KAEJA,A_Danceshot2_BWcropZENYAAllen Kaeja is an internationally recognized and award winning choreographer and filmmaker. Invited in 1981 by the Ontario Olympic Wrestling Federation to compete for ‘the team’, he chose dance as his career instead. Since 1982 he has created over 160 dance pieces and has choreographed for twenty-seven films. He is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with his wife Karen Kaeja, and he recently completed his M.A. in Dance at York University. He is co-founder of the CanAsian International Dance Festival (1996-present) and the Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists (fFIDA, 1991-2000). His stage works have been presented in festivals around the world, including in India, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela, as well as at the VANOC Cultural Olympiad. He has also received a number of commissions from international dance companies from India, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.A., among others. His awards include the prestigious Clifford E. Lee, K.M. Hunter, and Paul D. Fleck Choreography Awards (Canada), the Bonnie Bird Award (U.K.), a UNESCO citation, and the Moving Picture Award for best performance (Canada). He also performed as Pushkin in Moze Mossanen’s Gemini-winning dance film Nureyev.

 

 

In addition, Kaeja films have been screened around the globe and have been nominated for the American Choreography Awards (Los Angeles) and the Banff World Television Festival Awards (Canada). They have received special Jury Mentions from IMZ (Europe) and the American Dance Festival (U.S.A.). The Kaeja films are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art and the Jewish Museum in New York, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel, and a new exhibit at the Museum of Civilization (Canada), opening in 2015. Kaeja films are also owned by many university libraries. Kaeja is just completing another Bravo!FACT for an upcoming dance film, Oxygen, co-directed with Oscar-winning special-effects master Colin Chilvers, and sweet exit, starring Karen Kaeja and musician Daniel Payne, for the Contact International Dance Film Festival.

Allen and Karen Kaeja teach master classes in Kaeja Elevations, Contact Dance, Improvisation, and Dance Film. They are also currently on faculty at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (since 1991) and Brock University (2013-present), and as well, Allen Kaeja has taught Partnering and Dance Film at Ryerson University since 2002. He has published his second book, entitled Transcending Media: Adapting the Dance Production Asylum of Spoons, from Stage to Film. He is currently working on his third book, Kaeja Elevations, for which he has completed principle cinematography and photography.

Allen Kaeja worked as the International Guest Choreographer and Judge for Mexico’s Canal 22 and their dance reality series Opera Prima. He just completed YET AGAIN (2015), a quartet for four powerful men, for Ballet Jörgen Canada. He also completed the ROGUE show, his first solo show ever, with Director/Dramaturge Bruce Barton. In 2015, the Kaejas celebrate their 25th anniversary with two major concerts and a new DVD, and they have just been commissioned to create a new choreography in the U.K., in 2016.

Allen Kaeja was recently nominated for the 2015 Ontario Arts Foundation Artist Educator Award, exemplifying excellence in arts education and demonstrating a unique approach to arts education practice. The Kaejas were finalists in the TD Diversity Award 2013, and NOW Magazine’s “Best Local Choreographer 2011”, and winners of the Canadian Dance Assembly “I Love Dance” National Awards for Innovation and Community 2012. They were also listed in the Globe and Mail’s BEST DANCE 2012 for Porch View Dances.