Yesterday, Ballet San Jose named former American Ballet Theatre principal Jose Manuel Carreño its new artistic director, effective September 3, 2013. As one of the most admired dancers of the past two decades, Carreño brings plenty of experience to the job, and strengthens the growing relationship between BSJ and ABT.
BSJ has changed direction over the last few years. In December 2011, it announced a partnership with ABT that would allow the company to use ABT’s National Training Curriculum for students. (At this point they're the only company on the West Coast to do so.) The partnership has also given BSJ access to productions from ABT’s repertory. Shortly thereafter, however, BSJ's board ousted longtime director Dennis Nahat, leaving the company in a seemingly uncertain position. Carreño's appointment, further tying the company to the ABT network, might provide the stability BSJ needs.
Carreño, who retired from ABT in 2011, will be following in the footsteps of artistic advisor Wes Chapman, who led BSJ after Nahat's departure. Former principal ballet master Raymond Rodriguez has been named associate artistic director.
Keep your ears open for Carreño’s announcement of his plans for the 2013-2014 BSJ season, coming later this summer.