Allen Kaeja is a choreographer, film director, co-artistic director, performer, and teacher that holds an MA in Dance at York University. Allen is an award-winning director and choreographer, and entered the field of dance after 9 years of wrestling and Judo. Allen is co-artistic director of Kaeja d’Dance with his wife, Karen Kaeja. Allen’s film, Asylum of Spoons, co-directed with Mark Adam, was short-listed for Jury Prize as well as best direction for an art film at the Banff World Television Awards. Allen’s dance film Of the Heart a Canadian/USA collaboration with Doug Rosenberg, was nominated for the Jury Prize in both New York and Barcelona, and has recently screened at Sans Souci Festival. His film Zummel was part of a MUSÉES DE LA CIVILISATION exhibit Rebel Bodies and is being featured in an upcoming three year exhibit of the best Canadian Dance Films in the past century. He has received special ‘Jury Mentions’ from IMZ and American Dance Festival. Allen has also been nominated for Outstanding Choreography for the dance film Departure at the American Choreography Awards.
He is the author of “Transcending Media: Adapting the Dance Production Asylum of Spoons from Stage to Film”, a comprehensive book that details the process of creating a dance film from the treatment to shot list.
His films were presented at the MoMA in New York, and are in the permanent collections of Jewish Museum in New York and Yad Vashem in Israel. Allen and Karen have created and shot two new films: between sun and sand; between snow and sky. Allen received a Canada Council Digital Originals grant to shoot FALLOW, which has screened internationally. He also directed four dance films for 2021’s Porch View Dances.
Allen has been on the faculty at TMU University where he has taught Dance Film since 2008. In 2017, Allen completed “Xtraordinary TO Dances: Moments in Reel Time” (2017) for broadcasters BellMedia (Canada) and Marqueearts (UK), starring 22 Toronto-based dance artists with composers Phil Strong and Eric Cadesky, which premiered at Karen’s Solo Dance Xchange in 2018. XTOD featured 22 XTRAORDINARY Toronto Dance Artists representing the intergenerational, multi-practice and mosaic of our dance community, on location throughout Metropolitan Toronto. XTOD has been screened in the USA, Europe, and Japan, and was recently shortlisted for the Jury Prize: XTOD: Moments in Reel Time, Best Film Over 15 Minutes from IMZ.
Allen and Karen recently created Kitchen Dances Web Series with Moze Mossanen to be released in 2023, co-directed the short film Pulse with Olya Glotka for the City of Mississauga, which is the first film ever to be censored by a city government, and In Case of Emergency: celebrating eighteen dance artists in our community.
Allen integrated Augmented Reality and Digital Perspective in the TORQUE production I am the Child of…, on a shared program with Karen’s TouchX for their 31st Anniversary Shared Concert in November of 2022.