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Rebecca Wright appointed to head WB School

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Former American Ballet Theatre Soloist Rebecca Wright Assumes Post August, 2004

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Board President of The Washington Ballet, Kay Kendall announced today the appointment of Rebecca Wright to the position of Director of The Washington School of Ballet. Wright succeeds legendary ballet teacher Mary Day, who has served as the School’s Director for its entire 60-year history and will retire in the summer of 2004. Wright will assume her duties as Director of The Washington School of Ballet in August 2004.

Wright’s career as a dancer, teacher and choreographer is vast and highly celebrated. She was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet from 1966 to 1975 and a soloist with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) from 1975 to 1982. In addition, Wright has appeared in numerous television presentations including “Live from Lincoln Center” as well as the Emmy-award winning CBS Television special “Harlequin” with Edward Villella. She starred on Broadway in the musical “Merlin” for which she received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Wright has been invited to choreograph for the prestigious Carlisle Project and has created numerous works for California State University, Long Beach, where she was a professor from 1987 to 1993.

Wright’s teaching and leadership credits include Director of Adelphi University’s Dance program and Chair of the Joffrey/New School Univerisity B.F.A. Program in Dance. She is currently the Director of St. Paul’s School Dance program in Concord, New Hampshire and the Artistic Director of ABT’s Summer Training Programs in New York, Tuscaloosa, Detroit, Austin and Orange County, California.

“Mary Day’s Washington School of Ballet has had 60 wonderful years of delivering generations of some of the world’s finest dancers to the ballet world,” says Webre. “Under Rebecca’s stewardship, the School will continue this great legacy of Mary Day.”

“I have long admired Rebecca’s work and I have a great respect for her classical ideals,” says Day. “She will undoubtedly carry on and propel forward the fine training, professionalism and strong reputation we’ve established at the School.”

“Rebecca impressed the Board with her ability to combine artistic acumen with business savvy and a strong feel for administration,” says Kendall. “Her philosophy is based on always placing the student first. We are thrilled to have her aboard.”

Wright officially takes the helm of the School on August 23, 2004. Over the next six months, she will meet regularly with Webre and Day to collaborate on a multi-year strategic plan, integrate with the staff and faculty and gradually take on the day-to-day operations of the School.

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Sounds like a great appointment! I remember her as a very charming dancer, and was impresed to read about how seriously she's developed her second career as a teacher. The appointment should calm some of the fears that Webre was going to tip WSB more into a strictly neo-classical company. Looking forward to seeing how the company develops from here on...

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Great News for the WSB However, I'm wondering if there is any speculation on who will replace Ms. Wright as Artistic Director of the ABT Summer programs?

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