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The Conversation Series: Zalman Raffael – Episode 79

Hey y’all! Welcome to The Conversation Series Podcast. I have always loved to learn no matter what the topic may be and ever since I graduated I have wanted to continue my education and learn from other people. The Conversation Series Podcast is a podcast getting to talk to some incredible people in different industries, with different experiences that I want to learn from and share stories that other people can learn from as well. 

I am sitting down with Zalman Raffael, Artistic Director and CEO of the Carolina Ballet. Zalman Raffael, familiarly known as Zali, grew up in New York City. At age 8, he began studying at the School of American Ballet under the guidance of Olga Kostritzky. During this time, Zali had the opportunity to perform with New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater, furthering his knowledge of the theater.

At age 13 he choreographed his first piece for the School of American Ballet Choreographic Workshop. As a teenager, Zali worked with choreographers prominent at that time. Founding Artistic Director Robert Weiss, and former Principal dancer Melissa Podcasy, have truly been mentors to Zali, exposing him to the intricacies of teaching, choreographing, fundraising, administrative duties, and all aspects of running a professional ballet company. In 2018, Zali initiated opening the School of Carolina Ballet and after becoming Carolina Ballet’s Artistic Director/CEO in 2019, he continues to elevate Carolina Ballet through his innovative vision.

We are diving into Zalman’s journey and starting point in dance, going from being a dancer to a choreographer, the process of picking and creating the productions that will be performed every year, and more. Join us as we get to know Zalman and his story!

Y’all, please go follow Zalman and follow along on his journey and all the amazing work he is doing. As always, thank y’all for stopping by and reading, watching, and listening. I will see y’all back here next time.


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