DEVELOPING ARTISTS GRANTS
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Bengt Jörgen is a graduate of the Royal Swedish Ballet School. Upon moving to Canada, he furthered his studies at the National Ballet School, and from 1982-1985 was a member of the National Ballet of Canada. There he began to choreograph for the Company’s workshops.
After leaving the National Ballet of Canada, Bengt began to pursue a career as an independent choreographer. In
1987, he established Ballet Jörgen (now called Ballet
Jörgen Canada), out of a desire to expand and improve
opportunities for ballet choreographers. Under his
leadership, the company has grown to become one of Canada’s leading presenters of original ballets and emerging choreographers. With his support, 55 choreographers have worked with the company creating some 130 ballets. Described as an outstanding artistic entrepreneur in a nomination for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award program, Bengt has built his organization around an investment in innovation and high artistic quality. Ballet Jörgen Canada continues to receive critical acclaim both in Canada and on the international stage.
In 1989, Bengt was appointed the resident choreographer of George Brown College. In 1992, his artistic vision led to the formation of a partnership with them, resulting in the creation of George Brown Dance. Bengt is currently their Artistic Director, the only college based dance program in Canada. George Brown Dance offers two certificate programs and one diploma program to aspiring young dancers. He has
served as a guest teacher both in Canada and internationally, including his alma mater the Royal Swedish Ballet School.
Bengt has worked to create collaborative projects with arts organizations around the world. In 2002, his full-length ballet Coppélia was premiered, a co-production between Ballet Jörgen Canada and the Hong Kong Ballet. In 2003, his Romeo & Juliet entered the repertoire of the Ohio Ballet. The two companies collaborated on the full-length production of Cinderella. His most recent collaboration was with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in the creation of the Group of Seven Nutcracker. Other credits include the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Ontario, the American Ballet Studio Company and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
His full-length ballets, including the Group of Seven Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Coppélia, Anastasia and Cinderella, have played to rave reviews and standing ovations. To date, he has created over 30 ballets and also gained critical acclaim for his shorter length productions, which include Swedish Songs, and most recently, Petrushka.
Bengt’s reputation as a choreographer of work that is warm, humorous and resonates with audiences has led to invitations to appear at numerous festivals. His work has also been seen at such centres as New York City and Los Angeles, California.