Born in Barbados in 1960, John Alleyne came Toronto with his family in 1965. He trained at the National Ballet School in Toronto. After graduating in 1978, he joined the Stuttgart Ballet, where he began to choreograph balletic works including Phases and his first commissioned work, Weiderkehr (1985). Alleyne returned to Toronto from Germany in 1984 and joined the National Ballet of Canada. He served as resident choreographer 1988-1991 and created several works, including Blue-Eyed Trek and Interrogating Slam.
Alleyne began choreographing for the British Columbia Ballet in the late 1980s and was appointed the company's artistic director in 1992. He is credited with raising the profile of Ballet British Columbia through his highly technical and unique interpretations of traditional ballet performance. Works such as Go Slow Walter (1990), Boy Wonder (1997), Orpheus (2003) Scheherazade (2002), Carmina Burana (2004) and Rite of Spring (2005) earned Alleyne exposure on an international scale, including 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.
Among John Alleyne's many honours have been a Dora Mavor Moore Award (1992), a Harry Jerome Award from the Black Business and Professional Association (1993), the Exceptional Achievement Award in the Performing Arts from the Black Historical and Cultural Society of British Columbia (2005) and an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Simon Fraser University (2003).
A profile of innovative choreographer John Alleyne from the artsalive.ca website.
Ballet BC and John Alleyne part company
A news story about John Alleyne and his years at BC Ballet. From the vancouversun.com website.
A profile of chorographer John Alleyne from modelesnoirs.org.