Contemporary choreographer and native Belgian Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has been appointed the artistic director of the Royal Ballet of Flanders. The company has functioned without an artistic director since August, 2014, when former director Assis Carreiro was fired.
Carreiro was appointed in 2012 and her directorship, according to an article in Flanders Today, provoked a vote of no confidence from the dancers. She had never danced professionally but had successfully run DanceEast, a major studio in the UK, for 13 years.
Prior to Carreiro, RBF was directed by Kathryn Bennetts who helped bring the company to international prominence. She resigned in 2012, over a plan to combine the ballet and opera, and to cut the organization’s budget.
Larbi Cherkaoui—who is best known in the U.S. for his choreography for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet—told the New York Times that he planned to pursue a course of “reconciliation” with the company, between classical and contemporary work.