Magazine article Dance Teacher

The Next Step

Magazine article Dance Teacher

The Next Step

Article excerpt

Charles Askegard talks about his transition from New York City Ballet to co-directing Ballet Next.

Charles Askegard may have taken his final bow with New York City Ballet last fall, but he isn't hanging up his slippers. He's joined forces with former ABT principal Michele Wiles to create Ballet Next, a New York City-based company that blends the classics with fresh contemporary work. Askegard's new troupe (including guest artists Drew Jacoby, Misty Copeland, Joaquin De Luz and others) debuted at The Joyce Theater this past November. He is planning a U.S. and international tour this spring.

Renowned for his classicism and stately elegance, Askegard is perhaps most famous for his mindful partnering. With NYCB since 1997, he's performed extensively in Balanchine ballets and has originated roles in works by Eliot Feld, Peter Martins and Chistopher Wheeldon.

Dance Teacher: How did the partnership with Michele Wiles come about?

Chartes Askegard: I've known her for many years; we had a little overlap at ABT about 14 years ago. She was just coming in and I was heading out to NYCB. We never performed together, but I continued to follow her career because I thought she was very talented.

Then last year, I was putting a performance together for a friend, and I needed to find a dancer who could perform both Who Cares? and Le Corsaire. I asked Michele, because she was someone who could handle very diverse roles. We immediately hit it off, and we continued to do outside performances together. The idea of the company came pretty early on. …

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