James is a contemporary dance artist whose performance career spans over 20 years, most notably with Montreal’s acclaimed Compagnie Marie Chouinard. Since graduating from Grant MacEwan University's Musical Theatre and Dance Programs in Alberta, Canada in 1998, James has enjoyed a rewarding career, performing for international audiences at renowned festivals and theatres all over the world.
James has also danced for Canadian choreographers and companies including Martha Carter/Marta Marta Productions, Suzanne Miller and Alvin Paivio Productions, Tania Alvarado, Tony Chong, Dominique Porte, Movement 7, Brian Webb, NDH Robin Poitras, 7 doigts de la main, Lucie Grégoire Danse, Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, and Lune Rouge PY1 Project. In 2009, James was a recipient of a Gemini Film and Television award for the Chouinard company’s ‘Best Performance’ in the film version of bODY_rEMIX/ les_vARIATIONS_gOLDBErg. He was awarded funding from the Conseil Des Arts et Lettres de Quebec (CALQ) to become a certified Gaga teacher and to study with Batsheva under the direction of Bosmat Nossan and Ohad Naharin in Tel Aviv, Israel. He completed his training in June 2017 and travels regularly to Tel Aviv to study and update his certification.
Currently, James is choreographing his own work, and often collaborates with composer Line Katcho, with whom he will premier a new work in September 2019 in Montreal. As well as performing, collaborating and rehearsal directing for other artists across Canada, he travels frequently to share his passion of Gaga as a guest teacher at festivals, dance institutions, and universities, both nationally and internationally.
About Gaga :
Gaga is the movement language that was developed by Ohad Naharin throughout many years, parallel to his work as a choreographer and the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company. The language of Gaga originated from the belief in the healing, dynamic, ever-changing power of movement.
Gaga classes are predicated on a deep listening to the body and to physical sensations. The instructions are deployed to increase awareness of and further amplify sensation, and rather than turning from one prompt to another, information is layered, building into a multisensory, physically challenging experience. While many instructions are imbued with rich imagery, the research of Gaga is fundamentally physical, insisting on a specific process of embodiment. Inside this shared research, the improvisational nature of the exploration enables each participant’s deeply personal connection with the language.
Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening the body and adding flexibility, stamina, agility, and skills including coordination and efficiency while stimulating the senses and imagination. The classes offer a workout that investigates form, speed, and effort while traversing additional spectrums such as those between soft and thick textures, delicacy and explosive power, and understatement and exaggeration. Participants awaken numb areas, increase their awareness of habits, and improve their efficiency of movement inside multilayered tasks, and they are encouraged to connect to pleasure inside moments of effort. The language of Gaga is in a continual process of evolution, and the classes vary and develop accordingly.
Photo: Ian Robinson
Two European choreographers in residency at EDCM on March 2020
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