was renamed the Charlotte Ballet, making it the oldest professional ballet company in North Carolina. They are known for their strong dancers and versatility, performing a range of classic to contemporary pieces. See clips from the Classic "Wuthering Heights" below.
Charlotte Ballet has performed an extensive repertoire over the years. With two of the company's leaders, Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux having extensive ties to George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins and major contemporary dance choreographer Dwight Rhoden being the choreographer-in-residence, Charlotte Ballet has become a major hub for neoclassical and contemporary work. Their repertoire includes pieces by Georges Balanchine, Marius Petipa, Twyla Tharp, Alvin Ailey, Dwight Rhoden, William Forsythe, Sasha James, and Alonzo King. They also perform classics such as the Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Carmen. See below a behind-the-scenes look at a rehearsal with contemporary choreographer Alonzo King.
Charlotte Ballet is the parent company to the Charlotte Ballet Academy, formerly the North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance. The school was founded in September 1993. By 1997, 3 satellite locations had been established to accommodate the then 5 level divisions and an Open Division. The school now offers a conservatory program, developed in 2004, for serious dance students who wishes to incorporate their dance classes with their academics.
Cover image from Beto Franklin on Pexels. Information courtesy of Wikipedia.