James Kudelka, O.C.

James Kudelka

Photo by Alejandro Santiago.


Choreographer, Passion and 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 and for smaller contemporary troupes. His creative range reflects his eclectic musical interests, command of diverse movement idioms and commitment to working collaboratively with artists from other disciplines. James is renowned for distinctive versions of such classics as The Nutcracker and Cinderella – signature works of The National Ballet of Canada where he served as Artistic Director (1996 – 2005). Equally, James excels in making smaller-scaled dances that are rich in psychological implication and human drama. Born in Newmarket, Ontario and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), 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). He began an affiliation with Toronto’s Citadel + Cie in 2006 and has been resident choreographer since 2008 where he has experimented with cross-disciplinary collaborations. As a teacher, James has worked with Vancouver Arts Umbrella, Ryerson University and NBS and he continues to work internationally as a choreographer. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and is among the 2020 Dance Collection Danse Hall of Fame inductees.