James "Bear" Graham

Continuing Lecturer: Dance

James "Bear" Graham is a San Francisco based choreographer, performer, and educator. James Graham Dance Theatre (JGDT), presents the work of James Graham while also curating the work of others, namely in DANCE LOVERS…duets by couples, crushes, and comrades, an annual show of duets around Valentine’s Day in San Francisco. During the pandemic, JGDT created Movement Rituals for Earth, Air, Fire, and Water at SF locations. He is currently studying to become a Drama Therapist at CIIS. He supports individuals in expanded states of consciousness and views this as an extension of healing through the body...healing through dance.

JGDT has recently been presented at ODC Theatre, Micadanses in Paris, France, UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Playhouse, Bates College, Kenyon College, in the Daegu International Dance Festival in South Korea, The Nourse Theatre and Davies Symphony Hall (commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus), at the University of Calgary, Canada, Dominican University, National Queer Arts Festival, Kunst-Stoff Arts, Too Much! Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church, Joe Goode Annex, Kennesaw State University, The Ohio State University, HeART of Market Festival, San Francisco City Hall Rotunda, and in the Golden Gate Park National A.I.D.S. Memorial Grove.

Graham was a choreographic mentee in Margaret Jenkins’ CHIME program in 2018. In 2017 Graham received an IZZIE for “Outstanding Performance as an Ensemble” with Sebastian Grubb for their performance in JGDT’s Homeroom. In 2015 he received an IZZIE award for “Outstanding Achievement in Performance for an Individual” (for his Entire Season) and was nominated that same year for an IZZIE in Outstanding Choreography for JGDT’s Guilty Survivor.

In 2007, Graham first went to Israel to study Gaga, made possible by the Kathryn Karipides Scholarship in Modern Dance. He was chosen by Ohad Naharin (Batsheva Dance Company) to be a Certified Gaga Instructor and to take part in his pilot training program of international Gaga teachers. He has taught Gaga extensively on the West Coast, in the Midwest, as well as in France, Canada, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, Thailand, Greece, Mexico, Taiwan, and Israel. He has been invited to teach at Oberlin College, Dennison University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Reed College, Stanford University, Ohio State University, University of San Francisco, California State University East Bay, College of Marin, and at the SF Clown Conservatory. He is currently a Continuing Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. He teaches at Dominican University of California/LINES BFA Program and leads open Gaga classes in SF. Graham teaches choreography, performance, and Gaga workshops around the world throughout the year.

Graham obtained an M.F.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University, focusing on performance, choreography, and video. And he earned a B.A. in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley.