Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

Creative Class of 2015: Michael Bearden

Michael-Bearden-Arkansan-of-the-Year-220x300Dancer and visionary Michael Bearden is in his third season as Ballet Arkansas‘ Artistic Director.  Prior to that he spent two years as Artistic Advisor to the company.

During his tenure at Ballet Arkansas Michael has brought works to the repertoire by choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Gerald Arpino and George Balanchine. A native of Searcy, Arkansas, he received his training at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas and went on to have a fourteen year career with Ballet West, in Salt Lake City. As a Principal Dancer at Ballet West, Michael performed leading roles in ballets by some of the world’s greatest choreographers including Balanchine, Ashton, Tudor, Forsythe, Stevenson, Welch, Dove, Tetley, Tharp, Kylian and Christopher Bruce.

As a choreographer, Michael has created or staged his works for Ballet West, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, the University of Cincinnati, Belhaven University and Texas Christian University. Michael is grateful for the continued opportunity to give back to the community by helping to guide Ballet Arkansas to new heights.

Under his leadership with the Ballet, the company has sponsored two Visions choreographic competitions, premiered several new works, and presented the first performance of George Balanchine’s Who Cares? in Arkansas.  He has also been instrumental in the company’s plans to move into the Creative Corridor on Main Street.


Author: Scott

A cultural thinker with a life long interest in the arts and humanities: theatre, music, architecture, photography, history, urban planning, etc.

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