Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Artistic Director
Born in France, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux joined the Paris Opera Ballet at age 14 and was named Danseur Etoile at 21.
He has danced with the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets and in 1970 became a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. In 1977, Bonnefoux joined the faculty of the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet, and began to realize his lifelong ambition of training young dancers. His final performance was in 1980, after which time, he dedicated himself to work as an artistic director, choreographer and teacher.
Bonnefoux’s choreography includes works commissioned by the New York City Ballet, The Lincoln Center Institute, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, and the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Bonnefoux has served as choreographer and ballet master for the Pittsburgh Ballet, as Chairman and Artistic Director of the Ballet Department in the School of Music at Indiana University. He joined the Charlotte Ballet and School of Charlotte Ballet in 1996 where he served as the President and Artistic Director until 2016.
Ballet (resident faculty) - Former distinguished prima ballerina with the New York City Ballet. She has been celebrated as the outstanding American ballerina of our day and is a star of international stature. In 2014 she received one of the Kennedy Center Honors for her lifetime contributions and achievements in dance. Her career with the New York City Ballet spanned more than three decades and provided audiences with dazzling performances of some of the greatest masterpieces in dance. George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins created many of their master works for her. She is a teacher of technique and variations classes for both Festival and Workshop dancers. She stages a Balanchine work every summer.
Associate artistic director (resident faculty) - Former soloist, Hamburg Ballet, and principal dancer, Milwaukee Ballet; choreographer for the Dayton Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and National Slovak Ballet. Currently choreographer and teacher for the Charlotte Ballet. He is a teacher of boys’ class for Festival and Workshop.
Ballet (Resident Workshop Ballet & Choreographer) - Director of the American Academy of Ballet, which was established in 1965 upon her return to Buffalo from New York City. She received her training at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet.
Ballet (Resident Choreographer & Faculty) - Trained at the Royal Ballet School, London and at American Ballet Theatre School, New York. Mr. Vernon performed with London Festival Ballet. He was Artistic Director of the Eglevsky Ballet. He is Chair of the Department of Ballet at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He travels domestically and internationally as both teacher and choreographer.
Ballet, guest faculty, (Ballet and Character, Choreographer for Boys' Program) - A native of Armenia, Sarkis Kaltakchian studied at the Choreographic Institute of Yerevan, where he later danced with the Armenian National Ballet and Opera Theatre. He also danced with the Classical Ballet of Costa Rica, Les Ballets Classique de Montreal, The Banff Festival of the Arts, Ottawa Ballet, Charlotte Ballet and Hartford Ballet as soloist and principal dancer. His repertory includes the works of Balanchine, Petipa, Choo- San Goh, King, Caniparoli, Fonte,Peterson, Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Diamond, Bonnefoux and Duato. His Teaching experience includes five years in the ballet department of Les Ballets Divertimento de Montreal under the direction of Maxim Marterosian, and Head Instructor and Director of the Tulsa Ballet II since 2005. Sarkis currently teaches at The School of the Charlotte Ballet.
Ballet (resident faculty and Répétiteur) - Former principal, ballet mistress, artistic director, and academic director of the Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas, the Ballet Nacional de Venezeula, Ballet Farten and the Choreographic Center for the Arts in Barquisimeto, respectively; former ballet mistress for Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella; currently Guest Repetituer at Indiana University.
(Resident Hip Hop) Originally from Buffalo NY, where she studied dance for 15 years at the American Academy of Ballet with Maris Battaglia, Rachael is a 2010 graduate of SUNY Potsdam/Packer Dance, Configuration Dance Theater and Danny Grossman Dance Company. She is currently a member of Lehrer Dance and teaches Hip Hop.
Director of Contemporary Studies (Resident Faculty) – Sasha Janes was born in Perth, Australia, and received his formal dance training from the Australian Ballet School. He has danced professionally with The West Australian Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Dayton Ballet and Charlotte Ballet. In 2006 Janes was commissioned to choreograph his first ballet, Lascia la Spina, Cogli la Rosa, and since then he has choreographed several ballets for Chautauqua Festival Ballet and NC Dance Theatre including You’re So Fine, Breathe, Glass Houses, Last Lost Chance, Rhapsodic Dances and Dangerous Liaisons. Janes now serves as associate artistic director after eight seasons dancing with NC Dance Theatre. He teaches and choreographs for the Chautauqua School of Dance.
Rebecca Carmazzi Janes
(Resident Faculty) Rebecca was born in Urbana, Ohio where she began her training with her Mom, Cindy Carmazzi. She also trained with the Dayton Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Jacksonville Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Ballet Met. In her junior year of High School she was offered a contract with Dayton Ballet where she performed for nine years as a principal dancer. In 1999 she was awarded the Josie Award, for the Most Outstanding Female Performer of the year. Rebecca also worked with Chautauqua Festival Ballet and Ballet Met before joining Charlotte Ballet in 2002 as a principal dancer. During her career she has enjoyed dancing in numerous full length ballets such as Juliet in Septime Webre's as well as Jean Pierre Bonnefoux's 'Romeo and Juliet', Ophelia in Stephen Mills 'Hamlet', Odile and Odette in 'Swan Lake', Alice in 'Alice in Wonderland', Cinderella in 'Cinderella', Lucy in 'Dracula', Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy in 'Nutcracker', Desdemona in 'Othello', and the Marquis de Mertuil in 'Dangerous Liaisons'. She also performed in repertoire ballets by George Balanchine, Lila York, Anthony Tudor, Alonzo King, Alvin Ailey, Nacho Duato, Twyla Tharp, Dwight Rhoden, Salvatore Aiello, Mark Diamond, Sasha Janes, Nicolo Fonte, Dermot Burke, Mark Godden, Christian Holder, and Uri Sands. Since retiring to be with her three children in 2012, Rebecca has been enjoying teaching for the Charlotte Ballet Academy, Dance Davidson, Piedmont School of Music and Dance, and Open Door Studios.
Grant Cooper, orchestral music director and principal conductor
Kazuko Adachi, David Morse, Arkady Figlin, Nataliya Pinelis, Sebastian Birch, Anastasia Falasca Kniess, pianists
Janice Wells, managing director
A. Christina Giannini, costume designer
Lauren Brunson, lighting designer
James Ogden II, Production stage manager