Stepping into the future: Redick eager to build on New Haven Ballet’s foundation

By David A. Brensilver

Jared Redick arrived at the New Haven Ballet at the beginning of the year with an eye on “building on the foundation that’s already there,” he said in a recent interview. Redick, the organization’s new artistic director, was the Board of Director’s unanimous choice to succeed the late Noble Barker, who died in June 2010. The position, Redick said, “was, for me and where I was going, the next logical step.”

Redick met Barker and his wife, Ruth – New Haven Ballet’s office manager – at East Street Ballet in Hadley, Massachusetts, which the Barkers founded and where Redick’s wife, Shannon Parsley, was teaching. When the opportunity to assume the artistic directorship at the New Haven Ballet became available, Redick figured that the Barkers “have got to be someplace good,” having seen them at work in Massachusetts.

“I knew what their background was,” Redick said. “I know where they’re coming from and I’m coming from a similar place.”

The fact that Redick knew the Barkers “comforts the families and the dancers and the Board” at the New Haven Ballet, the organization’s Board chairman, John Fixx, said.

Fixx described Redick as an “exquisite dancer” who’s reached the highest levels of the discipline. Redick served most recently as principal of the Boston Ballet School’s Newton Studio. His wife, Parsley, is currently Boston Ballet’s ballet mistress and artistic coordinator. Redick began his studies at the Conservatory Ballet in Reston, Virginia – of which his mother, Julia Cziller Redick, is director. He continued his studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s erstwhile School of Classical Ballet, and The School of American Ballet. Redick has danced with some of the leading companies in the country, including the Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Fort Worth Dallas Ballet (now the Texas Ballet Theater), and Miami City Ballet.

Redick, Fixx said, “has a nice combination of youthful enthusiasm and adult savviness” with an ability to plan long-term.

One of the organization’s goals, Fixx and Redick each said, is to find the New Haven Ballet its own facility.

“We really do feel very, very fortunate,” Fixx said, “that someone of Jared’s dance background and ambition and artistic vision” has assumed the artistic directorship of the organization.

“Jared seems very respectful of the traditions of the New Haven Ballet,” Fixx said. “He’s looking backward with reverence and forward with ambition. … What Jared will be doing is building on Noble Barker’s exquisite foundation.”

Redick agrees.

It “begins with the training and it’s building on the foundation that’s already there,” he said. Redick also believes the organization needs its own facility – “our own home.”

“To take it to that next level,” he said, “that’s really exciting for me.”

While he’s got plenty of administrative responsibilities, Redick said, “I’ll be in the studio quite a bit. … It begins in the studio. … The students, until they’ve trained with me, really won’t know who I am.”

Learn more about New Haven Ballet at newhavenballet.org.

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