CHRISTOPHER STUART – Artistic Director

Christopher Stuart, originally from Sandy Hook, CT, was first introduced to the Arts by his grandmother, who frequently took him to see performances of all types of ballet and musical theatre. This was where Christopher first fell in love with the stage. He began his formal training with Steve Sirico, Angela D’valda Sirico, Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens, and now with a child of his own, he understands why the arts are so important to enriching our community, especially its children.

In 2002 Christopher graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Upon graduation he joined Nashville Ballet where he was featured in works by renowned choreographers such as Nashville Ballet’s Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, Jiri Kylian, Gina Patterson, Christopher Bruce, Christopher Wheeldon and numerous others. After a 16-year career with Nashville Ballet as a principal dancer, choreographer, and teacher, he was appointed as their Resident Choreographer in 2018, creating over 10 works during his tenure.
During this time Christopher concurrently taught and created new works for schools and companies all across America. His passion for teaching is rooted in his conviction to share the techniques and choreography that he has gleaned over his career. Christopher’s vast experience as a dancer and performer helped him articulate his choreographic voice through improvisation and exploration of different forms of movement. Embarking upon his journey as a choreographer has allowed him to further express himself in a free and limitless way. He has created works for Nashville Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Chattanooga Ballet, National Choreographers Initiative, Charlotte Ballet, various festivals, and commercial work.

In 2014, he created Under the Lights, a full-length work to the music of Johnny Cash performed by Sugar & The Hi-Lows about which ArtsNash said “Stuart’s choreography proved to be a seamless blend of classical, modern and popular dance styles.” In 2015, Stuart had the pleasure of choreographing a piece to the music of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers.

Christopher brought music lovers and dance enthusiasts together by collaborating with some of the music industry’s best including, Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn), John Oates (Hall & Oates), Kellie Pickler, and John Carter Cash (son of Johnny and June Carter Cash).

His artistic achievements won him the 2010 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, one of the highest honors that a Tennessee artist can receive. Christopher was a finalist in Ballet Arkansas’ 2014 Visions Choreographic Competition, as well as a finalist in the 17th Annual Choreography Festival which was held at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California. In 2016 and 2017 he was awarded a Fellowship Initiative Grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet. In July 2017 he created a new work for the National Choreographer’s Initiative in Irvine, California, and in the same year created a new work for Nashville Ballet entitled The Raven after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem. In 2018, to rave reviews, Christopher created Seven Deadly Sins with new music written and sung by Ten out of Tenn, and the Nashville Symphony.

Christopher created for Charlotte Ballet’s Innovative Works in 2020, inspired by the Mint Museum’s installation of Immersed in Light by studio DRIFT.

Under the direction of Hope Muir, Christopher was appointed Director Charlotte Ballet II and Rehearsal Director for the main Company in July of 2020. In 2021, he served as interim artistic director.

ROGER VAN FLETEREN – Associate Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer

Roger VanFleteren, Associate Artistic Director, is a native of Michigan where he began his training at the age of twelve with Charmaine Shick. VanFleteren is a former American Ballet Theater soloist and also performed as a principal dancer with the London City Ballet. VanFleteren has performed in repertoire by Kenneth MacMillan, Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, and Mikhail Baryshnikov and danced the title role in Agnes De Mille’s last ballet, “The Other”.

VanFleteren began his career at Alabama Ballet with Wes Chapman in 1996 as Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer. His original choreography for Alabama Ballet includes “Romeo and Juliet”, “Dracula”, “Swan Lake”, “Cinderella”, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” VanFleteren’s original world premieres, “Bach Variations” and “Be Major” are two Panoply award winning works. “Concert Fantasy” premiered in March 2006 and was underwritten by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Alabama Public Television’s documentary on Alabama Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet” was nominated for a Regional Emmy Award. VanFleteren’s innovative choreography and passion for the dancer has been instrumental in the world-class performances by the company. VanFleteren was named an official ambassador for Alabama’s 2007 Year of the Arts. VanFleteren worked with John McFall and the Atlanta Ballet in 2007. He was appointed Alabama Ballet Associate Artistic Director in 2008 and served as guest teacher with American Ballet Theatre II. He was commissioned to choreograph for ABT II in the Fall of 2009. Most recently, Roger choreographed the premiere of “Alice in Wonderland” with an original score by Les Filmer performed by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Other recent works for the Alabama Ballet include “Death and the Maiden” with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, “Of One Voice”, “Bonnie and Clyde”, “1 and 5”, “Shoo-Pah!” and “Rosen”, dedicated in memory of Jason VanFleteren.

LUIZA BOAVENTURA – Rehearsal Director

A former Alabama Ballet company dancer, Luiza Boaventura started to study ballet at the age of 7 in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, at Classical School of Uberlândia under the direction of Guiomar Boaventura, and graduated in 2005. From 2010 to 2013 she danced with Dance Alive National Ballet in Florida. She also performed with Gulf Coast Ballet Theatre in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Civic Ballet of Volusia County in 2011, Jacksonville Ballet Theatre, Grupo Mineiro de Dancas Classicas, Brazil, and Classical Ballet of Tampa in 2012, as a Guest artist.