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He Played Cooper in “Center Stage.” See Ethan Stiefel Now at 49.

He Played Cooper in “Center Stage.” See Ethan Stiefel Now at 49.


Over 20 years after its preliminary launch, the 2000 dance drama Middle Stage nonetheless has a whole lot of passionate followers. The film is about college students who start coaching at a ballet academy in New York Metropolis with positions in an expert ballet firm on the road, and it options all of the romance, rivalries, and dance that you’d count on. Whereas among the stars are primarily actors, a whole lot of them are actual, skilled dancers. Take Ethan Stiefel, who performs Cooper in Middle Stage. He was already an expert ballet dancer when he was solid within the movie, and his dance profession continued on afterward. He has additionally labored in different areas, together with serving as a ballet firm director. Learn on to study extra about Stiefel’s life at the moment.

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Ethan Stiefel in
Columbia Photos

In the course of the time that Stiefel made Middle Stage, he was a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Stiefel. He was with the corporate from 1997 to 2012, and in the direction of the top of his tenure, he was additionally the dean of the Faculty of Dance on the College of North Carolina Faculty of the Arts. Then, from 2011 to 2014, he was the inventive director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Stiefel has additionally labored as a director, teacher, and choreographer with numerous dance corporations and was a choreographer for the TV sequence Flesh and Bone.

Ethan Stiefel in a rehearsal in 2003
Lane Turner/The Boston Globe through Getty Photos

In 2021, Stiefel grew to become the inventive director of American Repertory Ballet in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

“I’m very lucky to once more have the chance to turn out to be a creative director,” Stiefel mentioned in a press release when the information was introduced, as reported by Pointe journal. “I consider most arts organizations have taken inventory throughout these instances and are exploring methods to pioneer, diversify and reinvigorate how they strategy their inside tradition, whereas in search of to supply present and related inspiration for communities and audiences. I’m trying ahead to serving to American Repertory Ballet emerge from these difficult instances and to being part of growing the artwork type inside the group and the communities we serve.”

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Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel at the 2016 Princess Grace Awards Gala
Gary Gershoff/WireImage through Getty Photos

Stiefel returned to performing two extra instances after Middle Stage for the film’s TV sequels. He as soon as once more performed Cooper within the 2008 sequel Middle Stage: Flip It Up and within the 2016’s Middle Stage: On Pointe. He additionally appeared as himself on an episode of Gossip Lady in 2010.

Stiefel reunited along with his Middle Stage co-stars in 2020. Their digital reunion raised cash for American Ballet Theatre’s Disaster Aid Fund. Throughout their chat, the actors talked in regards to the illustration the movie provided for male dancers.

“As we have all mentioned due to the folks that we have been working with on the movie, on each degree, as somebody who, because the age of eight or 9, was pursuing a ballet profession took an excellent sense of delight in the truth that I used to be given the possibility to current dance on the best degree,” Stiefel mentioned, in line with Selection. “And all you are able to do is current your artwork type in the very best gentle potential. That is an enormous accountability and one which I did not take evenly, however on the similar time if we’re nonetheless speaking about this movie proper now 20 years later and among the subjects that we’re discussing, it appears it did resonate.”

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Stiefel married Gillian Murphy, a fellow ballet dancer, in 2015. Murphy has been a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre since 2002 and first joined the corporate as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996. She was additionally in Middle Stage, enjoying a scholar on the dance academy, and joined her husband on Gossip Lady. The couple welcomed a son, Ax Stiefel, in June 2019.

“Overwhelmed with infinite [heart emoji] for this little man!!” Murphy wrote on Instagram subsequent to a photograph of Ax not lengthy after he was born. “Enormous thanks to every certainly one of you on your messages & heat welcome of Ax Nathaniel Stiefel (Ax means ‘Father of Peace’).”


Initially Revealed by – Lia Beck

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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