Chair, Dance Department Hope College
Chair of the Dance Department at Hope College, the Co-Artistic Director of R.G. Dance Productions and the Co-Artistic Director of H2 Dance Co. Formerly the Director of Dance at Anderson University, Farmer has had great success as a director, educator, choreographer, performer, and author; co-authoring the book Introductory Modern Dance: A Teaching Manual. Formerly an Associate Director and company member of LehrerDance, Farmer has appeared in Dance Teacher Magazine, Dance Magazine Online, and Dance Magazine. Prior to dancing with LehrerDance, Farmer danced with Peter Sparling as a company member of The Peter Sparling Dance Co. While dancing for Sparling, Matthew received his MFA from the University of Michigan in Dance Performance and Choreography. Farmer received his BA in Theatre and Dance from Hope College. As a soloist and guest performer, his performance credits include Dance Chicago, Dance in the Desert Festival, Men Dance Michigan, NextStep Dance, Chicago Humanities Festival, The Rein Orange Project (Duesberg, Germany) The European Cultural Bid (Liverpool, UK), The Roof (Germany), The Summer Stage (Brugge, Belgium), and various national dance companies and festivals both home and abroad. His teaching credits include Hope College, The University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Anderson University, Dancer’s Inc. National Conventions, Chicago National Association of Dance Maters, Southern Association of Dance Masters, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Interlochen, and a host of festivals and master classes throughout the United States. Farmer’s choreography spans the field of dance, and can be seen on college campuses, professional dance companies, international festivals, theaters companies, competitive dance teams, and musical theater venues throughout the U.S and abroad.
Grand Ballet Canadiens, Basel Ballet, Cleveland Ballet
Christopher began his training in the San Francisco Bay area. He studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City and L’Ecole des Grands Ballets Canadiens. His professional career began in Montreal, dancing with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens where he rose to rank of Soloist. While in Montreal Chris was offered a position with the Basel Ballet of Basel, Switzerland, where he performed many soloist and principal roles. After dancing in Switzerland, he joined Cleveland Ballet and danced many principal roles, ranging in scope from Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake to the Champion Roper in Agnes DeMille’s Rodeo.
While still dancing with the company, Chris was promoted to the position of Ballet Master, and soon thereafter Regisseur. Chris has taught and staged many works for companies such as the Atlanta Ballet and Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas of Venezuela. Since 1995 he has been a guest teacher and choreographer for the Cecchetti Council of America’s International summer conference. During the 2001-2002 school year, Chris accepted the position of Visiting Artist at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania where he taught choreography as well as all levels of ballet technique.