The Hartt School, the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford, is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Pier as Interim Director of the Dance Division. Pier has a distinguished career as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer with some of the world's finest companies and schools, and has served on the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1996. Pier succeeds Dennis Price, whose contributions enhanced Hartt's dance program significantly during his four-year tenure.
Stephen Pier has achieved a uniquely rich and varied career. His credits as a performer include many years with the Jose Limon Company, where the New York press hailed him as "...one of the most gifted dancers on the modern dance scene today." He went on to become a leading soloist with the Hamburg Ballet in Germany, performing the title roles in John Neumeier's "Othello" and "Saint Matthew's Passion" and creating numerous other major roles during his nine years with the company. As a member of the Royal Danish Ballet for six years, Mr. Pier had the privilege of dancing leading roles in works of Bournonville, Balanchine, MacMillan, Bejart, and collaborating with many of Europe's finest contemporary choreographers.
Mr. Pier was invited to teach both the company and the school of the Royal Danish Ballet and served as ballet master for the company from 1992 to 1996. He has taught on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey School, the Martha Graham Center, Regional Dance America, New York International Ballet Competition, and for many notable companies in Europe, America, and Asia, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Atlanta Ballet, Bat Dor, Introdans, Scapino Ballet Cedar Lake Dance Ensemble, and the New National Theater, Tokyo. He has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1996. His students have danced in companies around the world including The Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theater, Martha Graham Company, Lar Lubovitch Co., Mark Morris Dance Co., Doug Varone Dancers, Cullberg Ballet, Cedar Lake Ensemble, Alvin Ailey, and Bat Sheva.
In 2002 Mr. Pier began PierGroupDance (www.piergrp.org) to explore and collaborate with dancers and artists in various art forms. He has created more than 30 works for the concert stage, opera, theatre, and film. His work has been presented by The Hamburg Ballet (Germany), Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Danish Theater, Royal Danish Opera, Bat Dor (Israel), The New National Theater (Japan), The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, The Di Capo Opera Company (New York City), Nilas Martins Dance Company, and the Dance on Film Festival at Lincoln Center. He was selected to be part of Jacob's Pillow Choreographer's Project in 1998. He co-founded and directed the emerging choreographer's workshop "Danses" at the Royal Danish Ballet from 1990 through 1996.
Pier has been the Artistic Director of Juilliard's innovative Mentoring Program since 2007, and in September 2008 he began a 3-year tenure as director of the new Visions and Voices: Altria/ABT Women's Choreography Project at American Ballet Theater.
The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions a year, performance is central to Hartt's curriculum. For more information on The Hartt School, visit www.hartford.edu/hartt.
Photo credit: John Deane