— Biography —
Benjamin Holliday Wardell is the founder and creative director of The Cambrians. His dance training began in ballet and has since widened to encompass and ever broader range of techniques. In his fifteen years as a professional dancer, Ben has had the privilege of working with many of the world’s leading choreographers and movement researchers on innovative performance ventures. His career began with The Cincinnati Ballet, where he achieved the rank of soloist before moving to San Francisco to dance with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. Working with LINES allowed Ben to expand further into his understanding of the human body and the many ways to create dance performance. Moving from San Francisco, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. After working with this company for over four years, Ben began to freelance. Based in Chicago, he has toured internationally with Aszure Barton and Artists, created work with Ron de Jesus Dance, was an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions and recently performed a full-act solo which he co-created with Michael Tilson Thomas and Pat Birch at the New World Symphony in Miami. Ben also collaborates frequently with opera director James Darrah.
Over the course of his career, Ben has originated works with master choreographers from around the world and in so doing gained a breadth of knowledge and professional respect, which allow him to forge new paths in dance creation. His choreographic methods center on generating work through large-scale, complex collaborations in which members of numerous dance genres and communities contribute their knowledge, movement and creativity to the creation of singular performance processes. The purpose of these collaborations is to create high-quality, experimental art that audiences of diverse backgrounds can identify with and enjoy.
Ben is the recipient of a 2014 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award and a 2015 Lab Artist Award from Chicago Dancemakers Forum.