DEVELOPING ARTISTS GRANTS
Beginning his professional ballet career as a Scholarship Apprentice with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, William Thompson went on to dance with Les Grand Ballet Canadiens and the Zurich Opera Ballet. He retired from dancing due to an injury and became ballet master of the Zurich Opera Ballet. There he taught company classes and rehearsed works by Frederick Ashton (La Fille Mal Gardee), Rudolph Nuryev (Raymonda), Hans Brenaa's production of Bournonville’s (La Sylphide) and other classical and contemporary ballets in the repertoire. This was followed by similar contracts with the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Academie des Grands Ballets Canadiens and Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal. During this time, in addition to rehearsing works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and staging works by Hans van Manen, Mr. Thompson was honored with recognition for lhis own choreography as a recipient of the Jean A. Chalmers Award for choreography.
During his six years as Artistic Director of the Colorado Ballet, Mr. Thompson staged several of the great classical ballets as well as choreographing original works for the company to much critical acclaim. He also choreographed for productions of Opera Colorado and created an original work for Public Television. After a period as Artistic Director of the Academie de Ballet du Saguenay (Chicoutimi, Quebec) he was subsequently invited by Artistic Director Ali Pourfarrokh to join the artistic staff of Alberta Ballet as a ballet master. Mr. Thompson has been a frequent master teacher at the Alberta Ballet School of Dance. He also choreographed for the Calgary Opera.
In 1999, Mr. Thompson became the first Artistic Director of Edmonton's Citie Ballet where he trained and prepared pre-professional dancers in a variety of classical and original works. An integral part of the program was the responsibility for the development of workshops, master classes and the acquisition of choreographic works by a variety of national and international teachers and choreographers to enhance the dancers training. Mr. Thompson retired in 2006 but continues to freelance as a choreographer and Master Teacher on occasion.