Portland, April 6th, 2013. Portland’s Pure Space was the backdrop for Oregon Ballet Theatre’s gala. Interim Artistic Director Anne Mueller (left) with Patty Warner, Henry Hillman, and OBT Trustee Nancy Frisch enjoyed the night. (photo credit, Travis Nodurft, Studio TEN.)
Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) is rising quickly on the national scene. Established in 1989, OBT’s celebrated company of dancers performs an annual five-program season at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts and also conducts both regional and national tours.
Under Founding Artistic Director James Canfield, a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, OBT developed a unique repertoire and distinctive style. With a firm foundation in classical technique, the company’s dance inventory grew to comprise over 80 ballets including evening-length classics, 20th-Century masterpieces and innovative contemporary works.
In 2003, following a distinguished, 16-year career as a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Christopher Stowell became Oregon Ballet Theatre’s second Artistic Director. The son of Pacific Northwest Ballet Founding Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, Mr. Stowell possesses an impressive ballet lineage. His extensive training and experience, deep knowledge of the repertoire, and dedication to the discipline’s exacting classical and contemporary vocabulary are all reflected in his programming.
During his tenure, Mr. Stowell added the work of Sir Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Lar Lubovitch and Christopher Wheeldon to the OBT repertoire, and significantly expanded the company’s inventory of George Balanchine ballets. He also commissioned new works by renowned contemporary choreographers James Kudelka, Trey McIntyre, Yuri Possokhov, Julia Adam and Nicolo Fonte. In addition, Mr. Stowell created 10 ballets on OBT’s dancers, including the company’s first full-length production of Swan Lake (2006), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007), The Sleeping Beauty (2010) and Carmen (2011).
Anne Mueller assumed the role of Interim Artistic Director on December 24th, 2012, following Christopher Stowell’s resignation. Mueller has been with OBT since 1996. She retired from dancing in 2011 following a stellar career as a Principal Dancer.