This is an open call for male ballet dancers interested in studying partnering during the spring of 2009. Classes will be held at the Center for the Arts of Towson University between 1-2:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from January 26th until May 12th. Transfer credit is available, and scholarships may be awarded if appropriate. Please contact Maria DeMeo at 410.704.2760 for further information or to learn how to sign up for this class. Registration opens in November, and will continue through the first week of class.
Runqiao Du, of Shanghai, China, received his academic and ballet training at Shanghai Dance Academy where he was awarded scholarships and graduated with honors as well as receiving a bronze medal in the junior division of the China National Ballet Competition.
In his professional career, he has performed with American Ballet Theater, Chautauqua Dance Company, Cincinnati Ballet, and Ballet Theatre of Lima (Peru). Until his retirement in 2009, Runqiao was a principal dancer with The Washington Ballet where he has performed various classical and neoclassical ballets, including the lead roles of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Albrecht in Giselle, and the Cavalier in The Nutcracker. He has also had the privilege of performing featured roles by choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, Trey McIntyre, Kirk Peterson, Mark Dendy, Carol Armitage, and Septime Webre. Starting in 2000, while maintaining his position with The Washington Ballet, Mr. Du’s dancing career had a major advance when he was invited by the legendary ballerina, Suzanne Farrell, to join her new company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, a creation of The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as a principal dancer. Under the artistic direction of Ms. Farrell, Mr. Du had the opportunity to perform leading roles in some of the world’s most beloved ballets, including George Balanchine’s Apollo, Scotch Symphony, Monumentum Pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Tzigane, Who Cares?, Divertimento No. 15, Serenade, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Meditation, Duo Concertante, La Source, La Valse, Chaconne, Ballade, the full-length Don Quixote, Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, and Maurice Bejart’s Romeo and Juliet.
He has participated in The Washington Ballet’s “Ballets From Within”, a choreographic workshop for the members of the company. His ballet “Handel Suite” won first place in the New Jersey Youth Festival ensemble division. His works have also been performed on the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
After his illustrious performing career, Mr. Du joined Towson University as a Guest Artist where he teaches Ballet Technique, Ballet Repertory, Partnering, and is Artistic Director of the Company. Recently, he was given the position of Full Time Lecturer. In 2009, he was named Resident Choreographer for the newly formed Ballet ADI and is part of the Ballet Faculty at American Dance Institute.
In 2005, Mr. Du married his long-time colleague, Erin Mahoney. They are blessed with two beautiful daughters, Olivia and Vivien.