Classical Ballet / Artistic Director / Principal
Pennsylvania-born Ethan Stiefel began his dance training at the age of eight in Madison, Wisconsin. He studied for two years at the Milwaukee Ballet School with both Ted Kivitt and Paul Sutherland. He also studied with Marcia Dale Weary at the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet before moving to New York to attend American Ballet Theatre's School of Classical Ballet and The School of American Ballet on scholarship. At 16, he joined the corps de ballet of New York City Ballet. In 1992, Stiefel took a leave of absence to perform with the Zurich Ballet. He returned to New York City Ballet one year later as a soloist and was promoted to principal dancer in 1995.
Stiefel has danced principal roles in many of George Balanchine’s great masterpieces including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Four Temperaments, Apollo, Symphony in Three Movements, Stars and Stripes, Harlequinade, Theme and Variations, Divertimento #15, Valse Fantasie, Symphony in C, Tarantella, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Chaconne and The Nutcracker. His repertoire of Jerome Robbins’ ballets includes Dances at a Gathering, West Side Story Suite, The Goldberg Variations, 2+3 Part Inventions, Interplay, The Cage and Quiet City. Peter Martins created Fearful Symmetries, Ash, Tchaikovsky Pas de Quatre and Mozart Piano Concerto on him, and he appeared as Prince Désiré in Martins’ production of The Sleeping Beauty, and in three additional Martins works: Eight More, Les Gentilhommes and Sinfonia. He has also had works created on him by William Forsythe, Kevin O'Day, David Allan, Robert La Fosse and Richard Tanner.
Stiefel has toured extensively, appearing in France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Korea, Denmark, Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russian and numerous cities in the United States. He has appeared as a guest with many companies including the Kirov Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Zurich Ballet, New National Ballet in Tokyo, Teatro Colon Ballet in Buenos Aires, New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet and toured the United States and Russia with Kings of the Dance, of which he was involved in the original idea and concept.
Stiefel won a silver medal at the Prix de Lausanne in 1989. He was also the recipient of a Princess Grace Foundation-USA grant in 1991. In 1998, Stiefel was nominated for the Benois de la Danse Award as one of the rising stars in ballet.
Stiefel joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in April 1997. His roles with the Company include the Boy in Afternoon of a Faun, the title role in Apollo, Solor in La Bayadère, the title role in Billy the Kid, the Prince in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Conrad and Ali the Slave in Le Corsaire, the Gentleman with Her in Dim Lustre, Basilio in Don Quixote, Oberon in The Dream, the second sailor in Fancy Free, Colas in La Fille mal gardée, Albrecht in Giselle, Lescaut in Manon, the Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Lensky in Onegin, Cassio in Othello, Blue Boy in Les Patineurs, Petrouchka in Petrouchka, the Son in Prodigal Son, Jean de Brienne in Raymonda, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, James in La Sylphide, Act II and Aminta in Sylvia .
His repertoire also includes leading roles in George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, Twyla Tharp’s The Brahms-Haydn Variations and Push Comes to Shove, Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances, Clear, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Études, Gong, HereAfter (Earth), In The Upper Room, Mozartiana, Petite Mort, Sinfonietta, Tarantella,Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Theme and Variations, the second and third variations in Variations for Four, Without Words and workwithinwork. He created leading roles in Black Tuesday, HereAfter (Heaven), In Volo, Kaleidoscope, Known by Heart, Rogue in Rabbit and Rogue, “…smile with my heart” and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison.
In 2000, Stiefel starred in the motion picture Center Stage, directed by Nicholas Hytner with original choreography by Susan Stroman. He reprised his role of Cooper Nelson in this film’s sequel, Center Stage 2 in 2008. He has also been seen in the ABT PBS productions of Le Corsaire, as Conrad, and as Oberon in The Dream.
Stiefel was appointed Dean of the School of Dance for the North Carolina School of the Arts in 2007.
Joined Royal New Zealand Ballet as Artistic Director in September 2011
- American Ballet Theatre
- Royal New Zealand Ballet