Chris came to dance in his early teens, a natural progression from being given opportunities to experience music and theatre from his parents. He received scholarships and grants to enable him in his studies and it was at Central School of Ballet, London, where he met the late Christopher Gable who has remained an inspiration since those early days in Clerkenwell.
After graduating he was selected to join Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures and after half a year was dancing the Prince in Swan Lake, a role that has played an important part in his working life and one he has returned to on many occasions. That year he also danced in the original London cast of The Car Man at The Old Vic before being invited to join the Balletboyz new company George Piper Dances, as a founding member. The company of seven dancers, including its directors William Trevitt and Michael Nunn, toured the UK and internationally, including seasons at Camden’s Roundhouse and London’s Southbank Centre and it was here he had the chance to dance many modern ballets in particular William Forsythe’s Steptext originally choreogaphed for The Royal Ballet.
Wishing to continue experiencing more of the ‘European’ dance scene, the Gothenburg Ballet engaged him as a member of the company and the move to Sweden was imminent. Here the opportunity to create roles and work with renowned choreographers came in abundance and within two years such experiences to dance in ballets by Jiri Kylian and Nacho Duato had helped to shape and develop him onstage. Important Swedish stage experiences for Chris were a classical production of Nutcracker, a new version of Romeo and Juliet and Les Noces, but creating a role in Jo Kanamori’s L’Apres Midi d’un Faun was a real turning point for him as a dancer. It challenged him to take a different approach and look deeper into his work and therefore encouraged him to move on to a different environment and company.
He left Sweden for France deciding to work with the Ballet Biarritz. Here he travelled the world dancing and touring nightly with performances of Don Juan, Nutcracker, Cigale, The Blood of the Stars and taking the principal role in The Creatures which he performed in cities as diverse as Guadeloupe and at the Joyce Theater, New York.
Eager to return to London, Chris had made the connections to experience life as a freelance performer in his home city and it was there he began to develop his own choreography with friends or ex-colleagues at times when not performing.
Given a performance platform from an independent choreography forum (Artelier) he produced four pieces which were performed as part of mixed programmes at the Bridewell Theatre, tucked away behind London’s Fleet street. The first choreography Rain Check was seen and invited to be performed with the Regensburg Ballet as part of their annual Christmas Gala. After this Artelier gave him the title of Associate Choreographer. From then on he began to juggle performing and choreographing. His creative pursuits have meant commissions for Ballet Black, Images of Dance, Ballet Central, Channel 4’s The Paul O’Grady Show and for the Young British Dancer of the Year 2010.
He gave rehearsal in front of an audience at the Royal Opera House’s Open House day, where he explained the regime of creating his pas de deux Lament for Ballet Black. He spoke at fundraising events for the company and had his ballet performed in London and on tour.
His other works have been seen around the UK as well as in some of London’s main dance houses. These include the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre, Sadlers Wells’ sister theatre The Peacock, Stratford Circus and the Unicorn. In 2009 he was made an associate artist of the UK Foundation for Dance, who support his current work and new ideas. This included his 2009 pitch to the west-end’s Arts Theatre, in Leicester Square, for a full-evening dance revue, entitled Hotel Follies. The theatre snapped it up and the show, set in a run-down London hotel during the 1940’s, played to critical acclaim. It was his pleasure to have in the cast ex-Royal Ballet Ballerina Doreen Wells, coming out of retirement to play her part in the show.
During the creation of these works he has also been performing regularly. He joined the Michael Clark Company on their tour to America, performing the Straivinsky Project at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall in New York City.
He created the title role in Will Tuckett’s dance-play, The Thief of Baghdad, at ROH2 and has guested for Bern Ballet in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, under the direction of Cathy Marston.
He has remained a part of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, where he has played principal roles such as The Angel in Cinderella (also the rehearsal director), danced the Prince in revivals of Swan Lake and created the role of Cyril Vane, (the ill-fated ballet dancer) in Dorian Gray. He also appeared in Matthew Bourne’s Christmas on More 4 (Christmas Day 2011) dancing in excerpts from Swan Lake, Town and Country, Spitfire and The Car Man.
Chris continues to love his job!