James Cunningham

Soloist | Little Hocking, OH | Joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2008

James Cunningham trained at the Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet School and gained early acceptance, on full scholarship, to the dance division at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music his junior year of high school. He we went on to join Cincinnati Ballet Second Company as a Trainee in 2008. After graduating from CCM magna cum laude in 2010, he joined the Cincinnati Ballet company as an Apprentice and worked his way up to Soloist by 2016. An emerging choreographer, Cunningham’s world premiere piece, Seven, was featured in Cincinnati Ballet’s 2015 Inaugural Choreography Workshop, performed by members of the Second Company. In the fall of 2016, his piece entitled Prohibition Condition was performed as part of Cincinnati Ballet’s main stage production of Director’s Cut, and later in 2016 he debuted a new work,  La Nymphe Brisée, as part of CCM’s main stage production, Classics with a Twist.

Sponsors: Dawn & Andrew Green and Ronna & Dr. James B. Willis

Touchet will never forget her 19th birthday. That was the day Victoria Morgan came to Pacific Northwest Ballet, to audition Touchet’s professional division. “Directors from everywhere auditioned us, but nobody ever picked me,” she says. “I remember thinking she wouldn’t like me anyway, so I told myself to just have fun, and after it was over, she said, ‘I’d like to talk to Janessa’.” Crossed wires with communicating Touchet’s acceptance of Morgan’s apprenticeship offer led to a planned spot with Memphis Ballet, but Morgan called one last time and Touchet was able to come to Cincinnati Ballet instead. “It was meant to be here. I started as an Apprentice and moved all the way through the ranks. I had always had my heart and mind set on Cincinnati Ballet.”

Professional History

  • University of Cincinnati: College-Conservatory of Music, BFA Ballet Performance 2007-2010
  • Cincinnati Ballet: CBII, Apprentice, New Dancer, Corps de Ballet Dancer, Soloist (2008 – Present)

Favorite Roles

  • Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Lost boy in Peter Pan
  • Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet
  • Pas de Deux from Extremely Close
  • “Hush Now” Solo in Adam Hougland’s All My Favorite People
  • The Mad hatter/ Louis Carroll in ALICE (in wonderland)

Photography: Peter Mueller

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