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Born in Parsons, Kansas, Clark Tippet, the seventh in a family of eleven children, began his dance studies at the age of five. He came to New York at the age of eleven on scholarship to Thalia Mara’s National Academy of Ballet, where he studied academic subjects as well as dance. Mr. Tippet joined American Ballet Theatre in the Fall of 1972, became a Soloist in September, 1975 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in the Fall of 1976. In addition to creating the second male lead in Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, and the leading male role of Oedipus in Glen Tetley’s Sphinx, his ABT repertory included Albrecht in Giselle, the Nutcracker-Prince in The Nutcracker, the Prince in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, and leading roles in The Leaves Are Fading and Voluntaries.
He left ABT in 1978 to expand his repertoire and performance opportunities during which time he danced as a guest artist for a season with the Maryland Ballet creating the role of the Psychiatrist in Domy Reiter-Soffer’s Equus; in addition, he appeared with the Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel and the West Australian Ballet Company in Perth where he danced in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and John Clifford’s Serenade Melancolique with Johnna Kirkland. In November, 1982, also with Johnna Kirkland, he performed the world premiere of John Butler’s pas de deux Transitions which was created for him.
Clark Tippet rejoined American Ballet Theatre in December,1982. Additions to Mr. Tippet’s ABT repertoire included Anastasia’s Husband in Anastasia, the High Brahmin in La Bayadère, the Dancing Master in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s production of the full-length Cinderella, He Wore a White Tie in Dim Lustre, Hilarion in Giselle, leading roles in Interludes, and N. Y. Export: Op. Jazz, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and Carabosse and the English Prince in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s production of The Sleeping Beauty. He created King David in Martine van Hamel’s Amnon V’Tamar, one of the leading male roles in Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita, and the leading male role in David Gordon’s Field, Chair and Mountain, featured roles in David Gordon’s Murder and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Requiem, and the leading male role in David Parsons’ pas de deux Walk This Way.
Clark Tippet died in his hometown of Parsons, Kansas in January, 1992.