James Welsby is a performer, choreographer and producer with a decade of professional
experience in dance and cabaret. He graduated from the VCA School of Dance in 2007 and in 2008 founded Phantom Limbs (winner “Best Dance” Melbourne Fringe 2013 and “Melbourne Festival Discovery Award”). He has performed for numerous companies (BRIEFS, Finucane and Smith, Buzz Dance Theatre, Opera Australia) and independent choreographers (Luke George, Nat Cursio, Martin Del Amo).
James has choreographed for Club Swizzle, Sisters Grimm, Zoe Coombs Marr, and Lucy
Guerin Inc (Pieces for Small Spaces), and has created several full-length shows under his own name. One of which, “HEX,” was performed in Next Wave Festival 2014, the International AIDS Conference 2014, and toured Australia in 2015 - (Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, and Canberra). A nominee for ‘Artist of the Year’ at the 2014 Globe Awards, James' work has also been recognised through awards received from ReelDance, Theatre Works, and Adelaide Fringe. James taught at Chunky Move for five years, and was mentored by choreographer Stephanie Lake through JUMP mentoring.
His drag alter ego “Valerie Hex” has been seen touring internationally with BRIEFS, Glory Box, and his own cabaret YUMMY (for which he is the founder and director). YUMMY has been performed in numerous contexts across three continents.
"James Welsby deserves plaudits as performer, but especially as director, working hard with the cast to lift the show beyond cabaret and turn it into some undeniable: YUMMY is a joy machine."
- David Collins for Arts Review
"Welsby has created something powerful that both celebrates and questions the weight of history... Hex is an enormous step up and forward, and a sign of his promise as a dancemaker."
- Jordan Beth Vincent, Dance Reviewer for The Age