choreographing and directing ballet, opera, musical theatre, and film for the past thirty years.
Day of the Gypsy photo Matt Glavin
“...a very important new find of a choreographer,...”
“...offers a more popular flavor to choreography that remains intensely classical at its base.” Anna Kisselgoff/New York Times
“An authoritative voice and a good deal of imagination and wit.”
Jennifer Dunning/New York Times
“ A skilled maker of dances...” Jack Anderson/New York Times
"...fierce and lushly gorgeous..." Hedy Weiss/Chicago Sun-Times
“Schmidt more than accomplishes his goal of creating emotional experiences for audiences.”
“Schmidt interprets the music in such an intricate way that each lift of the arm or extension of the leg seems to complete each musical note. Everything about the choreography, from the movements to the transitions, to the character gestures, makes the ballet vocabulary completely organic, as if that’s how everyone living on a 19th century countryside naturally moved.” “At the close of this piece many in the audience were in tears, including this reviewer. Its hard to top that one.” Cheryl Callon/ Theatre Jones
Gordon Peirce Schmidt has been choreographing and directing dance and theatre for the past thirty years. He is a recipient of numerous awards including a Prime Time Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Achievement-Cultural Programming, and two Ruth Page Awards for Choreography. Noted for his originality, musicality, and ability to create an emotional experience for the audience whether dramatic or comedic, he and his works have shared the stage with many great artists of the dance world, including ballet legends Maya Plisetskaya, who included him in her biography I MAYA, and Rudolph Nureyev with whom he had the privilege of working at the Vienna State Opera. He has also collaborated and commissioned new works with renowned musicians performing in a variety of genres, (Bela Fleck, John Jorgenson, the Detroit Symphony, the DeVos Quartet, and his brother concert pianist Kimberly Schmidt).
His ballet, "By Django", a lively evocation of the jazz age, went on to become the signature work for Ballet Chicago, for whom he was resident choreographer between 1989-1995. During that time he co-founded and directed The Peirce Group, a dance, theatre, and performing arts company, and was named “Artist of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune. From 1998 through 2010 Mr. Schmidt was the Executive/Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. At that time he received commissions from the Detroit Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the West Shore Symphony and the Grand Rapids Art Museum to create works that would enhance their programming. To date he has created over 60 works for ballet companies around the world and has staged and choreographed numerous professional musical productions in the Chicago area, most recently for The Goodman Theatre’s “Brigadoon” - Jeff Awards for Best Production, and Choreography, and The Paramount Theatre’s “Fiddler on the Roof”.
As a founder in 1994 of RPM Productions, a non-profit performing arts production company in Chicago, he has created and produced numerous collaborative projects of music and dance in and around the Chicago area, including his highly successful dance theatre work Day of the Gypsy, which premiered with the Grammy Award winning musician John Jorgenson and his Quintet at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance in 2015. He is currently working on the creation of his original musical Waking Beauty with multi-platinum recording artist Brian VanderArk of the alternative rock band The Verve Pipe.