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Upcoming Performance: The Nutcracker Nov 28 / Dec 27 877-828-9200 ext.1

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Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. - Artistic Director

Ben Steveson, O.B.E.

Mr. Stevenson, a native of Portsmouth, England, received his dance training at the Arts Educational School in London. Upon his graduation he was awarded the prestigious Adeline Genee Gold Medal, the highest award given to a dancer by the Royal Academy of Dancing. At the age of eighteen he partnered Alicia Markova in Where the Rainbow Ends and soon after was invited to join the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet by Dame Ninette de Valois, where he worked closely with Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillian, and John Cranko. A few years later Sir Anton Dolin invited him to dance with London Festival Ballet where, as a Principal Dancer, he performed leading roles in all of the classical ballets.

In 1967 English National Ballet asked Mr. Stevenson to stage his first, and highly successful, production of The Sleeping Beauty, which starred Margot Fonteyn. In 1968 Rebekah Harkness invited him to New York to direct the newly formed Harkness Ballet. After choreographing Cinderella in 1970 for the National Ballet in Washington, D.C., he joined the company in 1971 as Co-Artistic Director with Frederic Franklin. That same year he staged a new production of The Sleeping Beauty in celebration of the inaugural season of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In 1976 Mr. Stevenson was appointed the Artistic Director for Houston Ballet. For twenty-seven years, he nurtured the company from a small provincial ensemble to one of the nation's largest dance companies that has performed to critical acclaim throughout the world. He developed Houston Ballet's repertoire by acquiring the works of the world's most respected choreographers, commissioning new works, staging the classics and choreographing original works.

In 1978 during his tenure with the Houston Ballet, Mr. Stevenson traveled to China on behalf of the United States government as part of a cultural exchange program. Since then he has returned almost every year at the invitation of the Chinese government to teach at the Beijing Dance Academy and introduce Western dance forms, including jazz and modern dance to their students. He was instrumental in the creation of the Choreographic Department at the Beijing Dance Academy in 1985 and is the only foreigner to have been made an Honorary Faculty Member at both the Beijing Dance Academy and the Shenyang Conservatory of Music.

In July 2003 Mr. Stevenson became the Artistic Director of Texas Ballet Theater. Since then, the company has experienced tremendous growth, staging both the classics and choreographing original works. The international Company now includes dancers from countries around the world, including England, Cuba, Ukraine, Israel, Brazil and the United States. Texas Ballet Theater's education programs have also grown, as enrollment at the Dallas and Fort Worth Schools have reached full capacity. As of October 2009 Texas Ballet Theater is the resident ballet company at the two premier performance venues in North Texas, the Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and the AT&T Performing Arts Center Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House in Dallas.

As a choreographer, Mr. Stevenson has created some of the world's most breathtaking ballets, including the full-length works Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Don Quixote and original productions of Peer Gynt (which opened Norway's Bergen Festival Gala in 1983), Dracula, The Snow Maiden and Cleopatra. His repertoire of original works also includes both romantic and neoclassic pas de deux that have received critical acclaim and international awards. Additionally, he has staged his ballets for English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opéra Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, La Scala in Milan, Munich State Opera Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, London City Ballet, Ballet de Santiago, and for many companies in the United States.

As a teacher, Mr.Stevenson has trained and influenced thousands of dancers from around the globe. His students have performed with the world's most renowned companies, including The Royal Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, Les Grandes Ballets Canadien, The National Ballet of China, Birmingham Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and more.

For his contributions to the world of international dance, Mr. Stevenson was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year's Honors List in December 1999. He has received numerous awards for his choreography, including three Gold medals at the International Ballet Competitions of 1972, 1982 and 1986. In April 2000 he was presented with the Dance Magazine Award, one of the most prestigious honors on the American dance scene. In 2005 he was awarded the Texas Medal of Arts.

Mr. Stevenson although British by birth, is certainly one of the most important and famous figures in the development of regional ballet in the United States. His achievements as a Teacher, Choreographer and Company Director have earned him the love and respect of dancers and audiences everywhere.

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