INTERNATIONALLY-REKNOWNED MASTER TEACHER AND CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BALLET, INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Michael Vernon studied at the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet and the Royal Ballet School in London with such legendary teachers as Dame Ninette de Valois and Leonide Massine. He performed with the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera Ballet, and the London Festival Ballet before coming to New York in 1976 to join the Eglevsky Ballet as ballet master and resident choreographer. He was artistic director of the Long Island-based company from 1989 to 1995.
He has choreographed many ballets for the Eglevsky Ballet, in addition to ballets for many other professional companies in the United States and worldwide. Mikhail Baryshnikov commissioned him to choreograph the successful pas de deux In a Country Garden for American Ballet Theatre (ABT). His solo S’Wonderful was danced by ABT principal Cynthia Harvey in the presence of President and Mrs. Reagan and shown nationwide on CBS television. He also served as the assistant choreographer on Ken Russell’s movie Valentino, starring Rudolph Nureyev and Leslie Caron.
Vernon continues to teach classes at New York-based Steps, works regularly for the Manhattan Dance Project, and is artistic advisor to the Ballet School of Stamford. Since 2000, he has taught and choreographed the ballet company and ballet school at the Chautauqua Institute. His annual activities also include a long association with Ballet Hawaii.
Vernon was company teacher for the ABT from 2001 to 2002 and worked as a company teacher for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet from 1994 to 1998. He was also a guest teacher for the Juilliard School in 2001 and has had long associations with Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Alvin Ailey Company and School.