Ethan Stiefel - Artistic Director
Ethan Stiefel, born in Pennsylvania, is the Artistic Director of
the Royal New Zealand Ballet. 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
Stiefel began his dance studies in Madison, Wisconsin. His early
teachers included Paul Sutherland and Ted Kivitt. He continued his
studies at Marcia Dale Weary's Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
He was awarded a full scholarship at the School of American Ballet,
where he studied under Stanley Williams and then trained with
Mikhail Baryshnikov at his School of Classical Ballet.
Stiefel began his performing 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 in 1997. Stiefel gave his final performance
as a Principal Dancer with ABT in July 2012.
His repertoire of full-length works included Florimund (The
Sleeping Beauty), Siegfried (Swan Lake), Romeo
(Romeo and Juliet), James (La Sylphide), Albrecht
(Giselle), Lescaut (Manon), Lenski
(Onegin), Jeanne (Raymonda), Colas (La Fille
Mal Gardée), Solor (La Bayadère), Oberon (A
Midsummer Night's Dream), Prince (Cinderella) Cassio
(Othello), Basil (Don Quixote), Franz
(Coppélia), Conrad and the Slave (Le Corsaire).
He appeared in a wide variety of shorter works by George
Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Michel Fokine, William Forsythe, Lar
Lubovitch, Jiří Kylián, August Bournonville, Bob Fosse, Antony
Tudor, Christopher Wheeldon, Eugene Loring, Peter Martins, Nacho
Duato, Frederick Ashton, including works created on him by Twyla
Tharp, Paul Taylor, Nils Christe, Susan Stroman, Mark Morris and
Christopher Wheeldon among others.
He made his debut with London's Royal Ballet in Twyla Tharp's
Junk Man pas de deux and returned frequently as a guest,
dancing the roles of Franz, Solor, Colas, Albrecht, Lenski, the
Prince in a Natalia Makarova's new production of The Sleeping
Beauty and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated
by William Forsythe. The Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet first invited him
to dance Apollo in St. Petersburg. He later returned to perform the
role of Solor. Other guest appearances included the Australian
Ballet, the Zürich Ballet, the Bayerische Staatsballett, Hamburg
Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Teatro Colon, and tours in
the United States, Japan, Russia and throughout Europe.
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, Gossip Girl
and the documentary, Born to be Wild.
In 2004, Stiefel founded a summer training program on Martha's
Vineyard, Stiefel and Students, which took place for four
years. He was the founding director of the Nantucket Dance
He 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
In 2009, Stiefel created a new staging of The
Nutcracker for the UNCSA, which continues to be performed
every Christmas season. Most recently, he choreographed 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.
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; 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,