Uthoff’s DanceSpin – Welcome!

Michael Uthoff, B&W headshot portrait, cropped, March 2009, photo by Tuan Lee

I am Michael Uthoff and as director of Dance St. Louis I have been rediscovering the variety and greatness of the art form we call Dance. It is my hope to share with you impressions and some opinions of performances I see or events that occur that affect us artists and audience members in the field. Do join me in this journey.

Want to know more about me? Check out my mini-bio below.

Michael Uthoff, internationally renowned artistic director, choreographer, teacher and dancer, assumed the newly titled post of artistic and executive director of Dance St. Louis on July 1, 2006.

Uthoff was born in Santiago, Chile, to former dancers, Ernst Uthoff and Lola Botka, both of the Jooss Ballet and founders of the Chilean National Ballet. He started dancing after high school and a year later arrived in New York to attend the Juilliard School of Music, School of American Ballet, and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. He danced with the José Limón Company and was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet.

In 1972, Uthoff established the Hartford Ballet in Hartford, Connecticut. For the next 20 years, as artistic director, he developed the company into a national institution that toured throughout 49 states. He commissioned works by both new and established choreographers, and created more than 100 ballets for the company himself. In 1992, Uthoff accepted the position of artistic director of Ballet Arizona, a post he held until 1999. From the time that Uthoff created his first dance for the Joffrey Ballet in 1967, his ballets have entered the repertory of companies all over the world. His large-scale works include The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Hansel and Gretel, Alice in Wonderland, Awakening, Dias de Muertos, and Romeo and Juliet. He has directed opera and choreographed for opera companies internationally, and has served on the Board of Dance/USA and panels of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Uthoff’s recent career as guest teacher, choreographer, and artistic advisor includes entities such as the government of Chile, the Shanghai Ballet of China, the California Ballet of San Diego, Portland Opera Performing Institute, Andanza Dance Company of Puerto Rico, the Ballet Estable of the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he held the post of artistic director, and his own Michael Uthoff Dance Theatre, which premiered in 2003.

Uthoff’s most recent dance works are Galleria, premiered in February 2007 by Boston Conservatory, and Honorable Sky, which he created in August 2007 for 30 X 30, the 30th anniversary celebration of BalletMet Columbus. In October 2007 he received the Chilean North American Institute’s Distincción Ernst Uthoff award for his distinguished 40-plus-year career and outstanding contributions to dance.

Uthoff is married to Cynthia Uthoff, and is the proud father of Michelle Uthoff-Campbell and grandfather of Owen and Ivy. He and Cynthia live in Benton Park.


5 responses to “Uthoff’s DanceSpin – Welcome!

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
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  2. Michael, what a great idea! Thank goodness for the “young staff members”!

    I really enjoyed your bio and must admit I was not aware of all you have accomplished during your career. Since you have come to DSL you have given us a new life. How fortunate we are to have you!

    Peace, love & joy!
    Tom Manche

  3. Michael, wonderful blog….I had similar feelings about Merce but understanding comes when we are “ready” doesn’t it.

    any thoughts about Rasta and Bad Boyz of Dance?
    yours in la danse.

    • Strange you ask . Justvhot back from a conference bad boys is in my radar for 2011-12 sounds to distant but it is only two seasons removed. If something fails for 10-11 I will possibly do them then. Hope you are well Love always Michael

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. Iris L. Gonzalez

    Hi! just went to see Carmina Burana by the PA Ballet and reminisced about the 1st time I saw this performed: it was in the Aula Magna of the Univ. Sta Maria in Valparaiso, of course by the Uthoff group. Seems to have been 1953. It was a stunning piece of both music and dance.
    I am glad the Uthoff tradition continues.

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