James has been performing professionally since the age of 15. He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and began his classical training with The Florida Ballet, later melding his training into Jazz and Musical Theater. His Broadway credits include: Fosse, Dance of Death, Barry Manilow’s Harmony and the most recent revival of Sweet Charity, starring Christina Applegate, where he also served as the production’s Assistant Dance Captain. He continued preserving the “Fosse style” when he became the Dance Captain for choreographer Wayne Cilento’s First National Tour of Sweet Charity, starring Molly Ringwald.
Film and Television appearances include: “The Producers,” “The Dave Chappell Show,” PBS’ “Dance in America,” “Fosse,” “Good Morning America” and “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” Tours and regional productions include: Oklahoma!, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Cabaret, West Side Story, 42nd Street, Phantom, and the legendary Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. He has also performed at Carnegie Hall, at The White House and has danced alongside Liza Minnelli for “Rosie Live” on NBC.
Even while establishing himself as a valued performer in the world of musical theatre, James was laying the foundation for what would become a thriving transition into choreography and direction. Both nationally and internationally, James’ innovative work began taking the stage in such productions as the Jekyll and Hyde European Premier, La Cage Aux Folles, Chance and Chemistry(Broadway), Nothing Like a Dame and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. James began to focus in on the art of choreography, and found himself conceiving and creating an original new dance work for DANCE TRACKS NYC, set to Stephen Sondheim’s “Another Hundred People”, and premiering at Lincoln Center. The piece would evolve into a three-part suite, named “March” which debuted at The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and was commissioned by the renowned New Jersey Ballet to be a part of their 50th Anniversary season.
In continuing his choreographic accomplishments, James, alongside Broadway legend Donna McKechnie, created the dynamic movement for The Hollywood Bowl’s Guys and Dolls, starring Jessica Biel. The duo would also work to choreograph a new musical; Cross That River, premiering at the New York Musical Festival. Most recently, James directed and choreographed West Side Story at the Mac-Haydn Theatre. Further musical theatre choreogprahic credits include: “I Do, I Do!” at the Old Globe, Hello, Dolly! starring Sally Struthers, West Side Story, White Christmas, Crazy for You, Seussical the Musical, as well as countless other productions around the U.S. In addition to choreography, James continues to teach at New York City’s premier dance studios, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and Peridance. In his exploration of new mediums, James has become a highly sought-after director/choreographer/producer and creative consultant for live events around the country, most notably, working in the world of fashion for HERMES of Paris in both NYC and Miami.
Today, James Kinney’s work can be seen on stages and television screens around the country. He has become known as a vital asset in creating new and innovative movement for musical theatre, the concert dance world, film/television and live events, all while staying uniquely true to his artistic vision of smart, meaningful movement, oozing with style.