Texas Ballet Theater’s Ben Stevenson Steps Into New Role

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The Texas Ballet Theater announced Tuesday that longtime artistic director and world-renowned choreographer Ben Stevenson will take on a new role as award-winning artistic director, beginning July 1.

The company also said Tim O’Keefe, associate art director, would become acting art director at that time.

“Ben Stevenson is one of the great ballet storytellers who has brought magic to the stages of Dallas and Fort Worth,” said Anne T. Bass, chair of the company’s board of directors. “It is impossible to overstate his importance in elevating our company to the internationally renowned ensemble it is today.”

Stevenson, who started with the company nearly 20 years ago, is the longest-serving art director in the company’s history. The 2022-23 season will celebrate his outstanding work, beginning with his latest family production, “Cirque du Ballet”, and closing the season with his world-renowned production “Alice in Wonderland”.

Stevenson joined the company in July 2003, establishing himself as a prominent member of the local artistic community and demonstrating his commitment to the future of ballet through education, collaboration and his artistic vision.

Originally from Portsmouth, England, Stevenson trained at the Arts Education School in London and appeared with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and English National Ballet as a principal dancer. Stevenson received numerous awards for his choreography during his professional career, including three gold medals at the international ballet competitions of 1972, 1982 and 1986. In December 1999, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Stevenson an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

O’Keefe began his professional ballet career with Houston Ballet in 1982, portraying the lead role in Stevenson’s “Dracula” in 1997. He has choreographed for Houston Ballet’s Cullen Contemporary Series, Houston Ballet Academy and Texas Ballet Theater .

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with the talent and experience of Tim O’Keefe to serve as interim artistic director,” Bass said. “Tim has been a key part of this business for almost two decades, and we look forward to his leadership.”

A statement coinciding with the announcement said the Board of Governors has yet to set a timeline for hiring a permanent replacement.


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