Teaching at SAB, 2015; © Rosalie O'Connor
Born in California, Arch Higgins began studying dance at the age of eight at Berkeley Ballet Theater, where his teachers included Janet Carole and former NYCB dancer Sally Streets. From the ages of 12 to 16, he attended five consecutive Summer Courses at the School of American Ballet before enrolling as a full-time student in the fall of 1986. In 1989, he received SAB’s Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited by Peter Martins to join New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet that same year. Mr. Higgins was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1998. He joined SAB’s faculty in 2010 and retired from performing in 2011.
During his 22 year performing career, Mr. Higgins danced featured roles in numerous ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins. His repertoire included Balanchine’s Agon, Allegro Brillante, Divertimento No. 15, Episodes, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Haieff Divertimento, 'Emeralds' from Jewels, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mozartiana, Prodigal Son, Robert Schumann’s “Davidsbündlertänze,” Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, Union Jack, La Valse, and Vienna Waltzes; Robbins’s Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, Fanfare (Clarinets), Glass Pieces, The Goldberg Variations, I’m Old Fashioned, Interplay, In the Night, Ives, Songs, and Les Noces; and Martins’s Ash, Delight of the Muses, Les Gentilhommes, Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements), Les Petits Riens, The Sleeping Beauty (Gold), Slonimsky’s Earbox, Swan Lake (Benno and Hungarian) and Symphonic Dances.
Mr. Higgins originated roles in David Allan’s Pastoral Dances, John Alleyne’s The New Blondes, Robert La Fosse’s “Rockin’ In Rhythm” from Duke!, Miriam Mahdaviani’s Appalachia Waltz and Correlazione, Mr. Martins’ Reliquary, Trey McIntyre’s Steel and Rain, Kevin O’Day’s Swerve Poems, Robbins’ West Side Story Suite, Susan Stroman’s “Makin’ Whoopee!” (Garrison) from Double Feature, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals and Carousel (A Dance).
In recent years Mr. Higgins has staged several ballets for SAB’s spring Workshop Performances. He has staged Peter Martins’s Les Gentilhommes in both 2011 (with Albert Evans) and 2016; and for SAB’s 2013 Workshop he staged Balanchine’s Le Tombeau de Couperin with NYCB Ballet Mistress Rosemary Dunleavy.
In addition to teaching at SAB, Mr. Higgins has been Assistant Children’s Ballet Master at New York City Ballet since the fall of 2013. He is also a guest teacher with New York City Ballet and taught at Boston Ballet’s 2010 and 2011 Summer Dance Program.