Janet Rollé, general manager of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment has rewritten the 65-year history of American Ballet Theatre with her appointment as executive director and CEO. The first black to attain such an esteemed position in a white-dominated field.
She previously made history as the first woman and the first person of color to serve as a director on BuzzFeed’s company’s board.
The former ballerina’s appointment is huge for the black world, paving way for inclusion and diversity.
Previously, Ms. Rolle served as an associate producer for Beyoncé’s headliner of the hugely successful Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Ms. Rolle also produced “Black is King,” an iconic complementary piece to the live-action version of The Lion King.
Meanwhile, the American Ballet Theatre said it is thrilled to have Ms. Rolle on board as the new director and CEO.
“Her extensive experience as a business leader and marketing strategist, combined with her life-long passion for dance, perfectly positions her to lead our organization. She is brimming with ideas to lead ABT into the next decade, all while respecting Ballet Theatre’s history and legacy,” said Andrew Barth, chairman of the company’s Board of Governing Trustees. “I am confident that Janet’s accomplished background in business operations and development, strategic partnerships, and brand management will be a tremendous asset.”
An excited Ms. Rolle credits her own history in ballet and dance as providing her with the necessary credentials to lead the dance company. “Through dance, I learned how to be a professional, the value of discipline and technique, and my love for the creative process. These lessons have always been at the core of my professional life and work,” she said in a statement.
She continued, “It is, therefore, a singular privilege to be entrusted by the Board to preserve and extend the legacy of American Ballet Theatre, and to ensure its future prosperity, cultural impact, and relevance. To come full circle and be in a position to give back to the art that has given me so much is a source of unbridled and immense joy.”
Janet Rollé immigrated from Jamaica to America at age 8, she fell in love with dancing after taking her first dance class at that age at the YMCA in Mount Vernon, New York.