James Bennett is a leading choreographer for stage, TV and film. Originally from Margate he is excited to be an integral part of Masque Performers College and be part of the journey for our students in their professional performer training
Welcome From our Patron-
I have always been a passionate teacher form the earliest moments of my career, teaching was as important to me as performance. Although it wasn't until the last few years where I have transitioned from performance into choreography that I think I realised why I love it so much. I always enjoy inspiring people and working with them individually, seeing my choreography performed by them and the energy created when I work in the studio. But the most rewarding thing for me is to see them achieve something they didn't think was possible.
Coming from Margate I didn't believe that such a career as mine would ever have been possible. I just had a very strong sense of curiosity, an iron will and beautifully supportive parents. This is why I am excited to be part of MPC. A foundation school that will give students the tools and opportunity to further themselves in a way that they would never otherwise have access to. I am especially excited to be working closely alongside Kerree and Masque, where I was in fact first introduced to dance all those years ago. I am thrilled to have the chance to be working with them again some 20 years later.
JAMES BENNETT - CAREER
For the last 15 years James has worked extensively in theatre, film and TV. His career began in the hit musical We Will Rock You. He soon discovered, however, that he craved creativity and became associate choreographer and resident director. After a few years of west end, TV and film credits under his belt, he made the transition into creating for himself, and because of his varied experience he has enjoyed success across all mediums.
Most recently James finished working as a choreographer on Britain's Got Talent and the BGT Christmas Special. He is also creating, directing and choreographing Strictly Come Dancing star, Oti Mabuse's debut dance show, I Am Here, which goes on UK national tour in April 2022 .
Earlier in the year James created, directed and choreographed the short dance film Choked, which received critical acclaim.
At the beginning of 2020 James was resident chorographer on BBC's Greatest Dancer, choreographing all of Oti Mabuse's acts and helping her to win for the second year in a row.
Last year James choreographed a show for Imagine Cruising, which was performed in Australia and Singapore. He was creative director of Lunch With An Old Bag, which is the Prince's Trust biggest charity production of the year. He has produced shows for Prestonfield House and Tanglin Trust, and was also flown to Jakarta to create Don't Stop Me now, a Queen concert for BSJ. He choreographed the Dance Beats Flashmob together with Oti Mabuse for Tesco and the British Heart Foundation, starring Oti Mabuse, Aston Merrygold and Kimberly Wyatt. He was associate choreographer to Karen Bruceon the UK's biggest panto at the London Palladium, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, as well as assisting her on a special for Strictly Come Dancing (BBC). He created two musicals with Oit Mabuse in 2019; Fats Waller's Ain't Misbehaving (Southwark Playhouse/ Mercury Theatre) and Kiss Me Kate, the brand new adaptation (Watermill Theatre).
Other choreography credits include; Robin Hood (Best Choreography Nomination - Panto Awards -Regent Theatre, Stoke on Trent), We Will Rock You, (Tanglin Trust, Singapore), Aladdin (Fernham Hall), Music Flashmob and Performances (for the Fobisia music festival, Bangkok).
Performance credits include; James spending most of 2018 working on the Elton John biopic, Rocketman. He also spent time working on the new Disney film Cruella due be releases this year. Director and Dance Captain on Tango Moderno, the smash hit musical starring Vincent and Flavia. He originated the role of Tommy Arbunt in the UK and North American production of Strictly Ballroom The Musical. Other theatre credits include Dance Captain for Dirty Dancing (UK & European tour); Dance Captain for We Will Rock You (UK & European tour); Carmen (O2 Arena & Royal Albert Hall); We Will Rock You (Dominium Theatre); IQ and swing in Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre): Santa Claus The Musical (Marina Bay, Singapore) and Dance Captain for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Birmingham Hippodrome).
Television includes: Strictly Come Dancing (BBC), Britain's Got Talent (ITV), Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV), Genie In the House (Nickelodeon) and Spooks: Code 9 (BBC), John Barrowman's Tonight's The Night (BBC), Children In Need (BBC) and The Paul O'Grady Show (Channel 4).
Film Includes: Cruella (Disney), Rocketman (Paramount), See You Soon, Dance Party 2 (Universal).
Teaching : James is a passionate teacher and works extensively with a number of leading commercial dance and theatre colleges in London, the UK and abroad, shaping the next generation of performers. He is employed every year to choreograph and direct works for end of year shows and also choreograph finales which can include up to 300 performers.