Christopher Ruud - Ballet West, Principal Artist
A native of San Francisco, Christopher began his training at the San Francisco Ballet School, where he studied for six years and performed numerous children’s roles in the SF Ballet repertoire. He received additional training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, before training at the University of Utah Ballet Department. Christopher joined Ballet West in 1998, was promoted to Soloist in 2001 and Principal in 2004.
With Ballet West Christopher has toured throughout the United States and abroad including multi-city tours in China and in Scotland at the Edinburgh International Festival. Some of his notable roles include “Petruchio” in John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew; the Second Pas de Deux in Antony Tudor's The Leaves Are Fading; Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances; William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated; Val Caniparoli’s Lamberana and Book of Alleged Dances; and “Romeo” in Jonas Kage’s Romeo and Juliet. Christopher has performed the principal roles in multiple versions of such classics as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Cinderella, Don Quixote and Le Corsaire Pas de Deux. He has also danced leading roles in works by Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Jiri Kylian, Antony Tudor, Hans van Manen and Nicolo Fonte. Christopher’s favorite Balanchine credits include “Liza” in Who Cares?; “Puck” in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Serenade; “Melancholic” and “Sanguinic” in The Four Temperaments; Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; “El Capitan” in Stars and Stripes; and the principal in Theme and Variations. Recently he has had works created on him by Nicolo Fonte in The Immeasurable Cadences Within, Helen Picket in But Never Doubt I Love, Charlotte Boye-Christensen in Row, and Val Caniparoli in The Lottery.
Son of respected dancer and choreographer Tomm Ruud, Christopher is responsible for his father’s works. He has set and performed his father’s ballets, such as MOBILE, for companies including Stuttgart Ballet, Ballet West and Joffrey Ballet Co. He can be seen as a guest artist in frequent performances throughout the US.
After 15 years as a dancer with Ballet West, Christopher has added choreographer and Director of Ballet West II to his responsibilities. His works Without Fall and Trapped were performed at the 2012 Gala and Innovations program. In 2012 he was awarded a Fellowship Initiative grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, enabling him to create his latest piece, Strum.