PRESS: “I know that theater always comes back,” Louisville Ballet’s new executive director shares hope for performing arts rebound

by Sarah Shadburne, Reporter, Louisville Business First, October 19, 2020

After arriving in Louisville on March 12 with her Derby hat, a few cocktail dresses and a couple pairs of jeans, Nichole Gantshar was officially named executive director of Louisville Ballet on August 12.

Gantshar joined Louisville Ballet initially on an interim basis, after most recently serving as executive director of Rochester City Ballet in New York. She works alongside Artistic Director Robert Curran, who had previously been both executive and artistic director for the dance company since 2015.

Gantshar said she had admired Curran’s work from afar and being that she arrived at the beginning of a global pandemic, she dreaded that their first conversation would be about whether to cancel shows due to the coronavirus.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh should we cancel the upcoming show? I need to talk to Robert about that when I get there, that’s going to be an awkward first conversation to have,’” Gantshar said in an interview. “But you know what, it was the first conversation he had with me. He brought it up before I did.”

Gantshar said if her profession was basketball and not ballet, Curran would be a point guard for his ability to read the evolving pandemic situation and employ the right play. She said her job is giving him the tools to execute his vision.