Atlantic SE Ballet Folds, Lawsuits To Follow

A bizarre situation is unfolding in Charleston, South Carolina, where a newly formed ballet company has folded unexpectedly, and its CEO has apparently skipped town, leaving unpaid bills and furious dancers and musicians in his wake. The Atlantic Southeast Ballet Company was founded 18 months ago, but performed only once in September 2003 before a financial crisis began to rear its head. “About noon Wednesday, Gordon Crowder, the artistic director and CEO of the nonprofit ballet company, left a message on the answering machine of the ballet orchestra’s conductor. The message said Crowder and his wife, Susanne Crowder-Puerschel, who is associate director of the ballet, ‘have no money and have gone on a little vacation.'”