Cleveland Ballet (founded 2014)

Cleveland Ballet was founded in Cleveland in 2014 by Gladisa Guadalupe and Michael Krasnyansky.[1][2] It is the third incarnation of a Cleveland Ballet, having been preceded by establishments of the same name founded in 1935 and 1972.

Cleveland Ballet
General information
NameCleveland Ballet
PredecessorCleveland Ballet (founded 1972)
Year founded2014
Founding artistic directorGladisa Guadalupe
Principal venuePlayhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio
Senior staff
Chief ExecutiveLarry Goodman
Artistic staff
Artistic DirectorTimour Bourtasenkov
Official schoolThe Academy of Cleveland Ballet

The company has grown from 5 to 26 dancers from 11 countries and territories over its initial 5 seasons,[3] and as of 2019 was one of the fastest growing professional ballet companies in the U.S.[1] In 2017, it became a resident company of Playhouse Square.[4]

History and growth


This incarnation of the Cleveland Ballet was founded by Gladisa Guadalupe (then artistic director) and her husband, Michael Krasnyansky (then CEO).[5] Guadalupe is an alumna of the School of American Ballet and a former principal dancer,[6] and Krasnyansky is a Ukrainian American businessman.[7] In October 2015, Cleveland Ballet's inaugural season debuted with the ballet Past. Present. Future. at Playhouse Square, characterized by The Plain Dealer as a "stylistically diverse and entertaining" production.[8] The company continued with a production of Coppélia in May 2016, described as "evidence of a company eager and able to do great things", with the dancers' performances as "mostly excellent".[9]

By its second season, 2016–2017, the ballet had grown to fourteen members.[10] It concluded the season with a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was reviewed as featuring "smartly-crafted, deceptively difficult, and wonderfully illustrative choreography".[10]

Cleveland Ballet became Playhouse Square's resident classical ballet company in 2017, during its third season.[4] This designation resulted in additional marketing funds, access to more rehearsal space, and priority in scheduling.[4]

In 2017, Cleveland Ballet also reintroduced regular holiday performances of Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker, as a seasonal tradition in Cleveland—the first Nutcracker production by a local company at Playhouse Square since 1999.[11] Additional performances of the season included the 1909 ballet, Les Sylphides,[12] as well as Alice, a new ballet based on Lewis Carroll's book Alice in Wonderland.[13]

In the fourth season, 2018–2019, the company increased to 20 professional dancers.[14] In addition to The Nutcracker, Cleveland Ballet presented Fall Collection and Coppélia as main stage productions at Playhouse Square.[15][16][17]

In its fifth season, 2019–2020, the ballet grew to 25 dancers, performing Carmen at the Ohio Theatre in October [18] and offering 12 performances of The Nutcracker at the Hanna Theatre in December.[19] The season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, requiring the cancellation of the company's planned performance of Mozart's The Magic Flute.[20]

Gladisa Guadalupe and Michael Krasnyansky were suspended in November 2023 following “serious workplace allegations” made by employees to the Ballet's Board of Directors.[21][22] A week later, Michael Krasnyansky resigned.[23]

In early January 2024, the Cleveland Ballet ceased its affiliation with the Cleveland School of Dance which was started by then-artistic director Guadalupe.[5] An additional investigation ordered by the Board of Directors found Guadalupe and Krasnyansky to have committed financial improprieties, practiced nepotism in personnel matters, and committed sexual harassment. Guadalupe was fired from her position of Artistic Director on January 10, 2024.[24][25] Guadalupe and Krasnyansky have denied the allegations.[25]

In January of 2024, the Cleveland Ballet Board of Directors appointed Timour Bourtasenkov as new Artistic Director.[26] In April 2024, the Cleveland Ballet Board of Directors Appointed Larry Goodman President and Chief Executive Officer.[27]


  1. ^ a b "Cleveland Ballet". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  2. ^ "Cleveland Ballet Is Reborn". Dance Magazine. 2015-12-07. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  3. ^ Hullett, Julie. "Great Ballet for a Great City" (PDF). Chagrin Valley Magazine. No. 2019–20. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Lewis, Zachary (May 24, 2017). "Cleveland Ballet awarded residency at Playhouse Square". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  5. ^ a b Haney, Stephanie (2 January 2024). "Cleveland Ballet severs ties with Gladisa Guadalupe's School of Cleveland Ballet". Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  6. ^ Rosenberg, Donald (2013-07-19). "Former Cleveland Ballet dancer Gladisa Guadalupe determined to create classical company named Cleveland Ballet". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  7. ^ Abelman, Bob (December 30, 2019). "Cleveland ballet scene on the rebound". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  8. ^ Sucato, Steve (October 6, 2015). "Cleveland Ballet makes admirable debut in partnership with Neos Dance Theatre (review)". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Lewis, Zachary (May 16, 2016). "Cleveland Ballet lands on its feet with charming new version of 'Coppelia' (review)". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  10. ^ a b Sucato, Steve (April 10, 2017). "Cleveland Ballet rises from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  11. ^ "Cleveland Ballet brings "The Nutcracker Suite" back to Playhouse Square, hosts children's auditions September 23 | Today's Family Magazine". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  12. ^ Lewis, Zachary (2017-10-11). "Cleveland Ballet looking all directions on season opener". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  13. ^ "Cleveland Ballet Creates An Unconventional Wonderland With Alice". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  14. ^ Fall Collection, playbill from Playhouse Square. Dates: October 19–20, 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  15. ^ Morrison, Laura. "The New Cleveland Ballet Heads Into its Fourth Season With a Playhouse Square Residency". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  16. ^ "The Nutcracker returns to Playhouse Square Dec. 12-16". Richland Source. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  17. ^ Sucato, Steve (March 30, 2019). ""Cleveland Ballet to Perform Newly Enhanced Version of Ramón Oller's 'Coppélia'."". Arts Air. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  18. ^ Lewis, Zachary (2019-05-14). "Cleveland Ballet announces new season of classic tales at Playhouse Square". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  19. ^ "Gladisa Guadalupe, Madison Campbell, Jason Wang – "Nutcracker" Dances to Cleveland". WKYC. November 12, 2019. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  20. ^ Morona, Joey (2020-04-13). "Playhouse Square to remain closed at least through May 31". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  21. ^ Bhatia, Kabir (14 November 2023). "Cleveland Ballet president and artistic director suspended amid investigation". Ideastream Public Media. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  22. ^ Wolfe, Paris (14 November 2023). "Cleveland Ballet suspends husband-and-wife president and artistic director amid internal investigation". cleveland. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  23. ^ Haney, Stephanie; DeNatale, Dave (21 November 2023). "Cleveland Ballet CEO and President Michael Krasnyansky resigns amid investigation into workplace allegations". Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  24. ^ Carey, Tyler; Haney, Stephanie. "At least 16 sexual misconduct claims, pattern of intimidation and retaliation revealed in independent Cleveland Ballet investigation". WKYC. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  25. ^ a b Wolfe, Paris (10 January 2024). "'Misbehavior was longstanding,' says Cleveland Ballet, after reports of intimidation, sexual harassment and improper payments". Plain Dealer. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  26. ^ "New Cleveland Ballet leaders have the organization in turnaround mode".
  27. ^ "Cleveland Ballet takes 'interim' tag off its CEO, who sees big progress at the organization".