Photo © Thomas Giroir
International choreographer/director, a Texan, began her professional career dancing with the Joffrey Ballet in New York at the age of 17, and her choreographic career at age 21 with Oh! Calcutta! in which she also performed in NY/LA, London and the film.
She has created works for ballet, opera and theater companies on 4 continents and special projects for international ballet stars. The companies include, Joffrey Ballet, (New York/Chicago), Pennsylvania Ballet, Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballets Jazz de Montreal and Dallas Black Dance Theater.
Abroad she has created for Ballet du Capitole, Ballet du Nord, Ballet de Bordeaux (France), ATERballetto (Italy), Ballet Nuevo Mundo and Rajatabla Danza (Venezuela), and Nederlands Dans Theater. Sappington was the first American choreographer to create a new work for the National Ballet of China (Beijing) and a new full-length ballet (2009) for the Abai Opera and Ballet Theater, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Always interested in creating dances to popular music, Sappington has choreographed to the music of Prince, Joffrey Ballet's Billboards; Esquivel, Kansas City Ballet, Zuzu Lounge, and Indigo Girls performing live with Atlanta Ballet, Shed Your Skin. Common People, created for Milwaukee Ballet to William Shatner's CD "Has Been", is now a documentary film called William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet.
From 1995-99 she shared artistic direction of Ballet: The Daring Project with ballerina Valentina Kozlova. The company of 10 dancers presented her works across the U.S. and in Italy plus 3 seasons at the Joyce Theater in New York City. Her series of ballets on artists include, Rodin, Mis En Vie, Under the Sun, on the works of Alexander Calder, Toulouse-Lautrec in association with the Musée Toulouse Lautrec in France, and Virgin Forest, the jungle paintings of Douanier Rousseau for Milwaukee Ballet and the subject of an award winning documentary by Milwaukee Public Television. On May 2, 2014, her pas de deux from Under the Sun was featured on PBS' "Great Performances", celebrating Pennsylvania Ballet's 50th Anniversary.
Not limited to the concert stage, Sappington's work has enhanced the international opera simulcasts, "Live from the San Francisco Opera" with the ballets in La Gioconda, Samson Et Delilah, and AIDA. Her extensive theatrical experience across the U.S. includes 4 Broadway shows with Tony and Drama Desk Nominations plus many commercials and music videos.
Lifetime achievement in Choreography from the Joffrey Ballet
Heart and Soul Award from Career Transitions for Dancers
She also guest teaches and sets or creates works for Performing Arts High Schools and Universities across the U.S.