Steen Bjarke was a lighting designer with the Royal Danish Theatre from 1973 to 2001, where he lit all the main operas and ballets, including works of the Danish choreographer August Bournonville. He created the light designs for numerous international theatre companies and choreographers such as Maurice Béjart, Kevin McKenzie, John Neumeier, Peter Schaufuss, Wayne Eagling, Tim Rushton und Alexei Ratmansky. He was one of the first lighting designers to use motion-controlled lights, which are used to create entire set pieces that interact closely with the dancers. He worked principally on ballets by John Cranko: in 1989 for »Onegin« with Jürgen Rose’s stage designs for the Royal Danish Ballet, subsequently also for the Royal Ballet, London, Houston Ballet, Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris and the Bolshoi Ballet as well as for this production designed by Elisabeth Dalton for the Norwegian National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin and the ballet companies of Rio de Janeiro, Prague, Warsaw and in 2006 for the Ballet of the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper. Furthermore, he has designed the lighting for Cranko's »The Taming of the Shrew« and »Romeo and Juliet«.
Since 2001 he has been working as a freelance light designer at the big opera houses, amongst others, for the Chinese National Ballet, Beijing, Metropolitan Opera, New York and the Teatro alla Scala, Milano. In recent years, he has also begun to create stage and lighting design in personal union. As a regular guest at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, he was in charge of the light design for Bournonville’s »A Folk Tale« with set designs by HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and after this production received the Order of Merit. He also designed the lighting for Bournonville’s »La Sylphide« for the Leipzig Opera and the stage design, lighting and video projections for »La Ventana« for the Royal Danish Ballet. Moreover, Steen Bjarke created the light design for productions of »Swan Lake«, such as the for the Georgian and the Polish National Ballet.