LAS VEGAS, NV (Thursday, October 5, 2017) – Nevada Ballet Theatre’s (NBT) Board of Trustees Co-Chair and Search Committee Chair Jerry Nadal along with the Executive Search Committee, announced today that Roy Kaiser has been selected as the Company’s Artistic Director following a national search led by Management Consultants for the Arts. Kaiser is the fourth Artistic Director in the Company’s history.
Entering its 46th Season, NBT is one of Las Vegas’ largest and longest running arts institutions and Resident Ballet Company of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The Company consists of 35 professional dancers and an affiliated Academy that trains 450 students. In addition, its extensive education and outreach program serves over 20,000 students a year including those from at-risk communities in Clark County.
“It is with great pride that we announce Roy Kaiser as NBT’s new Artistic Director,” said Jerry Nadal. “Roy is an extremely well-respected figure in the dance world. Over the course of two decades, he grew Pennsylvania Ballet into one of the nation’s leading companies—demonstrating true loyalty and dedication to furthering our art form. We look forward to working with Roy to cultivate new audiences and elevate our national identity.”
Kaiser’s illustrious career began as a tap dancer with his four brothers that included stints on television and across the United States. After training with the San Francisco Ballet School and School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Kaiser rose through the ranks of Pennsylvania Ballet. While a Principal Dancer with the Company, he was appointed Assistant Ballet Master. Following his retirement, he was promoted to the position of Ballet Master, and finally, Associate Artistic Director until he was appointed Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet in 1995. He currently holds the title of Artistic Director Emeritus.
Kaiser will work closely with Executive Director & CEO Beth Barbre, the Board of Trustees, dancers and staff to grow all areas of the organization. In addition to leading the professional company and artistic initiatives including programming NBT’s annual performance Season, Kaiser will oversee the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre as well as interface with staff on fundraising, marketing and public relations opportunities.
“This is truly an exciting time in NBT’s history,” said Beth Barbre. “We admire Roy’s experience, proven leadership skills and commitment to our art form. We are confident that he will inspire our dancers, encourage our staff, and bring additional creativity to our organization.”
“With its established reputation in the Las Vegas community, its talented dancers and committed board and staff, I am extremely excited about the enormous potential of this growing Company,” said Kaiser. “NBT’s future is bright and I look forward to sharing my background and expertise with this dynamic organization and spirited community.”
Kaiser’s announcement comes as the Company prepares for its 10th Anniversary Celebration of A Choreographers’ Showcase, its critically-acclaimed collaboration with Cirque du Soleil on October 8, 14 and 15 at the Mystére Theatre, Treasure Island. On November 11 and 12 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the Company will present Classic Americana featuring George Balanchine’s Serenade and two company premieres, Paul Taylor’s Company B and George Balanchine’s Western Symphony.
ABOUT ROY KAISER
Roy Kaiser began tap dancing at age four and started his professional dance career by age seven. Together with his four brothers, he performed on television and across the United States, including the 1967 World’s Fair in New York. He began his ballet training at age 17 under the guidance of Karen Irvin and earned a scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet School and later with the School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Roy joined Pennsylvania Ballet in 1979. He was eventually promoted to Soloist and Principal Dancer, performing nearly every principal male role in the company’s classical repertoire. He also originated roles in works by such noted choreographers as Peter Martins, Robert Weiss, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Paul Taylor, Choo San Goh, and Christopher d’Amboise. In 1987, while still performing, Roy was appointed assistant ballet master. Upon his retirement from the stage in 1992, he was promoted to the position of Ballet Master. In October 1993, he was appointed Associate Artistic Director of the company under the leadership of Christopher d’Amboise and later succeeded him as artistic director in February 1995.
Under Roy’s direction, the company launched its 1994-1995 Season with a critically-acclaimed appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., returning in 2000 as part of the Balanchine Celebration, which featured six companies highlighting 14 Balanchine works. In August 2005, the company made its international debut under Roy with its 40th anniversary commission of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake at the Edinburgh International Festival. The company also performed at the Sinatra Festival in Portugal and the Meadows Award Ceremony honoring Paul Taylor at Southern Methodist University. And in November 2007, the company enjoyed its return to New York City Center for its first exclusive engagement in 22 years.
In June 2008, the company was invited back to Kennedy Center for Ballet Across America, performing alongside nine other companies from across the nation to showcase the depth and history American ballet. Roy returned to Kennedy Center once again in November 2009 with Pennsylvania Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, presenting Balanchine’s version of the beloved ballet for the first time ever in Washington, DC. The company debuted that same production internationally in 2011 with a tour to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada. And in 2014, they performed for the first time at the prestigious Vail International Dance Festival.
In April 2014, after 19 years, Roy announced he would step down from his position as Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet. Over the course of his time at the Company, he successfully enhanced the repertoire with 90 new ballets and 35 world-premiere works.
An active member of the dance community, Roy is often invited as a guest instructor and has served on numerous dance panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Princess Grace Foundation. He also served on the 2002 jury of the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria and was a member of the artistic committee for the New York Choreographic Institute. He currently holds the title of Artistic Director Emeritus for Pennsylvania Ballet.