The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.”

-—Albert Einstein

The Kudelka Method
Director: Yung Chang
Producer: Maral Mohammadian
Yung Chang is the award-winning director of the feature documentaries Up the Yangtze (2007), China Heavyweight (2012), The Fruit Hunters (2013), This Is Not a Movie (2019) and Wuhan Wuhan (2021). Yung is an alumnus of the 2018 TIFF Writers’ Studio and the 2015 Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Labs, where he developed his feature script Eggplant, slated for production in 2024. He is adapting Souvankham Thammavongsa’s How to Pronounce Knife into a limited series.

James Kudelka

2023 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Dance)


James Kudelka is among North America’s most versatile and innovative dance artists. His creative output reflects his eclectic interests, rich movement vocabulary, and theatrical sensitivity. His choreographic works range from recreations of full-length ballet classics (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker) to one-act creations that are rich in psychological implication and human drama. He has explored evolving dance and theatrical styles, and is equally at home working with solo artists, small contemporary troupes and large ballet companies.
Mr. Kudelka was born in 1955 in Newmarket, Ontario. Trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, he began choreographing as a student and continued throughout his dancing years with the National Ballet of Canada (NBoC, 1972–81) and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (1981–90), where he was also resident choreographer. He became the NBoC’s artist in residence in 1992, and, as artistic director (1996–2005), he revitalized the company, making it among the most creative in North America.
From 2006 to 2020, he was affiliated with Toronto’s Citadel + Cie (appointed resident choreographer in 2008), where he experimented with cross-disciplinary collaborations.
Mr. Kudelka’s most acclaimed works include Washington Square (NBoC, 1979), In Paradisum (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, 1983), Soudain, l’hiver dernier (Montréal Danse, 1987), There Below (BalletMet, Columbus, 1989), Fifteen Heterosexual Duets (Toronto Dance Theatre, 1990), Cruel World (American Ballet Theatre, 1994), Terra Firma (San Francisco Ballet, 1995), The Four Seasons (NBoC, 1997, later adapted for television), The Man in Black (BalletMet, Columbus, 2010), and Vespers (Royal Winnipeg Ballet, 2016). More recent collaborations with Citadel + Cie include From the House of Mirth (2013), Malcolm (2014) and Four Old Legs (2019), featuring fellow GGPAA laureate Evelyn Hart.
Much in demand as a teacher, he has worked with the Vancouver Arts Umbrella, Toronto Metropolitan University and Canada’s National Ballet School, and continues to stage his ballets throughout North America.
In 1990, at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, Mr. Kudelka studied artisan bread baking, a craft he pursues with ongoing experimentation and passion. Continuously seeking fresh sources of inspiration, he recently moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
James Kudelka is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has received two Chalmers Awards and three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and was inducted into the Dance Collection Danse Hall of Fame in 2020.