News
Louisville Ballet dancers Luke Yee and Xavier Pellin in rehearsal for Human Abstract. Sam English, Courtesy Louisville Ballet.

If you follow Louisville Ballet on social media, you may have noticed a statement posted to its channels last week. Titled "An Open Letter Against Hate and Prejudice," it says "we cannot and will not be bystanders to hate and prejudice. As artists we have a duty to challenge preconceptions respectfully and to tell the stories of those individuals and groups who make our city what it is and what it should aspire to become."

The letter was posted after the company received hateful emails and phone calls over their upcoming performances of Human Abstract, an evening-length work by Australian choreographer Lucas Jervies that follows the relationship between two openly gay protagonists.

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Ballet Careers
Curran rehearsing company dancer Erin Langston. Photo by Renata Pavam, Courtesy Louisville Ballet.

Last August, Louisville Ballet's artistic and executive director Robert Curran met with an anonymous donor in New York. He came home with a check for one million dollars. His lips are sealed, but the donation bodes well for the ballet's future under Curran, whose tenure only began in 2014.

In its nearly 65-year history, Louisville Ballet has experienced quite the evolution: It has transitioned from civic to professional company; is now housed in a spacious facility nestled between downtown and NuLu, the city's nascent but thriving arts district; and has the nationally respected Adam Hougland as its principal choreographer. As the new director, Curran has already laid out bold plans to strengthen the company, including an expanded relationship with the Louisville Orchestra and a broadened repertoire.

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News

Louisville Ballet has a secret admirer. On Friday, the company announced that it had received a $1 million gift from an anonymous, New York City–based donor to help support the new artistic vision of artistic director Robert Curran, who was appointed last year. According to a statement, the donation will not only help the company expand its repertoire, but also allow it to commission new works, “including collaborative projects with local, national and international choreographers, visual artists and musicians, and more.”

 

Kentucky audiences will see that vision in action this October. Curran, who came to Louisville after a long career with The Australian Ballet, where he was a principal dancer, opens his first planned season with his reimagined version of Coppélia. Not only will sets and costumes be designed by local artists, but the story will be set in 1917 Louisville, just before the United States entered World War I. “This gift not only recognizes the exciting potential of our new vision,” says Curran, “it also recognizes the strength of our entire arts community and the city that strongly supports us all.”

News
Robert Curran rehearses the company in Giselle. Photo by Renata Pavam, Courtesy LB,

After a 16-year career with The Australian Ballet, former principal dancer Robert Curran has moved to the U.S. as the newly appointed artistic director of Louisville Ballet, formerly led by Bruce Simpson. The 24-member unranked company performs both classical full-lengths and contemporary work, throughout a 30-week contract.

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