Christopher Stowell

Portland, Oregon, United States

Ballet Artistic Director, Artistic Director, Choreographer

When I retired from the stage, I was ready to change my focus from myself to others and give back to the art form I love.

In 2003, I became the artistic director for Oregon Ballet Theatre, the state's largest dance institution with more than 30 professional dancers and a staff of approximately 75 full-time and seasonal employees. OBT gives a minimum of 40 performances in a season and has a professional school of 300 students. After nine years, I decided to pursue becoming a consulting choreographer and artistic director to ballet companies across the world and concluded my tenure as the artistic director at OBT in December 2012.

I am grateful I have made a successful living in the arts my entire career, and I have the chance every day to work with highly gifted and trained artists of a variety of disciplines.

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I received my training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and at the School of American Ballet. For 16 years I was a leading dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and performed in major theatres all over the world including the Paris Opera, New York’s Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. I performed leading roles in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Othello. When I retired in 2001, I was honored with a gala farewell in the War Memorial Opera House.

My role as an artistic director allows me to develop artistic programming, coordinate large scale events, teach and mentor students and professional artists and do choreography. It is a great opportunity to put my on stage experience and knowledge to work for others who love the art of ballet as much as I do.

I am proud of my work at Oregon Ballet Theatre and my success in fostering a creative and supportive work environment. Our efforts have earned OBT a national reputation for producing top quality performances.

I will share with you the reality of being a full-time professional artist; how to empower you not to get in your own way; how to not let go of your integrity; how to stay committed to your artistic values and recognize the value of being a student every day.