Ken James

dance work.                     teaching.                    lighting design.              CV

Artist Statement.

My dance work is rooted in an exploration of the person as expressed in their movements. I am trying to eliminate the dichotomy of seeing manual labor (whether as a dancer or ditch digger) and intellectual labor. I see dance as a series of physical intellectual gestures, derived from the connection and dissonance of the natural world and human nature. I try to use a weaving of memory, story, and emotion to approach some of the philosophical and intellectual issues we wrestle with in being human.



Ken James has been exploring movement as a way to uncork the spaces between conscious thought for the past three decades. James navigates the human experience in his stage and site-specific work, installation art, and screen dances by weaving subconscious patterns of thought, habits, and interactions of our creature into his choreography. In his quest for the magic in the mundane and the transcendent, he has found himself performing for audiences at the San Francisco Yerba Buena Center, dangling from ropes at a train station in Chicago, and dragging 100 lb. log through the busy streets of Manhattan. Always evolving, James is creating a series of dance installations and dance films that will be presented in conjunction with site-specific performances. James was the recipient of the famed Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) for his duet work “The Adventures of Cunning & Guile” with the amazing choreographer Chris Black.


Lighting Design and Production

Ken James has been designing and running productions for over 30 years and has taught Lighting Design and Production at Mills College. His work combines a simple, clean focus on the dance with colorful environments. He works with multi-media productions, both as a creative and as production and lighting designer and as stage manager. For more, click here.

LCP Landed 2

Li Chiao Ping Dance, Landed 2018



B.A. Philosophy, Oberlin College 1987, minor in Mathematics

M.F.A. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in progress – completion date Aug. 2019

1990   Studied Experimental Dance Film with Alegra Fuller Syder.

1991   Studied in Experimental Video with Max Almy


Room: link