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Royal Academy of Dance Appoints Gerard Charles new Artistic Director

24 Sep 2018

Royal Academy of Dance Appoints Gerard Charles new Artistic Director

artistic leadership, creativity and expertise

Gerard, who was until recently the Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, will step into this role on Monday, 15 October. He will be responsible for providing artistic leadership, creativity and expertise to all areas of the Academy’s work, maintaining its artistic integrity and leading on the development of its artistic, education and community initiatives on a global scale. The appointment comes at a key time for the RAD as it looks ahead to its centenary year in 2020, which includes moving into a new purpose-built HQ which, at almost double the size of its current premises, will provide a world-class space and future-proof home for the RAD.

Born in Folkestone, England, Gerard received his dance training at the Royal Ballet School and returns to the UK to join the RAD after spending nearly forty years based in America. As a professional dancer, his career started at Ballet International before moving to Milwaukee Ballet and BalletMet in roles ranging from corps de ballet to Principal. Since retiring from the stage, he has served as Education Director for Ballet Met Columbus; Ballet Master for BalletMet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; Artistic Director at BalletMet and most recently Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet. He has choreographed and staged works internationally and received an NEA Choreographic Fellowship.

The RAD continuum

Speaking of his new role, Gerard said: "With a history stretching back almost 100 years, this is an ideal time to begin to work with the Royal Academy of Dance and to meet the evolving needs of our art form as we take the Academy forward.

I believe that a high-quality foundation is critical to the success of young dancers and that the RAD is well placed to deliver that by providing systematic training at each critical stage of a dancer’s life through its focus on the training and mentoring of their teachers, monitoring standards, and giving opportunities to people who would not otherwise have the chance to dance.

The RAD provides a continuum that offers close connections with dance at any age or ability and it will continue to champion the broader interests of dance, and its supporters, well in to the next century.

I am keen to get to work and to meet the community that makes all this possible.”

Luke Rittner, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Dance said: “As one of the world’s leading authorities on dance, we are delighted that an Artistic Director of Gerard’s calibre will be joining us during such a key transitional phase for the Academy. He has committed his professional life to dance and brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked in nearly all facets of the industry – from performer and ballet master through to MD, Educational Director and Artistic Director – with some of the most highly regarded dance companies in the world.

His experience and vision, alongside his appreciation for the RAD’s structured approach to education and training, make him an ideal addition to our organisation, and we look forward to working with him as we approach the major centenary milestone and lead the RAD into its next chapter.”


Photo: Cheryl Mann

Margarita McGaire says:
24 Sep 2018 11:48
Congratulations and Welcome to Gerard Charles.
Very Best Wishes From Margarita McGaire.
Aldinan Doudement says:
25 Sep 2018 11:02
Congratulations and very best wishes Gerard Charles.
Susan Powers says:
25 Sep 2018 19:18
Congrats Gerard! RAD was my original teacher-training. I still buy their books and videos...they have wonderful, thoughtful syllabi for young dancers.
Glenn van der Hoff says:
26 Sep 2018 17:48
Looking very much forward to meeting you in 2019! Welcome and wishing you all the best to move the RAD into the future.
Jilise Bushling Austin says:
26 Sep 2018 20:06
How exciting Gerard! This job is bringing you "full circle" in your career...All the very best for a wonderful sucessful future!
Jane Williams (Pritchard) says:
09 Oct 2018 16:35
Welcome home and very many congratulations Gerard, we are thrilled for you and to be starting at such an exciting time.
Ashley will be thrilled you are back.
Much love Jane (Pritchard) and Tony Williams
anne simon moffat says:
13 Oct 2018 17:26
Congratulations and best wishes for along and happy association with RAD. Perhaps we'll visit on one of our many trips to the UK. Despite almost 50 years in the US, my husband remains a Brit.
Jinty Coventry-Boyle says:
09 Nov 2018 17:33
Congratulations Gerard. It is lovely to welcome you back to the UK. I trust that this is the start of a long and happy association with the RAD. I studied with you at the Royal and started my career in Ballet International with you. Now that you are back in your home country it will be lovely to see more of you.
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