The most striking blend of the hyper-romantic and the abstract comes in Tolstoy’s Waltz. Even in a
program this strong it stands out as an instant hit.
Stowell’s Eyes on You bristles with a sleek and lively sense of fun but never forgets it’s a ballet.
This production of Swan Lake is a landmark in the maturation of the city’s dance culture.
Drawing from the traditional Petipa/Ivanov staging and his own experience as a Balanchine –schooled
classical interpreter, Stowell presented a production that sparkled.
Christopher Stowell was born in New York City and received his training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. In 1985 he joined San Francisco Ballet where he danced for sixteen years, appearing in theaters throughout the world including the Paris Opera, New York’s Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. As a principal dancer, Stowell performed leading roles in the full-length classics Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Othello, and had roles created for him by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson and by contemporary choreographers including Mark Morris, William Forsythe and James Kudelka. An established interpreter of the George Balanchine repertoire, Stowell appeared in almost every Balanchine ballet performed by SFB. Upon his retirement in 2001, he was accorded a gala farewell in the War Memorial Opera House.
Stowell has taught and coached in San Francisco, New York, Japan, China and
Europe. He has created new works for San Francisco Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet,
Diablo Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, as well as the New York City Ballet
Choreographic Institute. He has also staged the works of George Balanchine, Mark Morris and Christopher Wheeldon.
In 2003 Christopher Stowell became Oregon Ballet Theatre’s second artistic director. He made significant additions to the OBT repertoire, bringing to Portland works from some of the world’s most celebrated choreographers, including Ashton, Balanchine, Robbins, Forsythe, Taylor, Tomasson, Wheeldon and Lubovitch. During Stowell’s tenure with OBT, the company performed in Korea and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, as well as venues in New York City, Chicago, Colorado, Washington and Wyoming.
In addition to creating eight world premieres for OBT, including Swan Lake (2006), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007) The Rite of Spring (2009), Carmen (2011) and Ekho (2012), Stowell also commissioned works by
internationally prominent artists James Kudelka, Kent Stowell, Trey McIntyre, Yuri Possokhov, Julia Adam and Nicolo Fonte. Stowell served as OBT’s Artistic Director from 2003-2012.
Now a freelance choreographer, ballet master and teacher in the US, Europe and Asia as well working for the Balanchine Trust. In addition to serving as Ballet Master and Assistant to the Artistic Director at San Francisco Ballet for the 14/15 season he has recently worked in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Antwerp, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Copenhagen and created his first work for Los Angeles
In February 2017, Christopher was appointed Associate Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada by Karen Kain.
In 2020, Christopher staged his Sleeping Beauty for Oregon Ballet Theatre and his production of A Midsummer Night's Dream due be performed in 20/21 by Grand Rapids Ballet but had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.