Washington Ballet’s Artistic Director to Step Down at End of Season

The Washington Ballet’s Julie Kent will end her tenure as artistic director at the completion of the 2022-2023 season. She has accepted a new role as co-artistic director of the Houston Ballet, which will begin in July 2023.

Kent and her partner, the Washington Ballet’s Associate Artistic Director Victor Barbee will stay in the area and active in the company through the end of the current season. They will be here for the holiday season’s Nutcracker performances, as well as next year’s Balanchine program and a revival of “Sleeping Beauty.”

“The Washington Ballet will always have a special place in my heart, it is where I found my voice as an artistic director,” Kent said in a statement. “Over seven seasons, the dancers and I have grown and learned together, always dancing forward to new opportunities.”

She went on to say that it is because of how far they’ve all come in the last seven years (particularly the last three) that she knows it is the right time for her, and the company, to look toward the future.

Jean-Marie Fernandez, chair of the board of the Washington Ballet said Kent’s leadership has been “nothing short of transformational” and thanked her for her time with the Washington Ballet.

Kent joined the Washington Ballet in July 2016, becoming only its third artistic director in the company’s nearly 50-year history. The board of the Washington Ballet will begin an international search for the individual who will succeed Kent.

More on Kent’s decision can be found on her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/juliekentofficial/.


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