Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) has selected Danielle Rowe as Artistic Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on February 27, 2023.
A renowned dancer, educator, and critically acclaimed choreographer, Rowe is the first female professional to hold this title in nearly 35 years of OBT history. Australian-born, she began her career at the Australian Ballet, where she performed roles in contemporary creations by Wayne McGregor, Nicolo Fonte, and others, and promptly advanced to the position of principal dancer. Upon completion of her tenure at the Australian Ballet, Rowe went on to work with Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses and served as a principal dancer at Houston Ballet before joining the prestigious Netherlands Dans Theater. She originated roles in performances by Paul Lightfoot/Sol Leon, Alexander Ekman, Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke, and Medhi Walerski and worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Jiri Kylián, Hans van Manen, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Bruce, amongst others.
As a choreographer, Rowe has created works for San Francisco Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater’s SWITCH program, Royal New Zealand Ballet, CoLab Dance, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Idaho, Grand Rapids Ballet, SFDanceworks, Dance Aspen, Barak Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and Berkeley Ballet Theater. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rowe turned her attention to filmmaking. Her creations include Wooden Dimes for San Francisco Ballet, The Animals for Ballet Idaho, and The Misfits for Louisville Ballet. She also partnered with filmmakers Garen Scribner and Alexander Reneff-Olson on Shelter, I Am Spartacus, and Wilis in Corps-en-tine for the Australian Ballet, which was voted “one of the best things to come out of quarantine” by Vogue and “a perfect ballet synopsis and a delightfully tongue-in-cheek satire” by Dance Magazine.
Rowe has also previously served as the Associate Artistic Director at SFDanceworks, a contemporary repertory dance company located in San Francisco, CA.
In making the announcement, OBT Board Chair Cate Sweeney said, “Dani brings an inspiring and clear vision for the future of OBT and ballet. She has a deep well of creativity, a variety of experiences at the highest levels of dance internationally, and a personality that melds with OBT and our community.”
“I am thrilled to join the OBT team to cultivate the inquisitive and progressive energy of the company and the Portland community as we work together to thoughtfully re-imagine a more inclusive and exhilarating future for ballet,” said Rowe.
“Congratulations to Danielle Rowe on her appointment as Artistic Director at OBT,” said ACG Vice President Geoff Chang. “It was an honor to work with the OBT search committee, board, staff, and dancers. Danielle is a highly accomplished and respected arts leader whose innovative vision, collaborative spirit, and wealth of knowledge will build upon OBT’s excellence and secure its topmost position in the arts and culture sector.”