Michele Wiles, Artistic Director

photo: Nir Arieli

photo: Nir Arieli

Michele Wiles, artistic director and dancer of BalletNext founded the company in 2011 with the vision to pair classically trained dancers and live musicians in a collaborative setting that encourages risk taking and a focus on process during the creation of high quality work. 

Michele was born in Baltimore, Maryland and at age 10 moved to Washington D.C. to train at the Kirov Academy on full scholarship. She was a Gold Medal winner at the 18th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria a Bronze Medal winner in Nagoya, Japan and a finalist at the Paris International Dance Competition. She was a Princess Grace Foundation – U.S.A. Dance Fellowship recipient for 1999–2000 and won the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2002.  She joined American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company in 1997 and joined American Ballet Theatre in 1998.  She was promoted to soloist in 2000 and to principal in 2005. In 2011, she left that position to start BalletNext.

In addition to leading BalletNext as artistic director and dancer, Michele is choreographing. Her first work, All the Drops of Water, to music by Max Richter was created in 2013. Her second work, Querencia, a work for 3 women and one violinist to music by Henrich Biber was created for the Columbia Ballet Collaborative and premiered at the Miller Theatre in May 2014. Her most recent work, Ushuaia, also to music by Heinrich Biber was created in residence at Kaatsbaan in the summer of 2014.