American Ballet Theatre
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School

Faculty Biography

Wes Chapman

Artistic Director, ABT Studio Company

A native of Union Springs, Alabama, Chapman joined American Ballet Theatre in 1984 as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to Soloist in 1987 and to Principal Dancer in 1989. With ABT, Chapman performed all the leading roles in the ballet repertoire and in works by many of the twentieth century’s master choreographers, including George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp and Antony Tudor. He also created leading roles in Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and Twyla Tharp’s The Elements. In 1993, he joined the Bavarian National Ballet as a principal dancer before returning to ABT in 1995. In 1996, Chapman was named Artistic Director of Alabama Ballet. During his leadership, the company grew from 16 to 44 professional and apprentice dancers. He also founded the Alabama Ballet School, the apprentice pre-professional training program and the Alabama Ballet Summer Program. Mr. Chapman returned to ABT as ballet master in 2006 before being named Artistic Director of the Studio Company in 2007.

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