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John Alleyne was born in Barbados and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1965. After graduating from the National Ballet School in Toronto in 1978, he joined the Stuttgart Ballet where he began to choreograph, creating several works, including Phases (1983), In Variation on a Theme (1984) and his first commission, Weiderkehr (1985).
In 1984, Alleyne returned to Canada. He danced with the National Ballet of Canada and served as the company's resident choreographer from 1988 to 1991, creating numerous works, including Blue-Eyed Trek (1988), Split House Geometric (1989-1990) and Interrogating Slam (1991).
Alleyne began his association with Ballet British Columbia in the late 1980s, choreographing several works for the company, among them Flying To Paris (1989) and Go Slow Walter (1990) and Talk About Wings (1991).
Alleyne was appointed to the position of artistic director of Ballet British Columbia in 1992. His leadership marked the beginning of a creative and prosperous period in the company's history. His choreography is noted for its technical complexity and innovative expansion of the classical ballet lexicon. It has raised the profile of Ballet British Columbia through works such as The Archeology of Karl…A romantic adventure (1993), Three Visible Poems (1994), The Don Juan Variations (1995), Can you believe she actually said (1995), Remember Me From Then (1996 with Peter Bingham of EDAM), Sex is My Religion (1996), Boy Wonder (1997), The Goldberg (1998), Schubert (1999), The Faerie Queen (2000, adapted and filmed by CBC), Orpheus (2003) Scheherazade (2002), Carmina Burana (2004) and Rite of Spring (2005).
His choreography has been performed as part of the Canada Dance Festival, the New York City Ballet's Diamond Project and the San Francisco Ballet's celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations – United We Dance, the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Ballet de Monte Carlo.
Alleyne has received many awards, including a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Choreography (1992); the Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence from the Black Business and Professional Association (1993); the Vancouver Arts Award for Performing Arts (2004); and the Exceptional Achievement Award in the Performing Arts from the Black Historical and Cultural Society of British Columbia (2005).
Pepper, Kaija. “John Alleyne.” Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada/Encyclopédie de la Danse théâtrale au Canada. Ed. Susan Macpherson. Toronto: Dance Collection Danse Press/es, 2000: 25-26.