Ballet Chicago Artistic Director Daniel Duell is a force in the development of American Classicism, and is passionate about the advancement of ballet technique in its purest and most energetic form. As a dancer with the New York City Ballet from 1972-1987, he was taught and coached daily by George Balanchine. Quickly rising through the ranks, Duell was promoted to Soloist in 1977, and then Principal Dancer in 1979. He performed a wide-ranging repertoire, dancing leading roles in the ballets of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and Jacques d’Amboise, among others, including multiple works that were created for him. A Ford Foundation Scholarship recipient from the age of 13, he trained with the Dayton Civic Ballet, then at The School of American Ballet, and at the age of 19 was invited to join NYCB. In addition to his fifteen years at NYCB, he was a featured guest artist for numerous companies nationwide and performed for several PBS Dance in America public television programs. Duell has been choreographing since 1980 and has created works for Ballet Chicago, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Dayton Ballet, Harkness Dance Theatre, The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and The School of American Ballet. He also collaborated with WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago to design two programs; the first, an Emmy Award winning special (Outstanding Cultural Programming) on Ballet Chicago, and the second entitled “Love in Four Acts” a program showcasing four Chicago choreographers selected by Duell. He was also awarded the prestigious Ruth Page Award from the Chicago Dance Community for Artistic Direction of The Ballet Chicago Studio Company.
Duell is a frequent lecturer on ballet, music, and the arts, serves on several not-for-profit boards and advisory boards, and has been an adjudicator for the National Endowment for the Arts and The Illinois Arts Council. He is also a répétiteur for The George Balanchine Trust and stages ballets across the United States.
Duell conducts master classes in both the United States and Europe, including repeated teaching engagements at The School of American Ballet, Indiana University at Bloomington, The University of Iowa, and the Bulgarian National Dance Academy in Sophia, Bulgaria. He has taught and coached the Royal Danish Ballet Company in preparation for both their New York seasons and their Copenhagen performances of Balanchine/Stravinsky masterworks. In March 2019, he returned to his alma mater, New York City Ballet, to teach company class.