Charlotte Ballet with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra: "Charlotte & Chautauqua: Celebrating the Career of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux"

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Location Amphitheater

Gate pass or event ticket required.

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Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, director
Grant Cooper, conductor

With his celebrated dance career, masterful choreographic works and visionary leadership, this performance celebrates Charlotte Ballet and Chautauqua Dance Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. At the end of the season, Bonnefoux retires as artistic director of Charlotte Ballet, but will continue directing the Chautauqua School of Dance. In this celebratory performance joined by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, audiences will enjoy a varied repertoire featuring classical favorites, masterworks and a world premiere.



Mark Diamond's La Valse
Maurice Ravel: La Valse  [13']

George Balanchine's Fourth Campaign (Pas de Deux) from Stars and Stripes
John Philip Sousa/Arr. Kay  [9']

Alonzo Kin's MAP
Arvo Pärt: Fratres and Ludus  [15']

Marius Petipa's Sleeping Beauty (Pas de Deux)
Staged by Patricia McBride & Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Pas de Deux from Sleeping Beauty, Act III  [12']

Mark Godden's Angels in the Architecture
Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring  [27']

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Charlotte Ballet and Chautauqua Dance Director

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux is Charlotte Ballet’s third and longest serving artistic director. He and wife Patricia McBride joined Charlotte Ballet in 1996, just six years after the company moved from Winston-Salem, N.C. McBride will continue serving as associate artistic director, master teacher for Charlotte Ballet Academy and a répétiteur for George Balanchine works.

Bonnefoux’s professional career includes dancing with the Bolshoi, Kirov and Paris Opera ballets, and in 1970, he became a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. His final performance was in 1980, after which he dedicated himself to work as an artistic director, choreographer and teacher. He has served as the artistic director at the Chautauqua Institution in New York since 1983.

During his tenure with Charlotte Ballet, Bonnefoux has built an annual season including five performance series and attracted talented dancers from all over the world. Bonnefoux’s choreographic repertoire includes Shindig, Carmina Burana, Cinderella, Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Romeo & Juliet and Sleeping Beauty. He started the popular Innovative Works series and under his direction, the company has performed countless new ballets and masterworks by choreographers including Mark Godden, Jiri Kylian and Dwight Rhoden. Charlotte Ballet has toured nationally including appearances at the Joyce Theater in New York City and Ballet Across America at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Both appearances led to rave reviews for Bonnefoux’s iconic bluegrass ballet Shindig, including The New York Times’ Alastair Macaulay writing, “Lucky North Carolina” in response.

Grant Cooper, conductor

Grant Cooper, Artistic Director and Conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, was named to the position in March 2001, and officially began his duties as the 9th conductor in the WVSO’s history on July 1, 2001. Mr. Cooper is also Artistic Director of a summer festival, the Bach and Beyond Festival in Fredonia, New York.

Mr. Cooper was born in Wellington, New Zealand, the son of a professional opera singer. He sang and acted in his first opera at age four, and studied piano and music theory prior to college. After completing his degree in Pure Mathematics at the University of Auckland, Mr. Cooper accepted a fellowship from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council for study with Bernard Adelstein and Gerard Schwarz in the United States. This, in turn, led to performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall and at Tanglewood under Arthur Fiedler, where he also performed as principal trumpet under conductors Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, and Sir Neville Marriner, among others.

Mr. Cooper was guest conductor of the XIVth Commonwealth Games closing ceremonies, appearing with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as soloist. In Europe, his engagement as guest conductor for the Mozart Wochen of the Heidelberger Schlossfestspiele prompted high critical praise. His appearances with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra have generated considerable enthusiasm and acclaim across the whole gamut of programs, showing his deep affinity for repertoire of enormous stylistic range. Mr. Cooper’s collaborations with artists such as Hilary Hahn, Midori, Elmar Oliviera, and Deborah Voigt have, similarly, prompted critical praise for his skills as an accompanist.

Mr. Cooper is especially passionate about creating works designed to introduce young audiences to the orchestra, including such works as Rumpelstiltzkin for Narrator and Orchestra, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Boyz in the Wood for Coloratura Soprano and Rap Singer, and Song of the Wolf. His educational music is an eclectic blend of modern and established styles with interactive participation of the audience, a compositional style that reflects his belief that orchestral music is a living, vital, and relevant part of our society, able to be appreciated by all.

Mr. Cooper resides in Charleston with his wife, Margie, and daughters, Jessica and Rachel.