James Kudelka

Photographer: Alejandro Santiago


The Man in Black

Soudain L’Hiver Dernier

James Kudelka is among todays’ 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. Kudelka 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, Kudelka excels in making smaller-scaled dances that are rich in psychological implication and human drama. Born in Newmarket, Ontario and trained by Canada’s National Ballet School, Kudelka 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 as resident choreographer from 2008 – 2020 has experimented with cross-disciplinary collaborations. As a teacher, Kudelka has worked with Vancouver Arts Umbrella, Ryerson University, and Canada’s National Ballet School, 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. In 2023 Kudelka was honoured at the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards with aLifetime Artistic Achievement Award.

Headshot Photo Credit: Alejandro Santiago