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The Kennedy Center

Paul Mejia



Biography

Paul Mejia was born in Lima, Peru, but was raised in New York.  He joined the School of American Ballet in 1958, and had choreographed his first ballets by the age of fourteen. Mr. Mejia joined the New York City Ballet in 1964, and danced principal roles in many of George Balanchine's ballets.  In 1972, he joined Maurice Bejart's Ballet of the Twentieth Century where he danced and choreographed throughout Europe; and in 1977, he staged a season of ballet in Guatemala, where he created four new ballets including Romeo and Juliet, the first of his highly acclaimed Shakespearean ballet series. 

Mr. Mejia joined the Chicago City Ballet as co-artistic director with Maria Tallchief; and during the next seven years, he created fifteen new ballets, including his full-length version of Cinderella, which toured nationally and internationally to great acclaim.  His ballet Eight by Adler, music by Richard Adler, was later filmed for PBS and won an Emmy Award for Suzanne Farrell.  From 1987 to 1998, he was the artistic director of the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, during which time he added thirty-two of his own works to the company's repertoire, including sixteen world premieres. Dedicated to the artistic vision and philosophy of George Balanchine, Mr. Mejia has choreographed dramatic story ballets, as well as works in the neoclassical style; and has choreographed several works for operas, including the Chicago Lyric Opera. He has been a guest teacher and lecturer in various schools and universities throughout the US.  In 1984, he was selected by Esquire Magazine as one of the "Outstanding Americans Under 40."  

In 1998, Mr. Mejia became the artistic advisor of the Metropolitan Classical Ballet, then Ballet Arlington. He has added many of his own works to the company's repertoire, including three world premieres, and has staged several George Balanchine ballets.  In 2001, he assumed the position of executive director for the Company, and in 2002 was named co-artistic director with Alexander Vetrov.  He and his wife, Maria Terezia Balogh, and their children, Roman, Isabella and Lazslo, reside in Fort Worth, Texas.
Paul Mejia