Charleston City Ballet presents The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Support the Charleston City Ballet’s performance of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the ballet company’s future in the Holy City. Through our kickstarter campaign, we invite you to help us cover the costs of our upcoming performance in Charleston, SC’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival 2016. Without your financial support, we will be unable to perform and will leave both Piccolo Spoleto and Spoleto with no professional, classical ballet offerings. Your contributions will allow Charleston City Ballet to present The Hunchback of Notre Dame during the festival and will pave the way for our future success as the Holy City’s resident, professional ballet company. Please help us as we deliver world-class professional ballet to the world-class arts community of Charleston, SC.

Michael works in conjunction with his wife, Olga Wise, who serves as the director of the Robert Ivey Ballet Academy, the school affiliated with the Charleston City Ballet. Michael, a Charleston native, and Olga both danced in Russia with Moscow Classical Ballet, have toured internationally, and bring highly sought after expertise to a city in need of its own professional ballet company. Together, they have produced a number of successful productions including Firebird, Beauty and the Beast, and a previous performance of Hunchback.

Created in 2013 by artistic director Michael Wise, the Charleston City Ballet is a 501(c)3 non-profit, professional ballet company designed to fill the void of quality, professional ballet in Charleston. In collaboration with the city’s , the , and community leaders, Michael Wise developed an innovative and straightforward business plan committed to transparency with donors, employed dancers, and the Charleston community.

Hunchback, originally performed in 2012, is based very closely on Victor Hugo’s book The Hunchback of Notre Dame. A cautious tale embodying intrigue, lust, and murder, Hunchback is guaranteed to leave audiences breathless and wanting more. We are currently scheduled to perform June 7 and 8, and must have raised adequate funds by the end of April. Our professionals are eager to begin rehearsing, but are not guaranteed that opportunity without necessary funding. 

CCB Hunchback of Notre Dame 2012

How Will Your Money Be Spent?

We have a very talented, all-volunteer staff that handles day-to-day operations, and any money raised goes directly towards dancers and performance expenses. Our average production costs are approximately $20,000, which is an upfront cost prior to setting foot on the stage. This amount covers dancer salaries, theatre rental, stage personnel, advertising, sets, and costumes.

Our average ticket price is $25, allowing us to keep performances accessible while ensuring that our monthly expenses are met throughout the year.  

Our performance budget relies on charitable donations, which is where you come in. Your contribution is not only vital to this production of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but also makes you a part of the Charleston City Ballet. Your support will provide us opportunities to continue performing and bringing quality ballet to the city of Charleston and the surrounding areas.

Any funds raised beyond our immediate need of $16,000 will go towards improving the upcoming production, meeting the company’s long-term goals, and producing future performances.

CCB Beauty and the Beast 2015
CCB Beauty and the Beast 2015

Michael Wise, Artistic Director


Mr. Wise is the only American to have been a Principal dancer with a major Soviet ballet company. A Charleston native, he began taking ballet after seeing a school performance by the Robert Ivey Ballet. He went on to study at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre. In 1988 Mr. Wise was asked to train in Budapest as the Hungarian representative in the international ballet competition in Moscow, Russia. He later joined the Moscow Classical Ballet as a Soloist and was promoted to Principal dancer after just one year with the company. In 1990, the Russian government awarded him the Tchaikovsky Diploma for continuous high levels of Technique and Artistry. After his time in Russia, Mr. Wise continued to perform internationally as a Principal dancer and went on to work as a consultant helping with ballet company structure and artistic development methods.

Mr. Wise has taught ballet for over 20 years, preparing many students for international ballet competitions and professional careers. After prompting by the City of Charleston, Michael Wise began developing the Charleston City Ballet and upon its creation became the Artistic Director of the company.

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