Stephan Laurent, Professor of Dance, and Chair of the department from 1988 to 2003, joined Butler University after six years as the artistic director of the Des Moines Ballet (later known as Ballet Iowa), for which he produced and choreographed over 20 works. He was the recipient of the Iowa Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award for his production of Cinderella, which was broadcast by the Iowa Public Television Network and received its Indiana premiere by the Butler Ballet in April 1991. Some of his other contributions to the Butler Ballet have been Farewell to the Singing Earth for the Mahler Project; Karelia Suite, Paris Symphony, Journey Into Elsewhere, Roeslein, Waldszenen, Songs of Ophelia,and The Rite of Spring for the Midwinter Festivals; most of Act I and Act II of Coppélia(televised by WTBU-TV); substantial portions of Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake; and Prologue, Mars, Uranus and Neptune for the 1990 World Premiere of The Planets: A Child's Space Fantasy, which he also conceived and directed.
Mr. Laurent immigrated to the United States from his native Switzerland in 1973 after a professional career with a number of European companies, including the Ballet Royal de Wallonie in Belgium, the Scapino Ballet of Amsterdam, the Ballett des Staatstheaters Braunschweig, the Freiburg Ballett, and the Bayreuther Festspiele Germany under John Neumeier.
He received his M.F.A., summa cum laude, from Southern Methodist University, and while pursuing his degree, served as ballet master for the Repertory Dance Company of the Southwest in Dallas and as resident choreographer and ballet master for the Ballet del Monte Sol in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Following receipt of his M.F.A., Laurent was appointed assistant professor of dance and ballet master for the Dance Department at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Mr. Laurent teaches Ballet Technique, Theory and Philosophy of Dance, Masterworks of Dance, and a First-Year Seminar entitled Spellbound: the Quest for Magic in Literature and the Arts. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of NASD, the National Association of Schools of Dance, serves on the Board of Advisors of Dance Kaleidoscope, and served as a Butler University Faculty Senator from 2008 to 2011.