Michael Bearden

Director, School of Dance
Artistic Director, Oklahoma Festival Ballet

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents has confirmed Michael Bearden as the new director of its School of Dance, which was founded in 1963 by Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dancers Miguel Terekhov and Yvonne Chouteau. Bearden is only the third director in the school’s 54-year history. Prior to coming to OU Bearden was the Artistic Director of Ballet Arkansas and an Assistant Professor of Ballet at the University of Utah. Before beginning his work in teaching and administration, Bearden had a long performing career as a principal dancer with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah, and performed leading roles in works by some of the world’s greatest choreographers including George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor, William Forsythe, Ben Stevenson, Stanton Welch, Ulysses Dove, Glen Tetley, Twyla Tharp, Jiri Kylian and Christopher Bruce.

Bearden’s work as a choreographer includes creating or staging his ballets for Ballet West, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, the University of Cincinnati, Belhaven University, Texas Christian University and Bucknell University.