The Louisville Ballet just put out this press release:
David P. Calzi, President of the Board of Directors for the Louisville Ballet announced today that Jack R. Lemmon, the executive director of the Company since 2003, has made a decision to leave the Louisville Ballet effective December 31, 2008. Mr. Lemmon has accepted the same position at the Colorado Ballet in Denver, Colorado.
In announcing his departure, Lemmon stated, “It has been a rare privilege to be able to work with Artistic Director Bruce Simpson, the Staff and Board of the Louisville Ballet. In the five years I have been in Louisville, I have been able to build great friendships and have developed great respect for this community which cares so deeply for its cultural treasures. The Louisville Ballet is nationally renowned for the extraordinary quality of the work it stages. I am proud to have been able to contribute to that reputation and to help sustain the artists in our singular focus on serving the community with great dance.”
During Mr. Lemmon’s tenure at the Louisville Ballet, he has worked in tandem with Artistic Director Bruce Simpson. The Company has also been able to raise dancer salaries to the national average and add 33 new works to the Company repertory (including 10 commissioned works). Mr. Lemmon oversaw a five year period in which the brand of the Louisville Ballet sustained a period of strengthening. The Louisville Ballet School has grown during this time along with ticket sales and contributed revenue. A testament to the faith in the Company was the August 2007 announcement by Brown-Forman of a $1 million grant to the Company to build a new production of The Brown-Forman Nutcracker that will premiere in December 2009.
Board President David P. Calzi stated, “Jack has been tireless in his dedication to build and sustain this Company. His partnership with Artistic Director Bruce Simpson has enabled all of us associated with the Louisville Ballet to focus on sustaining this great asset to Louisville. But I am happy that he is able to continue contributing to the art form of ballet in Colorado”
Artistic Director Bruce Simpson commented, “Jack has brought to the Louisville Ballet not only a highly developed sense of professional integrity and ethics but three decades of experience in the highly complex world of dance. His unfailing example as a passionate advocate for dance in general and the Louisville Ballet in particular has provided a platform for the Company to attain new levels of excellence. By challenging all who work with him to have the highest standards, he has created a work environment conducive to artistic creativity and fiscal responsibility. His acute sense of fair play and ironic sense of humor has made him a generous colleague, an inspiring partner and true friend. I wish him every possible success in his new venture.”