By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Richard Dickinson has resigned as artistic director of Ballet Western Reserve, and an interim director has been named.
The BWR’s board of trustees announced Monday that Stas Kmiec, a Massachusetts native who has danced with the Boston Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, will run the downtown dance school until a replacement can be found. The board expects to have a new director by May.
Dickinson was hired by BWR in 2007 and took full rein over the program in 2009, after Anita Lin, who had served as artistic director and then executive director for 25 years, resigned.
“Richard was an extremely talented choreographer with exciting, artistic director capabilities,” said BWR board member Aundrea Heschmeyer. “But his interests were not in line with BWR’s goals of primarily running a first-rate school.”
Lin is part of the board’s selection committee tasked with finding Dickinson’s replacement. Kmiec will be in charge until the season ends in May.
Kmiec is a professional theatrical director, choreographer and performer with more than 20 years of experience. He is affiliated with the Maszowze Polish folk-dance troupe, which visited BWR in December to give a workshop, said Heschmeyer.
In a letter sent to parents of students, BWR board president Don Foley said, “The board is committed to bringing quality dance education to all students and to restore your confidence in Ballet Western Reserve. That is why we are opting to bring in an interim director. Not only will this give us additional time to find and hire the right person to lead our organization, but we also feel that [Kmiec] will be able to guide us in making the necessary changes to bring BWR back to the forefront of the community. The steps we take now will ensure that BWR is viable for decades into the future.”
Kmiec’s first day at BWR will be Jan. 19.