ALEX KETLEY

Artistic Director / Choreographer / Filmmaker 

 


Alex Ketley is an independent choreographer, filmmaker, and the director of The Foundry. Formally a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet (1994-1998), he performed a wide range of classical and contemporary repertory with the company in San Francisco and on tour throughout the world. In 1998 he left the San Francisco Ballet to co-found The Foundry in order to explore his deepening interests in choreography, improvisation, mixed media work, and collaborative process. With The Foundry he has been an artist in residence at many leading art institutions including Headlands Center for the Arts (2001 and 2007), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2002), The Yard (2003), the Santa Fe Art Institute (2004 and 2006), the Taipei Artist Village (2005), ODC Theater (2006), the Ucross Foundation (2007), and the Vermont Performance Lab (2014). The Foundry has produced fifteen full evening length works that have received extensive support from the public, funders, and the press.

As a choreographer independent of his work with The Foundry, Alex Ketley has been commissioned to create original pieces for companies and universities throughout the United States and Europe. For this work he has received acknowledgement from the Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition (2001), the International Choreographic Competition of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Saveaur (2004), the National Choo-San Goh Award (2005), the inaugural Princess Grace Award for Choreography (2005), the BNC National Choreographic Competition (2008), three CHIME Fellowships (2007, 2008, and 2012), four Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residencies (2007, 2009, 2014, and 2015), the Gerbode-Hewlett Choreographer Commissioning Award (2009), and the National Eben Demarest Award (2012). His pieces and collaborations have also been awarded Isadora Duncan Awards in the categories of Outstanding Achievement by an Ensemble (2009), Outstanding Achievement in Choreography (2011), and Outstanding Achievement by a Company (2011 & 2012).

 
 

In 2011 his AXIS Dance Company work To Color Me Different was presented on national television through an invitation from the show So You Think You Can Dance. With The Foundry in 2012, he began a new project entitled No Hero which explored what dance means and how it is experienced by people throughout more rural parts of the American West. The video projection Alex created for No Hero was nominated for a 2012 Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design. 

In 2013 he began an appointment as a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS). In that same year he was also awarded the first Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission Award (CMCC), a MANCC Media Fellowship, and a Kenneth Rainin Foundation New and Experimental Works Grant which he used to work on a collaborative project with Miguel Gutierrez exploring rural communities throughout the South (No Hero - Part 3). Also in 2014 he created and premiered his dance film The Gift (of Impermanence) which has continued to screen at film festivals internationally, as well as winning the 2015 Artistry Award from the Superfest International Disability Film Festival. During 2016 he spent time in Salt Lake City teaching for Salt Dance Fest and creating a new work for SALT Dance Company. Later in that year he has a six week residency and created new work for Ballet Met in collaboration with the Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus. Highlights of 2017 include the Stanford MainStage performances of No Hero, teaching and commissions in NYC and Seattle, as well as the final iteration of Deep South which was fully supported through a tech residency and performances by ODC Theater in San Francisco.

Along with his direction of The Foundry, his various independent projects, and his appointment at Stanford, he worked closely with Summer Lee Rhatigan on the initial creation of the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance (Founded in 2004), an organization where he still serves as the Resident Choreographer. Stemming from a classical foundation, the school is deeply invested in advanced students learning and growing though the engagement of contemporary choreography.

 
 

Awards  /  Residencies  /  Projects


Awards

Artistry Award from the Superfest International Disability Film Festival
The Gift (of Impermanence), dance film - 2015

Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Mentorship Co-Commission Award (CMCC)
2013

MANCC Media Fellowship
2013

Kenneth Rainin Foundation New and Experimental Works Grant
2013

Isadora Duncan Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design
No Hero video projection - 2012

National Eben Demarest Award
2012

Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Fellowships (4)
2007, 2009, 2014 & 2015

Isadora Duncan Awards (4)
Oustanding Achievement by an Ensemble 2009
Oustanding Achievement in Choreography 2011
Outstanding Achievement by a Company 2011 & 2012

 

