Stephan Laurent


Stephan Laurent, Professor Emerius and former chair of the Department of Dance at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, joined the Butler dance faculty in 1988 after six years as the artistic director of the Des Moines Ballet, for which he produced and choreographed a number of full-length classical and contemporary works. He was the recipient of the 1986 Iowa Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award. Many of his ballets are now on the repertoire of the Butler Ballet, for which he continues to choreograph actively, including the award-winning original full-length contemporary ballet The Willow Maiden: a Fantasy Dance Adventure. His areas of teaching expertise include ballet technique, choreography, dance history, theory/philosophy of dance, dance production, and dance technology. Prof. Laurent also teaches a First-Year Seminar in the Core Curriculum of Butler University, entitled Spellbound: The Quest for Magic in Speculative Fiction and the Arts. He is now retired and lives in Corpus Christi, TX.

Prof. Laurent was for many years a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools of Dance and has worked both nationally and internationally on accreditation matters. He also served as a master teacher for a number of organizations nationally and internationally, including the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the National High School Dance Festival, the National Society of Arts & Letters, the Overture Awards, the Prelude Awards, the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, and the Newtown High School for Performing Arts in Sydney, Australia. He has also served as a consultant and grant reviewer for numerous State and regional arts councils. His service to the University includes three years as a Faculty Senator and numerous departmental, college-, and university-wide committees.

Prof. Laurent emigrated to the United States from his native Switzerland in 1977 after a professional career with a number of European companies, including the Ballet Royal de Wallonie in Belgium, the Scapino Ballet of Amsterdam, the Ballett des Staatstheaters Braunschweig, the Freiburg Ballett, and the Bayreuther Festspiele in Germany under John Neumeier. In the U.S., he has danced with the Dallas Ballet, Ballet del Monte Sol, and the Des Moines Ballet. He has served as a coach for the Swiss team at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria and as a dance critic for several newspapers and periodicals in Europe, and for the internet publication Dance Insider Online. His M.F.A., summa cum laude, is from Southern Methodist University.  He is married to Soprano Ellen Denham and has three children ranging from ages 32-40.