Gillian Murphy Biography
Gillian Murphy (born April 11, 1979) is an English principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She is known for Swan Lake, Center Stage, Odette and Odile. Gillian is married to Ethan Stiefel.
Gillian began her ballet training at the age of three years in Belgium. She continued her ballet classes in South Carolina at the age of five years. Murphy became a member of the Columbia City Ballet. She went to study at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Melissa Hayden guided her into dancing leading roles in several school productions including The Nutcracker and Concerto Barroco, Western Symphony, Tarantella and Theme and Variations by George Balanchine.
Gillian was a finalist at the age of 15 at the Jackson International Ballet Competition in 1994. She won the Prix de Lausanne Espoir after performing the final round at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow in 1995.
Murphy was awarded a scholarship by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Level I and nominated for the Presidential Scholar in 1996. And in 1998, Gillian was honored with a grant from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
Gillian Murphy Career
After graduating from high school, Murphy joined American Ballet Theatre’s corps de ballet in August 1996 at the age of 17. She was promoted to soloist in 1998. In 2001, her debut as Odette and Odile in Swan Lake gathered rave reviews from The New York Times. In 2002 she was promoted to principal dancer. That same year she was named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch by Gus Solomon Jr.
Her repertoire with ABT includes Polyhymnia in Apollo, Nikiya and Gamzatti in La Bayadère, Cinderella in Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Medora and Gulnare in Le Corsaire, Kitri in Don Quixote, Titania in The Dream, the Accused in Fall River Legend, second girl in Fancy Free, Lise in La Fille mal gardée, the pas de deux Flames of Paris, Grand Pas Classique, Myrta in Giselle, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter, the Queen of Hearts in Jeu de Cartes, Manon in Lady of the Camellias, Lescaut’s Mistress in Manon, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Desdemona in Othello, Hagar in Pillar of Fire, Raymonda in Raymonda, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Princess Aurora and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Sylvia in Sylvia, the first and third movements in Symphony in C, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and the ballerina in Theme and Variations.
Gillian Murphy Centre Stage
Cooper Nielson, played by Ethan Stiefel blows Jody off after the performance and walks off with another girl while leaving her standing alone by the door. The other girl is played by ballerina Gillian who happened to be Ethan Stiefel’s real-life fiancée.
She has played leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Ballet Imperial, Ballo Della Regina, Baroque Game, Birthday Offering, Paul Taylor’s Black Tuesday, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Clear, Désir, Diversion of Angels, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Études, From Here On Out, Gong, In The Upper Room, Meadow, Les Patineurs, Pretty Good Year, Push Comes to Shove, Sinfonietta, Les Sylphides, Symphonie Concertante and The Bright Stream.
In addition, she has performed featured roles in Company B, The Elements, Overgrown Path, and Without Words. On March 27, 2017, Murphy finally made her NYC debut in Giselle with ABT at The Metropolitan Opera House. This came after years of dancing the ballet’s antagonistic force, Myrta.
Murphy has also performed as a guest artist with Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, Kiev Ballet, and Salt Creek Ballet. She spent 3 years as a Guest Principal with Royal New Zealand Ballet, during her husband’s tenure as the company’s director.
Gillian Murphy Swan Lake | Odette and Odile
Gillian debut as Odette and Odile in Swan Lake gathered rave reviews from The New York Times in 2001. The Swan Lake was broadcasted on PBS television.
Murphy played the dual role of Odette and Odile in Kevin McKenzie‘s version of Swan Lake with ABT in 2005. Her performance was filmed and broadcast as part of Great Performances: Dance in America on PBS.
Gillian Murphy Movies and TV Shows
In 2000, Murphy had a small role in the film Center Stage, which featured her ABT colleagues Ethan Stiefel, Julie Kent, and Sascha Radetsky in starring roles. She also appeared in the film’s sequel, Center Stage: Turn It Up. In 2005 she played the dual role, Odette and Odile, in Kevin McKenzie’s version of Swan Lake with ABT. This performance was filmed and broadcast as a part of Great Performances: Dance in America on PBS.
In 2010 She appeared as herself in the fourth season, episode 8 of Gossip Girl with Ethan Stiefel. She also appears as the eponymous character in Royal New Zealand Ballet’s documentary and film production of Giselle. Behind the scenes, she served as a ballet consultant on the movie Black Swan.
Gillian Murphy Age
Murphy was born on April 11, 1979, in Wimbledon, England. She is 39 years old as of April 2018.
Gillian Murphy Husband | Ethan Stiefel
Murphy married her longtime partner Ethan Stiefel, a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet on September 19, 2015.
Gillian Murphy Education
Gillian Murphy attended high school at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. There, under the tutelage of Melissa Hayden, she danced principal roles in several of the school’s productions, including The Nutcracker and George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Western Symphony, Tarantella and Theme, and Variations.
Gillian Murphy Awards
- Awarded the Prix de Lausanne Espoir (1995)
- Presidential Scholar nominee (1996)
- Awarded a Dance Fellowship by the Princess Grace Foundation (1998)
- Received the Princess Grace Statue Award (2009)
- Honorary Doctorate, University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Gillian Murphy Instagram
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Throwback to #backstage @stellaforcentex this time last year with 3 absolute faves: Bella, Stella, & Catherine 💖 & Congratulations @catehurlin (aka “Hurricane”🌪) on representing @abtofficial & winning the Erik Bruhn Prize this weekend!!! 👸🥇✨ #ballerinas #behindthescenes #Manila #danceforacause #ballet #squad #americanballetstarsdanceforcentex
Gillian Murphy Twitter
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