Val Caniparoli's versatility has made him one of the most sought-after American choreographers internationally.
He is most closely associated with San Francisco Ballet, his artistic home for over 50 years. He first worked under the artistic directorship of Lew Christensen, and in the early 1980s, was appointed resident choreographer. He was appointed as a Ballet Master and Principal Character Dancer under Helgi Tomasson's Artistic Directorship and continued to create such internationally performed works such as Lambarena, Ibsen's House, Connotations, Aria, Double Stop, Hamlet & Ophelia and Pulcinella and is currently working with the company under the new Artistic Director leadership of Tamara Rojo.
Caniparoli has contributed to the repertoires of more than 60 companies, including Joffrey Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Scottish Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Kansas City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet West (resident choreographer 1993-97), Washington Ballet, Israel Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Singapore Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, State Theatre Ballet of South Africa, Alberta Ballet, and Tulsa Ballet (resident choreographer 2001-06). He has also choreographed for the Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera and several occasions with the San Francisco Symphony. Choreography for the esteemed American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), include A Christmas Carol, A Doll's House, A Little Night Music, Arcadia, and the creation, with Carey Perloff, of a new movement-theater piece, Tosca Cafe. One of his most popular ballets, Lambarena, was nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 1997 for Best Choreography and was also featured on Sesame Street with dancers Lorena Feijoo and Lorna Feijoo. In 2015, Caniparoli co-choreographed, with Helgi Tomasson, a commercial for the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl with dancers from San Francisco Ballet.
Caniparoli's full evening-length ballets include Lady of the Camellias, five different productions of The Nutcracker for Royal New Zealand Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and Tulsa Ballet (co-created with Ma Cong), Jekyll & Hyde for Finnish National Ballet and Val Caniparoli's, A Cinderella Story choreographed to music of Richard Rodgers for Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Born in Renton, Washington, Caniparoli opted for a professional dance career after studying music and theatre at Washington State University. He received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend San Francisco Ballet School. He performed with San Francisco Opera Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet in 1973, where he continues to perform as a Principal Character Dancer.