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Russell Kaiser was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Seattle, Washington. He began his dance training at age five and entered the School of Pacific Northwest Ballet at age 13, under the direction PNB’s Founding Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. In 1984, Kaiser entered School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, where he studied with Stanley Williams, Andre Kramarevsky and Richard Rapp under full scholarship. In the Fall of 1985, Kaiser began his 11-year performing career with NYCB where he danced the works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, August Bournonville, Peter Martins, John Taras, Twyla Tharp, and Richard Tanner, among others. Kaiser was an original cast member in Robbins’ West Side Story Suite and Ives, Songs and Martins’ Ash, Fearful Symmetries, Reliquary, and The Sleeping Beauty. Kaiser toured internationally to France, Japan, Denmark, Scotland, and Greece. He also appeared in multiple PBS broadcasts of “Dance in America” and “Live From Lincoln Center.”
At the invitation of Peter Martins, Ballet Master in Chief of New York City Ballet, Kaiser became a Ballet Master for NYCB from 1995 – 2009 where he worked with Mr. Martins on the creation of over 30 works. Kaiser was also responsible for maintaining works by Balanchine, Robbins, Martins, Christopher Wheeldon and Eliot Feld, among others. In addition he assisted with the programming of performances and taught company class. Kaiser has staged the works of Balanchine, Robbins, Martins, and Tanner on companies around the world including Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, Pennsylvania Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet. Kaiser joined Boston Ballet in 2009 as Assistant Artistic Director.