Photo: Kristina Zaidner
Photo: Christopher Rudd & João Menegussi
Photo: Devin Ball
Photo: Kristina Zaidner
"... Achingly beautiful tenderness.... Touché was a partner dance in the most essential way. Sensual, sexual, full of tension and gorgeous moments, it was greeted with an overwhelming outpouring of tears, hearty cheers..." - JT Newman, Chicago Reader, April, 2023
"Christopher Rudd’s Touché, which stars Calvin Royal III and João Menegussi in a male-male pas de deux rarely seen in the world of classical ballet. The moving piece, which tracks the confusion and second-guesses of desire between two men, garnered a standing ovation.” - Lilah Ramzi, Vogue Magazine
"A standing ovation in the middle of a multi-ballet evening is extremely rare. The roars from the crowd were impeccable and Royal and Menegussi appeared genuinely touched by the love. Touché is representation in its genuine definition." - Kasey Broekema, The Ballet Herald
"About six minutes in, close-up, face to face and in silence, the dancers do little other than look at each other as they strip to their briefs. It’s slow, classy and utterly compelling. It speaks volumes. The tender pas de deux that follows is exquisite, and ends with a kiss. It is completely transfixing." - David Mead, Seeing Dance on Touché
“the artists should be invited back to Ballet Theater when they can benefit from a full stage and a live audience.” - Siobhan Burke, New York Times
“The stand-out among the four premieres is indisputably Christopher Rudd’s Touché, … The choreography is astounding in its ingenuity. … It is so rewarding to see work that draws on an extensive experience of dance technique; one does get tired of seeing the same old steps pulled out over and over again by some modern choreographers – Rudd will never fall into this trap, as his language is just too articulate and wide-ranging.” - Amanda Jenning, Dance Europe
"Christopher Rudd’s mesmerising Touché leads American Ballet Theatre’s ABT Today – “Best of the bunch (just) is Christopher Rudd’s Touché” - David Mead, Seeing Dance
Siren’s Realm by RudduR Dance feels strong and complete.” - Quinn Batson, Offoffoff.com
March 2015: “Rudd’s masterful …I See,… left me wishing I could experience the piece again.” -Sean Erwin, Art Burst Miami
“Christopher Rudd’s choreography tells the story clearly… it all made perfect sense.” - Philip Gardner, Oberon’s Grove
Christopher's video links can be viewed here.
Christopher Rudd is a Jamaican born dance-maker and 2019 Guggenheim Choreography Fellow. He blends contemporary ballet with contemporary circus to speak to relevant social issues. Christopher began dancing at age 9 in Miami, Florida at the Armour Dance Theater thanks to their scholarship program, led by Ruth Wiesen. At 11, he became the first Black child to dance the title role in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, an accomplishment for which ABC’s Peter Jennings named him 'Person of the Week' in 1991. He graduated from New World School of the Arts High School led by Daniel Lewis and attended Dance Theater of Harlem School Summer Intensive for four summers on full scholarship.
Christopher envisioned creating dance from early on. He was fortunate to have trained and worked with a variety of artists and companies which helped develop him as a multi-faceted choreographer. He has performed with Carolina Ballet where he was a founding member, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal, and Alberta Ballet. Christopher was honoured to work on the creation and dance for Cirque Du Soleil’s Zaia, their first resident show in Asia.
Christopher performed in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and was a guest artist with Pennsylvania Ballet, and The Metropolitan Opera for 3 seasons. Throughout his career he worked with a wide range of choreographers, including Mats Ek, Shen Wei, Didy Veldman, Christopher Wheeldon, Mauro Bigonzetti, Margo Sappington, Mark Morris, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Donald Mahler, Tyler Walters, and Robert Weiss. He also has been featured in works of George Balanchine, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, José Limón , Ohad Naharin, and Jean-Christophe Maillot.
Christopher was commissioned in 2021 by American Ballet Theatre and made the groundbreaking Touché. Touché is the company’s first explicitly homosexual duet. He has also choreographed for the Alvin Ailey School, Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, Duke University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Dance Now! Miami, Alberta Ballet’s Workshop, Harlem Stage’s E-Moves, Ballet Divertimento in Montreal, Canada, and Muiktheater Vorarlberg in Austria. His works have been seen in New York, Florida, Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, Canada, France, Trinidad & Tobago, Burkina Faso, and Ecuador.
In addition to being the first recipient of The New World School of the Arts Alumni Foundation’s Inspiration Grant, Christopher has been awarded grants from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New Music USA, American Dance Abroad, Career Transition For Dancers, Harlem Stage’s Fund for New Work, World Learning Global Development & Exchange, U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, and Arts Envoy – a program supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.
Christopher is honoured to be the inaugural New Victory Theater LabWorks Launch Artist at the New Victory Theater in New York City. He has also been awarded residencies from Tofte Lake Center, Kaatsbaan, STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (twice), Vendetta Mathea La Manufacture in Aurillac, France, and Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture through the CUNY Dance Initiative.
In 2015, Christopher founded RudduR Dance to create works of high artistic merit and as a platform to better the world through dance. RudduR Dance has presented works on 4 continents in its first 4 years and made its SummerStage debut by participating in a globally accessible Juneteenth Tribute on June 19, 2020.
Currently, he is working with Works & Process at the Guggenheim and New Victory Theater to develop his highly anticipated Witness and he will be an Artist in Residence at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) to further develop the work in 2023. His ground-breaking piece, Lifted, created on an all-black cast of ABT dancers and highlighting, amplifying and celebrating black creative voices, had its world premiere in New York in October 2022.
Projects in 2023 include new productions for SUNY Purchase University and for Philadanco.