Clarence Ford is a prolific dancer, choreographer, teacher and film director from Toronto whose creations have been seen and enjoyed throughout Canada, the US and the rest of the world. He loves to collaborate with other artists and has worked alongside the legendary James Brown and stylized music videos for Robbie Williams and Barenaked Ladies to mention just a few.
When he was five Clarence dreamed of becoming a pro hockey player. In High School he competed in track and field, breaking the Canadian Interscholastic record for the 100 meters, which attracted many athletic scholarships from the US. At the age of 17 he discovered dance and his career took off when he became a member of Soul Express, a troupe that undertook several cross-Canada tours, appeared on award shows and TV shows including their own special on CBC Television.
From a stylistic point of view Clarence Ford is an innovator. He was one of the first choreographers in North America to incorporate street and hip hop choreography in Olympic figure skating and synchronized swimming. His work was so sensational that two Olympic skaters won gold medals with his choreography.
Clarence has choreographed several figure skating specials such as Stars on Ice, and prize-winning routines for international skating stars including Kurt Browning, Scott Hamilton, Victor Kraatz and Shae-Lynn Bourne. He has also worked on Canadian award shows such as the Junos, the Genies and the Geminis.
His work in film has taken him to Los Angeles, the West Indies and all over Europe, and includes choreography for such major studios as DreamWorks, Universal and Miramax. The feature films he has worked on include The Ladies Man, starring Will Ferrell, Tuxedo with Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Undercover Brother with Eddie Griffin and Billy Dee Williams. He has also choreographed around 40 television commercials, produced, directed and choreographed fashion shows and numerous special events such as the Reebok fashion show for Fashion Television. He has also produced, directed and choreographed concerts for Arrested Development, Soul Decision and Sugar Jones.
Clarence Ford first worked with Cirque du Soleil in 1997, when Debra Brown invited him to take part in the studio workshops and contribute some of his choreographies for the Cirque show La Nouba. He followed that by joining the general training program at Cirque's International Headquarters in Montreal.
Clarence says the choreography in KOOZA takes its inspiration from urban pop culture, vaudeville's "Eccentric Dance," jazz and street performance. "For me, it's about this fusion of choreography evolving into its own language," he says. "That provokes emotions, shows power and gives our audiences excitement!"
Clarence Ford was born in Toronto in 1956.