Wes Chapman

Dracula

Performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet during the 2011-2012 & 2013-2014 seasons

Bio

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. 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.

Mr. Chapman returned to ABT as ballet master in 2006 before being named Artistic Director of ABT II in 2007-2011. Chapman oversees the ABT Summer Intensive at the University of Texas Austin, hosts ABT’s Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Young People’s Ballet Workshop and ABTKids. He also performs with ABT in various character roles and teaches company class on a regular basis. Additionally he serves as a national spokesperson for Regional Dance America and as dance advisor for Angelina Ballerina©

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