This month, Hope Muir takes over as Charlotte Ballet’s artistic director. Muir, who comes to Charlotte from the Scottish Ballet in Glasgow, danced with the English National Ballet before joining Rambert Dance Company, where she danced for more than a decade under the direction of Christopher Bruce. She concluded her stage career in 2006 as a dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and has since worked as a director. We caught up with the talented leader to talk about her inaugural season and plans for Charlotte.
How did you decide Charlotte Ballet was the right fit for you?
I looked at the company first, the repertoire, the teaching staff, the artistic staff, the commitment to choreographers, and mentorship. I came here on a sneaky visit to see what it was all about. My visit was during their gala and fundraising event, so I also got to see how they functioned in a fundraising capacity and was impressed.
What did you find?
I look at the quality and level of performance here and feel like it’s a place where I can easily fit in and be effective. I feel a pride in the city. What was a good fit for my skills and interests is the balance of classical and contemporary. The women still get on pointe—that’s a skill I had in my career and one that, if “The Nutcracker” is a feature yearly for the company, needs to be maintained. This already tells me what’s underpinning the organization: a commitment to classical training.
What can Charlotte look forward to under your artistic leadership?
I’m really excited about some planned collaborations with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra—I have two upcoming projects with Music Director Christopher Warren-Green. He expressed interest in a rite of spring project, which we’ll be doing later this year, and then Charlotte Ballet will be part of the Symphony’s spring season.
How should Charlotte Ballet be regarded?
We’re always going to present the highest-quality performance —whether it be poetic family shows like “The Nutcracker” or something else fabulous we bring in. We’re also strong at retelling stories and will have our own narrative.
Photos by Justin Driscoll