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The Company

Gillian Murphy

Florence, South Carolina

Joined ABT 1996 / Principal since 2002

Biography

Raised in Florence, South Carolina, Gillian Murphy began her ballet training at the age of three in Belgium and continued her ballet classes at the age of five in South Carolina.

After training in South Carolina as a member of the Columbia City Ballet, she continued her studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Under the tutelage of Melissa Hayden she danced principal roles in several of the school’s ballet productions including The Nutcracker and George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Western Symphony, Tarantella and Theme and Variations.

In 1994, at the age of 15, Murphy was a finalist at the Jackson International Ballet Competition. In 1995, she was awarded the Prix de Lausanne Espoir after performing the final round at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. In 1996, she was a National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Dance. In 1998, she was honored with a Princess Grace Foundation-USA grant. The Princess Grace Foundation awarded her its highest honor, the Statue Award, in 2009.  In May 2014, Murphy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Murphy has appeared as a guest artist in Japan, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Canada and throughout the United States. She made her debut with the Mariinsky Ballet in March 2008, dancing Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. She danced La Bayadère with The Australian Ballet in 2014. Other guest appearances include the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Kiev Ballet and the 2009 world premiere of a new production of The Nutcracker, directed and choreographed by Ethan Stiefel for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Murphy joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in August 1996, was promoted to Soloist in 1999 and Principal Dancer in 2002.

Murphy danced Odette-Odile in the ABT telecast of Swan Lake and also appeared in the ABT telecast of Le Corsaire. Other television credits include the Washington Opera’s Die Fledermaus and, in November 2010, an appearance on the series “Gossip Girl.” During November 1999, she also participated in the Melissa Hayden Project, part of the Balanchine Foundation’s video series filming dancers, who worked with George Balanchine, teaching their roles to young performers. The Foundation filmed Hayden teaching Murphy the pas de deux from Stars and Stripes and Donizetti Variations. Murphy was seen in the feature film Center Stage and also appeared in the sequel, Center Stage 2: Turn It Up.

Ms. Murphy’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Mary Jo and Ted Shen.

