Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui appointed new artistic director of Royal Ballet Flanders

Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui will be the new Artistic Director of Royal Ballet Flanders. This was announced today by the Board of Directors of Kunsthuis Opera Vlaanderen Royal Ballet Flanders. Dance teacher Tamas Moricz will be his right hand man. The arrival of these two artists spells the beginning of a new chapter for Belgium's biggest dance company.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui will take up his post on 1st September 2015. As Artistic Director he will also be a member of the Board of Directors alongside Lena de Meerleer (General Manager) and Aviel Cahn (Intendant Opera Vlaanderen). Tamas Moricz will be Associate Artistic Director. Together with Larbi he will be outlining the future of the company.

Larbi succeeds Assis Carreiro in this role. The coming 2015-2016 season will be a transitional one, largely still under Carreiro's leadership. Details of the coming season will be announced at the end of April.

The talent, technical virtuosity, sensitivity and musicality of Royal Ballet Flander's dancers have always inspired me

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: “As a contemporary choreographer who was born in Antwerp, I have been following the development of Royal Ballet Flanders for twenty years now. The talent, technical virtuosity, sensitivity and musicality of its dancers have always inspired me, so it was an honour for me to share a piece from my own repertoire with the company last season. Faun (as part of Diaghilev Unbound, season 2013-2014) was a first step towards an exchange of repertoire with the ballet company.”

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui during rehearsals © Filip Van Roe

“For the past 10 years, as well as developing my contemporary choreography work I have also worked with foreign ballet companies every year. Since 2004 I have created performances for the Monte Carlo Ballet, Le Grand Ballet de l’Opéra de Genève, The Royal Danish Ballet, Het Nationaal Ballet in the Netherlands and the dancers at the Paris Opera. Through all these experiences I have gained the confidence and energy that I will need in the role of Artistic Director at Royal Ballet Flanders. The course I will be seeking to pursue with the company is one of reconciliation. For a number of years there has been a constantly growing exchange between the different dance disciplines, as classical ballet and contemporary dance increasingly complement each other.”

The course I will be seeking to pursue with the company is one of reconciliation

“I am not making this move to Royal Ballet Flanders alone. I am bringing with me Tamas Moricz as my right hand man: a highly talented dancer and dance teacher who has himself danced for many years in performances created by William Forsythe. Together with him I will be working out the future direction for the Ballet. That direction will respect its history while also cherishing the ambition to open up new paths. Eastman will still be my contemporary company. Organic exchanges with Royal Ballet Flanders will of course develop, but I am definitely not going to force that.”

Tamas Moricz, dancer and dance teacher who has been working with William Forsythe for years

Tamas Moricz: “We want to take Royal Ballet Flanders to a new and inspiring place in the world of dance. We both share the aim of allowing dancers to maintain their firm classical background by continuing classical training and repertoire, while also bringing the company into a contemporary space. Classical ballet and contemporary dance can exist alongside each other, and that is the situation at present. Our aim is to draw both of these worlds into a creative hub within this company.”

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