Ballet Palm Beach Announces Wes Chapman Former American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer and Director of ABT II as Special Coach for Don Quixote
Wes Chapman, former American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer and Director of ABT II will bring his extensive knowledge to Ballet Palm Beach for their next main stage production, Don Quixote. “We are so excited to have Wes Chapman work with our dancers! We are committed to education and enriching Palm Beach County through the art of ballet and it is an incredible opportunity and honor for Ballet Palm Beach to have Wes Chapman’s vast experience be a part of our next production.” says Ballet Palm Beach’s Artistic Director Colleen Smith.
Ballet Palm Beach is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the art of ballet, impacting young lives through the discipline of dance, and enriching the community through the beauty of ballet. The company has reached over 6ooo individuals this season beginning with its popular “flash ballet” where they danced flash mob style in public locations throughout Palm Beach County. Their season opened with The Curtain Rises a mixed repertoire, followed by their tradition and community favorite of The Nutcracker and most recently the classic ballet Romeo & Juliet, all performed at the Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach State College. The dance company fulfills its mission of community outreach and education through partnerships with the Palm Beach County Library System, the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, and the Kravis Center’s S*T*A*R Series outreach and education program.
Ballet Palm Beach will perform Don Quixote at the Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach State College on April 4 at 7:30pm and April 5 at 2 & 7:30pm. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at www.balletpalmbeach.org or 561.207.5900.
About Wes Chapman, International Classical Ballet Teacher,
Coach & Répétiteur:
A native of Union Springs, Alabama, Chapman graduated from Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1983 with the Duane Dushion Award and the Prix d’excellence de Danse Award. After dancing for Alabama Ballet for one season Chapman joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1984 as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to Soloist in 1987 and to Principal Dancer in 1989. With ABT, Chapman performed all the leading roles in the ballet repertoire and in works by many of the twentieth century’s master choreographers, including George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Jiri Kylian, Fredrick Ashton, Mats Ek, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham and Antony Tudor. He also created leading roles in Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and Twyla Tharp’s The Elements. Chapman has appeared in Dance in America, the film Dancers and the documentary Ballet as well as numerous television shows and featured on national news broadcasts. In 1993, he joined the Bavarian National Ballet as a principal dancer before returning to ABT in 1995. Chapman appeared with Hamburg Ballet, English National Ballet, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and Finnish National Ballet as a guest star.
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, Alabama Ballet Summer Program and Gorham’s Bluff Summer Residency. Chapman received the Distinguished Career Award from the University of Alabama in 1998, Birmingham Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 in 2004, and was named Alabama Arts Ambassador by Governor Bill Riley in 2007. Chapman restaged for Alabama Ballet many of the full-length classical ballets including Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Coppelia as well as various one act works such as Paquita, Raymonda Act III and Carnival in Venice. Chapman acquired Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, stared in Alabama Public Television’s Jekyll and Hyde, and the Making of Romeo and Juliet.
Mr. Chapman returned to ABT as ballet master in 2006 before being named Artistic Director of ABT II in 2007-2011. Chapman oversaw the ABT Summer Intensive at the University of Texas Austin, hosted ABT’s Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Young People’s Ballet Workshop and ABTKids. He also performed with ABT in various character roles and taught company class on a regular basis. Additionally he serves as a national spokesperson for Regional Dance America and as dance advisor for Angelina Ballerina. Beginning in January 2012-April 2013 Chapman was engaged as Artistic Advisor for Ballet San Jose in California where he oversaw all artistic aspects of the organization. During the fall of 2013 Chapman has served as Artist in Residence for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and stages Nutcracker for Costa Rica.