Tom Mossbrucker’s prolific career in American dance began as a stellar principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet. Then followed twenty-five years of high achievement as founding artistic director of the distinguished dance company, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Tom’s contribution to the field has entered a rich third chapter, overseeing all artistic aspects of today’s multifaceted arts organization that carries forth under the same name: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
In twenty-five years at the helm of the resident performance troupe, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Tom excelled as a curator of contemporary-classic ballets. He forged relationships with emerging choreographers, spurring their creativity to complete forty commissioned, original works. Under his leadership, the company embodied a signature aesthetic, in which bold athleticism met poetic artistry. In meeting the requirements of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s technically demanding, abstract work, Tom’s daily mantle was to coach company members, overseeing their training, rehearsal, and performance over the course of twenty-five seasons.
Tom began to dance at age four, studying tap in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. He pursued classical training at the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School. His twenty years as a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, performing in over seventy ballets under the direct coaching of founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, coincided with a period of high artistic achievement for the company. As a guest artist, Tom also performed with Hubbard Street Dance and the Atlanta Ballet.
Tom performed in masterworks by great twentieth-century choreographers Sir Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Laura Dean, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp. Signature roles included “Iago” in Jose Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane; “Champion Roper” in Agnes DeMille’s Rodeo; “Billy” in Eugene Loring’s Billy the Kid; and “Romeo” in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet. As a faculty member of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School, Tom brings this rich heritage to young dancers. He is a sought-after guest ballet master, pedagogue, and performance coach. As a répétiteur, Tom brings special fluency to contemporary-classical works as well as the historically important works of Gerald Arpino.
Tom’s unremitting commitment to the artistic continuum of dance in the 21st century is reflected in his involvement in the newly launched ASFB Fund for Innovation in Dance, which benefits from his experience culled over a lifelong career in the arts.
In 2013, Tom shared an honor with Jean-Philippe Malaty when the Santa Fe Community Foundation bestowed its Piñon Award on the organization. In 2010, in recognition of ASFB’s contribution to the field, Tom and Jean-Philippe were honored with the Joyce Theater Foundation Award. Tom served on the board of Dance USA, where he led the Artistic Directors Council, and currently serves on the board of The Gerald Arpino Foundation.