by Staff Writer
Christopher Rudd, who was born in Jamaica, joins three other artists in being named as the New Victory LabWorks Artists for 2021. Rudd was named a Guggenheim Choreography Fellow in 2019 and is known for combining contemporary ballet with contemporary circus to address important social issues.
The artists are returning for their second year in the development program, which targets new work for young audiences. The theater’s LabWorks program is dedicated to serving artists who are people of color, artists with disabilities, and artists who identify as LGBTQIA+.In 2021, the artists at LabWorks will receive $15,000 along with professional development and community support from the theater’s network of artists, educators, and other professionals. They will also have the chance to hold invited rehearsals for industry representatives, other artists, and audiences at New Victory that will include facilitated feedback sessions.
Rudd’s career has been marked by numerous achievements and awards as he worked with the various artists and companies that helped him develop into the multi-faceted choreographer he is.He was a founding member and performer with Carolina Ballet and worked on the dance for “Zaia” by Cirque Du Soleil, the company’s first resident show in Asia. He also performed at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and at The Metropolitan Opera for three seasons. Rudd has choreographed works for 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 and Muiktheater Vorarlberg in Austria.
He was the first to receive The New World’s School of Arts Alumni Foundation Inspiration Grant and has also 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 and Exchange, U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, and Arts Envoy.
In 2015, he founded RudduR Dance with the goal of creating highly artistic works and as a way to create a better world through dance. His dance company debuted at the City Parks SummerStage as a participant in the Juneteenth Tribute on June 19, 2020, which was seen around the world. He attracted considerable attention with his creation of TOUCHE, an interracial homosexual pas de deux for the American Ballet Theater.
In addition to Rudd, the other recipients of the 2020-21 New Victory LabWorks Artist title are nicHi douglas, ChelseaDee Harrison, and Nambi E. Kelley.