James Kudelka, O.C.

Biography

Choreographer, The Nutcracker

James Kudelka is among today’s most versatile and innovative dance artists. He has choreographed for many of the world’s leading ballet companies as well as for smaller, contemporary troupes. His creative range as a choreographer reflects his eclectic musical interests, command of diverse movement idioms and commitment to working collaboratively with artists from other disciplines. Mr. Kudelka is renowned for distinctive versions of such classics as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Cinderella, all signature works of The National Ballet of Canada where he served as Artistic Director (1996 – 2005). Equally, Mr. Kudelka excels in making smaller-scaled dances that while outwardly abstract are rich in psychological implication and human drama. Mr. Kudelka was born in Newmarket, Ontario and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School. He began choreographing as a student and continued throughout his dancing years with the National Ballet (1972 –1981) and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (1981–1990). Mr. Kudelka, nowadays also in demand as a teacher, made his debut in 2015 as a stage director with Heinrich von Kleist’s The Prince of Homburg. Mr. Kudelka considers his artistic sensibility to be distinctly Canadian. He remains strongly loyal to his native soil – an intellectual and spiritual territory he understands deeply. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005.