Gillian Murphy

Gillian Murphy is a ballerina with American Ballet Theatre. Her repertoire includes leading roles in all of ABT’s current full-length classics and in shorter works by Balanchine, Robbins, Kylian, Tudor, Forsythe, Graham, Lubovitch, Taylor, Ashton and DeMille. She has also starred in world premieres of new creations by Ratmansky, Morris, Millepied, Dorrance, Elo, Barton, Quanz, Weir, Neumeier, Hill, Wheeldon, Stiefel and Tharp.

Murphy was raised in Florence, South Carolina and received her high school education and advanced dance training under the tutelage of Melissa Hayden at UNCSA. As a teenager, Gillian was awarded the Prix de Lausanne Espoir and joined ABT in 1996. After being honored with a Princess Grace Foundation Award, Gillian was promoted to Soloist in 1999 and to Principal Dancer in 2002. She starred as Odette/Odile in ABT’s PBS television production of "Swan Lake" and as Giselle in the New Zealand Film Commission’s movie of Stiefel and Kobborg’s production of "Giselle" at the Royal New Zealand Ballet, where she was a Principal Guest Artist for three years.

Gillian has danced as a guest artist throughout the world, performing with the Mariinsky Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Staatsballett Berlin, the Kiev Ballet, the Australian Ballet, as a ballerina with the Metropolitan Opera and in numerous other international engagements and galas. She is a proud charter member of the concert ensemble, Stiefel and Stars, and for three summers in Martha’s Vineyard, Gillian directed a training program for dancers aged 12 to 14, Dreamcatchers.

In 2009, Gillian was the recipient of a Princess Grace Statue Award, the organization’s highest honor. In 2014, Murphy received an Honorary Doctorate in the Performing Arts from UNCSA. In 2018, Murphy graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary’s College of California with a Bachelor of Arts.