BALLET WICHITA ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP for the 47th annual NUTCRACKER featuring the BALLET WICHITA SYMPHONY
Century II Concert Hall, Dec. 2021
Ballet Wichita board of directors is pleased to announce Mr. David Justin has been appointed as Resident Artistic Director for Ballet Wichita.
David joins Ballet Wichita after serving in academia for 17 years, an interim ballet master and men’s program coordinator for Kansas City Ballet, and was the founding artistic director of American Repertory Ensemble. In Austin, TX, David was a co-producer of the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival as well as a tenured professor at UT Austin.
Formerly a principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet, a soloist with San Francisco Ballet and beginning his career with Boston Ballet, David has toured the globe extensively and has a broad repertoire that includes principal roles in the classical repertoire and works by choreographers including Ashton, Balanchine, Bintley, Caniparoli, de Mille, Forsythe, Kylian, MacMillan, Morris, Taylor, Tharp, Tudor, Robbins, Welsh, and York. David’s dancing was described as “alluring and mercurial,” “polished,” “brilliant,” and “fearless.” David’s own critically acclaimed choreography has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Choreographic Institute (NYCB), Dance Gallery NYC, Ballet Builders, American College Dance Association, International Choreographer’s Showcase, National Choreographer’s Initiative, and universities and performing arts schools. Presented with international acclaim, reviews of his choreography describe it as “surprising,” “poetic,” “athletic,” “inventive,” and “intelligent.”
David holds a Master’s degree in Dance in Education and the Community from the University of Birmingham, England, and hopes to travel regularly again, when it’s safe, as a guest choreographer, director, speaker and teacher.
“Mr. Justin brings to Ballet Wichita a stellar resume of work and experience. David’s decades of leadership in nationally recognized dance organizations, academia, and professional ballet companies makes him the perfect fit to lead the artistic endeavors of Ballet Wichita – one of our communities most loved arts organizations” shared Brent McNulty, Immediate Past President, Ballet Wichita.
Sandy Wolter continues in her role as Executive Director of Ballet Wichita. Sandy’s tenure with Ballet Wichita has brought stability to the company through her administrative leadership, fundraising, grant writing and pursuit to build strong partnerships with local and national arts organizations and businesses.
“Sandy and David are a great team.” shared Alana Veges, newly appointed President of the Board. “They both have amazing experience in arts creation and administration. Coming out of this challenging year, the board could not be more excited about the position we are in as we rebuild and continue the tradition of Ballet Wichita. We are committed to providing unparalleled opportunities for dancers in the region and are so proud of the dancers and team we have that worked harder than ever over the past months to keep Ballet Wichita thriving.
AUDITIONS & NUTCRACKER PERFORMANCES
2021-2022 Season Company Auditions: Held on August 28, 2021 at the Ballet Wichita Studios in the Delano District, this is the opportunity for dancers from across the Wichita Metro Area to be a part of the Ballet Wichita Company. Dancers ages 8 years and older are encouraged to follow Ballet Wichita social media and website for complete audition details and updates. David Justin will teach a Master Class August 14th at the BW studio, limited space is available, the class is open to dancers from all studios.
Ballet Wichita, will stage it’s 47th annual performances of The Nutcracker at Century 2 in Concert Hall on December 10, 11, and 12, 2021. Complete with the Ballet Wichita Symphony, the time-honored tradition returns after a year off due to the pandemic. With a cast of over 120 local dancers, the cast will be joined by a duo of guest artists from one of the country’s premier ballet companies. The performances will feature breathtaking sets by the internationally acclaimed scenic designers Michael and Rachel Downs, locally made and designed professional costumes and wigs, and an impressive backstage team of professionals and volunteers that come together to give Wichita one of the midwest’s best Nutcracker performances. Tickets will be available through WichitaTix in late fall.
“There is something magical about creating live art. The collaboration and creativity that happens when you stage a ballet is extraordinary, especially when it’s a production as large as the Nutcracker. It takes artisans of every discipline to make a production possible: dancers, choreographers, seamstresses, lighting designers, stage hands, and happily for us with the Nutcracker, a full orchestra! We will be working for months to bring this production together and we are so looking forward to being back in the studio rehearsing, starting working with David, and especially to being back on stage at Century II Concert Hall performing for the community.” Sandy Wolter, Executive Director, Ballet Wichita.
ABOUT BALLET WICHITA
Each year, Ballet Wichita performs for over 20,000 people including eight performances of the treasured holiday ballet, the Nutcracker. Through the company’s innovative and growing arts educational and outreach programs, Ballet Wichita buses nearly 6,000 elementary-age students to its annual matinee performances of the Nutcracker (often a first-time exposure to both dance and live theatre for students). Ballet Wichita’s educational programs have received acknowledgment and support from the Kansas Health Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information, visit us at balletwichita.com or follow us on social media.