Known for his innovative and collaborative style, Richard Steinert has works in the repertories in companies across the United States. Since his inaugural season as Artistic Director in 2007, he has held the attention of the ballet and arts community through a series of critically acclaimed performances and projects directed at broadening the experience of the dance enthusiast. One of the hallmarks of Steinert’s style is the graceful marriage of theatre and dance and the 2008 premier of his Unprocessed Materials brought the Pensacola audiences their first taste of that experience. Another evening of premier works, The Outrageous Dance Project, brought the considerable talents of the theatre students of the University of West Florida together with those of the Ballet Pensacola dancers providing a platform for the presentation of Steinert’s works such as the provocative After Foreshadowing and his popular Flipside. Through such creative and collaborative endeavors Steinert and Ballet Pensacola are in step with the vibrancy of the city of Pensacola and the new dance community at-large. Ballet Pensacola partners with The Pensacola Symphony, The Pensacola Opera as well as the Pensacola Little Theater to assure a strong cross section of artists and artistry available to the local audience members. Under his direction, Ballet Pensacola draws professional dancers from around the globe, creating a diverse and provocative performing organization. Ballet Pensacola not only finds audiences in the Florida panhandle, but also around the United States through its successful touring program.
As the director of Ballet Arkansas, Ballet Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut and as a founding director of Connecticut Contemporary Ballet Theatre, Steinert has a long creative history with more than thirty five original ballets in his repertoire. His full-length Nutcracker has been in the national repertoire for more than 25 years, and his productions such as Dracula, Clue, Weisburg Suite and Quakes continue to receive critical acclaim. In 2013, Steinert’s The Matrix beat sales records for Ballet Pensacola and brought interactive, computer-generated scenery and characters together with Ballet Pensacola dancers to create a high-tech ballet that has received rave reviews and critical notice. His choreographic works have been sanctioned by such funding organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. He has held seats on the Board Directors of the Midwestern Arts Alliance, SWRBA, the Alcoa National Choreographic awards, and was appointed by Bill Clinton to a seat on his Arts-In-Education committee. In 2013, Steinert was appointed membership to the International Dance Council CID UNESCO, the highest international body of dance, for his contributions to the international dance community, both choreographically and educationally.
Steinert has opened the door for tomorrow’s dancers through the Ballet Pensacola Academy where hundreds of young dancers are able to experience the joy of dance for themselves. Many of the dancers in Ballet Pensacola have received their training at the Ballet Pensacola Academy and many more find additional opportunities at other distinguished dance companies and training facilities and universities. As a guest instructor at many professional programs, Steinert is a sought after master teacher throughout the United States. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of West Florida and sits as a Scholar-In-Residence at The Bishops School in La Jolla, California. Steinert is also actively involved in teaching master classes and coaching young performers at his alma mater, Catawba College, in Salisbury, North Carolina.