CONTEMPORARY | JAZZ | LYRICAL | BODY AWARENESS
Calen J. Kurka was born and raised in Canada, developing a passion for the arts even as a child. Dance quickly became his medium for expression, it was more honestly the vehicle for his curiosity in human connection, and the way in which we see ourselves in conjunction with how we communicate with the world. After enjoying his first professional experience working for Tokyo Disney as a Main Stage performer, Calen moved to New York City to continue training. He was fortunate enough to call Broadway Dance Center a home. Not only for his training, but for the development of his own classes as he became a name as a weekly instructor, and eventually branched out to Steps on Broadway and Peridance. As a performer Calen joined the first national tour of Jeff Amsden’s widely acclaimed “A Few Good Men Dancin’,” and can be seen demonstrating for Michelle Assaf in the Live At Broadway Dance Center” instructional series “Turns and Turn Combos,” as well as dancing for theater choreographer Danny Herman. It was soon there after Calen head his own instructional video with partner Chris Hale: ”Floor Work with Calen Kurka and Chris Hale.” With a need to exercise and develop his own creative ideas in movement generation and techniques in training, Calen turned his attention to creating Pushing Progress Contemporary Dance: A New York performance based company with a focus on human connection and the study of the mind and physical form. It became a playground for self discovery for both him and his artists, and the birth place for his beliefs in how to train and develop dancers as full people with an awareness of the connection between mind, body, and spirit. Inspired by the works and teachings of Eckart Tolle, Brene Brown, and Robert Holdon, as well as his study in kinesthetic anatomy, pilates, Gyrotonic, and the work of Irene Down, Calen expanded his focus to creating and producing opportunities to support the growth and development of emerging artists in NYC. This included several annual dance festivals, curating and connecting both emerging and established choreographers, as well as co-directing the Pushing Progress Contemporary Training Program with Chris Hale: A training ground where dancers connect from within, turn goals into actions, and cultivate their creativity from a place of self awareness, joy, and honesty. Calen believes in the respect and responsibility that comes with accumulating knowledge, the daily practice to refine his tools, and continues to create and produce programs and events to nurture and support the development of the artist as a whole person in the world.