Jean Paul Comelin
Visiting Artist in Residence
French-born choreographer, director and master teacher Jean-Paul Comelin, now a U.S. resident, has long been associated with the world's most prominent ballet companies, and some of the greatest names in the dance world of the 20th century.
Jean-Paul Comelin joined the Paris Opera Ballet in 1956 and went on to dance with the London Festival Ballet, the National Ballet of Washington and the Pennsylvania Ballet as a principal dancer. He has also appeared as a guest artist with the Australian Ballet, performed with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and been coached by George Balanchine in several of his own ballets.
Mr. Comelin choreographed his first ballet, Autumn Songs, for the National Ballet of Canada for ballerinas Veronica Tennant and Karen Kain. He then proceeded to create more than 60 works for companies on five continents.
In 1980 Mr. Comelin was invited by Artistic Director Marcia Haydee to be ballet master of the prestigious Stuttgart Ballet, where he created two new works for the company, Saltarello and Overtones. As Artistic Director of Ballet du Nord in France, he created several works each year. An original work on Christopher Columbus, a new version of The Nutcracker, a new version of The Firebird, a collaboration with painter Mahjoub Ben Bella, and the Mozart Requiem (Lux Aeterna) were the most successful of his works, at home and on tour. He organized tours in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Comelin has worked with such notable dancers as Margot Fonteyn, Yvette Chauviré, Nina Novak, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Lawrence Rhodes, Carla Fracci, Claire Sombert, Marilyn Burr, Svetlana Beriosova, Claire Motte, John Gilpin, Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun.
Today Mr. Comelin continues choreographing, directing, lecturing and teaching around the world. He serves as a consultant in the development of dance in Vietnam, South Africa, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan, and offers master classes and creates original choreography in Paris, Basel, Lyon, Zurich, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Hanoi, Bangkok, and at the University of Richmond and SMU.