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Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.
Ethan Stiefel is an internationally renowned Dancer, Instructor, Coach, Director and Choreographer. He is currently the Principal Guest Instructor at American Ballet Theatre. Stiefel was the Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) from 2011-2014. Just prior to being appointed the RNZB’s Artistic Director, Stiefel served as Dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).
Stiefel began his professional career at age 16 with the New York City Ballet where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. He was also a Principal Dancer with the Zürich Ballet and joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in 1997. Stiefel gave his final performance with ABT in July 2012.
During his career, Stiefel performed leading roles in all of the full-length classics and danced in an extensive range of shorter works created by the industry’s foremost classical, modern and contemporary choreographers.
Guest appearances include The Royal Ballet, The Mariinsky Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Ballet Zürich, Bayerische Staatsballett, Hamburg Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Teatro Colon, New National Theatre (Tokyo), Kings of the Dance and numerous tours in the United States, Japan, Russia and throughout Europe.
He starred in the feature film Center Stage (2000) and returned to play the role of Cooper Nielsen in Center Stage: Turn It Up (2008) and Center Stage: On Pointe (2016). Stiefel’s television and video credits include The Dream, Le Corsaire, Die Fledermaus, Gossip Girl and the documentary, Born to be Wild.
As a Choreographer, Stiefel created a new staging of The Nutcracker for the UNCSA. He choreographed a one act comedic ballet, Bier Halle, and collaborated with Johan Kobborg on choreographing and producing a new production of Giselle for the RNZB. In 2013, Giselle was adapted into a feature film, directed by Toa Fraser, and was selected for screening in the NZ International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Giselle was restaged and performed in 2015 at the Opera National Bucharest.
Stiefel choreographed a new work for the top level of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, Knightlife, which was performed at the Joyce Theater in New York in April 2016. He choreographed a collaborative work on ABT Studio Company and The Royal Ballet School, See the Youth Advance!, which had its premiere at London’s Covent Garden in May 2016. He created Frontier, a new ballet for The Washington Ballet which premiered at The Kennedy Center on May 25, 2017. In the fall of 2018, Stiefel created Overture for ABT Studio Company and then choreographed Wood Work for The Washington Ballet in April 2019.
Stiefel was the choreographer for Flesh and Bone, a 2015 limited edition television series for STARZ network.
He has been a guest teacher for many institutions including the Paris Opera Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet School, The Australian Ballet School, Norwegian National Ballet, Ballet Zürich, Ballet de Bordeaux, Opera National Bucharest, John Cranko Schule Stuttgart, Tanz Akademie Zürich, Berlin State Ballet School, Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and The School of American Ballet.
Stiefel was invited to serve on the jury for the Paris Opera Ballet’s 2014 annual promotion examination and was on the jury of the 2015 Prix de Lausanne.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Albert of Monaco presented Stiefel with the Statue Award of the Princess Grace Foundation, the Foundation’s highest honor, in October 1999. He received the prestigious Dance Magazine Award in December 2008.