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American Repertory Ballet Names New Artistic Director

Barbara A. Preston, Editor | DECEMBER 22, 2020


After an extensive search, American Repertory Ballet (ARB) recently announced that Ethan Stiefel will become its new artistic director beginning July 2021.


“This appointment marks a wonderful new era for our organization,” says Board Chairperson DonnaJean Fredeen.


“We believe Ethan Stiefel’s unparalleled expertise and innovative vision will bring ARB into an exciting new chapter. We are delighted to welcome him, and look forward to supporting his leadership.”

Ethan Stiefel

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 Ballett Zürich and American Ballet Theater (ABT) where, in July 2012, he gave his final performance. It was described by The New York Times as “daring, explosive, and laced with risk.” The Star Ledger lauded Stiefel “among the greatest dancers America has ever produced.”


Stiefel says, “I am fortunate to again have the opportunity to become an artistic director. I believe most arts organizations are exploring ways to pioneer, diversify, and reinvigorate how they approach their internal culture while seeking to offer current and relevant inspiration for communities and audiences. I am looking forward to helping American Repertory Ballet emerge from these challenging times and to being a part of developing the art form within the organization and the communities we serve.”


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Stiefel has served as artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina. He is currently the principal guest instructor at ABT.


“We are beyond thrilled to have Ethan join our organization in this capacity,” says Julie Diana Hench, executive director. “


His incredible breadth of experience and accomplishments, combined with his inspiring vision, generosity of spirit, creative talents, and professionalism, will shape the future of ARB and Princeton Ballet School.

Ethan Stiefel gave his final performance with the American Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer in July 2012.

With Ethan at the helm, the possibilities are endless.” American Repertory Ballet’s mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences and to dance students through artistic and educational programs.


Founded as the Princeton Ballet Society in 1954, the organization is the preeminent professional classical and contemporary ballet company in the state. It operates Princeton Ballet School, one of the largest and most respected non-profit dance schools in the nation. Learn more at arballet.org.

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