James Kudelka, O.C.
Choreographer, Swan Lake, Innovation,
The Nutcracker and Cinderella
James Kudelka is widely acknowledged as one of North America’s most innovative choreographers. His mastery of both classical ballet and modern, contemporary dance has earned him commissions from companies – some 25 in all – as stylistically diverse as American Ballet Theatre, Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance and BJM DANSE MONTRÉAL.
Even as a student at Canada’s National Ballet School, Mr. Kudelka demonstrated a choreographic interest in exploring innovative approaches. While adept in the classical ballet vocabulary, he infuses it with a contemporary sensibility acquired from his intense interest in modern movement idioms.
Mr. Kudelka’s work covers an impressive range, from virtuoso pas de deux, through large-scale and always arresting adaptations of such classics as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Cinderella, to boldly innovative creative collaborations with dancers, designers and musicians.
Mr. Kudelka has never been afraid to tackle psychologically challenging subject matter in his story ballets – he views dance as a primary medium of artistic discourse – and through his gift for movement metaphor infuses poetic, emotional meaning into his many non-narrative works.
After nine distinguished years as Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada (1996—2005), Mr. Kudelka continues to undertake collaborative projects that engage and challenge him as a choreographer.
Robert Binet was born in Toronto, Canada and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School. During his time at Canada’s National Ballet School, Mr. Binet created a large body of works and represented the school as the student choreographer at Assemblé Internationale 2009, a student-centred festival celebrating Canada’s National Ballet School’s 50th anniversary. In 2010, Mr. Binet received the prestigious Peter Dwyer Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, awarded annually to promising students.
In 2010, Mr. Binet created a ballet for The National Ballet of Canada’s Choreographic Lab. He also created work for the company’s YOU dance programme in 2011 and 2012. He participated in the Spring 2011 session of the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, where he created a work to a commissioned score by Gity Razaz.
Mr. Binet created his first full-evening work, Die schöne Müllerin, for the German National Youth Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet’s second company, which premiered in 2012.
Mr. Binet participated in DanceLines, a choreographic development initiative led by Wayne McGregor, at the Royal Opera House in London in 2011 and in 2012, he became the first-ever Choreographic Apprentice for The Royal Ballet. In this position he is mentored by Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, and has had the opportunity to create works for the company and for Wayne McGregor|Random Dance. Mr. Binet has also created works for the Estonian National Ballet and Ballet Black. For the National Ballet’s 60th anniversary gala, he created a pas de deux for principal dancers Guillaume Côté and Heather Ogden in 2012.
Born in Venezuela in 1965, José Navas has created nearly 30 works as an independent choreographer and as the artistic director of Compagnie Flak.
Mr. Navas began his choreographic career in 1991 in Caracas and continued it in New York City at the Merce Cunningham Studio. During that period, he collaborated with William Douglas, Stephen Petronio, Michael Clark, Lucinda Childs and other independent choreographers. These pieces included an element of theatricality that is reflected today in his solo work.
In 1995, Mr. Navas founded Compagnie Flak, resulting in more than 300 performances in 20 countries over 16 years. His creations such as Portable Dances, Anatomies, S and Diptych reflect his architectural sense of composition while the solos in Miniatures and Personae arouse feelings of a more visceral nature. Sterile Fields, One Night Only 3/3, Perfume de Gardenias, Solo with Cello and Adela, mi amor represent landmarks on his choreographic journey.
In 2010, Mr. Navas was appointed the Resident Choreographer of Ballet BC where he created the critically acclaimed work the bliss that from their limbs all movement takes. In 2012, Mr. Navas will create for Ballet BC a companion full-length work, Bliss and in 2013, an original full-length Giselle.