~ Artistic Associate
Amanda McKerrow is one of America’s most beloved and acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship in 1986, the Deane Sherman Award for Excellence in the Field of Dance in 1988, and the New York Woman Award for Dance in 1991.
Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and began her ballet training at the age of 7 at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland. She later studied with Mary Day at the Washington Ballet, and joined that company as an apprentice in 1979. She became a full company member in 1980 and toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.
Ms. McKerrow joined the American Ballet Theatre in 1982, was appointed a Soloist in 1983, and became a Principal Dancer in 1987. Her repertoire includes the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, The Nutcracker, and The Dream. She has received acclaim for her performances of shorter works by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Sir Frederick Ashton, Mark Morris, Jerome Robbins, and choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Clark Tippet, James Kudelka and Agnes DeMille.
Ms. McKerrow has performed as a guest artist throughout the world including appearances in Rome, Tokyo, Vienna, Latvia, Argentina, Spain, London, Montreal, Havana and across the United States. In 1999, Ms. McKerrow renewed her association with the Washington Ballet as a principal guest artist. Recently, she and her husband, fellow dancer John Gardner, staged Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading for the Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center and last year for Ballet West in Salt Lake City. She also dedicates much of her time to teaching and coaching this great art form that she loves so completely. Ms. McKerrow joined Ballet Tucson as Artistic Associate in the 2006 - 2007 season.
John Gardner is one of America’s most compelling dramatic dancers. He has distinguished himself in two major dance companies; American Ballet Theatre and The White Oak Dance Project. He is in great demand as a guest artist and appears frequently with his wife, Amanda McKerrow.
Mr. Gardner was born in Lafayette, Louisiana and began his ballet training at age 12 with Gwen Ashton in Lafayette and subsequently at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre School at age 16 and joined the Ballet Repertory Company in 1977. He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1978 and was promoted to Soloist in 1984.
His repertoire with American Ballet Theatre has included: The Husband in Anastasia; the Head Fakir and the Bronze Idol in La Bayadere; the title role in Billy The Kid; the duet from Concerto Six Twenty Two; Gamache and Lorenzo in Don Quixote; the second sailor in Fancy Free; the Officer in Gaite Parisienne; Hilarion and the Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle; Camille in The Merry Widow; Cassio in Othello; the Champion Roper in Rodeo; Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio and Paris in Romeo and Juliet; the Prince, the Bluebird and the Jewels in The Sleeping Beauty; Benno and Von Rothbart in Swan Lake; Gurn in La Sylphide; Gremio in Taming of the Shrew; as well as leading roles in Diversion of Angels, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, The Leaves Are Fading, Pillar of Fire, Dark Elegies, Gala Performance, Airs, Sunset, Opus Jazz, Interplay, Les Noces, Some Assembly Required and Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 to name just a few.
In 1991, Mr. Gardner became a Principal Dancer with The White Oak Dance Project under Mikhail Baryshnikov. He created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, David Gordon, Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, touring extensively in Europe, the United States and Asia.
He has also made numerous guest appearances around the world, including the former Soviet Union. Mr. Gardner appeared as a guest artist with American Ballet Theatre in 1993 and returned to ABT in March 1995. He has also done television work including Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Don Quixote, George Balanchine’s La Sonnombula, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Triad, Antony Tudor’s The Leaves are Fading, David Gordon’s Murder, Merce Cunningham’s Duets, Choo San Goh’s Configurations and the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Merry Widow.
In 2000, Mr. Gardner appeared as a principal guest artist with the Washington Ballet in our nation’s capital and is enjoying a successful career as a ballet master, teacher and coach. He recently staged Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading on that company at the Kennedy Center and also for Ballet West in Salt Lake City. Mr. Gardner joined Ballet Tucson as Artistic Associate in the 2006 - 2007 season with his wife Amanda McKerrow.