Born: Searcy, Arkansas
Joined Ballet West: 1999
Promoted to Soloist: 2004
Promoted to Principal: 2008
Training: Kirt and Linda Hathaway at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas; University of Utah Department of Ballet.
Current Repertoire: “Pinkerton” in Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly; a principal role in Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes and "The Prince" in Stevenson's Cinderella; “Oberon” in Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream; “Benno” in Adam Sklute’s newly conceived and produced Swan Lake (2010); the world premieres of Charlotte Boye-Christensen’s Row and Megan Furse’s Selcoutheries; John Butler’s Carmina Burana; “Phlegmatic” in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, and leading roles in Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Serenade, and Agon; “Prince Desire” and "Prince of the South" in Sklute’s newly conceived and produced The Sleeping Beauty; Jiri Kylian's Sinfonietta; and Nicolo Fonte's Bolero.
Hobbies: Golfing and Mountain Climbing. In 2007, Bearden summited Mt. Rainier in Washington, and in 2009 he successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain.
Additional Information: With a strong interest in project management, in May 2005, Michael led a team of Ballet West dancers in organizing a special performance to benefit Utah Cancer Foundation. The event, “A Dance for Life,” raised more than $20,000. In 2007, he was the project manager for Ballet West’s 2007 calendar, which highlighted the Artists of Ballet West in some of Utah’s most memorable settings. Most recently, Bearden created a new work on Ballet West Artists for the Company's 2010 “Innovations” program - Descent, set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich.