April 21, 2006
WES CHAPMAN JOINS ARTISTIC STAFF
OF AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
Wes Chapman, Artistic Director of Alabama Ballet and former Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, has been named Ballet Master for ABT. His appointment becomes effective September 2006, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.
In making the announcement, McKenzie said, “It is a pleasure to welcome Wes back home to ABT. The Company will surely benefit from his years post-performer, with all the knowledge he has gained as a teacher and a coach. We welcome him with open arms.”
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 became Principal Dancer in 1989. In 1993, Chapman joined the Bavarian National Ballet of the Munich Opera. He rejoined ABT in the Spring of 1995. With ABT, he performed all the leading roles in the ballet repertoire including Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Franz in Coppélia, Prince Désiré Sleeping Beauty and leading roles in Ballet Imperial, The Leaves Are Fading and Theme and Variations. In addition, he created leading roles in Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and Twyla Tharp’s The Elements.
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. Chapman serves on the Advisory Committee of the International Ballet Competition, and as Vice President of Alabama Dance Council.