Stanton began his career with a career as a dancer with The Australian Ballet in 1989 and rose to the rank of leading soloist, performing such principal roles as des Grieux in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, Lensky in John Cranko’s Onegin, Camille in Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow and Alan Strang in Equus. He has also worked with internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Jiří Kylían, Nacho Duato and Maurice Béjart. In July 2003, Stanton was appointed artistic director of Houston Ballet, America’s fifth-largest classical ballet company. In 1995, he was named resident choreographer of The Australian Ballet.
Stanton’s choreographic career developed during his time with The Australian Ballet. In 1990 he received his first choreographic commission from the company, marking the beginning of a series of commissioned works over the next 14 years, and developed his diverse choreographic style. For The Australian Ballet he has created The Three of Us (1990); Of Blessed Memory (1991), for which he was voted best new choreographer in 1992 by readers of the British magazine Dance & Dancers; Divergence (1994), which has been performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the City Center in New York; Corroboree, which The Australian Ballet performed at United We Dance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter; full-length productions of Madame Butterfly (1995) and Cinderella (1997); Red Earth (1996); X (1999); and Velocity (2003).
Stanton has received numerous commissions from the world’s leading companies, including Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet.
For Houston Ballet, he has choreographed over 20 works, among them Indigo (1999), Bruiser (2000), Tales of Texas (2004), Blindness (2004), Bolero (2004), and Nosotros (2005). For San Francisco Ballet he has choreographed Maninyas (1996), Taiko (1999), Tutu (2003), and Falling (2005). For American Ballet Theatre he has made Clear (2001), two songs from Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison (2002); and a new version of Carmina Burana as part of the evening-length work Hereafter (2003). He has also made for the company a new full-length narrative ballet Marie (2009), inspired by the life of the legendary Marie Antoinette, and spectacular stagings of Swan Lake (2006), La Bayadère (2010), Romeo and Juliet (2015), and Giselle (2016).
For BalletMet has has created Evolution (2004) and Don Quixote (2003), both full-length works. For Atlanta Ballet: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth (2000). For Royal Danish Ballet: Ænsket (1998), and Ander (1999). For Birmingham Royal Ballet: Powder (1998). For Moscow Dance Theatre: Green (2000) and OPUS X (2001), both created for Nina Ananiashvili’s group.
Stanton has also staged works for Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, The Royal Ballet School, Singapore Dance Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Dance Galaxy.