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The Washington Ballet Appoints Edwaard Liang as its New Artistic Director

The Washington Ballet announced that Edwaard Liang has been appointed its new Artistic Director. The internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and administrator becomes only the fourth artistic director in the company’s history and the first person of color to head the organization.

“Edwaard is a proven, visionary leader and deeply gifted artist who is uniquely prepared to nurture all aspects of The Washington Ballet — our world-class artists, our school and training programs, and the communities we serve,” stated Jean-Marie Fernandez, chair of The Washington Ballet’s Board of Directors. “Edwaard’s commitment to shaping the future of ballet perfectly aligns with our ambitions as a dynamic, diverse mid-sized ballet company with an outsized impact in our community and in the ballet world.”

Edwaard Liang stated: “The Washington Ballet is a remarkable organization that I’ve felt drawn to since I first worked with the company in 2008. We share the same values: a commitment to world-class dance; a powerful drive to program dance that can respond to the needs of many diverse and varied communities; and a genuine desire to evolve the art form thoughtfully. What an exceptional honor and opportunity to live, work, and lead the future of ballet in our nation’s capital.”

Liang was born in Taiwan and raised in California, he began his career as a dancer with New York City Ballet and later, at the invitation of Jiří Kylián, danced with Nederlands Dans Theater, where he discovered his passion for choreography. In the past 20 years, his works have been performed by dance companies worldwide, including New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Shanghai Ballet, among others. He has won numerous awards, including an Emmy® Award for the short dance film “Vaulted” (2018).

Currently completing his eleventh and final season as Artistic Director of BalletMet (Columbus, Ohio), Liang is credited with reinvigorating the organization through his collegiality, creativity and authentic commitment to community building. During his tenure, BalletMet nearly doubled in size, successfully launched and completed a major capital campaign, and expanded the size and scope of its ballet school. As a choreographer, Liang has created 21 world premieres for BalletMet.

Edwaard Liang wird neuer Direktor des Washington Ballet

Das Washington Ballet hat Edwaard Liang zu seinem neuen künstlerischen Leiter ernannt, er folgt auf Julie Kent, die Ende 2023 als Co-Direktorin zum Houston Ballet gehen wird. Der international bekannte Tänzer, Choreograf und Direktor ist erst der vierte künstlerische Leiter in der Geschichte der Kompanie und die erste Person of Colours an der Spitze der Organisation.

Liang wurde 1975 in Taiwan geboren und wuchs in Kalifornien auf. Er begann seine Karriere beim New York City Ballet und tanzte später auf Einladung von Jiří Kylián beim Nederlands Dans Theater, wo er seine Leidenschaft für Choreografie entdeckte. In den letzten 20 Jahren wurden seine Werke von Tanzkompanien weltweit aufgeführt, darunter unter anderem beim New York City Ballet, dem San Francisco Ballet, beim Bolshoi Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet und beim Shanghai Ballet, in Deutschland u.a. beim Dortmunder Ballett und beim Bayerischen Staatsballett. Liang gewann zahlreiche Auszeichnungen, darunter einen Emmy Award für den kurzen Tanzfilm „Vaulted“ (2018).

Liang, der derzeit seine elfte und letzte Saison als Direktor des BalletMet  in Columbus, Ohio beendet, gilt als verantwortlich dafür, diese Kompanie durch seine Kreativität und sein Engagement neu belebt zu haben. Während seiner Amtszeit verdoppelte sich die Größe von BalletMet nahezu, es schloss erfolgreich eine große Sponsorenkampagne ab, erweiterte die Größe seiner Ballettschule. Als Choreograf hat Liang 21 Weltpremieren fürs BalletMet geschaffen.