Christopher Stowell. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
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 16 years, appearing in theaters throughout the world including Paris Opéra, New York’s Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. As a Principal Dancer, Mr. 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, Mr. Stowell appeared in almost every Balanchine ballet performed by San Francisco Ballet. Upon his retirement in 2001, he was accorded a gala farewell in the War Memorial Opera House.
Mr. 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, Mr. Stowell became Oregon Ballet Theatre’s second Artistic Director. He made significant additions to the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s repertoire, bringing to Portland works from some of the world’s most celebrated choreographers, including Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Helgi Tomasson, Christopher Wheeldon and Lar Lubovitch. During Mr. Stowell’s tenure, the company performed in Korea and the Kennedy Center as well as venues in New York City, Chicago, Colorado, Washington and Wyoming. In addition to creating 11 world premieres for the company, including Swan Lake (2006), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007) The Rite of Spring (2009), Carmen (2011) and Ekho (2012), Mr. Stowell also commissioned works by internationally prominent artists James Kudelka, Kent Stowell, Trey McIntyre, Yuri Possokhov, Julia Adam and Nicolo Fonte. Mr. Stowell held the position until 2012 and has recently been freelancing as a 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 2014/15 season, he worked in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Antwerp, Beijing, Cincinnati and Copenhagen and created his first work for Los Angeles Ballet as well as his first film for the SF Dance Film Festival. Mr. Stowell joined The National Ballet of Canada as Associate Artistic Director.