Christian Burns

Christian Burns has been choreographing, teaching and performing in the Bay Area for 21 years. His pursuit for finding meaning and purpose through dance has yielded a dynamic range of interdisciplinary dance works for stage, video and visual art.

From teaching statement: “By approaching a work from two opposite ends of the spectrum—ballet and improvisation—I allow the mirroring to reveal truths about each that might not be at first apparent. The tension of contrast between the traditional and contemporary approaches has deepened my understanding and appreciation of each of its core principles, and led to a personal philosophy that highly developed training in both will yield more authentic results of pure expression that we strive for in Dance. For me, embracing this duality has been informative not only in dance but a helpful way to approach learning in all areas of life, and something I would like to imbue through my various teachings.”

In the San Francisco Bay Area his work has been presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC Theater, Counter Pulse, The Garage, Headlands Center for the Arts, Z Space Theater, Dancers Group Studio Theater, Shotwell Studio Theater, Howard Street Studio Theater. Beyond, his work has also been presented at The Walker Art Center, Canal Danse in Paris, Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, Nightingale Theater in Brighton UK, WINLAB Independent Festival in London, Escapade Festival at MovingArtsBase in London, The Dada House in Zurich Switzerland, OT301 in Amsterdam NL, The Southern Theater in MN, as well as performances in numerous independent studio locations in Brussels, Oslo, Copenhagen, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Southern France, New York and Western Massachusetts. His dance-video work has been shown at Pacific Film Archive Berkeley Art Museum, Impakt Festival (NL), Dutch National Television (NL), Moving Pictures Festival for Dance on Film and Video in Canada, Roberta Beck Cinema (NY), Santa Fe Art Institute and Stuttgart FilmWinter Festival in Germany.

His commissions include Hope Mohr Dance, The Cambrians, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, James Sewell Ballet, Stanford University, USF, Mt. Holyoke College, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, The Laban Center London, Interlochen Center for the Arts, LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University and LINES Ballet Training Program. He created over 70 dance pieces for the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance during its fourteen year history between 2004-2018.

Christian has been awarded a 2010 Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME) grant – given by the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, a 2008 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship for Choreography, the 2004 National Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography, the 2001 Paula Citron Award for Choreography for Camera (from the Moving Pictures Festival in Toronto), 1997 McKnight Artist Fellowship and was an artist-in-residence at the Experimental Television Center (NY). Christian is a contributing author for When Men Dance, Choreographing Masculinities Across Borders, Edited by Jennifer Fisher and Anthony Shay, Oxford University Press 2009 and has self published a book chronicling his choreographic process titled Motion and Process: knowing not knowing, ideas on dance 2006-08.

Christian has been a guest artist with The Forsythe Company and was a company member of Alonzo Kings LINES Ballet and James Sewell Ballet. He has been researching and practicing improvisational methods since 1994 and has performed internationally with Improvisers; Kirstie Simson, Katie Duck, Michael Schumacher, Ave Karczag, and Chris Aiken among many others. Christian completed three years of training at The School of American Ballet, working with renowned ballet teacher Stanley Williams.

In 2008 Christian co-founded the interdisciplinary art center Parsons Hall Project Space Holyoke, MA. In 1998 he co-founded The Foundry, an interdisciplinary dance company based in San Francisco. The Foundry received critical and popular acclaim as well as the support of numerous private Foundations, Contemporary Art Centers and Residency programs. In 2002/03 The Foundry were exhibited in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts biannual Bay Area Now3, named by Dance Magazine one of the ‘25 to Watch‘ and the San Francisco Chronicle said, “The Foundry is at the vanguard of American dance.“

Alonzo King LINES Ballet | BFA at Dominican, Summer Program, Training Program