Graham McKelvie

Head of Contemporary Dance

Graham McKelvie was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where he began his training with Hazel Ann Olson at the Saskatoon School of Ballet. He continued his training as a scholarship student at Canada's National Ballet School and then in the professional training program at the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. In 1988 he joined the Toronto Dance Theatre as a full company member, quickly establishing himself in the company’s repertoire, dancing in works by choreographers such as David Earle, Trish Beatty, James Kudelka and Christopher House. 

As an independent artist, he has worked with choreographers both nationally and internationally, most notably with  Kate Alton in Volcano Theatre’s production of  The 4 Horsemen. Based on the revolutionary poetry of the Toronto group of sound poets of the same name, The 4 Horsemen was the recipient of four Dora awards and toured internationally, garnering critical acclaim, most recently at the Dublin International Fringe Festival and the Berlin Poesie Festival. It was most recently remounted and presented by Soul Pepper Theatre in Toronto in the fall of 2014.

Mr. McKelvie was, until 2011, a principal dancer with Coleman et Lemieux et Compagnie. One of Toronto’s foremost contemporary companies, C.L.C is dedicated to producing the works of Bill Coleman and Laurence Lemieux, founders of C.L.C and of James Kudelka, formerly artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada. The Kudelka Project, focus of the 2009/2010 season, featured revivals of James Kudelka’s best known contemporary works, 15 Heterosexual Duets and In Paradisum and toured nationally and internationally.

Mr. McKelvie continues his longstanding relationship of over 25 years with Toronto Dance Theatre co-founders David Earle and Trish Beatty, and continues to be inspired by the ideals of the founders, rooted in modernism and exemplified the work of their great mentors, Martha Graham and Jose Limon.

Other choreographic notables Mr. McKelvie has worked with include Roberto Campanella’s ProArteDanza, D.A Hoskins, Holly Small, Naoko Murakoshi, Doug Verone, N.Y.C, Vancouver’s Judith Marcuse and Toru Shimazaki of Japan.

His own choreographic endeavours have been presented in Canada and Japan including works appearing in the Dance in Canada Festival, Ottawa, Toronto’s Fringe Festival of Independent Artists in which he won the Paula Citron Award for best choreography and in Kobe, Nagoya, Fukushima and Tokyo. He was on faculty in the professional training program at the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre and has taught at Canada’s National Ballet School and York University and teaches master classes in Toronto and across Canada. Internationally, Mr. McKelvie has become a popular guest teacher in Japan teaching in studios across the country. In 2009, he was a visiting professor at Kobe Women’s University, where he was rehearsal director for the mounting of an extant work by David Earle, founder of Toronto Dance Theatre. He recently set his own work on the 2010 graduating class at Kobe Jogakuin University and, from 2011 to 2014, was a full time faculty member there. 

Mr. McKelvie joins the School of Alberta Ballet as the Head of Contemporary Dance in 2015. Along with teaching contemporary technique classes and setting repertoire, Mr. McKelvie will oversee the development and expansion of the new Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream to create a world-class program for the School’s Professional Division students.

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