Gerbode-Hewlett Choreographer Commissioning Award
2009

CHIME Fellowships (3)
2007, 2008 & 2009

BNC National Choreographic Competition
2008

Inaugural Princess Grace Award for Choreography
2005

National Choo-San Goh Award
2005

International Choreographic Competition of the Festival Des Arts De Saint-Saveaur
2004

Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition
2001


Residencies

2014

Vermont Performance Lab

2007

Ucross Foundation

2007 & 2001

Headlands Center for the Arts

2017 & 2006

ODC Theater

2006 & 2004

Santa Fe Art Institute

2005

Taipei Artist Village

2003

The Yard

2002

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Commissions
& FOUNDRY PROJECTS

2017

Deep South (No Hero Part 3)
The Foundry

2016

Twisted 2
Ballet Met, Symphony, & Opera

Stilled Mave
Salt Dance Company

2015

In Defense of Regret
collaboration: Bobbi Jene Smith & Maurya Kerr

The River
New Dialect, Nashville, TN

POEM
The Foundry

2014

Arena
Ballet Leipzig

The Radiant Ocean
The Julliard School

Swan Lake: Recalibrated
Stanford University

The Gift of Impermanence
Dance film
AXIS Dance Company

Vermont (No Hero Part 2)
The Foundry at Vermont Performance Lab

2013

The Span
California State University Long Beach

Ciao' 
Spellbound Junior Ensemble, Rome, Italy

Midnight Drifter
Florida State University

2012

Five Objects (in Isolation & Solitude)
NYU Tisch School of Dance

No Hero Part 1 - The West
The Foundry

Low Down
The Foundry with LEVYDance

2011

The Radiant Ocean (of Proud Vanishing Beauty)
The Juilliard School

Happiness
BNC Colorado

Terra Incognita, Revisited
San Francisco West Wave Festival

Intershop
Ballet Leipzig, Germany

Rarities and Oddities
BNC Colorado

New.Base.Line
University of Texas at Austin

Arena
Ballet Leipzig, Germany

2010

Please Love Me
The Foundry
Gerbode Hewlett Choreography Award

Wave Atlas
Arc Dance, Seattle

The Offering
BNC Colorado

2009

Silt
Ballet X

Rauschen 13
BodyTraffic

Kill the Anthem
BNC Colorado

2008

Monument
ODC Theater, CA

For You
Groundworks Dance, OH

Vessel
AXIS Dance Company

If Ever (an Ocean) Relinquished
Dance Works Chicago

Duo
ARC Dance, Seattle

This Act of Three Collisions
BNC Colorado

To Color Me Different
AXIS Dance Company

2007

Imprint
The Foundry w. Christian Burns

ICARUS/RISE
The Translation Project

Drift
Ballet Met

Kyrie
Stanford University

The Cypher Construct
San Francisco State University

2006

Lost Line
The Foundry

The Marking of Apology
Robert Moses KIN

Careless
SFCD Company
West Wave Dance Festival

2005

Second Memory
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

The Wish for Even Ground
North Carolina School for the Arts

Syntax
The Foundry w. Carol Snow
Funded by Creative Work Fund

Untitled
Taipei Arts Village, Taiwan

2004

Mondriaan
Hubbard Street 2
Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur

Trace Fulfillment (Rework)
Reworked for Florida State University

Joygame (Intro)
Headlands Center for the Arts - Moving Pictures Festival

Dallas
The Cowell Theater

2003

Fragments Repeat Forever
Hubbard Street 2

Anticipate Loss
LINES Ballet School

Within Once
The Foundry at The Yard

The Fleshing Memory
The Foundry

2002

Kid Thunder
The Foundry

2001

Trace Fulfillment
Hubbard Street 2

Capacity from Shallowness
The Foundry

2000

Sea Green and Blue Already Rising
Alonzo King's LINES Ballet

TarJMB
Marin Civic Auditorium

Yosemite (video)
The Foundry

1999

PaintParkTalk
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Current Form
The Foundry

1998

Salt Flat Pieces
The Foundry

 

...........................

 

2004-2017

As Resident Choreographer of the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance Alex Ketley has consistently made between four to six pieces for the advanced students each year. An archive of this work exists at the Conservatory and it has been an invaluable laboratory for the development of his work.