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James O'Hara

James O’Hara has been a collaborator his entire career. With 18 years of experience as dance performer, teacher, choreographic assistant and director, James is immersed in dance communities all around the world. James is internationally renowned for his unique movement quality, work ethic and leadership abilities. His generosity and humility belie his extraordinary talent. His work in the studio and on stage has inspired countless colleagues and collaborators around the world. Compassionate and respectful, quietly commanding and gently demanding, James’ experiences to date have seen him engaged from deep inside the process: invested, amicable, and supportive, he leads by example with focus, commitment, and finesse.

From Fremantle, Western Australia, James was a member of Ballet Junior de Genève and recipient of a Princess Grace Foundation Bursary in 2004. He has worked with Ballet Preljocaj, Matthew Lutton (Malthouse, Melbourne), Ross McCormack (Muscle Mouth, NZ), Yang Liping (China), Marina Abramović (USA) and Stephanie Lake (Australia). As a guest he has performed with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet/Ohad Naharin, The Australian Ballet/Gideon Obarzanek, The Norwegian National Ballet, The Paris Opera Ballet and The Bolshoi Theatre. He has collaborated extensively as both performer and assistant with Marina Mascarell (Korzo Den Haag/Gothenburg Dans Kompani, Lyon Opera Ballet), Michael Keegan-Dolan (Teac Damsa) including at the New Zealand International Festival in 2020, Damien Jalet and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Babel (words) ’(Eastman, Belgium), and with Natalia Osipova at the Auckland Arts Festival.

Growing up in STEPS Youth Dance Company (STEPS) in Perth, a collaboration that continued for over 16 years, fuelled a passion for working with young people in dance. He was Assistant Director at the National Youth Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells (London) and has taught at many universities and institutions throughout the world. James was a full time tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance 2017-18. James has made works with STEPS, Cross Connection Ballet (Copenhagen), Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, University of Melbourne, New Zealand School of Dance, Transformation Montreal, Footnote Dance (alongside Eliza Sanders), and with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. James has been nominated for Helpmann, Green Room, and Australian Dance Awards and is a recipient of a West Australian Dance Award.

(Photo by John McDermott taken from Trolleys)