Val Caniparoli

Character Dancer with The San Francisco Ballet


The Nutcracker- premiere December 2014


Val Caniparoli’s, one of the most sought after American choreographers in the United States and abroad, has contributed to the repertories of more than thirty-five dance companies, including the Joffrey Ballet.

Caniparoli began his career under the artistic directorship of Lew Christensen, and in the 1980’s was appointed resident choreographer of San Francisco Ballet. He continues to choreograph for the company under Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson.

His extensive knowledge and appreciation of music is reflected in the range of composers that have inspired his choreography including one of his most performed works, Lambarena (Johann Sebastian Bach and traditional African rhythms and music). Caniparoli has also choreographed operas for three of this country’s major companies: Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera.

Caniparoli has been the recipient of many awards including ten grants for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Choo-San Goh Awards, two Izzies for Outstanding Choreography, an Isadora Duncan Award for Sustained Achievement, and a Benois de la Danse Award nomination. He was also honored to have been selected to choreograph a pas de deux for Evelyn Hart and Rex Harrington for the Royal Jubilee Gala for Queen Elizabeth in Toronto.

Born in Renton, Washington, Caniparoli opted for a professional dance career after studying music and theatre at Washington State University. In 1972, he received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend San Francisco Ballet School. He performed with San Francisco Opera Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet in 1973. He continues to perform with the company as a principal character dancer.