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Ballet Arizona names Daniela Cardim as new artistic director

Acclaimed Choreographer Daniela Cardim brings new vision to Ballet Arizona
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Ballet Arizona is announcing Daniela Cardim as the next artistic director of the professional ballet company assuming the appointment beginning July 1.

Ms. Cardim will be the first woman to hold the position and the fourth artistic director for the organization, succeeding Ib Andersen’s 24 years of leadership.

“I am delighted and honored to have been chosen to be Ballet Arizona’s next artistic director,” Ms. Cardim said in a prepared statement.

“The company has an incredible pool of talent and I cannot wait to start working with its wonderful artists and staff. I hope to honor Ballet Arizona’s past, the beautiful legacy Ib Andersen has created, and the classical ballet tradition by performing favorite narratives from the classical canon. We will also bring masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries to Arizona audiences and become an extraordinary creative hub. We will deliver varied, high-quality programming for audiences to experience, all while making sure the art form is accessible and inclusive.”

Ms. Cardim began her celebrated career as a dancer at Ballet of Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro in 1994, becoming a soloist in 1995 and performing lead roles in ballets such as Giselle, L’après-midi d’un Faune (Nijinsky) and Suite en Blanc (Lifar). She then joined the Dutch National Ballet in 1999, rising to distinction in the company, and subsequently performing a vast repertoire including key roles in Choreatium (Massine), Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet.

Her professional dance training includes the Studio Eliana Karin in Rio de Janeiro, the Académie De Danse Classique Princesse Grace in Monaco, and contemporary dance training at Ballet Cristina Helena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Cardim has choreographed works for myriad internationally recognized ballet companies, including Ballet of Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo Dance Company (Brazil), Dutch National Ballet Junior Company (Netherlands), Birmingham Royal Ballet, New English Ballet Theatre, English National Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet School (United Kingdom), West Australian Ballet, and Poznan Opera Ballet (Poland).

Ms. Cardim has worked as a ballet teacher and mentor for student dancers, including mentoring young choreographers at The Royal Ballet School and creating works for their Summer Intensive programs. She also taught students at Studio Eliana Karin and open classes at Central School of Ballet and English National Ballet. Cardim served as a guest ballet teacher at Studio Wayne McGregor, Rambert Dance Company, Akram Khan Company and Swedish Ballet School in Gothenburg.

After retiring as a dancer in 2010, Ms. Cardim completed an honors bachelor’s in arts management at London South Bank University graduating with a first-class degree. Since 2013, Ms. Cardim has served in a variety of leadership roles at the New English Ballet Theatre in London starting as a project manager, followed by a promotion to company and general manager in 2014, and to assistant director in 2022.

“The Board of Directors is thrilled to announce Daniela Cardim as Ballet Arizona’s new Artistic Director,” said Board Chair, Mike Bolar. “It was her combination of extraordinary talent and thoughtfulness in approach that made her a stand-out candidate. Her vision for the organization will bring a richness to Ballet Arizona’s already vast repertoire that will make this company a nationally- and internationally-recognized institution.”

Jami Kozemczak, Ballet Arizona’s executive director, echoed a similar sentiment.

“I am very excited to have Daniela Cardim join Ballet Arizona as our artistic director. Daniela brings tremendous skill as both a leader and choreographer, as well as a remarkable knowledge of the artform,” she said. “She quickly won the support of our dancers and staff through her fresh, open approach that balances both the historical richness of ballet, with the desire to push the envelope with new works. We are also looking forward to seeing how Daniela will uplift The School of Ballet Arizona and our community engagement offerings through her passion for dance education. I think this will mark an incredibly transformative and exhilarating era for the organization.”

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