Playing to the tune of “If I Could Only Fly” by Blaze Foley, Ethan Stiefel’s new solo if is homespun, lived-in, vulnerable — dashed with heaviness, but with perseverance and hope too.
Choreographer | Ethan Stiefel
Ethan Stiefel is an internationally recognized artist, educator and leader in the performing arts. Stiefel was the Principal Guest Instructor at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) from 2016-2021 and the Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) from 2011-2014. Just before being appointed the RNZB’s Artistic Director, he served as Dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) from 2007-2011.
Stiefel began his professional career at age 16 with the New York City Ballet where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. He was also a Principal Dancer with Ballett Zürich and joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in 1997.
During his career, Stiefel performed leading roles in all of the full-length classics and danced in an extensive range of shorter works created by the industry’s foremost classical, modern and contemporary choreographers. Read more about Ethan Stiefel here.
Music | Blaze Foley
Blaze Foley was a poet and ace finger picker, a walking contradiction, equal parts spiritual and troubled. A genius and beautiful loser, but most importantly he was a songwriter who poured his entire soul into his art. He died an unknown songwriter yet quickly became a legend, commanding the respect of greats like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett. His influential output includes the iconic “If I Could Only Fly” and haunting laments like “Clay Pigeons,” “My Reasons Why” and “Election Day.” With his duct-taped boots, Foley represents a truly punk continuation of the famous Texas outlaw music movement.
Costume Design | Janessa Cornell Urwin
Janessa Cornell Urwin (Costume Designer) began her career as a ballet dancer before transitioning into costuming. She has designed costumes for numerous classical ballets and contemporary dance pieces for American Repertory Ballet, Stockton University Dance Program, Traverse City Dance Project, The Nutmeg Ballet, Rutgers University, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, and Nacre Dance Company, among others. She has worked with esteemed choreographers Kirk Peterson, Starr Foster, Riccardo De Nigris, Michael Nickerson-Rossi, and Meredith Rainey. Urwin also has a short film design credit and has designed for Athena Theatre Company. She holds a certificate in Costume Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Most recently she designed Ethan Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the costumes for Movin’ + Groovin’. Urwin is also ARB’s Wardrobe Supervisor.
Lighting Design | Jason Flamos
Jason Flamos (Lighting Designer) Credits include: (Mile Square Theatre) Pipeline, I and You, It’s a Wonderful Life, The 39 Steps, Betrayal; (Shakespeare Theater NJ) William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play; (10 Hairy Legs) Heist, Cruise Control, Brian, Quadrivium; (Thingamajig Theatre Company) The Pillowman, Cabaret, The Little Mermaid, A Few Good Men. Flamos was the Associate Lighting Design for the Off-Broadway productions of Clever Little Lies and The Other Josh Cohen at Westside Theater, F***ing A at Signature Theater, The Producers and Benny and Joon at Paper Mill Playhouse, and Rags at Goodspeed Opera. He was the lighting supervisor for 10 Hairy Legs and is the current lighting supervisor at American Repertory Ballet.
Photo by Rosalie O’Connor
Video editing by Michelle Quiner
4 minutes, 30 seconds
Number of performers
Available upon request
Link to full performance video
Available upon request