A native of Union Springs, Alabama, Chapman graduated from Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1983 with the Duane Dushion Award and the Prix d’excellence de Danse Award. After dancing for Alabama Ballet for one season Chapman joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1984 as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to Soloist in 1987 and to Principal Dancer in 1989. With ABT, Chapman performed all the leading roles in the ballet repertoire and in works by many of the twentieth century’s master choreographers: George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Jiri Kylian, Fredrick Ashton, Mats Ek, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham and Antony Tudor. Chapman has appeared in Dance in America, the film Dancers and the documentary Ballet as well as numerous television shows.
In 1996, Chapman was named Artistic Director of Alabama Ballet. He also founded the Alabama Ballet School, the apprentice pre-professional training program, Alabama Ballet Summer Program and Gorham’s Bluff Summer Residency. Chapman received the Distinguished Career Award from the University of Alabama in 1998, Birmingham Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 in 2004, and was named Alabama Arts Ambassador by Governor Bill Riley in 2007. Chapman restaged for Alabama Ballet many of the full-length classical ballets including Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Coppelia. Chapman acquired Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, starred in Alabama Public Television’s Jekyll and Hyde, and the Making of Romeo and Juliet.
Mr. Chapman returned to ABT as ballet master in 2006 before being named Artistic Director of ABT II in 2007-2011. Chapman oversaw the ABT Summer Intensive at the University of Texas Austin, hosted ABT’s Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Young People’s Ballet Workshop and ABTKids. Beginning in January 2012-April 2013 Chapman was engaged as Artistic Advisor for Ballet San Jose in California. During the fall of 2013 Chapman served as Artist in Residence for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and stages Costa Rican National Nutcracker and hosted the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS in June of 2014. August of 2014 marked the launching of “Revolutionary Principals of Movement” teaching method. Mr. Chapman is now partner and master teacher for RPM, holding teacher training workshops in Palm Beach, Florida.