News: Assis Carreiro to lead Royal Ballet Flanders

Tuesday 28 August 2012 by Carmel Smith

Assis Carreiro at the Jerwood DanceHouse. Photo: Sylvaine Poitau

Assis Carreiro, the driving force behind Suffolk based DanceEast for the last 13 years, is leaving to take up the role of Artistic Director of Royal Ballet Flanders. The role is sure to be a challenging one; she succeeds Kathryn Bennetts, the Director since 2005, who had a high profile dispute with the Belgian Minister of Culture over his decision to merge the company with the Flemish Opera and remove Bennetts’s control of programming. When the company performed William Forsythe’s Artifact at Sadler’s Wells earlier this year they received five star reviews – but morale was said to be very low, with many dancers intending to leave with Bennetts – who was Forsythe’s assistant for some fifteen years in Frankfurt.

Carreiro has an impressive list of achievements at DanceEast – not the least of which is the Jerwood DanceHouse – a £9 million permanent home for the company on the Ipswich waterfront. She said:

‘I have had 13 fantastic years at DanceEast developing projects like the Rural Retreats and the DanceEast Academy and building the Jerwood DanceHouse, wonderful world class facilities that will be here for generations to come. The decision to leave DanceEast at such an exciting time did not come lightly, but the opportunity to develop a world class Ballet company and Dance Facility presented an opportunity that I could not pass up. My career in dance was started at The National Ballet of Canada and I am thrilled to be returning to the world of ballet and taking on new challenges as Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet of Flanders and I hope that we can develop international partnerships across the North Sea between our organisations into the future.’

Under her direction DanceEast’s Rural Retreats, have seen hundreds of dance artists, directors and managers from around the world attend a series of biennial think tanks addressing the key issues facing the dance profession – and identifying and nurturing future leaders.

DanceEast has also become a central part of East Anglian cultural life – running a huge range of dance classes for children and adults and establishing an outreach programme to take dance to schools throughout East Anglia as well as a lively performance programme. Many of the UK’s leading choreographers and dance artists have had creative relationships with DanceEast – including Wayne McGregor, Jasmin Vardimon, Rafael Bonachela, Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant –and leading dance artists from around the world, including Sylvie Guillem, Mark Morris Dance Group, The Royal Ballet and Danza Contemporanea de Cuba – have come to the region to perform at the Jerwood DanceHouse and at Snape Maltings in an international dance programme developed with Aldeburgh Music.

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