From stage to screen, James Kinney’s celebrated artistic vision has established him as a respected voice in the world of dance entertainment.
Kinney was named BroadwayWorld’s Best Choreographer for his work on Phoenix Theatre’s NEWSIES, and Casa Mañana’s Children of Eden, created celebrated pieces for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS annual Easter Bonnet Celebration at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway, and created world-premier pieces for Fire Island Dance Festival and Hudson Valley Dance Festival, as well as several ballets in repetoire with New Jersey Ballet. Kinney’s choreography has been seen on such iconic stages as The Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, The Old Globe, The Kimmel Center and The Marquis Theatre on Broadway. Mr. Kinney’s work has also bridged the worlds of dance and fashion, having directed and choreographed acclaimed events for Hermès of Paris.
Today, his work can be seen on stages and television screens around the country, with over 50 musical theatre productions choreographed under his belt. He’s become known as a vital asset in creating new and innovative movement for musical theatre, the concert dance world, film and television, and live events, all while staying uniquely true to his artistic vision of smart, meaningful movement, oozing with style.
Twelve years ago, I was commissioned to create a ballet of my choosing, one of my first endeavors in choreography on a grand scale. The piece took shape as a three piece suite, entitled MARCH, which premiered at Lincoln Center and the Alvin Ailey Studio Theatre in New York City. The second movement in particular spoke to the humanity of life in New York City; love, connection, path’s crossed. Cut to 2020. Broadway and virtually every other stage was shuttered. I, along with the rest of my community, was left to wonder what was next. In the midst of what felt like a spiral of uncertainty and isolation, I realized that what I needed, and perhaps what my community of artists needed, was to find that human connection again. Myself, along with my collaborator, cinematographer, and dear friend, Pierre Marais, decided that now was the time for that second movement to come to life cinematically. This was not without its challenges. How on earth does out team of two independent creatives gather a cast, rehearse, and film on location in the midst of a global pandemic? It was imperative to put safety and the severity of the circumstance at the forefront if we were to move forward. Every measure was taken to observe the safety guidelines set before us by our local, state and national leadership, as well as following a testing practice set forth by our unions. Much of this filmmaking process was done virtually, no small feat for a dance film about connection. ANYONE came to light at the end of a tumultuous summer, with a cast of nine of Broadway’s most-talented performers and explores those very needed themes of fluid love, compassion, and empathy, in a manner that simultaneously feels both timeless and so very timely.