Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Charles Askegard brings to Pennsylvania Ballet a wealth of knowledge from a long, distinguished career. He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1987 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov and danced with the company for 10 years, not only performing lead roles in full-length and repertory ballets, such as Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadère, and Romeo and Juliet, but also working alongside legendary choreographers Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp, Natalia Makarova, Lar Lubovitch, and Glen Tetley.
In 1997, Charles joined New York City Ballet where he spent 14 years as a principal dancer. His repertoire with the company included numerous ballets by George Balanchine, including Diamonds from his full-length Jewels, Stars and Stripes, Theme and Variations, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. In addition, Charles also had the honor of working with such renowned choreographers as Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Eliot Feld, Christopher Wheeldon, and Helgi Tommason. After leaving New York City Ballet, Charles co-founded Ballet Next, a company for which he choreographed, performed, and directed up until 2013.
Before joining Pennsylvania Ballet as ballet master in 2015, Charles taught at Ballet Academy East as well as for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive. He has been a guest teacher across the country and is a frequent judge for the Youth America Grand Prix. “I’m very excited to work with Angel Corella and the company,” he said upon taking his position. “My expertise and experience aligns well with the future of the company, and I look forward to making an imprint on Pennsylvania Ballet and its dancers.”
Since joining Pennsylvania Ballet’s Artistic Staff, he has appeared on stage in character roles in Don Quixote (Don Quixote), Cinderella (Stepsister), The Sleeping Beauty (King), and Romeo & Juliet (Lord Capulet).