National Ballet of Canada Director James Kudelka Resigns

Classic Arts News   National Ballet of Canada Director James Kudelka Resigns
James Kudelka, artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada since 1996, will step down on June 30 and become the Toronto company's resident choreographer.

"The process of running this wonderful company and creating new works for it have been mutually inspiring and sustaining activities for the last nine years," Kudelka said. "However, I feel this is the right time to allow someone else to lead the company into its next stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts," where the troupe moves in the fall of 2006.

During his tenure as artistic director, Kudelka created 11 works for the company, including four evening-length dances: Swan Lake, The Contract (Pied Piper), Cinderella, and An Italian Straw Hat, which premiered this month.

He also commissioned new works from Dominique Dumais, John Alleyne, Matjash Mrozewski, and Jean-Pierre Perreault.

"James Kudelka's nine years have been an extraordinary era for the National Ballet of Canada," said chairman David Banks. "We are touring once again, and the quality of our productions has positioned us securely among the highest echelons of today's ballet companies, where we belong."

Kudelka trained at the National Ballet School and joined the company as a dancer in 1972. In 1981, he moved to Montreal's Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, where he was a principal dancer and then a resident choreographer. He returned to the National Ballet in 1992 as artist in residence, and was named artistic director in 1996. As a choreographer, he has created works for Columbus's BalletMet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and other companies.

The company will announce a transition plan soon.

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