Assis Carrero MBE

Creative Producer, Dance UK Industry-Wide Conference

Assis was born in the Azores and raised in Canada. She studied dance for many years and holds a BA (Honours) from Canada’s York University and an MA (Distinction) from Surrey University in Guildford. 

A key figure in the international dance world, Assis has recently been Artistic Director of Royal Ballet Flanders, where she rejuvenated the award-winning company, with a merger with the Flemish Opera, exchanges with Australian and Hong Kong ballet companies, and the development of new repertoire, including creations by Slava Samodurov (Romeo & Juliet), Edward Clug, Ashley Page, Cameron McMillan and Jacopo Godani as well as introducing works by Wayne McGregor, Alexander Ekman, Jiri Kylian and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Assis Carreiro was Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Suffolk-based DanceEast from  2000–2012. She led the organisation through a period of reorganisation, profile raising  and expansion. She initiated the respected Rural Retreats, a series of international think tanks supporting the developing of dance leadership for existing and future artistic directors. As a programmer, she produced a dance series at the Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich and  Snape Dances an international dance series at Snape Maltings presenting among others Stephen Petronio, The Royal Ballet, Mark Morris, Wim Vanderkeybus and Rambert. She also launched the National Centre for Choreography. Her legacy there has been conceiving, championing and fund-raising for the £9 million Jerwood DanceHouse, the cultural cornerstone of the largest urban regeneration project in the East of England on the Ipswich waterfront.

During 1998/99 Assis was dance programmer at DasTAT in Germany for William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt. From 1994-96, she was founding director of DanceXchange in Birmingham and went on to work for Wayne McGregor|Random Dance and as Fund Raising Executive at The Place. Prior to moving to the UK in 1994, Assis was Director of Education, Community Outreach and Publications for The National Ballet of Canada.

Assis is on the board of National Dance Company Wales and has served on the board of Akram Khan Company, Dance UK, the National Dance Network and on the jury for the Jerwood Awards for Dance and the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. She has been an advisor and assessor to the Arts Council of England’s Arts for Everyone Lottery Grants, London Arts Board, Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council, Scottish Executive and served on Sir Brian McMaster’s Sounding Board Review for Supporting Excellence in the Arts: From Measurement to Judgement.

In 2003, the International Theatre Council nominated Assis for the International Dance Award. She holds an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from the University of East Anglia and was made a Visiting Senior Fellow in Dance in the School of Arts and Humanities of University Campus Suffolk in 2011. In 2009, Assis was a runner up for the East of England Business Woman of the Year. 

In 2014 Assis was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for her services to dance.