James Kudelka quits
James Kudelka, artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada since 1996, stepped down on June 30. His resignation had been announced only six weeks before but senior company officials say Kudelka had been discussing his departure for several months. He was the longest serving artistic director since its founder, Celia Franca, and will retain the title of resident choreographer. Kudelka was already one of North America‘s leading choreographers when he succeeded Reid Anderson at NBC.
Many observers were surprised that Kudelka would want the responsibility of heading a large company since Kudelka himself made no secret of his distaste for the onerous administrative and “glad-handing” work that is expected of North American ballet company directors.
Anderson had left in disgust because government funding reductions threatened NBC‘s capacity to survive as a classical repertory company. Kudelka embraced the challenge of adapting NBC to new funding realities. With 55 fulltime dancers, NBC is considerably smaller than when Kudelka arrived. Yet, he has successfully choreographed several full-length works including a spectacular “Cinderella” in 2004 and most recently the very popular ...