James Clouser was studying Composition, Theory, and French Horn Performance at the Eastman School of Music when he discovered his affinity for dance. He began his performing career in summer stock and subsequently joined Ballet Theatre (now ABT) and was for nine years principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. After five years as Ballet Master, Resident Choreographer and Acting Director of the Houston Ballet he founded Space/Dance/Theater and later served as Artistic Director of the Dayton Ballet. He has choreographed for numerous companies in the United States, Canada and Europe. His most noted works include Com Spirito, Carmina Burana, Rasputin, the Holy Devil (which starred Erik Bruhn), Ear To Stone (presented in 1999 at the Avignon Festival in France), and Caliban (this country’s first full-length rock ballet).
Mr. Clouser’s pedagogical studies have taken him to the Royal Ballet Schools in London and Copenhagen and to the Bolshoi and Kirov Schools in Russia. Mr. Clouser’s experience with ballet in higher education has included appointments to the faculties of the Juilliard School, Connecticut College, the American Dance Festival, Loretto Heights College in Denver, Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas. Upon “retirement” he took an “interim” position at the University of Arizona where, for the last fifteen years, his course offerings continue to include Ballet Technique, Men’s Ballet, Dance History, Dance and Culture, and Looking at Dance which innovatively engages general education students. He remains active as a choreographer creating new works for the University of Arizona’s unique Dance Ensemble as well as staging classic works and re-mounting some of his earlier repertoire. In 2014 he was the recipient of the University of Arizona’s College of Fine Arts Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching.