Currently ballet master and coach at Dutch National Ballet, Guillaume Graffin was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. He studied with Rosella Hightower, at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, and then the École de Danse de l’Opera National de Paris (teachers: Rene Bon, Gilbert Mayer, Serge Golovine, Michel Renault, Masters: Serge Lifar, Maitre Yves Brieux).
Until 1985, he was at the Paris Opera Ballet under Rudolph Nureyev, dancing various soloist and demi-soloist parts while in the corps de ballet. He was then appointed Premier Danseur at Les Ballets de Monte Carlo under Ghislaine Thesmar and PIerre Lacotte, where he danced Albrecht in Giselle, Siegfried in Swan Lake, Desiré in Sleeping Beauty, The Poet in Les Sylphides, and lead roles in other works including Marco Spada, Violin Concerto, and Theme and Variations.
From 1988-2005 Mikhail Bayrshnikov hired him as a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre (current director, Kevin McKenzie).
Since 1998, he has been a company teacher at ABT in addition to his principal roles with the company, and he has been a guest teacher at dance universities in the USA, and from 2000-2005 he has been ballet master and coach at ABT. Since being appointed Ballet Master has rehearsed and coached the choreographic works of (among others): Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Michel Fokine, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Jiri Kylian, James Kudelka, Trey McIntyre, Kevin McKenzie, Kenneth McMillan, Mark Morris, David Parsons, Marius Petipa, Lar Lubovitch, Twyla Tharp, Anthony Tudor and Ben Stevenson.
ROLES PERFORMED WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
1) Title role in George Balanchine’s THEME AND VARIATIONS, APOLLO, SYMPHONY IN C, STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO, BALLET IMPERIAL, SYMPHONIE CONCERTANTE.
2) Solar,The High Brahmin and the Rajah in Natalia Makarova’s LA BAYADERE
3) The Prince and Stepsister in Ben Stevenson’s CINDERELLA
4) Franz and DR Coppelius in COPPELIA (staged by Frederick Franklyn)
5) The Gentleman with Her in Anthony Tudor’s DIM LUSTRE
6) Basilio, Espada and Gamache in DON QUIXOTE (3 stagings: Baryshnikov, Vassiliev, McKenzie)
7) Her Pastor in Agnes de Mille’s FALL RIVER LEGEND and Champion Roper in RODEO.
8) 2nd and 3rd Sailor in Jerome Robbin’s FANCY FREE
9) Mother Simone in Frederick Ashton’s La FILLE MAL GARDEE
10) Albrecht and Hilarion in GISELLE
11) The Man She Must Marry in Tudor’s JARDIN AUX LILAS
12) Des Grieux in Kenneth McMillan’s MANON
13) Danilo in Ronald Hynd’s THE MERRY WIDOW
14) Cavelier and Herr Drosselmeyer in Kevin McKenzie’s THE NUTCRACKER
15) Onegin in Cranko’s ONEGIN
16) Pas De Deux in Frederick Aston’s LES PATINEURS
17) The Mentor in David Parson’s THE PIED PIPER
18) Romeo, Tybalt and Lord Capulet in Kenneth McMillan’s ROMEO AND JULIET
19) Prince Desire, Blue Bird and Gold in Kenneth McMillan’s THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
20) Misgir in Ben Stevenson’s SNOW MAIDEN
21) James and Madge in Auguste Bournonville’s LA SYLPHIDE
22) Both Lead parts in Harold Landers ETUDES
23) Michel Fokine’s FIREBIRD , LES SYLPHIDES
24) Lead role in Kenneth McMillans CONCERTO
25) Lead roles in Jiri Kylian’s SINFONIETTA, STEPPING STONES
26) Created Lead roles in Twyla Tharp’s JUMP START, HOW NEAR HEAVEN, QUARTET and danced lead roles in her BRIEF FLING, THE UPPER ROOM
27) Created feature role in James Kudelka’s CRUEL WORLD
28) Lead in Clark Tippet’s BRUCH VIOLIN CONCERTO No1, THE LEAVES ARE FADING
29) Various Pas De Deux for Gala events: CORSAIRE, TCHAIKOVSKY PAS, GRAND PAS CLASSIQUE etc etc.