by Kate Karstens
Laveen Naidu will be the new Artistic Director of BalletNova, effective today, according to a press release from the Bailey’s Crossroads-based dance school. Naidu succeeds Nancie Woods, who has been the Director of the Margaret de Barbieri Conservatory of the Sarasota Ballet since June.
A native of South Africa, Naidu entered the University of Cape Town Ballet School on scholarship and received a degree in ballet performance and pedagogy. Following his degree, Naidu earned a scholarship from the Dance Theater of Harlem in 1992 and began his career touring internationally. He became the executive director of the Dance Theater of Harlem in 2004 and enlarged the professional company by 20 percent, forming partnerships across the country with arts centers such as the Kennedy Center.
He is credited as being part of the leadership team that turned the Dance Theater of Harlem around, reviving the professional Company after financial crises forced their hiatus for nine years.
Naidu has completed professional leadership programs at both Columbia University School of Business and Harvard Business School. For more information, visit BalletNova.org.