ROBERT WEISS

Artistic Director and CEO of the Carolina Ballet

Robert Weiss has served as Carolina Ballet’s Artistic Director and CEO since its professional launch in 1997.  Under his leadership, the company has become one of America’s premier professional ballet companies. Mr. Weiss has created 44 works for Carolina Ballet, including Romeo and Juliet, Messiah, Stravinsky’s Clowns, The Kreutzer Sonata, Swan Lake, Cinderella and Firebird, which was performed by the Washington Ballet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This past season, Mr. Weiss created four new works for Carolina Ballet: Stürmische Liebe, The Masque of the Red Death, A Dancerly Response and Grieg: Piano Concerto.  He also created a number of other works with the company including Adagio for Strings, which featured the music of Samuel Barber, and Reflection, a homage to the 100th anniversary of the birth of his mentor George Balanchine.  Carolina Ballet has staged four of Mr. Weiss’ works  – Don Quixote, Salome, Picasso’s Harlequins and The Song of the Dead (Meditations on Mortality), to coincide with exhibits at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Carolina Ballet also presented two ballets, in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art, on a program called Monet Impressions, which was choreographed by Robert Weiss and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Mr. Weiss’ professional career began at age 17, when he joined the New York City Ballet as a professional dancer at the request of George Balanchine, the company’s co-founder and founding choreographer.  He remained with the company for 17 years, rising to the rank of principal dancer.  There, he performed principal roles in over 40 ballets, some of which were created for him by both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, the company’s other founding choreographer.  After he retired as a principal dancer from New York City Ballet, Mr. Weiss served as Pennsylvania Ballet’s Artistic Director for eight seasons. In addition to his choreography for Carolina Ballet, Robert Weiss has created work for Pennsylvania Ballet, American Ballet Theater (for Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov), New York City Ballet, Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th century, The Caramoor Festival, Philadanco and Stars of American Ballet, among others.  He is the recipient of two National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships for choreography.  In May 2005, Mr. Weiss received the Medal of the Arts from the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, and in the fall of 2009 he was honored by the Phi Beta Kappa Society of North Carolina.  He is married to Melissa Podcasy, a principal ballerina and founding member of Carolina Ballet.