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Upcoming Performances

September 20, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
September 21, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
September 22, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
September 23, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
September 24, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
September 25, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
September 25, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
Sneak Peek
September 26, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
September 27, 2018
7:00 pm
New York, New York
Spring Studios
Junior Turnout
September 27, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT on Madison Avenue
October 8, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT JKO School Closed – Columbus Day
October 9, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
Sneak Peek
October 17, 2018
6:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Michelle Dorrance World Premiere
October 17, 2018
6:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 17, 2018
6:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Gala
October 17, 2018
6:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Le Jeune
October 17, 2018
6:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 17, 2018
12:00 am
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
Fall Gala
October 18, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Symphonie Concertante
October 18, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 18, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Fancy Free
October 18, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Michelle Dorrance World Premiere
October 18, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Fancy Free
(Second Passer-By)
October 19, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 19, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Songs of Bukovina
October 19, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 19, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Jessica Lang World Premiere
October 20, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 20, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 20, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Symphonie Concertante
October 20, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 20, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Other Dances
October 20, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Jessica Lang World Premiere
October 20, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Jessica Lang World Premiere
October 20, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
Raising the Barre
October 20, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Fancy Free
October 20, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Symphonie Concertante
October 20, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 21, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Symphonie Concertante
October 21, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Songs of Bukovina
October 21, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
Raising the Barre
October 21, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 21, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Fancy Free
October 21, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Fancy Free
(Second Passer-By)
October 23, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Michelle Dorrance World Premiere
October 23, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 23, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 23, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Jessica Lang World Premiere
October 24, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Songs of Bukovina
October 24, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
AFTERITE
October 24, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Symphonie Concertante
October 24, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 25, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Songs of Bukovina
October 25, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
AFTERITE
October 25, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Michelle Dorrance World Premiere
October 25, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 26, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Symphonie Concertante
October 26, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Other Dances
October 26, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
AFTERITE
October 26, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 26, 2018
7:30 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Symphonie Concertante
October 27, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Jessica Lang World Premiere
October 27, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Fancy Free
October 27, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Michelle Dorrance World Premiere
October 27, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
The Nutcracker
October 27, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 27, 2018
1:15 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Fall Family Matinee
October 27, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 27, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
In the Upper Room
October 27, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Le Jeune
October 27, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
October 28, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
AFTERITE
October 28, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Other Dances
October 28, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
Jessica Lang World Premiere
October 28, 2018
2:00 pm
New York, New York
David H. Koch Theater
2018 Fall Season
November 3, 2018
8:00 pm
New York, New York
New York City Center
Symphonie Concertante
November 4, 2018
3:00 pm
New York, New York
New York City Center
Symphonie Concertante
November 17, 2018
7:30 pm
Tivoli, NY
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center
ABT Studio Company at Kaatsbaan
November 19, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT JKO School Closed – Thanksgiving Break Begins
November 24, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT JKO School Closed –Thanksgiving Break Ends
December 14, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
Last Day of ABT JKO School Fall Semester
December 14, 2018
7:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 15, 2018
7:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 15, 2018
7:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
(Clara, the Princess)
December 15, 2018
2:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 16, 2018
5:30 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 16, 2018
12:30 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 17, 2018
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT JKO School Closed – Winter Break Begins
December 17, 2018
12:00 am
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
Holiday Benefit
December 19, 2018
7:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 20, 2018
7:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 21, 2018
7:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 22, 2018
2:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 22, 2018
7:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 23, 2018
12:30 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
December 23, 2018
5:30 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Nutcracker
January 5, 2019
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
ABT JKO School Closed – Winter Break Ends
January 7, 2019
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
First Day of ABT JKO School Spring Semester
January 17, 2019
7:30 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Harlequinade
January 18, 2019
7:30 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Harlequinade
January 19, 2019
7:30 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Harlequinade
January 19, 2019
2:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Harlequinade
January 20, 2019
1:00 pm
Costa Mesa, California
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Harlequinade
January 29, 2019
7:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
January 29, 2019
7:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
(Pierrette)
January 30, 2019
7:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
January 31, 2019
7:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
February 1, 2019
7:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
(Pierrette)
February 1, 2019
7:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
February 2, 2019
7:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
February 2, 2019
1:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
February 3, 2019
1:30 pm
Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Harlequinade
April 2, 2019
7:30 pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Northrop Memorial Auditorium
In the Upper Room
April 2, 2019
7:30 pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Northrop Memorial Auditorium
Other Dances
April 2, 2019
7:30 pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Northrop Memorial Auditorium
Songs of Bukovina
April 2, 2019
7:30 pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Northrop Memorial Auditorium
Mixed Repertory Program
April 6, 2019
6:30 pm
Iowa City, Iowa
Hancher Auditorium
Whipped Cream
April 6, 2019
1:00 pm
Iowa City, Iowa
Hancher Auditorium
Whipped Cream
April 11, 2019
7:30 pm
Chicago, Illinois
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
Whipped Cream
April 12, 2019
7:30 pm
Chicago, Illinois
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
Whipped Cream
April 13, 2019
7:30 pm
Chicago, Illinois
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
Whipped Cream
April 13, 2019
2:00 pm
Chicago, Illinois
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
Whipped Cream
April 14, 2019
2:00 pm
Chicago, Illinois
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
Whipped Cream

Repertoire

"For me, on the stage, it's a full immersion into making the most of that moment—and it's such a fleeting moment and art. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea of perfection, I think, is something to aspire to in terms of how to have more clarity and precision and shapes to our classical lines. But ultimately, when I'm sitting in the audience, I want to be moved. I don't enjoy watching people dance who are just executing steps. I feel dance really has to speak to something deeper within. The choreography is there as a means to that expression and artistry and imagination, not as a be all and end all in itself."

-Gillian Murphy, Pointe Magazine

Milestones

1996

Joined Corps de Ballet August 1996

1998

Won Princess Grace Award

1999

Promoted to Soloist August 1999

2002

Promoted to Principal Dancer August 2002

Gillian Murphy

Gillian Murphy in Swan Lake. Photo: Gene Schiavone.

2005

Starred as Odette/Odile in ABT PBS Swan Lake Broadcast

2008

Guested with the Mariinsky Ballet as Odette/Odile

2009

Honored with the Princess Grace Statue Award

2014

Received honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

2015

Married longtime boyfriend Ethan Stiefel