Guest Teachers Faculty Bio | Desmond Richardson | Steps on Broadway

Guest Teachers

Desmond Richardson

DESMOND RICHARDSON (Founding Artistic Director/Artist in Resident of Complexions Contemporary Ballet)

Hailed by The New York Times as "one of the great modern dancers of his time," Desmond Richardson is a multi-talented artist who has mastered a wide range of classical, modern and contemporary dance genres. Praised for his powerful dancing and singular performance quality, Richardson has been the hallmark performer who has shaped the essence of the Complexions style for over a decade.

When he danced the lead role in the American Ballet Theatre's world premiere of Othello, The New York Times described him as "one of the most majestic dancers ever to tread the Metropolitan Opera House stage." In 1998, Richardson joined the original cast of the Broadway musical Fosse, for which he received a 1999 Tony Award nomination.

Working in television, film and video in the United States and abroad, Richardson has performed with such musical artists as Michael Jackson, Prince, Aretha Franklin and Madonna. He made his on-screen singing debut in Charles Randolph Wright's 2005 film Preaching to the Choir and is featured in Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi's film One Last Dance as well as the Oscar-winning movie adaptation of Chicago. Richardson appeared in Julie Taymor's film Across the Universe and also performed the lead role of Beowulf in her Grendel at the LA Opera and The New York State Theater.

Desmond Richardson dancing

Among his many honors are The Ailey School's 2006 Apex Award and the prestigious 2007 Dance Magazine Award. He is also a recipient of a 1986 Presidential Scholar Award for the Arts and will be awarded the NFAA Alumni award later in 2009. Recently, he and Dwight Rhoden partnered with Diana Vishneva for her one-woman show, Beauty in Motion, at New York City Center, the Orange County Performing Arts Center and in Moscow, Russia. In May 2008, he was one of two dancers invited by the President of the United States to perform at the 60th Presidential Conference in Israel. Richardson appeared on the Fox television hit, "So You Think You Can Dance," as celebrity guest performer and choreographer with Dwight Rhoden.