Although mainstream dance films are few and far between, it is difficult to find a dancer who hasn’t seen Center Stage. The 2000 drama displays a group of young, aspiring dancers at the fictitious American Ballet Academy in New York and the physical and psychological stresses of training that they face in their attempt to make it in the competitive world of dance.
If you’ve seen Center Stage, you’ll recall the talented male dancer who jetéd into the hearts of thousands – Cooper Nielson, also known as Ethan Stiefel.
Ethan Stiefel is a highly famed ballet star in the dance community. Ethan began his ballet training at age 8 in Madison, WI under Jo Jean Retrum. Ethan’s technical skills quickly climbed, and in 1989, began his highly successful career as a dancer for the New York City Ballet. After 8 years with the NYCB, Ethan joined the American Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer. Following a performance for an ABT Gala in 2011, Ethan proposed to longtime girlfriend and fellow principal ABT dancer Gillian Murphy. In July 2012, Ethan gave his final bow, receiving a standing ovation that lasted over 10 minutes! Needless to say, Ethan Stiefel is a star.
Ethan Stiefel currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. This Sat, Feb 8, the Royal New Zealand Ballet will make its MN debut at the Orpheum Theatre. Performing along with the troupe will be Gillian Murphy. Dying to meet Ethan? No problem. Join us at the Royal New Zealand Ballet Performance Preview in the balcony of the Orpheum Theatre.
In the mean time, get out your old VCR and VHS tapes… and watch Center Stage!