James Jordan, Company Teacher
Hailing from Staunton, Virginia, James’ early years revolved around music and theatre before beginning his formal dance training at the Richmond Ballet during his freshmen year at VCU’s theatre department. James was then offered scholarships to North Carolina School of the Arts until he was recruited by Todd Bolender for his
first company of dancers in Kansas City. During his years as principal dancer with Kansas City Ballet, James also performed with The Santa Fe Opera, Santa Dance Company and several companies in and near the New York area. His career then led him to press relations for public television in New York, prior to his return to Kansas City in 1991 as ballet master. James served in that capacity for 23 years, collaborating with dozens of choreographers and stagers from around the globe.
While in Kansas City, James began his work with the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust under the guidance of Trustee Sally Brayley Bliss. He began learning Gala Performance and then continued with Offenbach in the Underworld, Dark Elegies, Echoing of Trumpets and Lilac Garden from senior repetiteur Donald Mahler as he staged the ballets across the nation. James has staged Tudor ballets for The San Francisco Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, and Gala Performance for Sarasota Ballet in April 2014. In 2000, James received his BFA from the UMKC Conservatory.
He has taught and choreographed extensively at UMKC, at Washington University in St. Louis, and for the Kansas City Ballet School, also staging Bolender’s annual production of The Nutcracker. At Bolender’s passing in 2006, James was named the Artistic Trustee of all Bolender ballets. He sees his recent appointment as ballet master for Sarasota Ballet as opening a new chapter of artistic excellence under the leadership of Iain Webb and Margaret Barbieri.