Christian Claessens, born in Brussels, Belgium, began his ballet training at the Conservatoire de la Monaie. In 1979, Mr. Claessens came to New York as a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre School. After graduating, he performed with the Kansas City Ballet under the direction of Todd Bolender and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater under the direction of Patricia Wilde. In 1984, he returned to Europe as a member of the Dutch National Ballet. There he had the great opportunity to expand his classical repertoire in ballets by Fokine, Petipa, Ashton, Tudor, Nijinska, Balanchine and Nureyev, while working closely with contemporary choreographers, such as Rudy Van Danzig, Hans Van Manen, Maguy Marin, William Forsythe and many others. He has appeared on television and in film. In 1991, he founded the Scarsdale Ballet Studio with New York City Ballet soloist, Diana White. In 1998, he was asked to take over the directorship of the Purchase Youth Ballet. His choreography has been presented in the New York City area since 1991. From 2011-2012, Mr. Claessens was on faculty with Ballet Tech and he is in charge of the special needs dance program at New Rochelle High School (New York). Currently, Mr Claessens also teaches for the Ballet Department at IUB.
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