Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux speaking with dancers. Photo by Jeff Cravotta via Charlotte Ballet
Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, director of the Charlotte Ballet (previously North Carolina Dance Theatre) for nearly 20 years, announced that he will retire at the end of the 2016/2017 season. What’s next for him? “I would love to play golf,” said Bonnefoux in an interview with The Charlotte Observer, “but I don’t think I’ll have the time.”
Golf’s loss is ballet’s gain. In addition to staying on as the company’s directorial adviser, Bonnefoux plans to institute his own brand new contemporary training program. “The repertoire in companies now is 40 to 50 percent contemporary,” he says, referencing the problematic lack of non-classical training students receive in pre-professional ballet schools.
Bonnefoux is married to CB’s associate artistic director Patricia McBride, a fellow New York City Ballet alumn and master teacher at the Academy. For now, the new training program’s start date and Bonnefoux’s successor are unknown, but with this prominent team, the future of dance education is surely in good hands.