Key Profiles

Ethan Stiefel

Ethan Stiefel
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Artistic Director

Ethan Stiefel, born in Pennsylvania, USA, joined Royal New Zealand Ballet as Artistic Director in September 2011. Just prior to joining RNZB, he served as Dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

3 News' David Farrier spoke to Ethan, read more here...

A Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Stiefel began his dance studies in Madison, Wisconsin. He was awarded a full scholarship at the School of American Ballet, where he studied under Stanley Williams and then studied with Mikhail Baryshnikov at his School of Classical Ballet.

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 Ballet Theatre in 1997. He has performed leading roles in all of the classic full-length ballets. He has appeared in a wide variety of shorter works, including ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Michel Fokine, William Forsythe, Lar Lubovitch, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Jiri Kylian, August Bournonville, Bob Fosse, Antony Tudor, Christopher Wheeldon, Nacho Duato, Frederick Ashton and Twyla Tharp.

Stiefel has toured and performed extensively on the international level. Guest appearances include London’s Royal Ballet, The Marinsky Ballet (Kirov), New York City Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Munich Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Teatro Colon and Tokyo’s New National Theater.

He starred in the feature film Center Stage, and returned to play the role of Cooper Nielsen in Center Stage 2- Turn It Up. Stiefel’s television and video credits include The Dream, Le Corsaire, Die Fledermaus and the documentary, Born To Be Wild.

Stiefel has been a guest teacher for many institutions including the American Ballet Theatre II, American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet School. He recently staged and choreographed a new version of The Nutcracker for UNCSA.

He has received several awards, throughout his career. In 1999, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Albert of Monaco presented Stiefel with the Statue Award of the Princess Grace Foundation, the foundations highest honour.He received the prestigious Dance Magazine Award in December 2008. Additionally, Stiefel was a juror for the Prix de Lausanne in 2001 and served on the selection committee for the 2010 International Ballet Competition held in Jackson, Mississippi.

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