James O’Hara has been a collaborator his entire career. With 20 years of experience as a dance performer, teacher, choreographic assistant and director, James is immersed in dance communities all around the world. Born and raised between the Swan River and the Indian ocean in Walyalup (Fremantle) WA, James now resides in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, in Aotearoa New Zealand where he is currently Co-Artistic Director of the New Zealand Dance Company. James was a member of Ballet Junior de Genève and recipient of a Princess Grace Foundation Bursary in 2004. He has worked with Ballet Preljocaj, Matthew Lutton (Malthouse, Melbourne), Ross McCormack (Muscle Mouth, NZ), Yang Liping (China), Marina Abramović (USA) and Stephanie Lake (Australia). As a guest he has performed with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet/Ohad Naharin, The Australian Ballet/Gideon Obarzanek, The Norwegian National Ballet, The Paris Opera Ballet and The Bolshoi Theatre. He has collaborated extensively as both performer and assistant with Marina Mascarell, Michael Keegan-Dolan (Teac Damsa), Damien Jalet and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Eastman).
Growing up involved in STEPS Youth Dance Company in Perth, a collaboration that continued for over 16 years, fuelled a passion for youth dance and ignited his investment in community engagement. He was Assistant Director at the National Youth Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells (London) 2015-17 and has taught at many universities and institutions throughout the world. James was a full time tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance 2017-18. James has made works with STEPS, Cross Connections (Copenhagen), Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, University of Melbourne, New Zealand School of Dance, Purchase (NY), Transformation Montreal, Footnote Dance (alongside Eliza Sanders), and with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He has been nominated for Helpmann, Green Room, and Australian Dance Awards and is a recipient of a West Australian Dance Award. James is currently Co-Artistic Director of the New Zealand Dance Company.
James commenced as STRUT Dance Co-Director in June 2022.