He’s one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there.
The New York Times
Christopher Williams, hailed as "one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there" (The New York Times) and "the downtown prodigy" (The New Yorker), is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, and puppeteer devoted to creating new movement-based works in New York City and abroad since 1999. In addition to touring internationally in France, Italy, Spain, Colombia, Holland, Russia, and England, as well as nationally in Kalamazoo, Princeton, and Philadelphia, his work has been presented in many New York City venues including City Center, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, the 92nd Street Y, Dance New Amsterdam, Joyce SoHo, Symphony Space, Galapagos Art Space, BRIC Studio, HERE Arts Center, P.S. 122, La Mama Experimental Theater Club, Dixon Place, One Arm Red, The John Ryan Theater, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, Solar One, The Mulberry Street Theater, Judson Church, as well as in the Late Night Cabaret of the Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, and via American Opera Projects in OPERA America′s New Works Forum.
He has been commissioned by the Martha Graham Dance Company, 10 Hairy Legs Company, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, the Harkness Dance Festival, the Harkness Repertory Ensemble, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Bates Dance Festival, as well as the Dream Music Puppetry Program, and has set original works on students at Princeton University, NYU′s Tisch School of the Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, and Dickinson College. He has also had the great fortune of collaborating with many distinguished artists including world-renowned theatre director Peter Sellars, composers Gregory Spears, Robert Een, Peter Kirn, David Griffin, and Ivan Jiménez, costume designers Andrew Jordan, Ciera Wells, and Carol Binion, lighting designer Joe Levasseur, visual artist Rosario López, choreographer Kindra Windish, puppeteer and set designer Tom Lee, as well as with Ensemble Pygmalion, The New York Consort of Viols, the Sebastian Chamber Players, and with members of the internationally acclaimed vocal ensembles, Anonymous 4 and Lionheart. Most recently, his collaboration with director Michel Fau and musical director Raphaël Pichon on a production of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Dardanus for the Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles won the Grand Prix du Syndicat de la Critique 2015 in the category of "best Spectacle Lyrique of the year" and his collaboration with Peter Sellars on a production of Henry Purcell's The Indian Queen for the English National Opera, Teatro Real, the Perm Opera & Ballet Theater, and the Bolshoi Theater won five Golden Mask Awards in Moscow.
In 2005, Christopher received a New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” Award for his work Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins and an impromptu Ishmael Houston-Jones "Messie" Award for his work The Golden Legend,which was listed among the 10 best dance performances of 2009 by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker. He has also been awarded fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Bogliasco Foundation for multiple residencies at The Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy, and received a Bessie Schönberg Memorial Endowed Fellowship for a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. He has also been granted creative residencies at Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, The White Oak Plantation, The Yard, Bates Dance Festival, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Mt. Tremper Arts, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, on Captiva Island via the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, through Movement Research, the Harkness Dance Center at the 92nd Street Y, the HERE Artist Residency Program, and at Yaddo where he was named for the Charles and Candace Wait Residency in 2014. He has also received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation, the O′Donnell-Green Music & Dance Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Music Center′s Live Music for Dance Program, the International Festival Society, and the Greenwall Foundation.
Christopher has danced for Douglas Dunn & Dancers, Rebecca Lazier, Tere O’Connor Dance, Yoshiko Chuma & the School of Hard Knocks, John Kelly, David Neumann, Sally Silvers, Mina Nishimura, Michou Szabo, Yvonne Meier, Jon Kinzel, Renée Archibald, Edisa Weeks, Risa Jaroslow, Eliza Miller, Nanine Linning, Beppie Blankert, Wendy Rogers, Lisa Gonzales, and Anita Cheng, and has also performed for Peter Sellars, Fred Ho, and Charles Atlas. As a puppeteer, Christopher has worked with the award-winnning master puppeteer Basil Twist, both serving as the Ballet Captain for the puppets’ choreography as well as developing roles in his versions of the ballets Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. He has also toured with the award-winning work of Dan Hurlin, including Everyday Uses for Sight no. 3 and Hiroshima Maiden, has collaborated with Phantom Limb Company, and has appeared in puppet works by Chris Green, Erin K. Orr, and Lake Simons.
Christopher was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Syracuse, New York where he began early studies of gymnastics, drama, music, and ballet. He earned a diploma from the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris where he studied physical theatre, acrobatics, and mask traditions from 1996-1998, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999 from Sarah Lawrence College where he studied choreography with the late Viola Farber and puppetry with Dan Hurlin. He has also studied contemporary dance and ballet most notably with Jeremy Nelson, Vicky Shick, Douglas Dunn, Rebecca Lazier, Janet Panetta, John Jasperse, and at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, where he received three scholarships for participation in their professional training program. He currently serves on the Artist Advisory Board for Danspace Project and lives in Washington Heights.