Washington Ballet’s departing director Septime Webre named to S&R Foundation

Washington Ballet’s departing director Septime Webre named to S&R Foundation

Septime Webre, who on June 30 steps down as artistic director of the Washington Ballet, will join S&R Foundation as its artistic director, the arts foundation announced today.

Webre will curate the S&R Foundation’s new performance series, titled Halcyon Stage, which will present music, dance and lectures on the arts, said Kate Goodall, the foundation’s chief operating officer.

The nonprofit S&R was started in 2000 by Sachiko Kuno and Ryuji Ueno  to support artists and scientists. It has since grown to present various performances and events, as well as the Evermay Chamber ensemble. The foundation’s musicians have performed occasionally with the Washington Ballet, and Evermay Chamber played for the company’s “Swan Lake” last year.

“We want our performance series to reflect our growth and our support of creatives,” Goodall said on Tuesday. “Having had the pleasure of working with Septime on the ‘Swan Lake’ project, we know we all work well together.”

Webre will start in September. The new position will allow him time to pursue his own choreographic projects, he said.

“We won’t be a traditional presenter per se,” Webre added. “We don’t want to replicate what the Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts already do, but we may collaborate with them on some projects. Mostly I hope to develop programs that don’t exist in Washington, D.C., and to augment existing programming. We want to explore what creativity means in the 21st century, given that it’s such a collision of different genres of every sort.”

Webre said he expects the S&R programs to have a strong dance component, and he has invited Julie Kent, who will take over from him at the Washington Ballet, to participate. “I do expect to have collaborations and commissions, and I want some of them to come from the Washington Ballet, of course,” he said.

Goodall said the foundation is also hoping Webre will deepen its ties with the Washington community, as Webre has done in community engagement programs though the Washington Ballet.

[Read more on Webre and the Washington Ballet’s community programs.]

Goodall said that programming for the Halcyon Stage series should be announced this summer. “We’ll definitely be doing programming in the fall, but it could be that more ambitious plans wait until 2017,” she said.