In October, Nevada Ballet Theatre announced that Roy Kaiser, the former longtime artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet, was heading west to take the helm of the 35-member, Las Vegas–based company previously led by James Canfield. Kaiser took over in the midst of the 2017–18 season; the 2018–19 season has not been announced yet. Below, Kaiser shares his hopes for the company's future.
What have you been working on since you left Pennsylvania Ballet in 2014?
I have always kept my hand in the business; I've been doing a lot of guest teaching, and from time to time a little bit of consulting work.
What drew you to Nevada Ballet Theatre?
I was approached for the job, and while going through the process of being a candidate I was struck by the history of this company and the fact that it's now in its 46th season. And the community that I found in Las Vegas not only has a great spirit about it, but is very interested in developing the total arts scene, not just ballet. It seemed like a wonderful challenge and opportunity to do something really important here in the city.
What's your vision for the company?
I think that a company's success is based on two things: the repertoire and the dancers. I want to focus on that being a good marriage. We're also the only ballet company in this city, so I want to be able to develop our audiences and expose them to a really diverse repertoire. I hope to get the dancers out in the community so that the population of Las Vegas not only knows that this company is here doing great work, but that they feel like it's an important part of their lives.
What's been the biggest change since moving to Nevada?
I think Las Vegas is different than any other city in the entire world. There's this wonderful can-do attitude here. And though I never imagined myself living in the desert, I'm struck everyday by its unique beauty. It makes me wish I were a painter; I feel totally inspired.