Jonathan Stafford has been appointed the new artistic director of the New York City Ballet, with Wendy Whelan as associate artistic director of the famed ballet company.
Former Artistic Director Peter Martins resigned in January of 2018 after accusations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse. As previously reported, NYCB appointed Stafford, a former ballet master and NYCB principal dancer, as leader of an interim artistic management team, which included resident choreographer Justin Peck and ballet masters Craig Hall and Rebecca Krohn.
Now, Stafford takes over full time as the company’s artistic director, overseeing more than 90 dancers and the 62-piece New York City Ballet Orchestra.
“Jonathan Stafford, whose 20-year career with the Company includes remarkable work as both an exemplary principal dancer and indispensable ballet master, has done an extraordinary job as our interim artistic leader over the past year,” said Chairman of New York City Ballet’s Board of Directors Charles W. Scharf in a statement. “Wendy Whelan is one of the most important and beloved dancers in our Company’s history who went on to a build a dynamic post-NYCB career as an innovative and collaborative artist.”
Peck, who retains his post as resident choreographer and soloist, will also serve as the company’s artistic advisor. Broadway fans will recognize Peck’s name as the 2018 Tony-winning choreographer of Carousel. He is also set to choreograph the film remake of West Side Story, directed by Stephen Spielberg.
Stafford will begin in the official role immediately; Whelan will start in her new role in mid-March.