Company History


Company History

Carolina Ballet is one of America’s premier arts organizations, programming traditional ballets by legendary masters and new works by contemporary choreographers. The Ballet was launched as a professional company in 1998 under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Robert Weiss. In 2019, Zalman Raffael became the Artistic Director/CEO. For more than 20 years, Carolina Ballet has garnered critical praise from the national and international media, staged over 100 world premiere ballets, and in 2018, chartered the School of Carolina Ballet. Since its inaugural season in 1998, Carolina Ballet and this community have accomplished something remarkable. The Company has grown from a budget of $1.2 million featuring sixteen dancers and five apprentices in three programs to a $6.0 million budget featuring 38 dancers in eight programs including the magical holiday tradition, The Nutcracker.

Mission Statement

Carolina Ballet’s vision is to remain one of the top ballet companies in America with national and international recognition, thus contributing to the enhanced reputation and ever-increasing quality of life in our community and the State of North Carolina.

Carolina Ballet’s mission is to perform world-class professional ballet, entertaining and enlightening audiences in Raleigh, the Triangle region, the State of North Carolina, and beyond. It will accomplish this mission by:

  • attracting, developing, and retaining excellent dancers and artistic personnel combined with a fiscally responsible management and board of directors;
  • commissioning new works by innovative choreographers;
  • presenting traditional ballets of legendary masters;
  • educating current and future audiences through programs for school-aged children and other performance outreach activities.